Healthy Alternative to Taco Tuesday
with Zucchini Boats
Dr. Bryan Stephens
My wife and I were looking for a healthy alternative for tacos in order to celebrate “Taco Tuesday”. We came across an idea for zucchini boats that fit the bill perfectly. By exchanging the inflammatory tortillas for zucchini, we got the added bonus of nutrients instead of swelling up.
By making the switch, we were adding in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and various other vitamins and minerals. These help the body in many ways. The vitamin A and vitamin C help keep our eyes healthy. This in addition to the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which gather in the retina and can decrease the risk of age-related eye diseases. Who knew that Taco Tuesday can help with eye health? I also mentioned the high fiber in zucchini. Both soluble and insoluble fiber help keep our gut healthy. The insoluble fiber kelps keep things moving through the intestine and avoid constipation. Soluble fiber is what the good bacteria in our gut feed on which then produce the short chain fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin K.
So, try this recipe as a nice change for your next taco meal and enjoy the fiesta with a side of health.
- 4 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
- ¾ cup water, or as needed
- 2 red sweet pepper, finely chopped
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- ½ white onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook zucchini halves in boiling water to just soften slightly, about 1 minute. Remove zucchini halves from the water and arrange into the prepared baking dish with the cut sides facing upwards.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground turkey in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease.
Return skillet to medium-high heat; pour water over the turkey and season with taco seasoning. Cook until the water thickens and coats the turkey, about 5 minutes. Add red peppers, diced tomatoes and green chiles, onion, and cilantro; cook and stir until the peppers are softened, about 5 minutes more.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon the turkey mixture into the hollows of each zucchini half and press firmly. Top the turkey mixture with green onions.
Bake in the preheated oven until zucchini is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
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