Chili Beef Stuffed Zucchini

Chili Beef Stuffed Zucchini

How well do you know your kids? When I was a kid I often stayed at my best friend’s house. A few times I had the unfortunate pleasure of being there the nights her mom served stuffed baked tomatoes. As a kid I thought that was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I would have rather ate dirt. Of course today my tastes have changed drastically and I love stuffed peppers and tomatoes. However, the challenge still remains…how do we encourage our children to eat these healthy options we place before them.

Child expert after expert agree repetition without pressure is the only way to motivate our children to take that first bite. The rule at our table is you have to at least try it. If they still hate it then no worries. I always make sure there is something on the table that the kids do like. It could be pasta, salad or fruit. When I make chili beef stuffed zucchini I also make a few stuffed potatoes for the kids (the heat toned down a bit). They still have to try a small bite of zucchini. One day they will be a believer.

Source: Rachael Ray
4 zucchini (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup jarred pickled jalapeño chiles, finely chopped
One 8-ounce bag Mexican-style shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange the zucchini cut side up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water to the dish, cover with foil and bake until the zucchini begins to soften, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and cumin and cook, breaking the meat up, until just browned, about 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes and pickled jalapeños.

Uncover the baking dish, pour off the water and season the zucchini with salt. Fill with the beef mixture and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.