Enchilada Zucchini Boats

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I’m currently lacking a memory card for my camera so don’t mind my pictures.  I’ve been using my iPhone for the last four or so posts, which has proved to work out pretty well.  I try to maximize the amount of light I have to prevent using the flash, so most are taken outside.  This meal was a late one, so the lighting was poor and the flash was used.

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Zucchini season is upon us!  I’ve been having quite a bit of fun stuffing the round variety but this week opted for traditional ‘boats’.  I’ve seen the concept of zucchini enchiladas floating around the internet for awhile but have never been inspired to make them.  I’m regretting this as they are quite exceptional.  The zucchini takes on the flavors of the dish and the hold up really well when baked.  I was pleasantly surprised and will be stuffing plenty of zucchini’s this fall.  (I pick and choose when to use the oven as the house gets too hot!)

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For this recipe I used ground beef.  It is the quickest and easiest to cook.  One pan for the onion, garlic, olives, green chilies, beef, and seasoning.  When I have a little more time I’ll switch it up and prepare some shredded beef – either a flank steak or a chuck steak slow cooked in the crockpot before stuffed into zucchinis.  My mouth just watered a little thinking about this.

Typically, I prepare my dressings and sauces from scratch.  I like knowing what goes into them, mainly because there is so much added sugar and other junk in bottled condiments.  But when it comes to Mexican cooking I prefer to buy jarred salsas.  There are so many on the market now and plenty with acceptable ingredients.  It’s one less thing I have to prepare and clean up after.  Time is of the essence these days.  Originally, I intended to only use a green chili salsa for this dish.  But once I tired it I realized it was a bit too spicy for me, so I opened up a jar of roasted green chili sauce and used them both.  Use whatever you prefer – enchilada sauce, salsa, tomatillo sauce, roasted green chili sauce, ect..

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Enchilada Zucchini Boats

  • 3-4 medium zucchini’s (I used 3 1/2 – that was all I could fit in my pan)
  • 2/3 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 can roasted green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • s&p
  • olive oil
  • jar of salsa/enchilada sauce/roasted green chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • olive oil
  • fresh cilantro, to serve
  1. Half zucchini’s lengthwise and scoop out seeds to create ‘boats’ leaving a 1/2″ thickness.
  2. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and carrots.  Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the ground beef, black, olive, and chilies.  Season with 1/2 tablespoons cumin, 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder, and a 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.  I don’t measure spices so this is my estimate.  Season with s&p and brown meat.  Once beef is cooked through taste and add more seasoning if desired.  Turn of heat.
  4. Lightly oil a pyrex dish and layer in the zucchini boats.  Fill each with ground beef mixture, pressing down into the boats.  Top each with a layer of salsa/sauce and cover pan with foil.
  5. Bake in a 350º oven for 35 minutes.  Remove foil, top with cheddar cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  6. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

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