Zucchini has finally been getting its proper time in the lime light. So, I am excited to introduce you to yet another knew way to enjoy your zucchini! Zucchini taco boats!! I quite honestly can always be in the mood for tacos but gladly welcome a chance to change it up. What better way than to use zucchini as your taco shells? This is a perfect way to get children to enjoy eating some veggies or to give your gluten-free friends a delicious worry free taco!
Oh-and I must tell you that the key to these beauties is my vegan Con-NO-Queso. I could eat this not so queso by the spoonful and have absolutely no regrets. Its full of veggies and somehow tastes remarkably like my childhood obsession: store bought con-queso! This will most definitely become a staple for family parties, pot lucks, and all days that end in “Y.” (Stay Tuned tomorrow for my vegan Con-NO-Queso recipe!!)
- 3 large zucchini, sliced in half long ways and gutted down the middle
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of cooked corn
- 1/2 cup of black beans (if from a can rinse and drain)
- 1 cup of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of my vegan Con-NO-Queso (see recipe tomorrow!!) OR- any cheese of your choosing (dairy or dairy free)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Then while it is heating, cut your large zucchini in half (long ways) and gut out the center of them. You will see that the zucchini halves begin to resemble little boats. (I placed all of my gutted zucchini into a ziplock bag to use later for another recipe, always avoid wasting your fresh produce!)
Then place sliced and gutted zucchini in a large lasagna dish. I drizzled a little bit of olive oil on to each “boat” and massaged it around the entire boat. This will help them from sticking and also help get a nice little brown on the boats. Place the lasagna dish with your zucchini into the oven for about 20 minutes. (I have made these before without pre-cooking my zucchini boats and find that they don’t hold up as well or feel as crispy as I would like. So, if you want to skip this step you can but I suggest taking the extra time to achieve a better boat!)
While the zucchini boats are roasting, place a large skillet on medium/high heat. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil, then when hot add your minced garlic. Stir garlic and allow to brown for about a minute, then add your chopped onions and bell peppers. Saute the onions and peppers for 2 minutes, then you can add in your cooked corn and rinsed black beans. Allow the veggies to cook down together stirring often so that they marry their delicious natural flavors and do not stick to the pan. Add in your chopped spinach leaves and cilantro. When they begin to wilt down add in your cumin, chili powder, and salt/pepper. Stir until the spice mix is evenly distributed throughout your veggies. Then remove from heat and set aside until the zucchini boats are done cooking.
When the zucchini boats are done roasting, remove the lasagna dish from the oven and place on your stove. (You can leave the oven on at 425 degrees.) Take the sautéed veggie mixture and fill each one of your boats. Then when your boats are filled, place the lasagna dish back into the oven. Allow the boats to cook for another 20 minutes then you can take them out of the oven.
Place them on a large serving dish and drizzle your Con-NO-Queso on top of each boat, leaving the rest of the queso on the side for dipping. I also topped mine with a little fresh cilantro for garnish and a pop of color.
The best thing about this recipe is you can switch it up however you want to. You can add or substitute any of the fillings. OR- use just the zucchini boats and fill it with an entirely different style of food! (Hmmm I think I am going to be trying out some different flavors for these boats!)
I hope you enjoy these little cuties and again check out tomorrow’s recipe for my AMAZING “Con-NO-Queso.” You can thank me later!