Zucchini Taco Boats to the Rescue

It’s a taco… in a boat… and the boat is made out of zucchini! Amazing, right?

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Cookbook Used: Skinny Suppers, by Brooke Griffin*

Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Cook Time: 40 Minutes, Yields: 8 Taco Boats, Serving Size: 2 Taco Boats, Calories Per Serving: 401

What you’ll need — INGREDIENTS:
4 large Zucchini
1 cup White Onion, chopped
1 pound Lean Ground Beef (90/10)
4 tablespoons Taco Seasoning (get homemade recipe here)
1 (4.5 ounce) can Chopped Green Chilis
1 (8.8 ounce) pouch Uncle Ben’s Ready Spanish-Style Ready Rice
1 cup shredded Four-Cheese Mexican Blend
Optional Toppings: Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Lettuce, etc…
Recommended Side Item: Avocado Pineapple Salsa (get recipe here)

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How to make it — INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350F, and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Half each zucchini lengthwise, and cut off the ends.

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Using tongs very carefully add the zucchini halves to the water and allow them to boil for 2-3 minutes. This will soften the insides of the zucchini, making it easier for you to scoop out the zucchini flesh.

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While you wait for the zucchini, you can chop the onion…

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Remove the zucchini from the boiling water and set it aside to slightly cool; please be careful, I recommend using kitchen tongs.

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Add the pound of lean ground beef and the 1 cup of chopped onion to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Allow it to cook until the beef is brown and done in the middle; approximately 7-8 minutes, stir frequently.

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In the meantime, you can prepare the zucchini halves. Use a mellon baller or teaspoon to  scoop the flesh out of each zucchini.

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Basically, you are hollowing out the zucchini halves, making them resemble little boats. Keep the zucchini flesh…

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Chop up the zucchini flesh…

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At this point the beef should be beautifully cooked through. Drain any excess fat and add 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning; or more, if you like things extra spicy. I made my own Taco Seasoning (get the recipe here).

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Stir, so that the taco seasoning is mixed into the beef, and then add 1/4 cup of water… Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

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Add the chopped zucchini flesh to the beef….

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Followed by the chopped green chilis…

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And a bag of cooked Spanish-style rice…

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Beautiful, right?

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Mix it all together and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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You can use one large baking dish/pan, or two small ones; I opted for the two small ones… especially since these are so adorable!

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Dump some salsa in the bottom of each baking pan…

Housewife Hack: I put aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan to make the clean up easier.

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… and evenly spread the salsa around the bottom of the pan.

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Now, start stuffing each zucchini boat with as much of meat filling as you can. I think I got approximately 1/2 a cup of filling in each boat…

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Looking good… But you’re not done yet!

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Top off each stuffed zucchini boat with a small handful of cheese.

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Yay, Cheese!

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Cover the baking dishes/pans with with foil and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes; until the cheese has melted and the zucchini is cooked through.

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Remove from the oven…

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Transfer them to a serving tray or plate, and decorate each taco boat with toppings of your choosing; lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, hot sauce… the possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

I served my Zucchini Taco Boats with  some Avocado Pineapple Salsa (click for recipe).

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*VEGETARIAN VARIATION: Make this meal vegeterian by substituting two cans of black beens for the ground beef.

*Recipe Source: I got the inspiration for this recipe from Brooke Griffin’s book; Skinny Suppers, although… I altered the recipe a bit, to fit my preferences. I highly recommend her cookbook; it’s full of yummy and healthy recipes!

Cook Long and Prosper. Love, the Uncustomary Housewife

7 comments

  1. […] I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cooking Mexi-Style meals, here are some of my favorite step-by-step recipes; (1) A different quesadilla, that’s also an easy lunch; Stovetop Chicken Quesadillas (recipe here). (2) Or you can try this total crowd pleaser; Oven-Baked Taquitos with Avocado Pineapple Salsa (recipe here). (3) And I have to include my personal favorite; Zucchini Taco Boats (recipe here). […]

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