Tag Archive: vegetables

Zucchini Overload Bread

This is a small loaf.

Help!  I’m in zucchini overload!  The crop is really producing a lot of squash and I can’t eat it all.  We finally had a cooler day (high 86° on July 4!) and I felt a need to bake.  As children my mom always made cookies on one of those rare mid-summer rainy days.  I think it was to keep 4 children who were in the house all day from driving her crazy!  The benefits to us were wonderful.  Lots of chocolate chip, orange almond ice box and oatmeal cookies for snacks!

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread.  I made one with nuts and chocolate chips and one plain.   I made that with chocolate chips and pecans in regular sized loaf pans and took one to a friend for dinner last night.  The other I brought to work for my friends today.  The other batch I made without chocolate and pecans and took one to the sweet girls at the allergy clinic, gave one to Nelda and I guess I’ll keep the third small loaf.  I may make another batch to take to the Blog Hop til You Drop, It’s So Very Cheri and Katherine’s Favorite Things

 

Use the fine grater blade on your food processor.

 

 

 

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchinis)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • *Optional:  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until light.  Add vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients to lighten and add to the wet ingredients and blend by hand.

Prepare 2 regular loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide the batter evenly. Or use 3 small loaf pans prepared the same.

Bake at 350° for about 55-60 minutes until lightly browned on top and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.   Bake at 350° for 45 minutes for the small loaf pans.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans and immediately loosen and remove from the pans.  Wrap in foil, but don’t seal the ends while still hot.   Seal well when cooled.

This is best after resting in the foil for 24 hours.  Very moist.

*I added the chocolate chips and pecans because I wanted something a little sweeter for a dessert.  It was very good.

 

Soup, Salad and Laundry?

This week we are hopping with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (a gluten free gal!), HomesteadSimple and Haute Mom.  I am also getting ready to take this to Strut Your Stuff Saturday with the Six Sisters.  I just love them and their stuff.  You should check them out.  Such a sweet story and a fun blog with lots of great ideas.

I got a call from my son, Andy on Saturday morning.  We had planned to get together over the weekend, but I didn’t know when he might decide to come over.  His call was to ask if he could come for lunch.  Oh, and by the way, could he bring his laundry?  While I am doing his laundry he tells me he needs to go to the outlet mall to get some new jeans.  So off he goes to the mall.  He comes back with new jeans and three new shirts.  He asks me for washing details for his new clothes.  I don’t know why he asks me about those details.  I’m glad he is trying to take care of his new shirts though.

I was glad I had the chicken and fixings for a light salad, and I had the soup made up.  So lunch was a cinch to put together.  He’s been watching his weight so a full cooked meal was not necessary.  Thank goodness, because I was in the middle of mixing up some oatmeal cookies because it was a nice cool morning.  I like to bake cookies on those rare cool summer days like my momma used to do. I got them baked about 4:00PM and it had warmed up some by then.

I have enough soup and salad left over for another meal or two for me.  It should serve 4 easily.  This chicken salad would be great served on some hoagie rolls with sliced tomatoes and leaf lettuce too.   It was soup and salad for us.  It was nice.

Spicy Chicken Salad

  • ¾ * of a rotisserie chicken, diced, bones and skin removed
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • ½ medium cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Heinz Hot Relish
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, low-fat (if you like your salad a little more moist add more mayo)
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • baby spinach

*I reserved ½ the breast for another meal.  You can use an entire chicken.  Combine the chicken, cucumber, celery, onion, relish, pecans, and mayonnaise.  Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste.  Mix lightly to combine.

Store in an air tight container to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  Serve on a bed of spinach or your favorite salad greens along with a cup of the Summer Squash Soup served hot or cold.

I served Breton Multigrain crackers with the soup and salad to make it a full, cool and easy lunch.

Since I have an abundance of squash from my garden, (I guess you have figured that out by now.) I am in search of any way to use it.  This idea came from a cream soup recipe, which I adapted and made into a clear squash soup.  It is tasty and served warm is a nice addition to a salad.  I’m not to keen on cold soups, but this one might be ok.  I’m going to give it a try.  I think I have finally found a spot to grow German thyme in my garden.  Lots of things are getting that added lemony taste this summer.

