Tag Archives: squash

NaNa NaNa

Summer Squash Sauce

Summer Squash Sauce

For one of my Secret Recipe Club entries this month I did a delicious baked polenta, however I needed a topping for it.  Since I’m trying to avoid grocery shopping right now I was stuck using whatever was in my fridge: onion, garlic, squash, tomatoes, a variety of beans, a bit of yogurt, and a lot of herbs.  I decided to start throwing things together to make a thick and very colorful topping for my delicious polenta.  The resulting dish was healthy and gorgeous, and delicious enough that the next day I got a lunch time text from my hubby saying he “loved the polenta squash stuff”.

NaNa NaNa

serves 4-5


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 yellow squash, around 2 cups sliced

1 1/2 cups cannellini beans, presoaked and well-rinsed

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup water (or vegetable stock)

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5-7 minutes before adding the squash.
  2. Once the squash has started to get soft, around 10 minutes, add the beans, tomatoes, and herbs. Stir well and then add the Greek yogurt along with the water (or vegetable stock).
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season to taste and Serve!


I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt (plain) but regular dairy will probably work - or soy based!


I enjoyed this dish as is while Joe topped his with some Parmesan cheese, either way it was incredible!  I used yellow squash for this but zucchini would work just as well, and this time of year both vegetables are certainly in abundance.  As I mentioned, I served this over polenta but would also work great over brown rice or orzo.

Told Me To

Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna

Greetings!  Hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July – and is now having a great weekend.  Summer is finally starting to arrive, and the sun is finally shining.  My garden isn’t as far along as it was last year but thankfully the local farmer’s markets aren’t having those issues.  This layered treat is essentially a lasagna without the lasagna, just squash and other delicious vegetables.  I kept things nice and simple and focused on vegetables that are currently in season, also making this the perfect Simple and in Season recipe!

Vegetable Lasagna

Serves: Serves 3-4


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 vidalia onion, diced

8 basil leaves, chopped

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme

3 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 lb spinach, well washed and loosely torn

2 Zucchini, cut lengthwise

2 straight yellow squash, cut lengthwise

3 beets, grated

2 cup baby bella mushrooms, halved

2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced

1 cup ricotta, divided

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat the olive oil a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the diced roma tomatoes along with the spices. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 and lightly oil the bottom and side of a 9x9 dish
  3. Meanwhile, place a single layer of squash/zucchini and top with a quarter of the grated beet along with 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese followed by the spinach, mushrooms, and a layer of the beefsteak tomato slices. Build another layer and then top with half of the tomato sauce before making the final two layers.
  4. Top with the remaining sauce along with the grated cheeses. Cover the dish in tin foil and then bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a final 10 minutes.

I’m looking forward to doing this again in a few weeks with vegetables from my own garden but until then I’m lucky to have so many great farms just down the road.  Hopefully the sun will continue to shine and the temperatures will stay up as I can’t wait to start enjoying tomatoes and eggplant that are as local as local gets!

Empty Tables



Create a meal inspired by music – that was the assignment this week from /food52 and one I was perfectly comfortable with.  Music has always been a big part of my life, from my dancing days to singing in the choir to singing along with the radio.  Some of my earliest memories are of making up dances with sisters – complete with a doll audience and re-purposed dance costumes.  Since starting my blog I have picked song titles to go along with my recipes and occasionally have decided to cook something based on hearing a certain song.  For this challenge I wanted to do something BIG, something that would push me in some way while still remaining true to the challenge.  So I started thinking about my favorite songs, eliminating those that had already been used, and focusing on ones that really have meaning.  In the end I decided to go with a song that I first heard when I was in elementary school watching the Today show with my mom.

The 10th Anniversary cast of Les Miserables was being interviewed and while I was originally completely transfixed by Lea Salgona’s Eponine the tall, dark, and handsome (curly hair!!!) gentleman next to her was extremely distracted.  During the interview he gave a quick demo of Marius’s solo and I was sold – from that point on I was a Les Miserable fanatic.  While I have featured lyrics from On My Own before, which I was convinced was my “theme song” during High School, I decided to focus on the song that sold me on the  musical.   Marius sings “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” after realizing he is the lone survivor of his friends.   I wanted to create the type of meal that might have been served in the cafe, at that table in the corner…if the guys were vegetarian.


serves 4-5


4 tbsp EVOO, dived

1 large American Eggplant, sliced 1/2 in thick

1 green pepper, sliced 1/2 in thick

2 tsp thyme

1 tsp rosemary

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 zucchini,sliced 1/4 in thick

1 yellow squash, sliced 1/4 in thick

2 portabella mushrooms, sliced and gilled

2 tbsp red wine

14 oz can diced tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes if in season)

salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Toss the green pepper and eggplant in 2tbsp of EVOO and layer on a roasting pan. Cook for 30 minutes, turning once. Set aside
  3. Meanwhile heat the remaining EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat, along with the dried spices. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently, then add the garlic, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times to prevent sticking, then add the roasted vegetables.
  4. Add the red wine along with the tomatoes, then cover and allow dish to simmer for 20minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!


wild mushrooms - such as Italian brown - can be used in placed of the portabella for a more woodsy taste


I served this with some left over noodles and crusty bread since I didn’t want any of the sauce to escape.  This might not be the most traditional ratatouille recipe out there, but it was warm, comforting, and perfect for sharing with friends.

