Tacos. Mmmmmm… Cauliflower. Mmmmmm… Zucchini. Mmmmmm…
After going through the 2B Mindset program from Beachbody On Demand, I realized that we were doing okay with our veggie intake but not great. Our family can definitely stand to work more veggies into every meal so I’ve been experimenting with adding veggies to the foods we cook most often.
My most successful win has been supplementing our taco meat with cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower And Ground Turkey Taco Meat
Nearly eight years ago, when my husband stopped eating all red meat and pork, we switched to using ground turkey for tacos and I haven’t cooked ground beef in tacos ever since. Using ground turkey is a step in the right direction in terms of healthy eating. Adding cauliflower takes it one step further.
Now, when I make taco meat, I use one pound of ground turkey, one bag of cauliflower rice, and 2 packages of taco seasoning. (When doing Whole30, we make our own taco seasoning.)
The benefits of adding cauliflower to your taco meat are:
- You can’t taste it — the cauliflower takes on the taco seasoning flavors and blends right in.
- Everyone is getting extra veggies in without realizing it! The first time I did this, my daughter didn’t even notice!
- It increases the yield of your taco meat so you will have more leftovers that can be used in a taco salad, on nachos, in stuffed bell peppers, or stuffed in zucchini boats.
Taco Zucchini Boats
I like zucchini but I don’t love it. I don’t really want to bite into a chunk of zucchini all by itself but when it’s combined in a scrumptious bite with roasted peppers, onions, and cauliflower and ground turkey taco meat, I’m all in. That is a great bite!
Making the Cauliflower And Ground Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats is super easy.
First, if you’re not using up leftovers, you need to make the taco meat. Once the taco meat is made, it’s time to prep the zucchini, bell pepper, and onion. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon scoop out the center seeds and meat. Be sure to leave a nice thick edge on the both sides of the zucchini. Then chop the red bell pepper and onion.
Next, you need to fill the zucchini boats, scooping the taco mixture into each hollowed out zucchini — I like to really pile it on! When the zucchini boats are full, top with the onion and red bell pepper and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
We like our zucchini a little firm, so I cook my Zucchini Boats for 25 minutes. How many zucchini I use depends on how hungry we are. During Whole30, we’re not snacking a lot, so our meals tend to be bigger. This means Brian and I will each eat an entire zucchini. Other times, especially if the zucchinis are huge, we’ll each have a half.
What About The Extra Zucchini?
Did you read this and wonder what you’re supposed to do with the zucchini pulp you scooped/scraped out of the zucchini?
Some people put it in a blender or food processor then mix into their filling. Me? I try to plan in advance. I usually plan to have an Italian meal the next day that uses red sauce and I’ll blend the extra zucchini right into the red sauce. My family doesn’t notice the addition and we’re all eating more healthy veggies!
Cauliflower And Ground Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats
Traditional tacos get a healthy upgrade with cauliflower rice and zucchini.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 bag of cauliflower rice
- 2 pkgs Lawry's taco seasoning (or a Whole30 compliant taco seasoning)
- 2 zucchinis
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
- Add the ground turkey, cauliflower rice, taco seasoning, and water as directed on the package to a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until it is cooked through.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise. Scrape/scoop out the center, leaving a nice thick edge all the way around.
- Scoop the taco meat into the zucchini boats and pile it on. Top with the chopped onion and bell pepper.
- Place the zucchini boats on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Put the rest of the Cauliflower and Ground Turkey Taco Meat in a storage container and refrigerate. When done cooking, plate the zucchini boats and serve immediately.
Brian's Whole30 Taco Seasoning Recipe: 4 tablespoons chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons dried onion, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Quick Tip: Each package of taco seasoning contains about 2 tablespoons of seasoning. So if you're making your own seasoning, you'll use 4 tablespoons of seasoning in this recipe (half of Brian's recipe above).