Forget the rice - quinoa is my favorite way to go with stuffed zucchini! Chorizo adds incredible flavor, and a melty cheese topping seals the deal right.
1/2 cup quinoa
4 large zucchini
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo (removed from casings if in links)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
Splash white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups grated queso fresco
Rinse quinoa and transfer to a saucepan along with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover; cook 15 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so, covered.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F with a baking sheet inside. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/guts using a spoon. Lightly brush or spray the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, cut side down, for 12 minutes, or until zucchini is just tender and lightly browned on the bottom.
Heat chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. When it releases a good amount of fat, add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft and chorizo is browned, about 5 to 7 minutes - adding garlic during last minute of cooking time. Remove from heat and add vinegar, herbs, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the quinoa. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Preheat the broiler. Stuff quinoa mixture into zucchini boats and broil for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown. (I like for the zucchini to hold a bit of crunch, but you can choose to roast it at 400 degrees for 10 minutes along with a couple minutes under the broiler if you prefer it softer.)
Recipe by 20something cupcakes at http://www.20somethingcupcakes.com/2012/09/chorizo-quinoa-stuffed-zucchini/