Twice Baked Zucchini

Nothing makes me smarten up like pajama pants being on the tight side.  My comfy, go to attire is not as comfy as I’d like!  Spring is in full swing and pretty soon I’ll be ready to trade in my sweaters for tank tops.  I bet I’m in good company feeling as though a little extra weight snuck right up.  For the last few months we’ve been watching way too much tv and hanging out on the couch too often.  Time to get outside and eat all the produce coming into season.  Bring on all things green!

Zucchini for instance.  It has a whopping 17 calories per 100 grams.  No wonder people are so crazy for zoodles!  Zucchini is an easy and quick way to cut calories and carbs from a meal.

So, in the spirit of making better choices and eating healthier I’ve made twice baked zucchini.  I’ve used chopped chicken breast, light cream cheese and turkey bacon in the filling to keep with a leaner theme.  They are so versatile, you can stuff anything in a zucchini.  Mixed ground meat in a tomato base, carbonara and primavera to name a few.  Today I’ve gone with a chicken bacon ranch using Homestyle Ranch.  This is definitely the most used dressing in my fridge.  Pizza night is never complete without a side of ranch for dipping!    

This recipe comes together quite quickly.  While the zucchini are in the oven getting their first bake, you’ll combine the filling.  Add anything you may have lying around in the fridge or freezer.  A few leftover pieces of cheese chopped up, herbs, you name it!  At the last minute I found a bag of frozen peas with only a handful left.  It’s such a good feeling to use food rather than tossing it.  Once the zucchini are done baking just fill them up with a spoon, top with some grated sharp cheese or parmesan and give them a final bake.  If you have any leftovers they are just as good heated up the next day for lunch. 

Twice Baked Zucchini

Serves 6 | Finish in 35 minutes
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If you're looking for the perfect splurgy potato substitute with a healthy twist, these Twice Baked Zucchini boats will surprise and delight your tastebuds!

Ingredients

3 zucchini
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 chicken breast cooked and diced
2 pieces bacon, cooked and diced
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 tsp chives
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice each zucchini in half length ways and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. 
Place them cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, ranch dressing, diced chicken and bacon, peas chives, salt and pepper.
After 15 minutes, remove the zucchini from the oven and carefully spoon the mixture evenly into each zucchini.  Top with grated parmesan and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.


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