Well, let’s just make it a theme here, people. Why NOT have tacos again? I can feel you judging me, but for some reason – lately, Mexican food has just sounded really good (even though the heartburn after has not felt necessarily great).
But before we dig in, I must tell you about Mr. Grumpy’s and my new favorite thing: Downton Abbey. Suzie Q and DS decided to buy the entire series on DVD and the last time we were in Findlay, we decided to borrow them. Also, Mr. Grumpy was feeling … grumpy … because Suzie Q had borrowed a book from his side of the bookshelf at our apartment and he was not convinced that he would ever see that book again. So, I think he wanted to get even. Even though Suzie Q promptly returned the book the following weekend… I digress.
Downton Abbey is pretty good. But what makes it slightly bittersweet is that I’m so in love with the entire family at the abbey, that I fear I’m mistaking my own life for theirs. For example, instead of getting my OWN glass of water, I’ve taken to saying, “Mr. Grumpy, be a dear and fetch me a glass of water.” I also asked Mr. Grumpy to buy me a bell so when I woke up in the morning, I could ring my bell and he would know to come frolicking in the room with a tray of coffee and biscuits. He was not really keen on that idea, but I think he’ll come around.
So, Mr. Grumpy and I decided that, instead of being around people this weekend, we would hide in our apartment (which our dear friends Kelsey and B-Rad have started calling the Cave) and watch half the series. Then, after not emerging for two days, we decided it was time to get outside and see if the sun was actually shining. It was…
After making Mr. Grumpy wait on me like a butler all weekend, I decided it was time to treat him to a night off the dishes. In fact, I even made two dinners tonight (one for my crock pot which I’ll tell you about later this week) and tonight’s dinner. AND THEN I DID ALL THE DISHES. And boy, am I a messy girl. But I can’t help it. These hands weren’t meant for this type of hardship. Right, Downton gals? Right.
But, it was all worth it for these Zucchini Taco Boats. These babies were so delicious that Mr. Grumpy even emerged from behind his laptop screen (it was Fantasy Football night) and asked me if he could have seconds. Awes. Ome.
I adapted this recipe from SkinnyTaste – one of my go-to places for healthy-like recipes. Her recipe made only four boats, but mine made six. I’m not sure why… but I was not complaining.
What You’ll Need:
- 3 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 lb 85-15 ground beef (or 90-10 is cool too)
- 1 package of low-sodium taco seasoning
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup taco sauce
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh salsa (your favorite kind!)
- 6 tbsp plain, non-fat greek yogurt
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup organic, Mexican shredded cheese blend
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Slice your zucchini in half, long-ways. Then, take a melon baller and gently remove the middle from the zucchini. Save 1/2 cup of the middle part and save the rest for the recipe I’m making later this week (Super Bowl in August Meatballs!). It should look like this when you’re done!
In a medium pan, brown your meat. Drain the fat. Add the water and taco seasoning, plus the onion and red and green peppers. Stir, and then add in the taco sauce. Cover and let that simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Now, your water should be boiling by now. Place your zuccini boats gently in the water for 1 minute. Remove immediately and set aside.
In a large baking dish, pour the salsa on the bottom and make sure it’s spread evenly. Then, once your meat mixture is done simmering, spoon it into each boat and press down lightly to make sure it’s really packed. Each boat will get about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the meat mixture. Place each boat on top of the salsa in your baking dish. Not going to lie – you will likely burn your fingers a bit here (because I did!). Sprinkle the Mexican blend cheese on top, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let it set for 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you can wait to eat it because it will smell SO GOOD.
Once you’re ready to eat, sprinkle green onions on top and a dollup of Greek yogurt. You can sprinkle shredded lettuce on the top too! But, you also really don’t need these toppings because this is really, really tasty. I promise.