This dish was inspired by the Beef and Plantain Skillet with Lemon Basil Aioli from sophisticatedcaveman.com. The truth is, I was planning some sort of taco zucchini boat but the zucchinis in my grocery pickup order were like an inch and a half wide! Way too narrow. So this dish was born and my friend/meal client Hannah liked it enough to let me make it four days later so I could measure out and refine the recipe! My husband also gave it two thumbs up and was happy to eat it again!
The spice in this dish comes from the mayo! The meat mixture itself is a savory blend of beef and vegetables with traditional taco seasoning.
1 – 1.5 lbs ground beef, 80 – 85% lean
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced (I love red or Vidalia)
2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Warm your wok, skillet, or frying pan over medium-high heat, adding all beef and vegetables. When using beef with higher fat content, such as I suggested here, there’s no need for additional cooking oil. I found that with frequent stirring, the vegetables and meat in this dish cooked in unison, such that the vegetables retained some of their firmness and color! I often don’t have time to cook the meat first, then add the vegetables, or vice versa. I like when I can toss it all in and get it done!
Once the meat is completely cooked, drain all the grease in your colander. Don’t rinse the meat and vegetables because the fat adds so much flavor! Return the beef and vegetable mixture to your pan and season with cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Serve with Chipotle Lime Mayo with Fresh Cilantro. My husband had his as is, but I served mine over greens, garnished with radishes, red onions, and fresh cilantro.
For the Chipotle Lime Mayo with Fresh Cilantro:
1 1/4 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro, packed
2 tbsp lime juice
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until thoroughly combined. I suggest adding the Chipotle Chili Pepper one 1/2 teaspoon at a time.