Sunday, August 14, 2016

Recipe: Taco Zucchini Boats

I'm going to preface this post by saying I. LOVE. CARBS. I love bread, I love tortillas, I love carbs. BUT, I also know I need to cut back on them and I really didn't realize all the things that are loaded with carbs and that they all add up. So I've been trying to pick and choose what and when I have them to see what makes a difference since every body is different and responds differently to different things. 

I saw a few posts floating around Facebook for Taco Zucchini Boats and knew I needed to try them. I am always looking for creative ways to make our favorite meals a bit healthier without sacrificing flavor. In the past I have made these Italian Stuffed Zucchini . We love tacos, burritos, enchiladas, so this was something I really wanted to try. Now, my youngest does not like zucchini at all, unless it's in zucchini bread (which I made on Monday), so she opted for a tortilla. Using a zucchini that a friend had brought me, I created a new favorite, low carb meal for us. I love when I find something that can actually cause me to NOT miss the bread, or tortilla in this case. It's also a meal that is totally company worthy (well, really, what meal can't be company worthy when it's made with love). The beauty of recipes like this is you can really do whatever you want. I'll list the general needs but also add ins.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey
1-2 c. finely chopped Kale (trying to get those veggies in)
1/2 c. chopped onion (more if you like)
1 package taco seasoning or make your own
(opt) 1/2 c. salsa
2 medium sized zucchini sliced lengthwise, ends removed

Toppings:
Cheese
lettuce
tomatoes
olives
black beans
avocado
Grilled onions and red and yellow peppers

Instructions:

1. In a skillet, brown turkey and onion. Add seasoning, kale and salsa if desired. Cover to keep warm.

2. On a cookie sheet or in a baking dish, lay zucchini flesh side down in a bit of water. Cook in a 350 oven till tender, yet still holds shape. Maybe 15-20 minutes...depending on thickness of zucchini. Remove from oven and allow to cool just to touch. Scoop out the center of zucchini, leaving enough flesh intact (about 1/4"). You can either add the scooped out zucchini to the meat, or discard.

3. Fill boats with taco meat. You could at this point top with cheese and place back in the oven to melt, but we just scooped meat out, added our toppings and ate it as it was. I would place back in oven if you felt your boats cooled off too much. 

4.  Top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy. 

This was a perfect substitution for tortillas without sacrificing flavor and not having a heavy feeling afterwards. While I cooked the meat, I grilled some sliced onion, red and yellow peppers in some oil. I'm telling ya....this is so good!

With Joy UNquenchable,

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