Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

I was so pleased that I could still find zucchini in the store, and the perfect size too!!  So I will share this recipe with you!  I have been wanting to try these for a long time and finally took the plunge.  I have scrolled past it on Pinterest many times but finally the fantastic picture pulled me in and refused to be ignored.  And boy, am I glad it did.  I loved it.  🙂  And it is so much lighter and healthier than the typical, tortilla wrapped “dump a can of who knows what” kind!  I am thinking about trying it a few different ways…like maybe with the sauce from my Creamy Avocado Enchilada post!!  What do you think, should I?  🙂

The layers of flavor are fantastic in this dish.  Smoky, a little spicy, and all the flavors of an enchilada…in fact, it smelled so good that when I brought left overs for dinner at work that my manager kept repeatedly commenting on how delicious it was making the back room smell.  I’m legitimately surprised that she didn’t steal some while I was out of the room!!  Yes, we’re good enough friends that we steal bites of each other’s food.  I love my job.  🙂

ANYWAYS!

This beauty is adapted from the lovely skinnytaste.com!

Here’s what you need:

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (with 1 tsp or so of sauce)
  • 1 1/2 C Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2/3 C Chicken Broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the boats:

  • 4 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 C Green Onions
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Medium Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro paste
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 C Shredded Chicken (I used leftovers from a Roasted Chicken I had made!)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheese and green onions for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start with your sauce.  Put a sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil.  Toss in your garlic and stir just until fragrant (it is so easy to burn garlic!), 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until you are ready for it!
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and bring a pot of water to a boil.
  4. Cut each zucchini in half long ways, and use a melon baller to scoop out the fillins!  Obviously you want leave about 1/4 inch flesh to hold your enchilada goodness.  That’s why it’s called a boat!  It will look like a little boat yay! WAIT! SAVE THOSE ZUCCHINI INSIDES!  Chop them up and set aside…you are going to use them for the stuffing.  It’s great because you are sneaking in extra veggies where no one will notice 🙂
  5. Drop your “boats” into the boiling water for just one minute or so, then take them out and set aside.  Just to get them starting to tenderize.
  6. In a pan over medium high heat, melt your butter or coconut oil.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in for just about 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and stir in.  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until everything is starting to get tender.
  7. Add cilantro and other seasonings along with lime juice and chicken broth.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in chicken and cook until warmed through.
  8. Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 dish.  Lay your boats across the bottom in a single layer, then fill evenly with the stuffing.  Dump the rest of the sauce over the top of the boats like you would normal enchiladas!  Top with a layer of cheese and sprinkle on some extra green onions.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake until cheese is melty and zucchini are tender.

photo 4 (4)

Start with your sauce.  Put a sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil.  Toss in your garlic and stir just until fragrant (it is so easy to burn garlic!), 30 seconds or so.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until you are ready for it!  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil.

photo 1 (5)Slice zucchini in half long ways.

photo 2 (5)Scoop out the insides with a melon baller…leaving about 1/4 inch border or “boat.”

Drop your zucchini halves in boiling water for one minute, then remove and set aside.

photo 5 (4)

In a pan over medium high heat, melt your butter or coconut oil.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in for just about 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and stir in.  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until everything is starting to get tender.

photo 1 (4)

Add cilantro and other seasonings along with lime juice and chicken broth.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in chicken and cook until warmed through.

photo 3 (3)

photo 4 (3)

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2)

photo 3photo 4 (2)Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 dish.  Lay your boats across the bottom in a single layer, then fill evenly with the stuffing.  Dump the rest of the sauce over the top of the boats like you would normal enchiladas!  Top with a layer of cheese and sprinkle on some extra green onions.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake until cheese is melty and zucchini are tender.

photo 5 (2)photo 2photo 1

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 1: Chicken Black Bean Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Sauce

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  What the heck do I mean by Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper?!  Good question.  Once upon a time, I was given a can of Chipotle Peppers from my former boss when their family PCSed.  For those of you who don’t live next door to a military base…that basically means they got orders and moved.  Far away from me.  Boo.  BUT this post is not about my self pity, haha!!!  This post is about Chipotle Peppers.

So, I got this can of Chipotle Peppers.  I had only used them sparingly before, when they were called for in a recipe.  I had never experimented with them before.  Quickly I learned that, although the cans are small…they last a long time cause those bad boys be POTENT!  The realization hit me that….this one little can of peppers could be the inspiration for like 5 meals, because you really only need one per meal to get the spicy smoky delcioiusness laced throughout the whole meal!  So, I officially have 3 meals created from one can of peppers, and at least one more I will soon create with the last pepper or two that I can share with you!  How’s that sound?!  Good?!  Good!!  Let’s get down business!

Sidenote…I can’t take credit for a lot of these ideas.  I took a facebook “survey…”, more of me just asking my friends “What’s your favorite recipe with chipotle peppers?!”  Shout out to Laura Yoder for this beauty!!!  🙂

 

So, here’s what you need!!

  • 1 Package tortillas of choice (Because of the healthy nature of my blog, I went with brown rice tortillas.  I discovered corn tortillas seem to have sugar or corn syrup in them…and you all know flour ones are just…not awesome in the health department. ;))
  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Taco-y blend of seasonings: You can use my favorite home made taco seasoning recipe, or just do what I did…use what was in the pantry.  I went with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin)
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt (ish)
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  • Handful fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 lb Black Beans
  • 1 C Corn, fresh or frozen
  • Toppings of choice, ie lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, extra cilantro, etc…

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

 

Chipotle Tacos 11Boil your black beans according to package instructions.  If you want to use a can of black beans you can.  I just love how cheap dry beans are.  And that they don’t have that mystery sludge in the bottom, haha!!

Chipotle Tacos 1Assemble your seasonings, really whatever you want for the chicken!!!  You could even use left over chicken if you want!  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 2As you can see, what I did was just cover the breasts in seasoning!  Throw in your oven and cook until done and juices run clear.  It’s going to depend on how big your chicken is, but usually 30-40 minutes should do it!

Chipotle Tacos 7While that cooks, melt some butter in a cast iron skillet…

Chipotle Tacos 8Toss in your corn…

Chipotle Tacos 9And “fry” just a couple minutes, until it is starting to get browned.

Chipotle Tacos 3Now throw your Greek yogurt, Chipotle Pepper, cilantro, and some of the juice from the lime.  Add some salt and pepper, whiz, then taste and adjust.  You may want to start with half a pepper if you don’t want it to be really spicy.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 4Whiz it until a nice creamy texture and everything is evenly combined.

Chipotle Tacos 5See?  It’s kinda pretty.  Mr. Rodgers likes this picture better…

Chipotle Tacos 6Artsy fartsy pants.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 10Is your chicken done yet?  Take it out and shred it with two forks…careful not to burn your little fingers!!

Chipotle Tacos 12You are ready to assemble!  I like doing things buffet style so everyone can customize their dinner!!  Oh, the tortillas are best warmed up a little bit!!

Chipotle Tacos 13Yummy!!  What do you think?!

SO there you go….Chipotle Pepper Post Number 1, down!!!

Alright.  I have to go now.  I am severely distracted by the fact that I am writing this post in the midst of an Audio Adrenaline Rehearsal.  Kinda fun, I have loved this band since childhood and they are at my church right now.  So, I am going to go now!  Thanks for reading guys!!