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Squash Lentil Boats FG1 3489

Zucchini-Lentil Boats with Green Sauce

Author: Traffic Light Cook
Celebrate summer with vitamin C- and manganese-loaded zucchini stuffed with flavor-rich lentils, cherry tomatoes, and a very special cashew green sauce. Enjoy at lunch or dinner on its own or with a side cherry tomato salad. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Global, Gluten-free, Healthy, Vegan
Servings 4 People
Calories 257 kcal


To Make Green Sauce

  • 1/8 Cup Cashew (soaked at least for 1 hour in lukewarm water, sub with sunflower seeds for nut-free version)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (well-rinsed under running water)
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp raisins (golden or black)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp water (more if needed)

To make Zucchini-Lentil Boats

  • 2 zucchini squash (medium, halved, flesh scooped out)
  • 1 cup brown lentils (dry, can sub with french lentils, soaked for at least 3 hours)
  • 1 cup Homemade vegetable broth (or any other, can sub with water+1 bayleaf or just water)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil (or any other type)
  • 1 White onion (or any other type, medium, finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp homemade roasted ground cumin (plus one pinch, or store-bought)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (plus one pinch, increase to 1/2 tsp if want spicier version, can sub with red chili powder)
  • 1/2 tsp jalapeño pepper (or sub with green chillies, increase to 1 tsp for spicier version, finely minced)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved, can sub with roughly chopped regular tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (can sub with fresh lime juice)
  • 2 tsp raisins (golden or black)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (plus one pinch)
  • 1 tsp water


To make Green Sauce

  • Add soaked cashews (or sunflower seeds), well-rinsed cilantro, lemons juice, raisins, salt, and water to a blender. Blend on high speed  until well mixed. Transfer to a glass storage container. This recipe yields 4-5 tbsp sauce.

To make Zucchini-Lentil Boats

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (~220°C). Add a tsp of water to an oven-proof dish. Slice zucchini lengthwise in half and scoop out the flesh leaving about 1/4 inch on zucchini (see picture 2). Finely chop scooped-out zucchini flesh. Sprinkle hollowed-out zucchini halves with a pinch of salt, pinch of ground cumin, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Arrange zucchini halves on the baking dish and partially cover with an oven-proof lid or with an aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. You should be able to insert a fork or toothpick easily in the baked zucchini. 
  • Soak lentils for at least 3 hours or overnight. If in a hurry, soak for 1 hour in boiling-hot water. In a small pan, add soaked lentils with a cup of veggie broth (or water) and 1/4 tsp salt and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to let it simmer till lentils are soft (and hold shape) but not mushy. If there is any foam, skim it promptly with a spoon. Drain lentils to take out any leftover liquid. 
  • While lentils cook on stovetop and zucchini roasts in oven,  cut onions and prep ginger and garlic, mince jalapeño peppers, cut cherry tomatoes, and finely chop cilantro. (about 10 Minutes)
  • Next add one tsp oil to a heavy-bottom, wide-mouth pan. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt, cook for a minute. Then add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. If mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tsp or two of water. Add finely chopped jalapeño, cayenne pepper, chopped zucchini flesh, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes, until zucchini is soft and cooked through. 
  • Add cooked (drained) lentils to the mixture and stir a few times, making sure not to over mix lentils. In the last 2 minutes of cooking add halved cherry tomatoes and finely chopped cilantro. After taking the pot off the stove, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix. Add the lentil mixture in baked zucchini halves. 

To serve

  • Fill baked zucchini halves with lentil mixture. Top with 1 tbsp of green sauce. Serve on its own or with a simple cherry tomato salad topped with green sauce. Enjoy!


Serving: 1zucchini boatCalories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 15gFat: 3gSodium: 533mgPotassium: 926mgFiber: 16gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 600IUVitamin C: 34.7mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini
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