My Neighbor

Squash Pesto 

Time for August’s Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was assigned Amy’s blog: A Little Nosh.   I had seen Amy’s blog before but for some reason I had missed some rather key things about her.  For example her kitchen is about the same size as mine, and while I refer to mine as a “one bum, two tail” kitchen her header declares her kitchen to be a “two butt” zone.  I then noticed her CSA button, mostly because the pick-your-own farm I’ve been hitting this year is called also called Great Country Farm.  Turns out her CSA is MY pick-your-own farm.   Further investigation on her About Me page declared that she does indeed live in the Washington, DC area, so with that I found my first SRC IRL neighbor!   Once I got past the initial blog-stalking aspect of my assignment I got down to the recipes.   I was immediately drawn to her CSA Friday entries, so many delicious veggie-focused options.   She also has an entire Pinterest board dedicated to CSA recipes, one that I will be following as soon as this blog goes live.   I also explored some of her past July/August recipes which is where I found the final two contenders for this month’s SRC entry.  In the end my need to get rid of some summer squash drove my decision to go with her pesto zucchini.

Pesto Zucchini


1 large squash, julienned

1 medium zucchini, julienned

1 tbsp EVOO

1 small vidalia onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp pesto

1/2 lb favorite pasta


  1. Place the squash and zucchini in a large colander, salt, and allow to sit for 15minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile cook the pasta per instructions on the box. Before draining save 1/2 cup of the starchy water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5minutes. Add the squash/zucchini mixture and cook an additional 3minutes before adding the pesto. Mix the pesto with the vegetables and then slowly add in the reserved starchy water stirring as you go. Remove from heat and toss with the cooked pasta. Enjoy!

This dish is so amazingly versatile, it can be served as an amazing side dish or easily adapted for a pasta or pizza topping.  After much debating I decided to turn it into a pasta sauce, by adding some onion and a little bit of starchy pasta water.  To say this dish was a hit doesn’t begin to cover it.  Joe declared the pesto so good that it didn’t need extra cheese, which is the highest praise possible.  Thank you Amy for such an amazing recipe!  Let me know if you want to go pick peaches…

Wish They All

California Enchiladas

The other week I was roaming around Pinterest and saw a pin for an awesome open-faced chicken enchilada that looked amazing.  While my first inclination was to just switch the chicken tofu or chickun, I decided to take the general concept and go with it.  After further “research” I found that these open faced creations are also called California Enchiladas and decided that the time had come for me to give them a whirl.  I decided to avoid the tofu and go with some squash and also decided to make my own salsa verde in order to have more control over the heat involved.   Everything came together in record time, probably because there was nothing to roll!

Wish They All



2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and halved

1/2 cup cilantro, loosely chopped

1 jalapenos or 1 habanero pepper, halved and deseeded (optional)

1/2 sweet onion, diced

10 corn tortillas (6in)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

2 yellow squash, finely diced

2 zucchini, finely diced

1 beefsteak tomato, diced

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

sour cream (optional)

guacamole (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 475. Toss the tomatillos in the olive oil and then place on a roasting pan in a single layer. Cook for 30minutes or until outer edges are brown and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool and then place in food processor. Add the cilantro and pepper and pulse until well blended. I like mine on the chunky side but the choice is yours. Set aside (should be around 1 1/2 cups) and turn oven to 350.
  2. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper and cook for 5minutes. Add the squash and zucchini and cook for an additional 7-10minutes, or until the squash are soft and onion is transparent. Set aside
  3. Take 1/2 cup of salsa and spread on the bottom of a 10x10x4 (or more) pan. Place one layer of the tortillas (for mine this results in two rows of 2.5 tortillas).
  4. Spoon about 1 cup of the squash mixture and half of the tomatoes over the tortillas, as evenly as possible. Top with 1/2 cup of the salsa and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Add the remaining tortillas and then top with the rest of the squash, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese trying to be as even as possible.
  5. Bake for 35minutes, the cheese should be starting to brown around the edges. Serve topped with the sour cream and/or guacamole.

I wound up being really bad at being even with my squash layering which resulted in some very cheesy end pieces and an insanely deep center.  Not that it stopped any of us

Salsa verde is probably my favorite salsa out there, followed by Texas Caviar (yum!), and one of these days I’m going to remember to save the seeds from some tomatillos so that I can attempt to grow my own.   I also need to remember to save the seeds from my other vegetables so that I can cut down on next year’s gardening costs.  If anyone has any tips for drying seeds please send them my way!