Friday, July 29, 2011

Healthier Summer Squash Casserole

   It's that time of year again. Squash season. Last year I blanched and froze my squash. It turned out way to mushy/watery for my taste, so this year I decided to make and freeze some sort of prepared dish. I searched high and low for a good "healthy" squash casserole recipe on the web and came up with nothing, so I've created my own version and think that it's mighty tasty. I will definitely be freezing a bunch of these to enjoy throughout the year.
Healthier Squash Casserole
2 med summer squash, sliced (you can do half zucchini as well)
1/4 C organic Butter softened
1/2 T Honey
1/2 C chopped white onion
1 egg
1/2 C plain nonfat organic yogurt
1/2 C organic shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C whole wheat panko bread crumbs (you can use your imagination on this. crushed crackers or cereal would be fine too)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C flaxmeal
optional: 1/2 c crushed pecans, 1/2 c shredded carrots
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add squash and cook til tender (about 5 min). Drain well.
3. Place squash in mixing bowl and mash well
4. Add butter, onion, yogurt, egg, honey, salt & pepper, cheese, and if using, carrots & nuts to mixture.
5. Transfer mixture into a greased 1 quart casserole dish
6. mix bread crumbs and flax together then spread on top of mixture
7. bake 40 min @350 degrees

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pesto Presto

   I don't know about you, but I've got loads of Basil coming up and I couldn't be happier about it. The best way to facilitate a healthy long producing plant is to harvest regularly. During peak season I harvest about every other week (sometimes more) and make a huge batch of pesto.
   Since canning at room temp isn't a recommended storage method, I freeze "pesto cubes." Once frozen I pop them out of the tray and put into a freezer food storage bag. This holds a lot of pesto cubes, but doesn't take too much space. Enjoying garden pesto in the midst of a long winter gives you a taste of the spring that lies ahead. Here's my tried and true pesto recipe:

Pesto Presto
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Cups Basil
3T Pinenuts (due to cost, and nut allergy concerns, I omit and it's still delish. May sub walnuts)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 C EVOO
1/2 C Parmesean
Mix everything but the parmesean in blender until smooth. Add parmesean and mix in.
Pesto Ready to Freeze