Summer Squash Soup with Thyme

  • 3 tablespoons butter or Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and green parts, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds mixed summer squash (green or yellow zucchini, crookneck,      pattypan), chopped into medium pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, low fat or full fat

Heat butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add leek and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek and garlic begin to sweat but do not brown, about 5 minutes.

Add summer squash and season to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to sweat. (Do not brown.) This should take about 7-10 minutes. Add enough water so the squash is almost, but not fully, covered, about 3 cups. Cover saucepan partially and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until squash is just tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Use a hand blender to blend soup until smooth or blend soup in a blender in two batches. Blend until totally smooth (again, working in batches if using standard blender), about 1 minute. (Strain soup through fine mesh strainer if desired.)  I didn’t do this.  I like a little crunch to my soup.

Let the soup cool at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally. Transfer to refrigerator and let cool, stirring occasionally, until well chilled, about 45 minutes.

Check soup and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper.  At this point it can be served with a drop of Greek yogurt or thyme to taste.

Makes 2 quarts, serving 4 to 6.

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

I’m rather patriotic.  I tear up at the Star Spangled Banner unless some twit is singing it on tv at a football game or NASCAR.  A certain amount of dignity is required, I think.  I love 4th of July parades, fireworks displays and bands.  The Boston Pops can keep me in tears. My high school band was a very special group of students.  We all felt pride when it came to the National Anthem and our school song.  I’m going to get to be a part of that in September at a high school reunion at homecoming.  (Hanky alert!)

I had to come up with a food for the 4th and chicken is my “go to” food.  Plus it is white.  Blue potatoes.  I never thought I would cook blue potatoes, but what better opportunity to use some of those little things.  Paula and I agree – potatoes are one of our favorite foods.  These little tiny things can’t have too many carbs in them.  Red is for tomatoes and red onions.  This is a simple recipe.

Red, White and Blue Chicken Skewers

  • 1 package of chicken tenderloins cut in half or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in strips lengthwise
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large red onion, cut in 8ths
  • 8 small blue potatoes, left whole
  • Salt and pepper
  • Low-fat salad dressing or your favorite marinade

I pre-cooked the potatoes in the microwave for about 4 minutes on a glass plate. Spread  the chicken with low-fat Italian salad dressing.  You could certainly make your own dressing.  Then I used metal skewers or you can pre-soak some wooden skewers for the kabobs.

To assemble the kabobs:

  1. Onion
  2. Chicken
  3. Tomato
  4. Chicken
  5. Potato
  6. Chicken
  7. Tomato
  8. Chicken
  9. Potato

This should make 4-5 kabobs depending on the length of your skewer.  Mine were about 10” and it made 4 very full kabobs.

After assembling salt and pepper and add an additional herb.  I chose a garlic/herb seasoning with no sodium.

I put these on a hot grill and cooked for about 7 minutes on one side and about 6 minutes on the other.  Only turning once so the tomatoes don’t fall apart.  Use tongs and turn them by using a piece of the chicken to hold on to as you turn.

Additional salad dressing can be added to one side before you turn and on the other side after turning.   Remove to a platter and allow to rest while you assemble your salad.

Sunday Night Garden Supper

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Sunday Night Garden Supper

This blogging has really stirred up memories of the good food my momma used to make.  That and the bumper crop of tomatoes, squash and peppers I have this year.  Meals and Memories is what it’s all about with me some days.  Nothing is more pleasurable than picking squash, green peppers and tomatoes and then deciding what to do with them all.  Tonight it caused a walk down memory lane with my momma’s black cast iron skillet, yellow squash, corn meal, a bell pepper and onion.  Next was some pepper steak with some browned round steak, bell peppers, onions and the rest of the tomatoes I have picked this week.  My momma always had tomatoes on the window sill above her kitchen sink in various stages of ripeness.  I have a corner of my kitchen counter in the same shape.  With the heat they were all about to be too ripe.  So I diced them up and made a rich pepper steak with them.  Now if I could just get my hands on a Pecos cantaloupe I’d be perfectly fine.

It has been so hot I don’t think I’ll have too many more tomatoes for a while.  The weather man is forecasting rain, but I won’t quit watering until I see it for myself.  Probably on the 4th of July parade we will have a shower or two.

Pepper Steak

  • 1 small round steak tenderized
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups water or beef broth

Cut the meat in 1” pieces (I have mine tenderized at the butcher).  Lightly toss in flour to coat and brown in the olive oil.  I used about 2 tablespoons.  It depends on how much meat and flour you use.  Once browned on both sides remove and add the onion, bell pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan.  When they have started to soften add the tomatoes, water or broth, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

Simmer this on medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly from the flour.  You may want to thicken it a bit more with some corn starch and water.  Serve over rice.

