Grilled Healthy Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats, Baked in Your Outdoor Grill

Healthy Mexican Turkey Zucchini Boats.

Bake these healthy Mexican turkey taco boats in your outdoor BBQ grill. A delicious whole food, low carb alternative to traditional tacos,Bake these healthy Mexican turkey taco boats in your outdoor BBQ grill. A delicious whole food, low carb alternative to traditional tacos, packed with extra vegetables and healthy fat from avocado and olives. They are gluten free and you can make them even lower in fat by skipping the cheese.

Update: I am no longer cooking in foil but these would be great in a dutch oven over an open fire or an outdoor grill.

I’m cohosting Fiesta Friday this week with Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook. Please stop by Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where you will find more delicious recipes to try. Add your recipe link with the blue link button @ FiestaFriday.net Let’s party likes it’s Friday.

 

I included affiliate links to Amazon products in this post that I actually use as a reference but if you buy one then I get a few cents.

Healthy Baja Kitchen Tips:
Ground turkey may not be available in Baja so I have used home ground chicken. When you can’t buy what you want in Mexico, then make your own. A food processor can mince chicken or you can grind the meat with a special electric meat grinder. I’ve seen hand cranked meat grinders at the Sunday Market in Loreto but a grinder should be on your list of kitchen gadgets to bring from home.  Seriously, I want to know what’s in my ground meat. Chicken beaks and feet? No thanks. I plan to grind my own pork for home made chorizo too.

How to bake Mexican zucchini taco boats or enchiladas in your outdoor BBQ grill: 

Line a grilling basket with overlapping crossed heavy foil. If you are limiting your exposure to aluminum then try these in a cast iron skillet and let me know how you adjusted the baking time and etc.  Assemble your zucchini boats and/or enchiladas in the foil lined basket. Fold bottom flaps over the food and crimp the flap together, tenting it over the food. This is especially important if you are topping your dish with cheese. Otherwise you will have cheese on the foil wrap but not on your dish. Fold the remaining  flaps over that and seal with a crimp. Bake with indirect moderate heat, 350-400 degrees.

If you use a baked recipe then check for doneness after 3/4 of the suggested time.  The outdoor grill will cook faster and burn more easily but it’s worth the effort to get an interesting smokey flavor and to keep the summer heat out of the kitchen.

[lt_recipe name=”Grilled Healthy Turkey Zucchini Taco Boats ” servings=”2 ” prep_time=”20 MINUTES” cook_time=”35 MINUTES” total_time=”55 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Healthy Mexican inspired spicy ground turkey zucchini boats, loaded with vegetables and baked in the outdoor grill. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/image-20-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”Zucchini, 4;Ground turkey, 8 oz;1 tablespoon olive oil ;Onion, 1/2 large;Garlic, 2 cloves ;Carrot, 1 large;Celery, 1 stalk;Bell pepper, 1/2;Cilantro, fresh chopped 1/2 cup ;Jalapeño, 1 seeded;Tomato, 1 ;Ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon ;Oregano dried, 1 teaspoon crushed;1/2 teaspoon salt;1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper ;Black olives sliced, 1/4 cup;Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup;To serve: Avocado sliced, prepared salsa or pico de gallo, and additional chopped cilantro. ” ]Prepare grilling pan by covering pan with overlapping flaps of aluminum foil leaving tails long enough to fold over the dish with excess to seal. ;Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center of each zucchini with a spoon leaving a 1/4 inch shell. Save all zucchini. ;Brown turkey in olive oil until no longer pink over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add finely chopped carrot, celery, peppers, remaining zucchini pulp, tomatoes, spices and 1/4 cup of water. Let simmer until vegetables are semi-soft about 10 minutes.;Assemble stuffed zucchini in the prepared grill pan. Overfill zucchini boats with meat mixture, you may have leftovers. Sprinkle with cheese and olives. Tent the foil flaps over the meal and seal with crimps. ;Heat grill to 350-400 degrees or moderate heat. Place grill basket over indirect heat and bake for 35 minutes. Open packet very carefully with grilling gloves or oven mitts to avoid steam burns. The zucchini should be soft and the cheese melted. Slice avocado and place over boats just before serving. Serve with salsa and cilantro garnish. [/lt_recipe]

What kitchen gadgets can you not live without? I have a list of things to bring back to Baja, which I will share, because I couldn’t find them in rural Mexico. Stay tuned.

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Healthy Mexican turkey zucchini taco boats

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Easy Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps, Mexican-Asian Fusion

Pulled Pork Korean Lettuce Wraps

Korean pork lettuce wraps meet the Baja with a salty, sweet, spicy explosion of flavor. You can make everything in advance and serve these as a main meal or in bite sized cocktail nibbles.

Northern Baja, Baja Norte, cuisine has a strong Asian influence. Restaurants in Tijuana and Ensenada are making a name for themselves with Mexican-Asian fusion cuisine.

