Summer Squash

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Summer Squash!

 Yellow squash and zucchini are one of the first signs of summer bounty, and in our area, you can almost always rely on a bumper crop of summer squash, of course sautéed with butter and onions is a traditional favorite, but there are so many more ways to use the healthy vegetables!

Choosing your squash and zucchini; Select yellow squash and zucchini less than eight inches long; they can become bitter the larger the plants grow. Make sure the squash are firm, particularly at the stems, and have bright skins.

Storing squash and zucchini:  Refrigerate yellow squash and zucchini, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer.

Refrigerator life;  Summer squash and zucchini will generally last three to five days for peak freshness.

To freeze summer squash and zucchini; For best results freeze squash and zucchini as soon after picking as possible. Wash thoroughly, and cut off ends. Chop or slice in rounds, however, you plan to use when thawing. Blanch in small batches for three minutes in boiling water, then transfer into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Cool and drop into a freezer bag, my tip is to lay out flat onto a nonstick sprayed or parchment paper covered cookie sheet, freeze, then bag, this will keep your slice or chopped shape better. (I use this same freezing method for strawberries and blueberries as well).

 Super versatile when cooking and eating; You can eat summer squash grilled, roasted, steamed, or raw. A bumper crop of squash can challenge the inventiveness of the most dedicated cook. Try these tasty summer veggies in pasta dishes, soup recipes, and more.

Quick and Easy Sauteed Squash and Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 large fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet, cast iron is perfect.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add the zucchini and squash to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato, garlic, salt, basil, pepper, and stir well. Continue cooking stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the squash has softened.
  5. Optional: Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Squash Casserole, Lightened Up

Ingredients

3 pounds yellow squash

  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (8-oz.) container light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
  • 1/2 cup crushed French fried onions
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut squash into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a Dutch oven. Add onion, 1 tsp. salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes; drain well, and pat squash dry with paper towels.
  2. Stir together grated carrots, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl; fold in squash mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-qt. oval baking dish.
  3. Stir together cornflakes and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over squash mixture.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 10-12, each serving contains; Calories 139, Fat 7 g, Protein 4 g, Carbohydrate 15 g,

Fiber 4 g, Cholesterol 9 mg, Sodium 586 mg, Calcium 38 mg.

Zucchini Chicken Enchilada

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 1/3 cups red enchilada sauce, divided
  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • Sour Cream, for topping
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and some salt. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, shredded chicken, and 1 cup of the red enchilada sauce. Stir until well combined.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin slices of zucchini. On a clean surface, lay out 4 slices of zucchini, slightly overlapping each other. Add 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top. Roll up, and carefully transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken mixture and thin-sliced zucchini. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce.
  3. Sprinkle with the shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.,
  4. Top with sour cream and cilantro.

Serves 12, each serving contains;Calories 154, Fat 7 g, Protein 17 g, Carbohydrate 6 g,

Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 41 mg, Sodium 245 mg.

Parmesan Roasted Yellow Squash

Ingredients

  • 3 -4 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 ½ tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and lightly spray a sheet pan or cookie sheet.
  2. Arrange sliced squash in a flat layer on the pan and spray with olive oil. (Or use Olive oil non-stick spray).
  3. Combine the Parmesan cheese, panko, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle over the squash and roast on a sheet pan for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese before serving if desired.