University student Ellie loves food and is always looking for ways to eat healthy while sticking to the budget that is living as a student. She believes there is life beyond beans on toast and wants to raise awareness that take-away and ready-made meals are more expensive than buying ingredients fresh.
I think that the courgette crisis of 2017 will be remembered as a terrible omen for the bad things that I see on the horizon - Brexit, Trump, the impending Mexican wall, do I have to name them all? - but now that this, at least, is behind us, I can make more courgette boats. I actually had no idea where they were grown, and it's interesting to realise just how far some of our favourite food gets shipped. Even the local grocers managed to source some during the shortage, showing just how demanding our society is; we're not going to die without them, so we can wait! They are sometimes called summer squash and we should try to eat seasonably where possible; so, now that it's getting a bit warmer, I think it's a good time to share this recipe.
Courgette boats are so versatile because you can fill them with whatever you like. I have chosen to do a pizza version and one with rice but there are loads of other things you could use - curry, meat / substitute, more vegetables etc. I just have one favour to ask you - please do not throw away the middle after you have scooped it out! I can't deal with food waste. My mum recently sent me a video about The Real Food Waste Project because she knows how riled up I get about it. They are an organisation who intercept food before it gets thrown away, whether from supermarkets or even food banks who can no longer distribute the food because it's passed its sell by date. Often people rely too much on expiration dates rather than using their instincts to tell whether something is okay to eat; I never even look at them and I've never got food poisoning. One of my friends is particularly bad for it: I came home from uni to find half a tray of vegan brownies in the bin. It physically hurt. Not only because they were delicious vegan brownies but also because there was absolutely nothing wrong with them! And this is not the first situation of this kind. So please don't throw your courgette boat leftovers in the bin because I will cry.
Anyway, onto the recipe...
Cost: £9.19 as purchased, ~£1.25 as served
- 1tbsp - tomato pureeFor the pizza boat
- 1tsp - sweetcornFor the pizza boat
- 1slice - red onionFor the pizza boat
- 1strip - green pepperFor the pizza boat
- 0.5 - mushroomFor the pizza boat
- 1tsp - pine nutsFor the pizza boat
- 10g - riceFor the rice boat
- 1tsp - curry pasteFor the rice boat
- 0.5 - mushroomFor the rice boat
- 1tsp - sweetcornFor the rice boat
- 1strip - green pepperFor the rice boat
- 1strip - red pepperFor the rice boat
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cut the stem off and slice the courgette in half.
Use a spoon to scoop out the soft insides, leaving approximately 1cm around the edges.
For the pizza boat:
- Spread the tomato puree in the middle.
- Chop the ingredients and sprinkle on top.
For the rice boat:
- Boil the rice and drain.
- Chop the ingredients and add.
- Add the curry paste and combine.
- Place into the courgette.
Bake for 10 minutes.
- Keep courgette insides and leftover ingredients in a sealed container so they can be used on another meal – you could add more vegetables and some spices and make a stir fry!
- Whenever I’m making anything that takes about 10 minutes, I like to add some kale to the baking tray because it is delicious – just drizzle with olive oil and salt and you’re ready to go.