Healthy Twist on A Traditional Favorite: Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini

Healthy Twist on A Traditional Favorite: Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini

Fresh grown garden vegetables make the healthiest meals with optimal flavor, but when that is not possible head to your local market and find some great vegetables.  Mexican food can tickle your taste buds but have lots of unhealthy side effect such as high carbohydrates and fat.  This recipe is a healthy twist on a traditional favorite. Low carb and lower fat, plus all the benefits of some fresh vegetables.

The Health Benefits

Zucchini squash provides a smooth skin, dense moisture, tender and crunchy flesh as a base for this tasty dish. Zucchini squash is a wonderful fiber packed vegetable, full of vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, minerals (iron, manganese, phosphorus and zinc), anti-oxidants (carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin).  Tomatoes are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium and have been proven to ward off cancer, heart disease and reduce inflammation.

Boneless skinless chicken breast provide lean protein with the added niacin, selenium, vitamin B-6, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.  Muenster cheese is the best soft cheese for Mexican dishes as it melts creamy and does not have the grease texture that cheddar cheese has.  Muenster cheese contains protein, calcium, vitamin A, minerals for strong bones and vitamin B-12.

Stuffed Zucchini – The Recipe

Ingredients

6 small zucchini

1 cup cooked shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup shredded muenster cheese

1 finely diced tomato

½ tsp finely diced fresh cilantro

Garlic salt to taste

Green Chili Sauce

¼  cup diced green chilies

½ cup diced tomatoes

1 tbs ground cumin

½ tsp salt

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbs flour or for gluten free use corn starch

Preparation

In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients, but the flour for the green chili sauce and boil for about 15 minutes until all ingredients are soft and well combined.  Add flour to small about of liquid until combined and not lumpy then add to the sauce pan.   Cool slightly then pour into food processor and pulse or blend until well there are no large pieces and it is a creamy texture.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix pre-cooked shredded chicken breast diced tomato, cilantro and ½ a cup of the Muenster cheese.  Add garlic salt to taste.

Cut ends off zucchini squash and split in half long ways.  Cut out the center of the zucchini so that you are left with the skin and about a ¼ inch of the flesh. Stuff the hallowed out zucchini with the chicken mixture until over flowing.  Place all the stuffed zucchini into a baking pan (glass is best if you have one), smother the stuffed zucchini with the green chili sauce until well covered then sprinkle the other ½ a cup of Muenster cheese on top.

Place pan into the oven for 30 minutes.  After baked place pan under the broiler for a few minutes to slightly brown the top of the cheese. Place 1 or 2 stuffed zucchini on a plate and serve.

This can be prepared ahead and baked later. This dish can be frozen although the zucchini will lose some of its texture and green chili sauce will not stay as creamy.

Enjoy!

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