Taco Squash Bowls

As you may have guessed by the name of my blog, I’m frequently on the go.  I have a full time job managing a team of healthcare IT professionals in the pharmacy department of a large academic medical facility plus 2 other part time/PRN pharmacist positions – one as a staff pharmacist at a smaller hospital and one as a consultant pharmacist for a physician-owned surgical center.  I’m also an active member of a women’s group focused on developing the potential of women and promoting volunteerism.  I play sand volleyball in 2 different leagues 3 out of 4 seasons of the year plus strive to squeeze in at least 4 workouts a week.

While I love cooking, there are weeks when I don’t have much time to devote to preparing meals so I have a few quick and easy things in the regular rotation.

Some variation of these taco squash bowls are eaten in my house on the reg.  They’re super quick and easy plus are basically just meat and veggies – so they pack a protein punch plus all the goodness that only vegetables can provide.  So it’s a no brainer that they make an almost weekly appearance on the menu at home.

Additionally, so many variations can be made that it never gets old!  Just use a little creativity and you’ve got a different spin every time!

Some of my favorite veggies to prepare this with include acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and even sweet potato!  These are all regularly found stocked in my kitchen so it just depends on what I’m feeling like or which one needs to be used first.

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I generally make these with taco meat, but I had some leftover pork tenderloin carnitas (don’t worry, I’ll post how I made that later!) in the freezer so I used that this past week and it was equally if not more delicious!

Toppings can be just about any of your favorite taco toppings as well!  I love mixing it up with diced avocado, various salsa varieties, green onions, cilantro…you name it!  I’ve also added diced, cooked onion and garlic to the taco meat mixture for even more veg and flavor!

Here’s the pork carnitas version with avocado2018-02-07_17-06-54_862

And here’s the original with taco meat, salsa, and non-dairy cheese substitute

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So…..let’s get started, shall we?!

Taco Squash Bowls

Serves:  6                                                         Total Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 2 lbs ground turkey, chicken, or lean beef (I generally use a 1:1 ratio of lean ground beef (at least 93% lean) plus ground turkey or chicken 99% lean)
  2. 2 packets reduced sodium taco seasoning (or 1 depending on the brand – follow instructions for 2 pounds of meat)
  3. 2/3 C water
  4. 1/4 C quick oats, optional
  5. 3 small acorn squash, roasted
  6. 1 T olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Roast the acorn squash.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  Cut the acorn squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place cut side down in a baking dish lined with foil and bake for 20-25 min or until a fork inserts easily into the skin.
  2. Cook the taco meat.  Cook beef/turkey/chicken mixture in a skillet over medium heat until no pink remains.  Drain all fat.  Add taco seasoning, water, and quick oats (if using).  Stir to combine, cover, and cook for a few minutes until water has absorbed.  The addition of the oats makes the meat mixture less crumbly and makes it stick together more.
  3. Assemble the bowls:  spoon taco meat mixture into half cooked acorn squash.  Top with garnish as desired (definitely add the salsa!) and enjoy!

These store really well and reheat easily for quick weekday lunches with the leftovers!

Nutrition Info (including 2 T salsa and 1 T vegan cheese alternative shreds):

388 total cal, 36g protein, 36g carb, 10g fat

 

Note:  CeceOnTheGo participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used when preparing this recipe

 

 

 

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