Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zucchini Boat Tacos

I am generally less inspired in the kitchen in the summer time.  I love a garden to table approach, which means I eat a lot salads and smoothies, but the lettuce, kale, and spinach got scorched and pulled, so now it is time for squash.  This recipe was created because I had a bunch of zucchini almost read to be picked, and then I lost three of the four to blossom rot.  So, I halved the squash, used a zucchini from my garden and a yellow squash I had left over from something else, and have half the filling left over.  I'm sure I'll find a good use for it, but below is what you would need for the full recipe.  I'm writing it with zucchini, but honestly, the squash was just as good!  Also, I had left over rice, so I heated that up, but it really didn't need it.

What you need:
4 zucchinis
1/2 salsa (I had medium)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 can of water
1 lb ground turkey
a few tablespoons of diced pancetta (I had this in my fridge and added it for the fat.  It probably isn't necessary, but it was good!)
1/2 an onion, minced (I had a red one)
1/2 a bell pepper, minced (I had yellow)
1-2 tsp each- chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayanne pepper, and paprika (I like hot hungarian paprika, but regular would be fine)
salt and pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. green onion, chopped

So, start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees.  While it was heating up, I cut the ends off of my zucchinis, cut them long-ways down the middle and scooped out all the seeds.  Put a little salsa in the bottom of a baking dish and then lay your zucchini on top of the salsa.  Then start a large skillet over med-high heat.  If you are using pancetta, start that in the pan and when it gets a little crisp and has rendered some fat, add the ground turkey, salt and pepper to season.  If you aren't using the pancetta, add a little olive oil so the turkey will brown nicely. 
Next, while that's browning, mince your onion and pepper.  I use my trusty mini food processor, which was perfect!  Once your turkey is cooked through, add the veggies, tomato sauce, water, spices and some more salt and pepper.  I like things with a little kick, so I was a little heavier with the cayanne and paprika, but season and taste, and stop when its good!  Let this all simmer together for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture gets nice and thick.  

Spoon the filling into your zucchini boats, top with cheddar cheese, cover with foil, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes covered.  I uncovered for the last five minutes to brown the cheese a little, and even did a few minutes in the broiler because it wasn't as brown as I wanted.  Then top it with your chopped green onion.  I served it on a bed of rice, but it really didn't need a starch.  

I'm looking forward to leftovers!


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