*Low Carb


Table of Contents: VEGETABLES



2 medium zucchini


Freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, minced

4 oz. blue cheese

3 T. poblano, bell, or sweet red pepper

½ cup cooked, salted rice

1 large egg, well-beaten

Paprika or crushed red pepper for garnish






Do not peel the zucchini.  Lengthwise, split the zucchini into halves; then scoop out the halves leaving only a shell to be filled.   Put the zucchini pulp into a microwaveable bowl, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.    Set aside.


Prepare a baking dish with spay oil and put the zucchini shells in it.  Sprinkle the insides of the shells with a little salt and pepper; the set aside.


Mash the cooked zucchini pulp; then add the onion, blue cheese, pablano (or other) pepper, and rice.  Mix well.  Taste for salt and pepper; add, if needed.    Then, add the beaten egg and blend thoroughly.


Drain any water from the shells that has accumulated from the salting process.  Evenly fill the shells with the zucchini mixture.  Sprinkle the tops with a little paprika or crushed red pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Zucchini is a favorite vegetable in Croatia and Slovenia.  A couple of years ago, Joe and I flew into Zagreb, Croatia to begin a vacation in Eastern Europe.  We took a taxi to the heart of Zagreb; then an electric streetcar to the market square where our small apartment was located.  Finding the square was a piece of cake, but finding the rather obscure door that opened directly off the market into the stairway to our apartment took a bit of investigation.  The market was full of colorful umbrellas with beautiful fruit and vegetable stands underneath.  Every morning it was such a treat to look out our apartment windows onto the busy market and catch the aroma of fresh coffee.  There were cozy, little specialty cafes tucked in various places.  One served breakfast and coffees, one sold cold drinks only, some of the cafes served dinner while others only served lunch and afternoon drinks.

While taking a break on the market square after a long walk one afternoon, we watched an older man bicycle into the square and park beside the beautiful flowing public fountain.  Lo! And behold, he proceeded to take a sponge bath!  That caught our attention.

We spent several days wandering the old city on foot; then took the several streetcars out of the heart of the city to visit the Nikola Tesla Museum.  Inside the museum is part of the lab where Tesla make experiments with electricity which was at about the same time period that Thomas Edison was doing similar work.

Having become somewhat savvy about Eastern European ways by then, we rented a car to head into the Croatian and Slovenian countryside.  Our departure from Zagreb was exciting; we briefly became a part of a parade, but Joe turned sour on me when I began to wave at the crowd.  He was probably right since the parade could have been the beginning of a revolution or it was probably a celebration of Saint Somebody’s Day.  He found an exit street and took it.  With a bit of re-routing we headed for the Autostrada for a few kilometers; then turned off toward the mountain region of Logarska Dolina in Slovenia.  We stopped not far off the Autostrada at a small grocery to buy picnic supplies.  Our travel guru, Rick Steves, always advises to carry picnicking supplies when travelling in an unfamiliar country.   No problems in the store because the friendly butcher spoke some English and helped me shop the unfamiliar store items and to convert sliced meat poundage into metric grams.  He was very interested to know where we lived.  Have you explained where Alabama is located to a Croatian lately?  It only took a good map of the US and he was very pleased with our interest in him.  ‘Twas fun, but the real fun was about to begin.    We traveled about another hour into a gorgeous valley and stopped at a tiny crossroad store to ask directions for lodging for the night.  The store was closed, but a lovely young girl, about 14 years old, met us at the door.  As I was trying to ask her about nearby lodging, the rest of her family appeared - mother, father, younger brother, & baby sister in her mother’s arms.  It was now becoming a scene out of the Keystone Cops.  The only person in the family that could speak any English was the young girl.  She was studying English at her school.  You can only imagine how good my Croatian was!   Joe, of course, was smiling, but completely silent.  I whipped out my language phrase book and suddenly everyone understood what we were seeking.  But, the family directions were hysterical.   Hands and fingers were going in many directions, the decibel level was rising to make us understand the directions, the dog had begun to bark, and the baby was lifting her mother’s sweater numerous times to nurse.  You should have been there!!!  Finally, the mother spokes to her husband and all was settled.  That saintly man jumped into his Mercedes station wagon and motioned for us to follow.  He drove us many mountainous miles upward to a breathtaking small hunting lodge with a panoramic mountain view.  The lodge was full, but surrounding it were beautiful cabins that looked like they belonged in a book about Heidi – a loft bedroom, a charming ceramic stove with much needed heat, and huge blooming red geraniums hanging from the balcony outside.  Dinner, including zucchini, and the wine at the lodge were fabulous.

If that young lady, had not made the effort to practice her school English, we could still be wandering in Slovenia and Croatia!  Our thanks to the whole family for their care.


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