Loaded Zucchini Boats
2 medium-sized zucchini
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 healthy pinch red pepper flake
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1 cup cooked lentils, cooked based on package directions
3/4 cup your favorite marinara
2-3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Halve zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh (enough to comfortably fit ~1/2 cup of sauce and lentils).
Spray or brush the zucchini with a bit of oil (just enough to lightly coat all sides), and season each with salt and red pepper flake.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, lay the zucchini cut-side down (only as many as will fit comfortably at once), and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges appear browned. This will create more flavor and start to soften the zucchini before baking. Once all zucchini have been seared (on the cut side), transfer to a baking dish, cut-side up.
To the same skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, and pepper flake and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent.
Add lentils and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off heat and set aside.
Divide your marinara evenly between the zucchini boats and top each boat with lentil mixture. Mix together the marinara and lentils a bit, and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown, crispy, and the squash is tender). Depending on the size of your squash and how tender you prefer it, you may need to bake longer.
Serve as is, or with additional parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
Note: Store leftovers up to 2-3 days and reheat in a 375 degree F oven until hot. Not freezer friendly.
Recipe and image adapted from: https://minimalistbaker.com/easy-vegan-zucchini-boats/