Lettuce wraps are a low carb, whole food alternative to tortillas. I’ll eat anything in a tortilla, I love tortillas, but sometimes a filling begs for the crispy freshness of an iceberg lettuce cup. Some fillings like Asian inspired meats and meat substitutes, like tofu, just taste better in simple vegetable wraps. Iceberg lettuce is the perfect shape but you can use collard green leaves, romaine and butter lettuces for wraps as well. Continue reading “Easy Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps, Mexican-Asian Fusion”

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos, Baja Style

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

Carne asada tacos are a taqueria specialty in Mexico.
Carne Asada translates to grilled meat. The traditional Mexican marinade includes fresh orange and lime juices, lots of garlic, cilantro, hot chilies and vinegar. I added cumin seed and oregano for a unique Baja twist. Flank steak, skirt, round and sirloin steak are all used to make carne asada tacos. The Ley’s grocery store in Loreto sells paper thin cuts of sirloin that soak up the marinade beautifully and grill in a matter of minutes. I use that cut frequently for carne asada tacos, broccoli beef stir fry and for Korean BBQ recipes.

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

I chose a juicy beef tri tip, which is a thick bottom round cut, for my tacos. I served them with chunky pico de gallo, red onions and avocado slices. You can add crumbled quéso fresco or chihuahua cheese but I prefer them without. I’m taking my tacos to Fiesta Friday to party with my blog amigos.

 

[lt_recipe name=”Carne Asada Tri Tip Baja Tacos ” servings=”12 tacos ” prep_time=” 4 HOURS TO OVERNIGHT TO MARINADE ” cook_time=”10 MINUTES PER POUND FOR MEDIUM RARE ” total_time=”45 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Carne asada, tri tip, marinaded in orange, lime, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin and oregano. Taqueria style tacos filled with juicy grilled beef and pico de gallo. A BBQ crowd pleaser. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-134-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”Beef Tri tip, 3-4 pounds;Marinade;- 1/2 cup olive oil;- 6 cloves garlic, chopped ;- lime juice, 2 limes, 1/3 cup;- orange juice, 2 large oranges, 3/4 cup;-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro;- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ;- 1 jalepeño, diced;- 1 tablespoon cumin seed or 3 teaspoons ground cumin;- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano ;;Pico de gallo;- 3 ripe tomatoes diced;- 1/2 red onion diced;- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro;- juice of 1 key lime or 1/2 Persian lime;- 1 clove garlic minced;- 1 tablespoon diced Serrano or jalepeño chili;- dash of sea salt;;Tacos;- 12 corn tortillas;- 2 tablespoons olive oil ;- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced;- handful cilantro chopped ;- 2 avocados sliced ;- lime wedges;- quéso fresco or jack cheese, optional ;;” ]Combine marinade ingredients. Place beef in a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Marinade at least 4 hours to overnight. ;Assemble pico de gallo ingredients and refrigerate. ;Slice red onion and lime wedges ahead of time and refrigerate. ;Slice avocado just before serving.;;Grill tri tip. Sear each side on high heat, 500 F for 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium 350 F for 10 minutes per pound for medium rare, check meat temperature. Medium rare should read about 130 degrees. Let meat rest 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2 pieces against the grain. ;;Grill tortillas over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep warm until ready to assemble tacos. [/lt_recipe]

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations, it’s a perfect day to be outside for a BBQ. Make carne asada tacos, make margaritas – MAKE FRIENDS. Share this post or pin it and maybe your friends will make tacos for you!

Check out my Taco Tuesday Pinterest Board or Mexican Beef Recipes. Send me an email if you would like to join this group Board.
Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

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Mushroom Walnut Vegan Chorizo – Turn up the heat and make it Mexican

Mushroom walnut filling

 

Try this vegan chorizo, made with walnuts and mushrooms in any Mexican recipe for tacos, tostadas or tamales. I think it would be great in stuffed poblano, Baja zucchini boats or red bell peppers. I let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for a day and the flavor was even more delicious.

I topped tiny grilled flour tortillas with my spicy soy free, vegan chorizo, arugula, peperoncinis, red onion and tomatoes. This plant based mixture is reminiscent of chorizo and is sure to please any guest and keep the vegans nourished. Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D and walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fat. Your guests might appreciate a side serving of black or pinto beans, salsa and a bit of salty cheese for the lacto vegetarians or omnivores.

There are several inspiring recipes for mushroom and walnut fillings, both raw and cooked versions. The combination seems like a natural for bold Mexican spices, different fresh peppers, and dried chilies. Think what you could do with Italian or Indian spices!

Try them all. Here’s a few that I found after I thought I invented it. My inspiration came from my leftover chorizo seasoning and a produce bin full of mushrooms needing to be eaten.  I believe that there are no original stories or recipes in the world but always give credit when ever you find inspiration.

