Stuffed zucchini with Basil Pesto

Here is a great way to use some of the bounty of your garden zucchinis (courgettes). This recipe uses the larger zucchinis that got away and are not tender enough for steaming or sautéing. The recipe soothes vata and pitta, but kapha will need to add extra black pepper or some cayenne.

The recipe also works well with quinoa instead of rice for a lower carb alternative. It's easy to make a vegan option by leaving out the cheese topping!


  • 4 zucchinis

  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Portobello mushroom

  • 2 tomatoes

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • 4 oz Sheep pecorino or parmesan

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil

  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary


Wash the rice; add the water or vegetable stock and the salt. Bring to the boil, cover with a well- fitting lid and simmer for about 25 minutes until the rice is cooked. Pre heat the oven to 425'F. Meanwhile, cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise and scoop out the inner flesh, leaving a boat about half an inch thick. Coarsely chop the zucchini flesh and the mushroom and tomato. In a wok or sauté pan, heat the olive oil; add the chopped ingredients and sauté until tender. If the zucchini boats are from very large, very hard zucchinis, parboil the boats. (You don't need to parboil if they are fairly tender.) Chop the fresh herbs. Mix together the sautéed veggies, rice, chopped herbs and fresh ground pepper. Stuff the zucchini boats with this mixture. Grate pecorino on the top. Place the stuffed zucchinis on trays and add a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the tray. Cover with foil. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 20 min at 425'. Then turn down to 375' and cook for another 30-40 min until the zucchini boats are tender. Serve with home-made basil pesto.

Basil Pesto

Here is a sattvic pesto recipe. In addition to basil, mint and lemon balm, you can add other edible weeds from your garden, such as mallow or amaranth. For a vegan alternative, simply omit the cheese.This recipe is modified from Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Emanuela Stucchi, Pavilion Books.


  • 2 oz fresh basil

  • 1 oz fresh mint

  • 1oz lemon balm (optional)

  • 2 oz pine nuts

  • 6 tbsp sheep pecorino or parmesan

  • Half cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh ground pepper.


Combine the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. To prevent discolouration due to oxidation, cover surface with olive oil. Serve over your stuffed zucchinis.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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