Skillet Squash with a Corn Meal Crust

  • 3-4 medium yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • Corn meal
  • Vegetable oil

Slice the squash into bite-size slices.  Dice the bell pepper and onion into about the same size pieces.

Heat the oil in the cast iron skillet and just before adding the squash toss them in a little yellow corn meal.  This won’t form mush of a breading on the squash, but it does form a crust that browns in the skillet.  Don’t turn it until it begins to brown.

Drain on paper towel and serve on a warm plate.

Happy old fashioned eating from my memories to your table.

Dusting this one off for:

 

Pizza Haters Pizza-Fresh from the Garden

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

A Guest Post from BigSister

Can you believe The Tumbleweed Contessa doesn’t like pizza?  How does one not like pizza?  I don’t understand.  Accordingly, I keep trying to invent combinations to trick her into liking something pizza like.  Let’s see if she likes this one.  She also claims not to like goat cheese but sometimes she likes things that have goat cheese as an ingredient.  Huh?  Welcome to my world of trying to please your mother.

The beets, garlic, rosemary and arugula are fresh from my garden.  I killed my squash.  Apparently I did not get the TWC’s squash growing genes.  I got most of the other ones from her though.

Roasted Beet and Garlic Pizza Topped with Arugula Salad

  • 2 individual pizza crusts (7 inches)
  • 1 large or 2 small fresh beets-tops removed
  • 1 head of garlic top removed + 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 medium ball of fresh mozzarella (in case I lose my nerve)
  • 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese (in case I am feeling brave)
  • arugula (enough to make a salad for 2….I can’t ever figure leafy vegetable measurements)
  • 4 tablespoons of roasted walnuts
  • balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Roast the beets and garlic.  Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and put in a 375 degree oven for an hour to an hour and a half.  They are done when easily pierced with a knife.  As soon as they are cool enough to touch, peel them under running water to avoid stains in your kitchen and hands.  At the same time roast the garlic.  Slice the top off the head of garlic and place in center of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place alongside the beet(s) for about an hour.  Remove and let cool.  Leave the oven on for baking your pizza.

Slice the beets very thinly using a sharp knife or mandolin.  Holding the garlic head face down over a small bowl, squeeze the sides until the roasted cloves pop out into the bowl.  Using a fork, mash the garlic cloves to create a paste.

Make the sauce.  While the garlic and beets are roasting, create the sauce.  This is a simple infused olive oil.  Place ½ cup of olive oil, crushed red pepper, chopped rosemary plus the 4 cloves of garlic into a small pan.  Heat for 15 minutes over low heat.  Turn off heat and let sit until you are ready to assemble the pizza.

Make the toppings.  Wash and dry the arugula and tear into bite size pieces.  Also, while the garlic and beets are roasting, toast the walnuts.  Place the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat until you can smell them, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool.

To assemble:  Place the crust on a cookie sheet.  Remove the crushed garlic cloves from the oil and baste the crust generously with the oil.  Distribute the garlic paste and spread evenly between the two crusts.

Place the sliced beets on top evenly.  Sprinkle with goat cheese or lay thin slices of the mozzarella on top of the beets and crust.(As pictured below, I wanted to compare the tastes side by side.)  Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the goat cheese is puffy or the mozzarella is bubbly.   Sometimes I broil it for a minute at the end.

Remove pizzas from the oven and top with arugula and walnuts.  Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and, if you choose, leftover oil.  If not, save it for salad dressing some other time.  Serve with a knife and fork.

I am glad that I tested this before I tried it on mom.  Next time I would slice the beets even thinner (noted in the ingredients above).  The goat cheese half tasted great but so did the mozzarella so I’ll let you be the judge.  Think she’ll go for it?  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime…I am going to take this to It’s So Very Cheri’s Sunday Party.

Fresh from the Garden-Cucumber Cups

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

I am certain where I got a recipe like this one – Martha Stewart.  Over the years, I have tweaked and changed it to my taste.  I think that the original cup was a cherry tomato.  When I want a quick and refreshing little bite or plate of bites, I throw this together.  This is perfect for when the ladies come over for a glass of wine after work on Friday.

