Inventors are amazing. When I'm irked by something, I whine and complain about it. If I do think up a solution, it's so impractical it's laughable. Case in point: getting stuck behind a semi going 35 mph on a freeway onramp. Frustration! Solution? Transporters. Like in Star Trek. Why don't we have them??
Clearly I do not have an inventor's brain. And inventor is someone who looks at a problem and then thinks through the steps to a solution. And then takes those steps to improve their life and the lives of countless others.
A friend of mine, Nicolas, is a fanatic about Mexican food. His deep and abiding passion in life is tacos. And Elvis. But that's another post. Back to the tacos. He loves tacos, but was always frustrated with them. Taco shells that shatter when you bite into them? Lame. It's eating taco salad with your hands.
And really, what is the heart of Mexican food? The reason we love to go to Mexican restaurants? I mean, besides the margaritas. The cheese, of course! Melted, gooey cheese. The more the better! Where in a typical homemade taco is that ooey gooey delight? You don't get it. By the time you sprinkle your cheese over your cooked meat, the meat is too cold to melt the cheese. Fail!
Such were the ruminations of Nicolas as he worked on a job at a factory that used a laser to cut steel. The light bulb moment hit. Aha! Cut steel into a shape that would hold a taco and then you could bake the taco, melt the cheese, and have peace on earth in our time! Well, maybe not that last one, but you could definitely have a happier dinner table.
Nicolas send me a Taco Rack, his invention, to try and I was super impressed with the craftsmanship (made in America!). It's sturdy stainless steel, so it's good for a lifetime. It's dishwasher safe, which makes it a win in my house. And, bonus, it comes apart to store flat in a drawer! I love that!
I took my Taco Rack to my sister's house to make tacos. (She eats grains, plus her house is way cleaner than mine.) We tried both corn and flour shells, prebaking to crisp, filling with cooked, grass-fed ground beef and cheese, and then baking to make the cheese melt and the heart sing. OMG, what a difference a baking makes. When I packed up to head home my niece was happily chomping one one of them.
At home, I made the GAPS version. My daughter helped me to dream these up and I named them. They're like little canoes of food. Made from zucchinis. Zucanoes. What do you think?
Start with smaller zucchinis. You can't use the end of season baseball bats here because they need to fit on the Taco Rack. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut a V-shaped wedge out of the top of the zucchini, leaving the ends alone. If you cut all the way through, they'll leak. Save your wedges for soup, stir-fries, or to eat with dip. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Discard the seeds.
Put the Taco Rack on the cookie sheet and place the zucchinis on the taco rack. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 min. (The bake time depends on the size of the zucchinis. You want them crisp/tender)
Cook Italian sausage and stuff the zucchinis 2/3 full with sausage. Sprinkle generously with grated GAPS-legal cheese. Return to the oven and bake till the cheese is nicely melted.
Remove from the oven, top with your choice of fresh toppings. I used chopped tomatoes and drizzled sour cream over them. They were amazingly good!
Now, to reward you for making it to the bottom of the post, a giveaway!
Because he is kind and generous, Nicolas offered to share the joy of oven-baked tacos with one of my US readers. Leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway drawing. If you mention the Taco Rack giveaway with a link on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, come back and leave another comment letting me know that for extra entries. I'll do a drawing on Friday and let you know who the lucky winner is!