Vega:

Kyle:

Rawmazing:

I shared this at Meat Free Mondays
Mushroom walnut arugula tacos

 

[lt_recipe name=”Walnut Mushroom Vegan Chorizo” servings=”4 ” prep_time=”10 MIUNTES” cook_time=”10 MINUTES” total_time=”20 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”A fast weeknight vegan mushroom and walnut filling for tacos, stuffed peppers, or tamales. Use as a substitute for spicy meats. ” print=”yes” image= ingredients=”6 cups rough chopped cremimi or portobello mushrooms, about 1 pound;1 cup walnut pieces;1/2 cup chopped onions;2 cloves garlic minced;2 tablespoons oil oil;2 tablespoons chopped parsley;2 tablespoons ancho chili powder ;1 tablespoon smoked paprika;2 teaspoons ground cumin;1 teaspoon ground coriander;1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste;1/4 teaspoon cayenne;1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or to taste ” ]Chop mushrooms and walnuts, or pulse in the food processor into pea sized pieces. Set aside. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add seasonings through salt and mushrooms. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add a splash of vinegar to separate the flavors, more if indicated. Adjust salt. ;Serve warm in tortillas or use as a filling for any vegetarian dish. Stuff bell peppers, baked squashes or vegan tamales. [/lt_recipe]

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La Gringa’s Weekly Menu

La Gringa's weekly menu

Planning my meals around the available produce helps me use everything I’ve purchased without waste and allows me to create around the freshest ingredients. I print the menu and hang it on the refrigerator so that everyone knows the weekly plan. Of course, we don’t always stay on plan if no one feels like cooking or a date night develops. 😊

Here are this week’s farmer’s market and grocery store finds. Our farmer’s market in Northern Nevada has spring produce and lots of berries and stone fruits. As the weather warms, I will be able to buy most of my produce there.

Weekly menus

 weekly menu

Recipe links:

Baja Clam Chowder, coming soon
Mushroom walnut tacos, coming soon
Homemade Chorizo
Crashed potatoes with chorizo,
Margarita Salmon
Jalapeño poppers

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Chorizo Crashed Potatoes

Chorizo Crashed Potatoes

Chorizo Crashed PotatoesWho doesn’t love crashed potatoes? Now add spicy chorizo and you have my Baja version of patatas bravas, popular in Spain. These are a crispy potato explosion of Baja goodness. Pin these to your Mexican recipes to try. Easy and delicious.

According to ThePioneerWoman the original creator of Crashed Hot Potatoes was Jill Dupleix, a food writer from Australia and after you eat one you too will sing her praises.

For more amazing food writers follow me to Fiesta Friday where Angie hosts the best Fiesta link party this side of the Baja. While you’re at the party checkout the our co-hosts Jhuls and Monika and enjoy their websites.

The potatoes are deliciously crisp and I’ve re-created them by adding chorizo and a creamy salsa reminiscent of patatas bravas, a signature Spanish dish.  The patatas bravas is a deep fried potato dish which is served with a creamy spicy tomato sauce. These crispy baked potatoes are lower in fat and served with a simple salsa and mayonnaise drizzle giving them all the flavor of patatas bravas with less fat.  I used a generous splash of healthy olive oil.

[lt_recipe name=”Chorizo Crashed Potatoes” servings=”4″ prep_time=”45 MINUTES ” cook_time=”25 MINUTES ” total_time=”65 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Crispy baked potatoes seasoned with cilantro, chorizo and topped with creamy salsa. All the flavors of patatas bravas with less fat. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-52-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”8 small yellow or red potatoes ;4 tablespoons olive oil;4 ounces Mexican chorizo;1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, divided ;1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste;1/2 cup prepared red salsa, or pico de gallo;1/4 cup mayonnaise ;1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper;Optional: crumbled cojita or feta cheese ” ]Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 25 minutes. Brown chorizo and set aside. Oil a baking sheet with olive oil.;Place boiled potatoes on the baking sheet and mash with a potato masher and twist to make a flattened bumpy “crashed” potato. Brush each potato with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cilantro. Bake at 450 F oven for 15 minutes. Combine salsa and mayonnaise and set aside. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cooked chorizo and cheese if using, return to oven and bake for an 10 additional minutes. Garnish with remaining cilantro and a drizzle of creamy salsa. [/lt_recipe]

 

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Fresh Baja Salsas

Fresh salas made with fruits and vegetables are essential to Baja cuisine. Salsas are easily tailored to the available produce and to your individual tastes. Mix and match basically any fruits, peppers and onions and you have a salsa. What’s your favorite Mexican salsa recipe?

Sunday is my market and prep day. Even beach girls need some organization in their foodie lives. I have the same problem as many of you do at 4 pm when I’ve been writing all day and I’m hungry, “What’s for dinner, La Gringa?”