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 ear of fresh corn (Grilled and cooled for added flavor if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 oz cocktail shrimp cooked
  • the juice from 2 limes
  • salt and pepper

Peel the cucumber.  I peel it into stripes for presentation.  Cut into about 1 to 1 ½  inch thick rounds.  Scoop out the seeds and some of the meat leaving the bottom in tact to form a cup.  I used the small end of the melon baller.  Place on the serving plate and salt lightly.

Meanwhile scrape the corn from the cob into a bowl (be careful with those silky threads).  Mix in the cilantro, lime juice, corn,shrimp and salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Fill the cups and there you go.  Its fresh, light and a great treat straight from the garden.

Homage to Ouiser-Artichoke and Mushroom Stuffed Tomatoes

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

One of my favorite movies is Steel Magnolias.  I love Ouiser!  This is one of my favorite conversations involving her:

Ouiser – Tomatoes. (put’s em in Clairie’s lap)
Clairee – Don’t give these all to me!
Ouiser – Somebody’s gotta take em. I hate em. I try not to eat healthy food if I can possibly help it. The sooner my body gives out the better off I’ll be… I can’t get enough grease into my diet.
Anelle – Then why do you grow them?
Ouiser – Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!

Ain’t that true?  And what do I have?  Tomatoes.  So, today’s post is about tomatoes.  I was trying to think of something different.  What could I do with big tomatoes?  Stuff them of course!  How boring would another chicken or tuna salad be though?  Here is my attempt at creative thinking.  This was filling and tasty with the added bonus of leaving the kitchen nice and cool on a hot summer’s day.  Don’t worry if you aren’t old enough to grow tomatoes this big.  The grocery store has a fabulous selection right now.

Mushroom and Artichoke Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can of water packed artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ of a small onion finely diced
  • 1 small pepper finely diced (I used Jalapeno but Bell would work)
  • 1 cup of croutons
  • 3 tablespoons of crumbled bacon
  • 2/3 cup of cheese crumbles (I used Cheddar but blue might be good too)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of salad dressing (see recipe below or use your favorite)

Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup olive oil (I used Chipotle Olive Oil from Con’ Olio)
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Supremely Salad seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine artichokes, mushrooms,  onion, pepper, croutons, bacon, cheese, parsley and dressing.  Stir to coat and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

While the other ingredients mingle slice off the top and scoop out the inside of your big tomatoes.  I used a knife to cut out a big chunk and then I used my melon baller to get all the way through the seeds.

After an hour pack the stuffing into the two tomatoes and serve.

I thoroughly enjoyed this!  Some of the rules serve a good purpose, Ouiser.  I’ll have to watch that movie again soon.

I am dusting this one off for This Week’s Cravings on July 30th!

 

Fresh from the Garden Week-Okra Fritters

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

For This Week’s Cravings on Mom’s Crazy Cooking.

Summer is the only time to get fresh okra.  At our local farmer’s market you have to be there first to get any.  People buy it all at once!  I would share and buy just enough to cook up or maybe a little extra to freeze.  But noooo, they take it all.  This summer I am trying to grow my own.  I still won’t pass up any at the market, if I can get it.  I like it best breaded in cornmeal and pan fried.  I know that isn’t good for you, but it takes me back to my momma’s cast iron skillet fried okra and fresh Pecos cantaloupe for dinner.  Just a side for some delicious chicken fried steak and gravy.  Oh my, how good does all that sound?  I feel a cooking frenzy coming on.  I better keep writing.

These can be made with fresh or frozen sliced okra.  I have to give credit for the recipe to Paula Deen.  I have taste-tested this one with my family and it is good.  I did add the jalapenos and dipping sauce.  They just spice it up a bit, and my kids LOVE the heat.

Serve them hot with a baked brisket and a pot of beans alongside fresh sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe (icy cold).  Yummmmm!

OKRA FRITTERS WITH CHIPOTLE DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon The Lady’s House Seasoning (see below)
  • 1 cup buttermilk plus extra for thinning, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 cups okra, sliced
  • 4 fresh jalapenos finely diced, seeds in for extra heat
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Heat the oil in a cast iron Dutch oven to 350° or until a small piece of white bread toasts in the oil.

In a large bowl add flour, seasoning, buttermilk and egg. Mix well together. Add okra and jalapenos to mixture and coat.  You may need to add a bit more buttermilk to make the batter consistency easy to spoon into the oil.

