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

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Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boats

Mint.  I’ve decided you love it or you hate it.  I really do like it.  My husband really doesn’t.  Usually I use his reaction as a gauge as to whether or not I should blog about a meal.  The day I made these, I broke that mold.  I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you all, because he so desperately did not like them.  But then I realized something.  Just because my husband doesn’t like mint, does NOT mean that everyone else in the world hates it too.  In fact, a lot of my followers are foodies with fancy tastes (go you!), and they love fresh herbs and more “grown up” tastes, so they would probably love this!  Yes, I consider goat cheese and mint to be grown up food.  Says the girl that used to eat a box of corn dogs a week.   😐  Don’t judge me!  Praise the Lord my husband inspired me to start eating healthy or I’d probably have had a heart attack by now!!

Anyways!  Back to my boats 😉  I thought these were tasty!  I made them as a side dish for a roasted chicken I made…but between the protein packed quinoa and lentils, they were hearty enough for me to warm one up for lunch the next day!

So.  If you love mint.  And goat cheese.  And quinoa.  And PARMESAAAAAN. (I love parmesan).  Then this recipe is for you my friend!  Read on!  And make this for your friends and they’ll think you’re all fancy pants!!!  😉

Adapted from greatist.com

Here’s what you need: (To make 4 boats)

  • 2 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 C Cooked Quinoa
  • 3-4 Handfuls Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 6-8 oz Goat Cheese, Chopped/Crumbled
  • 1 C Cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Do your prep!  Make sure you have your quinoa and lentils cooked.  Chop your spinach and mint, and make sure your goat cheese is in small pieces!
  3. Wash your zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you have “boats.”
  4. Heat up a grill pan.  Brush zucchini with some oil.
  5. Grill zucchini, preferrably covered, until you have nice grill lines and they are starting to get tender.
  6. While zucchini is grilling, mix all other ingredients except for Parmesan in a large bowl.
  7. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a baking sheet.  Fill generously with the quinoa/lentil mixture.
  8. Top with Parmesan, put in the oven, and cook until it is warmed through and the Parmesan is melty and browned!
  9. Take out.  Serve.  Look fancy.  🙂

 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure you have cooked quinoa and lentils.  Chop  everything.  Wash your zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  It should look kind of like this!

 

Mint Zucchini Boats 1Mix together everything else EXCEPT the shredded cheese.

Mint Zucchini Boats 3Yum!  Now grill your zucchinis!  You can do this on an outdoor grill too, I just didn’t have one yet when I made these 🙂  You’re just looking for them to be starting to get tender, but still able to hold together.

Mint Zucchini Boats 2Place them on a cookie sheet…

Mint Zucchini Boats 4Grill lines, yeah baby!  Fill generously with the stuffings…

Mint Zucchini Boats 5Top with Parmesan to your tastes….

Mint Zucchini Boats 7Bake until everything is heated through and the Parmesan is getting melty and browned.  Serve along side a protein, or just eat them for a snack or even lunch!

Mint Zucchini Boats 6Pretty!  I hope you enjoy this!!!  Let me know if you try it, and what alterations you make!!