If I have a plan and some veggies and fruits prepped in advance then I am much less likely to reach for the tortilla chips or a quick quesadilla. I don’t have the American luxury of buying pre-washed bags of salad or veggies, which is really a great fall back plan for busy cooks who want nutritious food on the table quickly. So I wash and cut up jicama, cucumbers, carrots, melon, pineapple and lettuce.

I make fresh salsas every week with the fruits and vegetables that I have on hand. You can add salsas to tacos of course but try a fruit salsa as a side dish for fish or chicken. Salsas are flavor packed and you can adjust the heat to your preference by varying the types and amounts of chili pepper.

 

 

[lt_recipe name=”Pico de Gallo” servings=”Multiple ” prep_time=”10 MINUTES ” cook_time=”NONE” total_time=”10 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Fast fresh tomato and pepper salsa for any occasion. Keep a batch on hand for any Baja meal. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-1-225×300.jpg” ingredients=”2 ripe tomatoes ;1 red onion;1 serrano chili;1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro;1 key lime, may substitute Persian lime;Dash of sea salt” ]Dice tomatoes and onion into desired size, usually 1/4 inch pieces. Mince serrano chili, the amount you use is directly related to your preference for spiciness. Start with 1 tablespoon, about 1/2 of an average serrano chili. You may substitute any hot chili, try jalapeño, habanero, or poblano depending on your heat preference. ;Chop cilantro. Mix all vegetables and the juice of one key lime or 1 tablespoon of any lime juice. Adjust salt. It’s best served after allowing the ingredients to mingle for 20 minutes. The salsa will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. [/lt_recipe]

 

 

 

Simple Additions to Pico de Gallo: 

Pico de Gallo, mild
If you’re feeling creative try a sweet red bell pepper and add chopped cucumber or jicama.

Pineapple Salsa
Make pico de gallo but substitute chopped ripe pineapple for the tomatoes and add chopped orange, yellow or red bell pepper.

Pineapple Salsa

Mango Ginger Salsa

Substitute ripe mango for the pineapple. Then add 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger root.
 Mango Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

Substitute chopped watermelon for the pineapple and add chopped cucumber for crunch.

Buena salud, disfrute de su comida. Good health, enjoy your meal.

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Healthy Mexican Grilled Spicy Shrimp Sweet Pepper Pasta

Healthy grilled shrimp and sweet pepper confetti over pasta.

Easy grilled shrimp with sweet peppers over pasta that you can throw together for a quick week night Mexican meal or a Baja fiesta with friends. Shrimp is readily available and affordable in Baja, about half the price that I pay in the U.S., so you don’t have to save them for special occasions. They are a low fat versatile protein source for any healthy Mexican meal. The sweet bell peppers are a colorful source of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, and fiber. A grill basket works well but you could easily make these into kabobs. If you follow a low carb or Paleo diet serve the shrimp over salad greens or zuddles. I rarely eat pasta but a small portion of spaghetti was a welcome addition to this meal.

A crisp Mexican vino blanco from Valle de Guadelupe, a Mexican lager or a tart margarita would pair well. Add a salad and fruit for a nutritious meal that’s sure to please any crowd.

I’m taking my new blog and my original recipe to Fiesta Friday’s blog party and #FishFridayFoodie. Grab a cold pop and join us.

[lt_recipe name=”Healthy Mexican Grilled Spicy Shrimp Sweet Pepper Pasta ” servings=”4″ prep_time=”30 MINUTES” cook_time=”15 MINUTES ” total_time=”45 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Grilled shrimp, sweet peppers tossed over pasta for an easy week night or guest ready meal. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-23-300×259.jpeg” ingredients=”16 ounces raw shrimp;2 cups diced red, yellow and or orange bell peppers ;1 cup diced red onion;8 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta;1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro;2 limes divided ;2 cloves minced garlic ;4 tablespoons olive oil divided;1 tablespoon butter, optional;1 teaspoon ground cumin;1 teaspoon ground coriander ;1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional;1/2 teaspoon sea salt;” ]Prepare shrimp by deveining and removing the shells if you desire. I prefer to leave the shells on if your guests don’t mind peeling them after serving. You can also ask your fish monger to peel and devein your shrimp. ;Toss shrimp with garlic, spices, squeeze of one lime and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside. Don’t left the shrimp marinade longer than 20 minutes because the lime will “cook” the shrimp. Boil water for pasta and cook al dente. ;Chop peppers and onion. Combine with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a dash of salt. Grill vegetables in a grilling basket over direct medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add shrimp and marinade to the vegetables and continue to grill until shrimp are uniformly pink, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Mix chopped cilantro into shrimp and vegetables and serve over pasta. Garnish with lime wedges. [/lt_recipe]

 

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Healthy grilled shrimp and sweet pepper confetti over pasta.

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