Grilled Taco Zucchini Boats
If it was up to me, Taco Tuesday would be Taco EVERYday. I mean, why not?? Except for the fact that I realized a long time ago that for a Mexican-inspired dinner to happen more than once a week, I had to think beyond traditional tacos, queso, chips, and guac for my health - and to get my jeans on!
So to get my Mexican fix, I’ve like to give some of my favorite vegetables a taco-inspired make-over. My latest taco night creation? These Grilled Taco Zucchini Boats which ended up being a total hit at my house – even with my picky eater. Anytime I can get a few more veggies in the kids, it’s a win, but veggie dishes they actually ask you to make again are a WIN-WIN!
What’s even better is that I can stay on track with my healthy eating since Taco Zucchini Boats are low in carbs and can easily be adapted to fit Whole30, Paleo or WW eating approaches. Pair them with fruit, chips and salsa, or whole grain for family members that might need more carbs. Two extra bonuses:
You can bake them in the oven if firing up the grill isn’t in the cards AND
They’re also great when packed and reheated for lunch the next day!
What are your favorite taco-inspired dishes? And who else could do Taco EVERYnight? Let me know how you like it below or over on my social media pages : Instagram @realfoodreallife_rd / Facebook @Real Food. Real Life. - Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD. Enjoy!
Grilled Taco Zucchini Boats
Quick, low-carb, AND kid-friendly - yes, please! Cook in oven for weekday dinners or grill on weekends for a tailgate snack. Craving some chips and salsa to go with them? Then make these extra low-carb by omitting corn to make these only 4 net carbs per serving.
6 to 8 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey or beef
2 tablespoons organic taco seasoning (such as Wildtree) or 1 (1.25-oz) envelope lower-sodium taco seasoning
1 (14-oz) can petite diced tomatoes or (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (8.75-oz) can fresh-cut corn kernels, drained
½ cup Mexican or cheddar cheese, finely shredded
Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out center pulp using a spoon to create approximately ¾-inch thick shells. Reserve and finely chop ½ cup zucchini pulp; place chopped pulp on paper towel or in strainer to drain. Discard remaining pulp. Place hollowed zucchini halves, cut sides up, in baking dish. Lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and reserved zucchini pulp, and cook, stirring to crumble, 6 minutes or until turkey is browned. Stir in taco seasoning; add tomatoes (not drained) and corn. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed and warm throughout. Remove from heat.
Grill prepared zucchini halves on grill grates or in grill basket, cooking 2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill returning to baking dish.
Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of turkey mixture into each zucchini shell. Top each taco boat with 1 tablespoon cheese. Place an 8- x 10-inch piece of aluminum foil over grill grates; add stuffed zucchini boats. Cover, and grill 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare zucchini as directed in Step 2 above, baking zucchini shells for 10 minutes rather than grilling. After stuffing taco boats in Step 5, place in baking dish. Bake 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
Serving Size: 2 stuffed halves or “boats” | Makes 8 servings
Prepared with ground turkey: 154 Cal | 5g Fat | 12g Carb, 3g Fiber, 9g Net Carb | 17g Pro
Prepared with 85/15 ground beef: 216 Cal | 12g Fat | 12g Carb, 3g Fiber, 9g Net Carb | 15g Pro