The Very Versatile Squash

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It’s squash season, and there is no more versatile vegetable this time of year, there are numerous varieties and it’s taste and texture can be adapted to many different types of recipes!! No matter the way you like to eat and prepare your squash, this spring and summer veggie packs a load of health benefits.

Squash is low in calories, only about 36 calories in a cup, and yellow squash is said to be a brilliant source for Vitamin C, A and Magnesium, great for eye health too! Much research shows that squash provides antioxidants that aid in the prevention of cancer as well as promoting heart and colon health!

From Italian to Greek and just regular Southern give these recipes a try! Try these Heart Healthy Recipes!!

Saucy Squash Skillet

1 Tbsp. oil

1 pkg.-smoked sausage (kielbasa, etc.)

1 yellow summer squash (I used crookneck)

2 smallish zucchini

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes

1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1-2 cups frozen corn

1-2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Quarter and slice zucchini and squash.

Sauté zucchini, squash, and onion in oil until tender.

Add sausage (cut in half, and sliced) tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, corn, and seasoning.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chicken Squash Bake

(This recipe is low carb and a kid friendly way to serve squash with great results)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut into about 4 strips (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
Garlic salt
Lemon pepper seasoning
10 cups yellow squash, washed and sliced 1/4-inch thick (cut large slices in half as well)
6 ounces fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces deli thin slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and place chicken inside. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and lemon pepper; turn chicken over and sprinkle other side with seasonings also. Cover dish with foil and bake for 60 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

After about 30 minutes of baking time has passed, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large stock pot. Sauté squash in butter until tender.

Add remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot, and add spinach leaves. Cook and stir just until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and toss with just a little salt.

Take the dish of chicken from the oven, uncover, and spoon the squash mixture over the chicken. Place slices of cheese on top, enough to make a thin layer over the vegetables.

Broil (uncovered) for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Spicy Squash Pickles

3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3/4 pound yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion (such as Vidalia)

1 cup water

1 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Arrange zucchini and squash slices on rack; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse well under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Place zucchini, squash, and onion in a medium glass bowl.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water, and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, and pour over vegetables. Weigh down vegetables with a plate. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain or serve with a slotted spoon.

Serves 12, each serving contains; Calories 13, Fat 0.1 g, Protein 0.7 g, Carbohydrate 2.8 g,

Fiber 0.7 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 38 mg.

Basil, Spinach and Tomato Toss

3 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

1 cup water

2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces uncooked whole-grain rotini pasta

2 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup), divided

1 large yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup chopped tomato

1 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Bring stock, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt to a boil in a large skillet. Add pasta; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender. Remove pasta to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Return cooking liquid to a boil; cook 13 minutes or until reduced to about 2/3 cup. Stir in 1/3 cup of the cheese; cook 1 minute, stirring until smooth.

While sauce reduces, heat another skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add yellow squash; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooking liquid, yellow squash, tomato, zucchini, and juice to pasta; toss. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and basil.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 380, Fat 15.7 g, Protein 19 g, Carbohydrate 48 g,

Fiber 7 g, Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 669 mg.

Summer Squash, Bacon and Mozzarella Quiche

Crust: (disclaimer, I generally buy a ready made pie crust)

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup ice water

Cooking spray

Filling:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices yellow squash

2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices zucchini

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 large egg whites

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor, and pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter and shortening; pulse 4 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With food processor on, add ice water through food chute, processing just until the mixture is combined (do not form a ball). Press mixture into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap, and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp flat surface. Unwrap and place chilled dough on plastic wrap. Cover dough with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can easily be removed. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap, and fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap from dough. Fold edges under, and flute. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with fork. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, shallots, and thyme; sauté for 5 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently. Cool the squash mixture slightly.

Combine 1 cup reduced-fat milk and the next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Arrange squash mixture evenly over crust, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

Serves 8, each serving contains: Calories 265, Fat 14.1 g, Protein 11.2 g, Carbohydrate 22.4 g,

Fiber 1.2 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Sodium 556 mg.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Aug 15, 2016
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