Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Have you seen those ridiculous/insane/delicious/mouthwatering/where-have-they-been-all-my-life Tasty videos circulating your social media feeds recently? Well, they are ALL over my Facebook from friends posting and sharing the most incredible, carb-laden recipes that just literally make my mouth water drool. TMI? So sorry. But it's true! Nearly every time Ben and I see one, we always roll our eyes and say, "where the heck was THIS last year?" or "Really? 45 seconds to make buttery cake or tater tot nachos, are you KIDDING me?" It happens on the daily around here, but if you can't eat it, it gets old after a while. And there are only so many videos involving Oreos I can handle before I must go out and buy all the Oreos. #noshame

So, imagine my surprise when my sweet coworker shared a Tasty video with the most delicious looking and totally on plan "enchiladas"! If there's one food group this Texas girl cannot get enough of, it's TexMex. I adore it. And it's actually the one thing that I can still enjoy (even without the margarita-- even though it is dearly missed) and still stay on plan. From the guacamole to fajitas, I just really love it all and when I initially saw this recipe using zucchini as the vehicle to hold the enchilada ingredients, I was super excited. Zucchini is another one of those vegetables that can turn itself into so much: noodles (zoodles are a favorite in our house), tortillas (recipe to come) and now enchiladas? Mind blown. And they are so inexpensive, so what's not to love?

I've seen different versions of this recipe all over the place and am happy to report that they are all going to be to die for because they're all pretty much the same. I'm excited to switch up ingredients and maybe do ground beef the next time, but then again, why mess with perfection? I made these one chilly Friday night just to try it out- I had 4 zucchinis on hand and all of the ingredients- and Ben and I loved them. We topped them with a little salsa, a little sour cream and a little avocado and they were absolutely heavenly and just what the doctor ordered for a little Mexican dining in the comfort of our own home. 

I also turned my favorite cauliflower rice into Mexican cauliflower rice and that recipe is coming soon! Because you definitely need that in your life.  I will say that they do NOT keep well overnight, so if you plan on making any for leftovers to eat throughout the week, these are a no-go because the water in the zucchini really comes out and makes them incredibly soggy. But I can definitely see these coming in handy in place of Taco Tuesday in your casa soon! 

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats 

4 medium zucchinis 
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (any color) 
8 oz cooked, shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken because I had it on hand) 
1 tsp cumin 
1/2 tsp dried oregano 
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp water or chicken broth 
1/2 can red enchilada sauce 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese 

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut each zucchini lengthwise, then using a spoon to scoop out the flesh, hollow out each zucchini half to create the zucchini boats. Set the boats aside and chop all of the scooped out zucchini flesh into small pieces. 
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute until the onion has softened and become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped zucchini flesh, salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder, 3 tbsp of enchilada sauce and chicken broth and chicken and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. 
3. Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Line up all of the hollowed zucchini halves in the pan, then spoon the filling evenly into each zucchini boat. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over top of the zucchini, then sprinkle with shredded cheese. 
4. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes until cheese is melted and the zucchini is tender.
5. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and green onions if desired. 

All the makings of a perfect, low carb Texmex feast!

What I like to call the Texmex Trinity. Beautiful. 

Hollowed out the zucchinis and they are ready for the pan! 

Is it pathetic how much I love the smell of sauted veggies and garlic in a little oil in my kitchen? 

Adding in the flesh of the zucchinis 

And all the rest of the yummy, savory ingredients! The original recipe called for a while can of red enchilada sauce and I opted to use less to get less carbs out of the meal. Just eyeball it until it's perfect. I also added in more chicken because #whynot 

Spooning all of that gloriousness into my boats

And topping with cheese! To say I over-filled them is the understatement of the century but we'll go with it.. 
How perfect do these look right out of the oven? 

Pre-sour cream and avocado and these babies were so delicious and FILLING. I was so impressed. One boat and I was done, so definitely err on the side of less is more so you don't end up with a ton of leftover boats because, as I mentioned, they do not keep well in the fridge. Unless you wanna be that girl thinking you're being the sweetest daughter ever and popping over to your parent's house to bring them a feast of boats the next day.. only to have them be a soggy mess! I may or may not have been that girl..  

But, you guys! You've got to make these soon. It must be the Texas in me but we just can't get enough Mexican food and I'm always so happy to find other recipes that deviate from the typical fajita meat and veggies and tortilla-less tacos because there's only so much excitement I can have over grilled meat and veggies, am I right? I can totally get behind these and am excited to make these for friends soon! 

If you make these glorious little boats, take a picture and share it on my Facebook or Instagram! I love seeing your creations more than you know. And speaking of Facebook, if you don't already follow me on Facebook, make sure to "Like" and Share my page with your friends and family to stay up to date on all things BB&B. 

Happy Wednesday! And to my sweet, hilarious, sarcastic, supportive, encouraging, loving, special and 100% authentic and always keepin' it real momma, I hope you have the best birthday ever! I'm so happy I get to spend the day celebrating you.. WITH you! 

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