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YIELDS:

2 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 15 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 25 mins

ingredients

2 Medium zucchini cut in half horizontally and the insides scooped out and chopped

½ Lb. 99% fat free ground turkey

¼ Chopped onion

1 Garlic clove, finely minced

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil + more for brushing cut zucchini

½ Cup Chopped Petite tomatoes

1 Tbsp. Tomato paste

2 Tbsp. Packaged Chili mix, medium heat

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

¼ Cup Crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese

Fat Free Greek yogurt, smashed avocado, chopped green onions & tortilla chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil to make clean up easy.
2. Prep your cut and hollowed out zucchini “canoes” by brushing them with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Put them on the prepared baking sheet and roast in oven for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
3. Meanwhile, add the tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the turkey meat, chopped zucchini and the chili seasoning and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook stirring, until there is no pink meat showing.

4. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. (If it is too thick, add a tablespoon of water or two)
.

5. Remove the “canoes” from the oven and fill each zucchini half with a quarter of the meat mixture. Top each with equal amounts of the cheddar cheese and Queso fresco cheese. Place under the broil and broil until the cheese is melted and brown in spots. Serve topped with some yogurt, avocado and a sprinkling of green onion. Crumble some chips on top and/or serve on the side. Enjoy.

NOTE: This version of my zucchini canoes is one of many. I like to play with the flavors and come up with all kinds of combinations. I have done Italian canoes, Greek Zucchini Canoes and a shrimp stuffed canoe. All of them give me a fast and easy meal in the middle of the week when time is scarce but I need a healthy, well-rounded meal.

A couple of tips for getting great “canoes” every time. First, soften up the zucchini a little bit before broiling them and getting that cheese all melted. Roast them for 10 minutes. By brushing them with the olive oil and adding salt and pepper, you are just giving the dish a flavor boost. Don’t overcook the zucchini because they’ll get real soft and fall apart when stuffed. 10 minutes seems to be the magic number in my oven.

NOTE: I take lots of short cuts when making these and often use store bought spice mixes and pre-shredded cheese. If I have a premade spice blend in the cabinet, I’ll use that too. In a pinch, I’ve used marinara sauce and it worked out fine. This isn’t gourmet food; this is real food for the middle of the week when I need something healthy to eat.

FYI: for my WW friends, I’ve used 99% fat free turkey to keep the points at zero. I added the oil to give it moisture and flavor. You can easily make this dish using ground beef, 97% fat free turkey, etc. Again, this is more of a guideline that a recipe. Whatever you do, don’t throw out the middle of the zucchini that you scoop out. That is great chopped up and added to the mix. Another tip is to just crumble a few tortilla chips on top to get some crunch. A nice serving on the side works too.

While I almost always use Fage fat free Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream (I just find the taste a perfect swap for the full fat condiment.), feel free to use regular sour cream.

By now, you must be wondering why I don’t just call them boats like everyone else. Very simply, these things always fall over…LOL. It’s a lot easier to flip over a canoe than it is a boat. While I like to put these on a baking sheet to broil, if you put them in a small casserole dish so they are right to the edge, they won’t fall over (at least not until you serve them…LOL)

Whether they are upright or on their side, these taste great and are good for you. Kids will love them and it is a great way to get them to eat their veggies. Enjoy.

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