Zucchini Cups with Rice, Veggies and Cheese!

This is such a fun and simple appetizer and/or side dish for summer! You can prep the zucchini cups up to 1 day in advance and bake just before serving!

Zucchini Cups with Rice, Veggies and Cheese

Cooking spray
4-5 large zucchini, cut crosswise into approximately 2-inch thick rounds
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
8 ounces regular or vegetable cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 each red and yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs/leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Using a small spoon or melon-baller, remove the seeds from the zucchini slices, making hollow circles. Place the slices on the baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the rice, cream cheese, bell peppers, oregano, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini slices. Top with the cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Top with cilantro just before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.

Serves 8-12

Photo: Apolonia