Recipe Review: Zucchini Burrito Boats

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Another Mexican dish we're loving in the Guerra house lately: burritos bowls. Normally, I'd toss some rice in the rice cooker, and when that's done, scoop some out into a ceramic bowl, and top the sticky grain with all the fixings: beans, avocado, cheese, and crushed, blue corn chips. The combo is delicious, don't get me wrong, but it's been a staple in this apartment ever since we got married just over a year ago. In other words, it was time to switch it up.

The first time Mark and I had ever eaten zucchini burrito boats was the night of our first meeting with Pastor Chuck. We knew even before that first skype session that he'd be the man to marry us (he'd married Mark's sister and her husband just two years before), but a consultation was necessary, as was the case with any "vendor."

It was a late night for us; Mark lived an hour away from my parents house, and he'd driven down after I got home from work in the city. Our meeting was at 8 p.m., and my mom had dinner on the table by 7:30 p.m. We loaded our plates with two boats each, sat at folding tables in our back room (or "family room"), and snuck bites in between conversation. They were so good but, for some reason, she never made them again.

When I saw a picture of this Tex Mex dish on Pinterest, I was inspired to whip up a few boats myself. I even dared to experiment with my own recipe, rather than following something already written up for me; I basically just went off of memory, and what my taste buds were craving - aka everything spicy, cheesy, and full of beans (like this homemade tostada recipe I'm obsessed with).

Prep work here is pretty speedy unless, like me, your eyes water as soon as a knife even begins to pierce through an onion, then you should probably factor in a few minutes for stepping out of the kitchen to let your pupils breathe. I cannot be the only one this happens to. Anyways, to prep, finely chop one quarter of a white onion, one red bell pepper, one yellow pepper, and grape tomatoes. Once all of the veggies have been rinsed, dried, and sliced, lightly coat your pan with oil (I used the Chosen Foods Avocado Oil), and warm the veggies, plus frozen corn, for about three minutes or so before adding in a can of black beans. I sprinkled on some garlic powder and paprika for taste, with just a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.

While the boat filling was cooking, I rinsed two zucchinis, and cut them in half long-ways. Taking a spoon, I scooped out the middle of the zucchini to form a deep boat and pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. When the oven was nice and toasty, I transferred my filling into each boat, and sprinkled on a coat of shredded cheese. This is an excellent recipe if you're low on time, because you could easily prepare the filling on a Sunday night, reheat it Monday, fill the boats, and pop it into the oven for just 20 minutes! My only tip is to make sure you eyeball the boats as they cook, because the cheese can harden if they stay in too long.


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