This plant-only recipe may look like it required a lot of fuss, but it comes together easily. Tender zucchini is loaded with a hearty and satisfying bean mixture and then finished off with a drizzle of cheesy tasting sauce.
What’s nutritional yeast?
Not to be confused with brewer’s yeast or the active dried yeast used to make bread and pizza crust, nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of a micro-organism that is dried into flakes with an abundance of naturally occurring glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid that interacts with specific taste cells in the tongue to unleash an umami, cheesy wave of flavor. Blend it with silky tofu and some seasonings and … bingo … vegan cheese sauce.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 3 tsp grapeseed oil or avocado oil divided
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 - 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup silken soft tofu
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast see tip
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Slice top and bottom knobs from each zucchini, then slice in half lengthwise. Use small spoon to scoop out center seeds of each squash, creating a crevice that will hold the black bean filling. On large baking sheet, arrange squash halves, cut side up; brush with 1 tsp oil and bake until very tender, about 20 minutes.
- While zucchini is baking, in large skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tsp oil and sauté onion, pepper and 1/4 tsp salt until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and heat another minute. Stir in cumin and chili powder; heat for 30 seconds. Add in black beans and corn and continue cooking until everything is heated through.
- In blender container, place tofu, nutritional yeast, vinegar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt and blend until smooth.
- To assemble, divide bean mixture among zucchini halves and drizzle on sauce. Garnish with cilantro.
Per serving: 236 calories; 14 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 11 g fiber); 580 mg sodium