Taco-Stuffed Zucchini

This is a healthy version of the taco without the carb-loaded shell.  You won’t even miss it I promise!

Now that Summer has arrived there are a plethora of squash at the Farmer’s Market. My absolute favorite is Zucchini with it’s beautiful dark green peel. Zucchini is a very low calorie vegetable with no saturated fats or cholesterol. It’s high in anti-oxidants and is a great source of potassium which helps with bringing electrolytes to the cells and with countering the pressure-effects of sodium. Zucchini is also high in vitamins A and C, and provides B-complex vitamins as well as minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. It’s peel is a good source of fiber so make sure to leave that part on, and for this recipe the peel is important as it acts as the “taco shell” holding everything together.

Taco-Stuffed Zucchini

*Serve with Lemongrass-Dill Summer Salad 

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis, cut off ends, then cut each in half lengthwise
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground buffalo (can substitute with lean ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (I used yellow bell pepper), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white button or baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or one drop cumin essential oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used hot salsa)
  • 2 Tbs Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (this is a healthy salt alternative and can be found in any grocery store like Whole Foods)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Options for Garnish

  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped green onion
  • Chopped parsley
  • Sliced black or green olives
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Dollop of sour cream

Directions

Bring water to a boil in a large pot (must be big enough to hold all 4 zucchini).  Chop the vegetables and measure out your spices.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scoop out seeds from the zucchini halves using a spoon or a melon baller, making sure to leave about 1/4 inch thick shell.  Boil the zucchini for one minute (very important that it’s not more than 1 minute) and remove.  Place zucchini peel side down (hollow side up) in a baking dish.  Sprinkle zucchini with sea salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the ground buffalo, stirring to break up the meat, and cook until almost done.  Add all the vegetables, spices, and tomato paste.  Cook, stirring often, for another few minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the salsa and season to taste with the sea salt and pepper.

Spoon out the meat into the hollowed out zucchini halves.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with the shredded cheese (optional) and place back in oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.   Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with garnishes of your choice and serve.

Enjoy!  Happy Summer!

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