In my view, farmers markets are one of the best ways to see Texas on display. From rows of stacked peppers to bowls of the sweetest berries to the friendly faces behind the tables, a farmers market is a conduit to all that grows around us—and inspires me to get into the kitchen.
We’re coming into the best time to experience these local markets. As the growing seasons converge, you might see collards alongside early tomatoes or strawberries along with the last of the winter citrus. Now is the time to experiment!
This dish is a favorite in my house, and it’s a great way to get kids to eat vegetables. Instead of chicken, you can use ground beef—or cooked lentils for a meatless option.
Zucchini Taco Boats With Chicken
4 medium zucchini
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce or salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out centers, reserving the flesh in a bowl. Place zucchini hollow-side up into baking dish.
3. Cut chicken into small pieces, about half-inch cubes. Warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add chicken and cook until cooked through and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onion and reserved zucchini flesh and continue to cook 1 minute.
4. Mix together chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and salt and sprinkle over chicken. Stir to coat and cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce or salsa and simmer 5–10 minutes, until thickened.
5. Divide chicken mixture into zucchini and top with cheese.
6. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes.
A melon baller works wonderfully to scoop out the insides of the zucchini, but if you don’t have one, a spoon will do.