One of the things that I enjoyed the most about my Paleo/Whole 30 challenge in January was the simplicity of it. No processed foods, no heavy or starchy carbohyrdates, no gluten or wheat. Just plenty of lean and organic protein, fresh seasonal vegetables and lots of fruit. It’s not rocket science and it’s pretty obvious that you are going to feel a million times better and start to shrink. I got to day 26, having also had no alcohol, cakes or chocolate and had lost eight pounds. I also felt clearer headed, had lots more energy and had more ‘even’ moods. Unfortunately, a (stressful) overnight stay in hospital with my little one and then an over-indulgent family party weekend knocked me off my healthy eating pedestal. However, I was able to get back on track and I’d say that I’ve kept to my new rules about 80% of the time, which I think, and hope, is sensible in the long run. This recipe for Courgette or Zucchini Boats with Bolognese sauce has since become of my favourite go-to Paleo recipes and I try to make it once every couple of weeks to stay on track.
Hope you enjoy this recipe.
Courgette or Zucchini Boats with Bolognese Sauce (Paleo Friendly)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 1 stick celery chopped
- 2 carrots peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled, minced
- 500 g lean beef or steak mince
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 500 ml made-up beef stock or homemade bone broth
- 400 g/1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
- 8 zucchini/courgettes halved
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 4 tsp chopped hazelnuts
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Add the coconut oil to a large frying pan or stovetop casserole pan and gently fry the finely chopped onions, celery, carrots and garlic for around 7 minutes on a low heat.
- Add the mince and fry for another few minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Fry until browned (around 5-10 minutes).
- Stir in the tomato puree, then pour in the beef stock. Allow to bubble on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle in the mixed herbs. Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- When the Bolognese sauce is almost ready, pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Take a teaspoon and scoop out some of the middle of each half of the zucchini/courgette. Chop the pulp finely and add it to the Bolognese sauce. Stir replace the lid and continue cooking the sauce.
- Place the zucchini/courgette on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with avocado oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the zucchini/courgette boats from the oven and top each ‘boat’ with some of the Bolognese sauce. Sprinkle each boat with hazelnuts and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Serve straight away.