Zillions and Zillions of Zucchini!
“Zucchinis terrific! Like bunnies prolific!” Author unknown
It’s that time of the year again, when summer squash are the size of baseball bats and everyone is running around trying to figure out what to do with it all. One of the smashingly cool things about summer squash is the versatility of this player on the ball field. It can add depth to baked goods, be eaten raw, spark up a salad, or be added to any dish, anyway.
This humble vegetable is a star player in the nutrient game. Summer squash is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and a very good source of magnesuim, Vit A, fiber, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Many of these nutrients have been linked to preventing heart disease, high blood pressure and reducing cholesterol. This pedestrian summer squash is also a heavy hitter in reducing your chance of colon cancer, and reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. On top of all that, they have been found to reduce symptoms of enlarged prostate gland in men. I love this vegetable, it is easy to grow, chocked full of nutrients, delicious and has hardly any calories! How can you go wrong!?
A few ideas for using your squash
- Grate some up and add it to your salads or sandwiches.
- Cut up some summer squash and serve with your favorite low fat dip
- Slice the squash long ways, about a ¼” thick and grill on the BBQ
- Cut into slices about a ¼” thick, dip in milk, then dried WW bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and a tad of salt and pepper then bake in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes, serve hot
- Use as a baseball bat in a game of T-Ball
One of my twin daughters came home this week and we filled the kitchen with everything summer squash you can imagine. We made bread, chips, BBQed and whatever else we could think up. The following recipe was a smashing hit and a bit different than the normal squash recipes. It was inspired from a recipe given to me by a dear friend, Kathleen Moore.
Summer Vegetable Strata
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 -4 cloves of garlic, diced
2 to 3 teaspoons of cumin
1-2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano
2 -5 dashes of your fav hot sauce
3 to 4 summer squash, cut into rounds
2 bell peppers, whatever color, diced or use
3-4 tomatillos cut into rounds
1 can of diced green chilies, 7 oz
4 hard cooked eggs (optional
6 to 8 corn tortillas, cut into wedges
2 cups of fat free sour cream
4 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of shredded lower fat cheddar cheese
1 can of black beans, rinsed well
19 oz can of green chili enchilada sauce
Bring out the largest skillet or wok you have, and heat the oil in it on medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook while stirring until fragrant. Add all the spices and hot sauce and cook a bit more. Toss in all the veggies, reduce heat a bit, stirring it often and good luck trying to keep vegetables from escaping. Cook until veggies are just tender, about 5 minutes then add the can of green chilies. Set aside and get ready to layer all your goodies into a 13 x 9 baking dish.
Mix the flour into the sour cream then spray the dish with cooking spray. Layer the bottom of the pan with the corn tortilla wedges, then add a layer of the veggies, next layer in half the sour cream mix and pour half the can of the enchilada sauce on that. Then add a layer of black beans followed by the rest of the sour cream. Start all over again with the tortillas, veggies, sour cream, and black beans. Top with one more layer of tortillas wedges and the last half of the enchilada sauce. Slice the eggs up and arrange on the masterpiece, top all that with the one cup of cheese and bake till bubbly and cheese is all melty, about 25 minutes.