Seriously though, who doesn't LOVE Mexican food?! If your kiddos love tacos as much as my lil guy does, I bet this will be an awesome way to sneak some veggie power into their dinner...AND keep the taste factor up high! These "oven fried" taquitos are super yummy but half the calories of the deep fried taquitos you can sometimes get at a restaurant. And um, excuse me but....do they serve zucchini in their taquitos?!
You would never guess there is actual squash in this dish. There's nothing but flavor! Damon never once mentioned "spicy" while he chowed down, but if your kiddos are a little sensitive to spicy, try some greek yogurt to tone it down some. It's a great alternative to sour cream!
One final note, if you don't want to use this "oven-fried" method, you could totally just use this meat mixture in any taco related dish you have in your arsenal. Just think of the squashy possibilities! Wheat tortillas rolled up or chips crunched on top of a taco salad, nachos, quesadillas, lettuce wraps...all with this yummy meat and zucchini mixture. I'll be honest here, I picked up all the drippings with my fingers and ate it..... I mean, who wants to waste food, right? ;)
"Oven Fried" Chicken TaquitosMakes 4 Servings
Ingredients1 medium zucchini
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb raw lean ground chicken
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
12 6-inch corn tortillas
Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup shredded cheddar (why not use 2%, right?)
1. Preheat Oven - 425 degrees
2. Shred your zucchini with the large holes in a metal cheese grater (box grater?). Put in all in a clean, dry dish towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Unwrap it, layer it and pat the rest dry.
3. Heat the evoo in a large skillet. Dump in your zucchini, ground chicken and seasonings. Mix it all up and make it happy! Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 - 7 minutes, until the chicken is done.
4. Spread out the tortillas on a baking sheet, overlapping. Heat them in the oven for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and cover to keep warm.
5. Coat the baking sheet with cooking spray.
6. In increments, roll your taquitos up. Use about 1/4 cup of happy meat per tortilla, placed on bottom 3rd of the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and roll it up into a tight cigar shape - though not too tight because the tortillas might break, but a lot will break in the oven anyway. It all goes to the same place is my motto :)
Don't worry if you don't get pretty taquitos, you won't be worried about how they look when you taste them! Make a quick dipping sauce with greek yogurt and your favorite salsa. Damon loved this part. He even dipped his broccoli in it, lil weirdo ;)
And the pay off! The best part of my day is when he actually eats his dinner and likes it.
If you try it and you love it, let me know! And please SHARE the squash love with your veggie-challenged-toddler-mom friends!