When I met Daniel thirteen years ago, his idea of a vegetable was a side of french fries (to be fair, so was mine). Several years ago I made stuffed peppers for the blog and put the leftovers in the fridge. Daniel ate them at night after I had gone to bed and I woke up the next morning and I noticed there were two hollowed out peppers in the trash. I asked him why he didn’t eat the peppers and if there was something wrong with them. He said he didn’t realize you were supposed to eat them. He thought it was just a decorative way to serve them. I love this man.
He’s come a long way since then, friends, let me tell you. And one of his favorite vegetables now is zucchini. We bake it, fry it, put it in salads, turn it into noodles (it’s like Bubba from Forrest Gump, if he grew up on a zucchini farm). I thought I’d recreate those stuffed peppers he liked using a zucchini. They’re easy to roast before stuffing and I find zucchini a little tastier than the peppers, but that’s me. I love how it tastes roasted, and the fact that it’s mild enough to let the spiced beef mixture shine 🙂
4 medium zucchini
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), finely chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 avocado, pitted and diced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and part of the flesh, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell. Place the zucchini cut side-up on the baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes, or until just tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ketchup. Add the eggs and stir to combine with the beef mixture
Spoon the beef into the zucchini boats. Bake until warm throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with diced avocado and serve immediately.