Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer Veggies

I have this sense lately. The feeling that I have to hurry up. Time is ticking. I said to Miles the other day that I am almost in a panic that we won't be able to run outside for very much longer. Last year I saw snow in Minnesota 8 of 12 months. I am not even kidding. I have the same sense about summer's bounty of veggies and fruit. I have to hurry up and enjoy it all while it is still in season. So when I stumbled across this recipe for stuffed tex-mex yellow squash I knew I wanted to cook it for sure!

So grab some yellow squash from the garden or your neighbor's garden or run to the store quickly while you still can and try this recipe! It was so delicious, not too spicy for the kids, and according to Faith, "The best dinner ever. Better than ham!"

Begin by washing and halving each squash lengthwise; slice a sliver from the rounded bottom if it won't sit flat. I used 4 1/2 squash because that is what fit in my dish. Leaving a 1/4 inch border, scoop out halves and reserve in a bowl. Place the squash halves skin side down in a shallow baking dish. Season with sea salt and pepper.

I have learned a little trick about scooping squash or zucchini. Your melon baller will do the best job! If you don't have one never fear a small spoon will work but will take longer. I use the big end of my melon baller to get most of the flesh out and the small end to scrape it clean.

Next chop up your left over squash. How fine is up to you. I used my Pampered Chef meat chopper to do this and it worked great. 

Now dice up one red bell pepper, and 4 green onions (reserving some green parts) and add them to your squash. Add 1 minced garlic clove and salt and pepper and mix together. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally until bell pepper begins to soften, 3-4 minutues. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1 teaspoon mild chili powder; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. (A word about tomato paste. Be a label reader. I usually would buy the one with the least amount of sugar. However that one has high fructose corn syrup and several other ingredients. So I like Muir Glen or Contadina brand because the only ingredient is tomatoes!)

I wish pictures had a smell button to click on because this was smelling so yummy!

Now add 1 pound ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. If you are really that opposed to ground turkey you can use beef or better yet stuff it with quinoa and go vegetarian! You can mix half turkey and half beef to help yourself start liking ground turkey. We were also fortunate to have grilled some sweet corn a couple weeks ago which I took off the cob and froze. I used that corn tonight which added a nice extra flavor.

This did make quite a bit of stuffing! I had about a cup leftover after stuffing my squash but no worries. I am going to put it inside a whole wheat tortilla with a little more cheese for lunch!

Now spoon the mixture into your prepared squash halves. Pat down and fill them up well. Sprinkle with more parmesan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until squash is tender. You can then uncover and bake another 7-10 minutes if you like it a little crispy. Garnish with leftover green onion. I skipped the extra uncovered cooking time because they looked delicious with the cheese just starting to melt after 30 minutes!

Faith said, "Great dinner, Mom! It tastes like lasagna."
If you don't have kids and you like a little more spice add extra chili powder or cayenne during cooking or maybe a little Frank's sauce afterwards.

Here is my dinner plate tonight. I served it with a mixed green salad, refrigerator pickles, and fresh fruit.

Oh summer goodness I wish you didn't have to end! I know my portions of winter goodness will still be good but I will miss these berries and melon when they actually taste good and the abundance of veggies that people have been sharing from their gardens. That helps my pocket book! So hurry up before time runs out on you too!

P.S. If you want to run outside with me before winter comes next week give me a call!

Here is a list of ingredients:
4-5 yellow squash
sea salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper cut in 1/4 inch dice
3-4 green onions ( reserve green portion)
1 garlic clove minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. mild chili powder
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

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