Cooking Matters @ Alliance: Class 1

The Fall Cooking Matters class has kicked off at Alliance Medical Ministry!

Cooking Matters is a six-week cooking and nutrition course that helps Alliance patients plan, shop, and cook healthy, nutritious, affordable, and delicious meals.  Alliance Medical Ministry is a site for this free, six-week program, offered in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Alliance patients and a few family members came together to make zucchini burrito boats.


The volunteer instructor for the fall course, Imani Allen, is our Nutrition Intern from North Carolina State University. The class began with a rigorous discussion on patients' current eating habits, challenges faced, and what they hoped to learn from the course, which included eating healthier on a budget, learning different ways to cook fruits and veggies, and improving their overall health through diet changes.

The class then headed into the kitchen to get started on the zucchini boats! Stuffed zucchini makes a great dinner and can be very versatile.  Enjoy this recipe!


Zucchini Burrito Boats


  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  •  ½ cup corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper) cored, diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 packet of McCormick Taco seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/Monterey jack cheese


1. Start by greasing a 9 x 13” casserole dish then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.

2. Next, warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the taco seasoning. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes and then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spoon the filling inside each zucchini until they are full. Sprinkle each one with cheese and arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

4. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then serve and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.