Using 2 tablespoons, scoop mixture into the hot oil. Constantly flip fritters to cook and brown evenly on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Salt while still hot.  (May keep warm in a 200° oven while completing the remainder of the fritters.)

Place in a serving bowl or platter and serve hot.

A tasty sauce for dipping that I created is chipotle in adobo and mayonnaise.   Finely dice 2 chipotle peppers with the sauce and mix well with the mayo.  Make this a few hours ahead of time and let sit for the flavors to marry.

The Lady’s House Seasoning

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Garden Feast Day 2-Portabello Mushroom “Pizza”

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Today’s fresh vegetable feature is Portabello Mushroom Pizza.  What I love is picking almost all the stuff that goes with this meal from the garden.  I literally just bought the mozzarella cheese and mushrooms for dinner tonight.  You may be aware that I am a very low carb eater.  This dish makes me feel like I am eating lasagna and I don’t even miss the pasta.

I started by getting my already made pizza sauce from my first crop of tomatoes out of the freezer to defrost, then I grabbed my biggest bowl possible and headed out to the garden.  What a sight!  All of the dirt digging and bug fighting is worth it.  I picked lettuce, dill (I love a little fresh dill in my field greens), tomato and cucumber for a salad and grabbed some fresh basil for garnish.  I quickly snipped a few early okra and pulled up the last of my onions.  I did a thorough bug check on the tomato plants, then I hurried back to the air conditioning.  No way was I going back out into that heat today.  Grill pan it is!

Portabello Mushroom “Pizza”

  • 4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 8 Tablespoons of pizza sauce
  • Mozarella cheese 4 slices or 1 1/3 cups shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ cup torn basil for garnish

Pre-heat the grill pan over medium high heat and baste with olive oil.

Gently pull out the mushroom stems and scoop the gills from the inside of the mushroom using a spoon.  Slather the mushrooms with olive oil and place face down on the grill pan.  Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are starting to flatten as the moisture cooks off.  Flip and cook for another 5 minutes to lightly char the top of the mushroom.  Flip one more time for just a minute to cook off the last of the moisture.  Remove from grill pan and place top-side down on a baking sheet or broiler pan.

Assemble the “pizza” by topping each mushroom with two tablespoons of sauce and a slice or 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Then slip into the oven and broil until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Top with torn basil to garnish and serve.

 

Fresh From the Garden Week!

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Welcome to our first harvest from the garden and a week’s worth of vegetable recipes.

Almost too pretty to eat….ALMOST!

 

First up, an old family favorite made just for kids that don’t like vegetables.

There is nothing like making a dish that takes you back to good times.  As I was in the garden foraging for squash hidden in between the giant leaves I was thinking about this casserole.  I picked almost three pounds of squash and a pound of peppers this morning.  I weighed it just to be sure.  Amazing!  I plant squash almost every spring.  Sometimes I get beautiful plants and blooms, but never a squash.  This year, for some reason, the plants are huge and are loaded with squash!

Now what to do with it?  I could make zucchini bread, grate it and serve it in place of spaghetti, or chop it and freeze it, but I want a taste of it now.  So I think the Summer Squash Casserole is my best bet.

Amy, my middle child, doesn’t like “squishy feeling” food.  No tomatoes, squash, jello, most fruits….  You get the idea.  So in the summer when the squash was coming on I had to figure out some way to get her to eat some.  (My children weren’t picky eaters.)  So I called this Cracker Casserole and Amy would eat it when she was little.  I bet we can’t fool her any more.

Happy summer gardening and cooking!

Cracker Casserole (with squash) aka Summer Squash Casserole

  • 3 medium yellow squash*, halved length-wise, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium, low fat
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used saltines)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray with non-stick spray an 8-inch square baking dish.

Bring the squash, onion, bell pepper, thyme, and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid.  Add enough water to almost cover the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates a little and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a collender.  At this point I mash the squash a little with a fork.  Transfer back to pan.

Stir in the cream of chicken soup, 2 tablespoons butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can dress this up with any cracker crumbs.  You can substitute cheese for the cracker crumbs and butter as a topping. This is a very versatile recipe.  Make it to your taste.  Maybe I’ll skip the carbs and add the cheese for my dish.

Bake until the juices are simmering around the edges and the top is crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

*You can use zucchini squash too.