Four words: Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Dip. The key word here is “fresh,” because you’ve probably seen dozens upon dozens of cherry cheesecake dips floating around the…
Healthy Taco Zucchini Boats
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Step aside, tortillas! There’s a new edible conveyor belt for all that meaty, cheesy, guacamole goodness and it comes in the form of zucchini boats. And this particular recipe for Healthy Taco Zucchini Boats has appeared no less than half a dozen times on our dinner table since I dreamt it up a few weeks ago because it hits three major high notes:
- Make-ahead optionality
The “fast” requirement never really applied until our little guy entered the scene and our nightly schedule went from leisurely dining to a BBB (bath, bottle, bed) routine that begins promptly at 6:15 p.m (sleep-training for the win!). So dinner preparation (enter the the “make-ahead optionality”) occurs before we kickstart BBB and dining occurs after Julian has gone to bed.
And lastly, the “filling” requirement is mostly because I spend the days carrying around my 9-month-old, 23-pound BFF, which leads to quite the appetite. And if we can swing for the fences here and add a fourth element to the requirements, then “healthy” it is!
These taco zucchini boats carry a whole-lot-o-flavor into each protein- and veggie-packed bite. They’re also easy to customize with all of your favorite taco fillings. Make ’em spicy wit sliced jalapeños. Pile on the guac (my fave recipe) for a cool, creamy condiment. Or skip the cheese for a dairy-free alternative.
I keep these zucchini boats extra-light by using lean ground turkey, but you can use ground beef for additional flavor. Prep the boats in advance then reheat them right before serving with guac, salsa and hot sauce for an added kick.
Fast. Make-ahead. Filling. Healthy. Dinner win times four! And don’t forget a batch of Skinny Margarita Popsicles or Peach Sangria Popsicles for a frosty accompaniment. Because we all know eating alcohol > drinking alcohol.
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Healthy Taco Zucchini Boats
- YIELD: 4 servings
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- Guacamole, for serving
- Salsa, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it with cooking spray. (Alternately, you can grease two 13x9-inch baking dishes with cooking spray.) Set it aside.
Trim the ends off the zucchini then cut them in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the centers of the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around all edges. Discard the scooped out centers or save them for another use (such as zucchini fritters). Arrange the halved zucchini on the baking sheet, cut side up. Roast the zucchini for 10 minutes. While the zucchini are roasting, prepare the filling.
Add the ground turkey to a large nonstick skillet placed over medium heat. Cook the meat, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it is no longer pink. Reduce the heat to low then stir in the garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper and tomato paste.
Remove the zucchini boats from the oven then divide the ground turkey mixture evenly among them. Bake the zucchini boats, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes or until the zucchini boats are tender. Remove the zucchini from the oven, top them with the cheese and return them to the oven just until the cheese is melted.
Remove the zucchini boats from the oven and immediately top them with the diced tomatoes. Serve with guacamole and salsa.
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
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