We used our girls’ night-in to try an intriguing recipe
I love when my friends are adventurous enough to try new vegetarian recipes with me. My friend, Amanda, and I had girls’ night the other night. It was filled with hours of cooking and baking. We tried a recipe that has been on my “To Try Summer 2016” Pinterest board: Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats.
As you know from previous posts, I’m not the biggest fan of zucchini. This recipe intrigued me though. It’s like a burrito, but it’s not at the same time. Instead of using a tortilla to hold everything together, you’re supposed to use zucchini – interesting.
We used the original recipe as more of an outline of what to do and made adjustments where we thought best.
Here is our version of a Mexican Zucchini Boat:
Makes 4 Servings
- 2 Large Zucchini
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup salsa
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
- Olive oil
- Chili powder
- Cilantro, to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese
How to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a rectangular baking dish.
- Cut the zucchinis in half, lengthwise. Use a metal spoon to hollow out the middle. Hollow it enough to fit the filling inside, but do not cut through the other side.
- Place each zucchini on the prepared dish with its skin side down. Brush with layer of olive oil.
- Heat about one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan with the garlic. Cook until the garlic begins to brown.
- Stir in the beans, salsa, corn and quinoa. Add the spices into the mixture according to your taste preferences. For a milder meal, add 1 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp of chili powder. To really rock your boat, add 2 tsp or more of cumin and 1 tsp or more of chili powder.
- Cook the mixture on medium heat for about 5 minutes to let the salsa and spices blend together with the beans, salsa, corn and quinoa.
- Take the mixture off the heat and stir a few times to cool down a little.
- Carefully spoon the mixture into the hollowed zucchini (we were generous with how much filling we put in).
- Sprinkle generous helpings of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the filling for each zucchini.
- Cover the dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Bake for additional time uncovered (about 5 minutes) until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is bubbly.
- Let the boats cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying the with salsa and guacamole.
I’m still not the biggest fan of baked zucchini. With the filling, additional salsa and guacamole, I liked the Mexican Zucchini Boats. So, if you’re not crazy about zucchini like me, this might be a good recipe for you to take a crack at.
Amanda and I decided to use quinoa over brown rice for our version of this recipe because of the health benefits quinoa offers. Quinoa has less carbohydrates than rice. It also has more protein and fiber than rice.
Next time I make this recipe, I would like to add black olives and diced tomato to it. Even though the boat was made of zucchini, I felt like the filling needed some more veggies in it. Looking back, I think sour cream would have been another good ingredient to top the baked boats with.
We did have some leftovers of the filling. If you have leftovers of the filling, put it on top of a bed of lettuce with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream for a homemade taco salad! Or, add more salsa to the mixture and scoop tortilla chips into it.
I really liked how our filling came out. We put just the right amount of spice in it. This really was an intriguing recipe to try. It puts a new twist on a Mexican classic and is a great end-of-the-summer recipe.
If you’re looking for another dish with Mexican roots, try my Chili Recipe!