Tag Archives: vegetable

Squash Casserole

Yellow squash is one of those vegetables I have loved since I was a kid. My mom would saute the squash with plenty of onions and bacon fat to make a simple side dish. I still like making yellow squash this way although I have cut down on the bacon fat and salt pork my mom used.

The other day I saw someone making a squash casserole on a cooking show which involved crackers, mayonnaise and sour cream. I liked the idea of a casserole but using such rich and high calorie ingredients was too much for me. Instead, I decided on ingredients that were a bit lower in fat content yet tasty and surprised even me.

The real surprised was my taste tester son who said “This is good mom”. I wasn’t sure he would like the squash since he was giving me the side eye while I was slicing it up. When he asked what was for dinner and I said Squash Casserole T did not have an excited look on his face. The only response was humph.

I am going to categorize this as a quick an easy dish. The hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the casserole to finish cooking in the oven. Before and after that piece of the process is easy peasy. With summer upon us and the bounty of squash at the local grocers and farmer’s markets, Squash Casserole is a repeat dish in our house!

Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

2 yellow squash sliced

2 zucchini squash sliced

2 eggs beaten

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ small red onion diced

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp grape seed oil or olive oil

1 tbsp Kosher salt

½ tbsp ground black pepper

½ tbsp dried oregano

½ tbsp dried basil

½ tsp onion powder

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter and grape seed oil in a large no-stick frying over medium heat. Add red onion and saute for approximately 1 minute. Add squash and season with salt, ground black pepper and onion powder. Stir and saute until squash slightly softens. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together eggs, oregano, basil and cheeses (reserve some cheese to sprinkle on top of casserole). Add squash and onions then stir until well mixed. Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the center is set and topping has turned light golden brown.

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Eggplant with Crispy Parmesan Cheese

A steak, pork chop or chicken might be the star of the show on a plate but all stars need a co-star to be truly successful.

Thinking of new side dishes isn’t always easy. Sometimes it depends on what vegetables are in season or it may be as simple as what is in the refrigerator. On the day I decided to make Eggplant with Crispy Parmesan Cheese I just happened to have an eggplant calling my name and begging to be created into something delicious. I didn’t want to turn it into a casserole or a stew so I settled on baking the eggplant.

I like easy and this recipe is just that… easy. There is not a lot of fuss when all you need to do is slice the eggplant and mix together a cheesy topping. Since my sons are learning how to cook a little more I think I will pass this recipe on to them to impress the women in their lives.

Eggplant with Crispy Parmesan

Ingredients:

1 medium sized eggplant

½ cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp smoked paprika

salt

cracked black pepper

olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, oregano, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Slice eggplant into ½ inch rings. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Top each slice of eggplant with the cheese topping and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked and topping is brown and crispy.

 

 

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Riced Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts

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As she often does, my daughter turned me on to a new food I had never tried or heard of before. This time it was riced cauliflower. When she first told me about it I thought it was some kind of rice that had been processed out of dried cauliflower. So, when I asked one of the folks at Trader Joe’s if they had it riced cauliflower they said no based on my description. My daughter said it could be hard to find so I was not really surprised when Trader Joe’s looked but could not find it among the rice and pasta nor in the freezer section. Of course, when I told D about my trip to Trader Joe’s she put me on the right path and let me know that riced cauliflower isn’t really rice. Instead, the fresh cauliflower is “riced” and cut down to resemble rice. On my next trip to Trader Joe’s I found riced cauliflower in the fresh vegetable section.

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Cauliflower is plentiful in the warmer months and is great in salads and soups. I decided to create a different kind of recipe for my cauliflower by pairing it with brussel sprouts. Hence, my Riced Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts recipe. If I do say so myself the dish was pretty tasty on the first try. One thing to remember when preparing cauliflower is to not overcook it. I learned the hard way just how mushy cauliflower can get if you cook it too long. Riced cauliflower cooks even quicker than cauliflower florets so this is definitely a quick and easy recipe to make.

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For my vegetarian friends this recipe is wonderful as both a side dish or a main course (just leave out the bacon). I had a nice sized bowl of Riced Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts for lunch which was quite filling all by itself. The next time you are searching for a new cauliflower recipe take a chance on making Riced Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tastes.

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Riced Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts

 Ingredients:

1 16 oz pkg of riced cauliflower

6 – 8 brussel sprouts sliced thin

2 shallots sliced thin

2 slices bacon cubed

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cracked black pepper

¼ tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp garlic powder

juice from ¼ of a lemon

Place bacon in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Brown bacon until crisp then drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Drain off all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat. Reduce heat to medium then add shallots and brussel sprouts. Cook until slightly softened. Add riced cauliflower and stir to mix. Sprinkle with bacon (reserve enough bacon to garnish dish). Cook cauliflower until tender but slightly al dente. Top with reserved bacon.

Bon Appetit!

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