It’s a taco… in a boat… and the boat is made out of zucchini! Amazing, right?
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)
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.
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.
While you wait for the zucchini, you can chop the onion…
Remove the zucchini from the boiling water and set it aside to slightly cool; please be careful, I recommend using kitchen tongs.
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.
In the meantime, you can prepare the zucchini halves. Use a mellon baller or teaspoon to scoop the flesh out of each zucchini.
Basically, you are hollowing out the zucchini halves, making them resemble little boats. Keep the zucchini flesh…
Chop up the zucchini flesh…
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).
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.
Add the chopped zucchini flesh to the beef….
Followed by the chopped green chilis…
And a bag of cooked Spanish-style rice…
Mix it all together and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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!
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.
… and evenly spread the salsa around the bottom of the pan.
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…
Looking good… But you’re not done yet!
Top off each stuffed zucchini boat with a small handful of cheese.
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.
Remove from the oven…
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).
*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