Zucchini Love Boats (Barquinhos do Amor) AIP Recipe

Zucchini Love Boats (Barquinhos do Amor) AIP Recipe

posted in: Main Dish, Recipes | 3

My husband spontaneously invented this recipe last week along with it’s special name, translated to Zucchini Love Boats from the original Portuguese version. These loveboats show how easy it is to make delicious autoimmune protocol food with whatever you have in the kitchen. The sauce is to-die-for! You could serve the sauce over zoodles and it would also be a great meal (imagine bacon alfredo, yum!). I use a Spiralizer like this to make my zoodles, it is my favorite kitchen tool.

My husband doesn’t follow the autoimmune protocol… and sometimes arrives home from work with a bag of donuts. In spite of his junk food habits, he is very supportive of my choices and respects my food restrictions. He is also a great cook! However, he still insists on cooking in the “frying pan that kills birds,” because my stainless steel pan is too “sticky” (I told him about our friend’s parrot that almost died from teflon poisoning since the he calls all non-stick pans bird killing pans).

The measurements are intentionally approximate so you can play around with your own flavors and the ingredients you happen to have in the kitchen. Sarcastic comments in the recipe are all direct translations. Feel free to have fun with your food and add your own favorite veggies to the filling!

On the left, mine... on the right his. My husband often eats the same food as I do plus white rice
On the left, mine… on the right his. My husband often eats the same food as I do plus white rice
Zucchini Love Boats (Barquinho do Amor)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Autoimmune Protocol/ Paleo
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 large zucchini (the bigger the better, like basketball players)
  • ½ pound ground beef (add any other meat if you don't have enough, we used chicken too)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped (separated 3 cloves and 1 clove)
  • ½ onion finely chopped (separated in two parts)
  • Any extra veggies you have lying around (I suggest grated carrots and chopped spinach)
  • ½ cup wine (if you don't have wine or are extremely sensitive to alcohol sub 3 T Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • Handful of spinach
  • Autoimmune Protocol safe Italian Seasoning (or just use your favorite herbs I like oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 4 strips of bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut the zucchini lengthwise removing the "insides" to form a boat save them in a bowl for later use. Cover the boats with olive oil and salt and place in a glass pan (or baking sheet)
  3. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and remove from oven
  4. Meanwhile prepare the filling
  5. Heat your preferred cooking oil in a large pan
  6. Add three cloves of chopped garlic and half of the onion
  7. Saute for 1 minute on medium heat and add the ground beef (or meat of your choice) and a dash of salt
  8. Once the meat is mostly cooked add the wine and any extra veggies
  9. Reduce to low until most of the liquid has cooked off
  10. Add the filling to the zucchini boats and bake for 15-20 minutes
  11. Now make the sauce
  12. Fry the bacon and remove from grease
  13. In the bacon grease add the remaining garlic, onion and zucchini insides and saute for 5 minutes
  14. Add a splash of wine
  15. Once the onions are clear (cooked through...because if your mouth smells like onions they will just be zucchini boats, without the LOVE) add the mixture to the blender with a few leaves of spinach to add color and blend thoroughly
  16. If the sauce is too thick add some olive oil
  17. Pour the sauce over the zucchini boats ad return to the oven on broil for five minutes (if you have cheese eaters in your household you can add cheese too)
  18. Serve with crumbled bacon as a topping and add a toothpick sail to make them real love boats
here you can see the zucchini love boat in action at high sea
here you can see the zucchini love boat in action at high sea

A couple extra notes from my husband:

  • If you have an outdoor kitchen like ours you will probably end up with some stir fried bugs… no problem, more protein!
  • If you have a dog like this, you will probably have to give him a couple of pieces of meat
  • If you don’t have bacon it’s Ok you can just use extra cooking oil for the sauce or the juices left over from the meat filling
    AIP dog
    He’s not smiling at me, he’s smiling at the bacon…


-Slightly Lost Girl

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3 Responses

  1. These just might be my favorite pictures ever! Your husband is so sweet to call these “love boats!” The sauce looks to die for! I have two dogs like that, they always end up getting some meat 😉 PS I didn’t know your kitchen is outside! How cool!

    • Slightly Lost Girl

      haha yes! The sauce is awesome I have been using it on zoodles too 🙂 The outside kitchen was fun at first, but the bugs are terrible this time of year so it isn’t so fun. I am pretty sure I have accidentally eaten a few of them!

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