Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. I love the quiet mornings and the pressure to do nothing. Our weeks have been what I call "steady busy" - a good balance between work, kids, and fun time. Soon that will change, as it does every fall, when the kids go back to school (virtual for us, so they will be home every day) and the University classes begin. I"m incredibly thankful that my job is flexible and virtual - I can continue working and helping people daily.
Yesterday was a super long day of travel for the boys' soccer games, so today it was time for a little relaxation. I went for a morning run, got caught up on cleaning, shopping, meal planned for the week, and spent time with the boys and hubby. And of course, cooked a fun new recipe for YOU!
It's still very hot here in Arkansas, which means I will continue to cook as much as possible outside so as not to heat up the house. I'm always on the hunt for new summer recipes - does anyone else get super bored with the same old, same old? Yes, that means you, tacos, burgers and grilled chicken. Move over, we are in a rut and I need to bring in some new meals!
On a recent shopping trip I passed by these cast iron griddles and decided it was time. I've always wanted wanted one so I could cook chopped veggies and other more tender foods on the grill without them falling through. This thing is SO useful - If you have a gas stove with grates it simply goes right on top! Or, place it on the grill to easily cook smaller items that otherwise would fall through the cracks.
It's pre-seasoned, which means that it has a coating on it that prevents sticking. Like other cast iron cookware, you need to care for it gently and not use harsh soaps. After washing and drying, simply apply a light coating of oil and spread it on the pan (I use a paper towel) and you are ready for the next round of cooking.
This recipe was a huge hit with both myself and my family! I felt like I was in a restaurant (except for the fact that I did all of the work lol :) - it was that good! The combination of the Mexican seasonings combined with the savory meat, black beans and sweet corn was just wonderful. The cheese and fresh herbs were perfect as toppings.
We used ground bison this time - but any ground meat would work here - even vegan options such as Beyond meat or Boca crumbles! Likewise, feel free to use different cheeses and seasonings if you want to experiment. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
3 zucchini, halved lengthwise
Olive or avocado oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper
4-6 green onions, chopped
1 lb ground meat of choice - beef, bison, turkey, vegan meat, etc.1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. black beans
1/2 c. corn (I used frozen and served the rest as a side dish)
1/4 cup salsa of your choice
1.5 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
1) Slice zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the insides (I saved mine to saute later!). Preheat griddle on grill or gas stovetop and turn heat to low. If you're using the oven, preheat to 350 degrees. Spray both sides of zucchini with oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Cook zucchini for 5 minutes per side (or 10 minutes in the oven).
2) While zucchini is cooking, prepare the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, add ground meat. Cook until browned and no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Drain if needed. Add green onion, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, black beans, corn, and salsa. Stir well.
3) With the scooped side of the zucchini facing up, carefully fill with meat and vegetable mixture. Top with equal amounts of shredded cheese, and close the lid on the grill. Cook on low for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. If using the oven, return to the oven and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4) Enjoy! We served with salad, corn and rice on the side, in case you need some ideas.