I try to eat a healthy diet. Really, I do. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up eating lots of vegetables. They were just typically smothered in cheese or pork fat. I’m so happy that I now enjoy my vegetables naked or with simpler preparations. That’s not to say that… sometimes… I miss some of the old recipes.
Yellow squash might be one of my favorite vegetables. What’s your favorite veggie?
As a kid, we would sometimes have it boiled down and mashed with butter. Other times, it might find its way into a stir fry with other things from the garden. My faaaaavorite way to eat it, however, was in a cheesy squash casserole.
I was recently reorganizing my pantry as part of my pantry clean out effort, and I came across a forgotten can.
I bought these when making a green bean casserole for a holiday get together sometime back. Yes, the can has the word “New!” on it, but these are anything but. Anyway, I feel like this is a true confession of some sort. Yes. My name is Sweetie Pie, and I had a can of fried onions, that strange ingredient that shows up frequently in casseroles and at southern potluck parties, hanging out in my pantry. I decided to ignore the list of somewhat mysterious “ingredients” and whip up a lightened version of an old favorite. I can’t tell you for certain what these are really made of, but, um… I can tell you that I kind of dig them in a casserole.
Sweetie’s “Lighten Up” Squash Casserole
1 pound summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup egg beaters
2 Tbsp. skim milk
4 ounces grated light sharp cheddar (I used Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar but any cheese (reduced fat or not) would work)
1/2 cup French fried onions
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Steam the squash until it is tender. It took about 8 minutes for my slices to steam in a metal steamer basket set into a pot of boiling water.
While the squash is steaming, saute the onion in a skillet coated with cooking spray or a bit of olive oil.
Spray a 2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray and set it aside.
When the onions are tender, probably after about seven minutes of cooking, add the steamed squash to the onions and continue to cook for about three minutes. During this time, use the edge of your spatula to break up the squash and incorporate it with the onions. This will also help to dry the squash out a bit which should help to prevent a soggy casserole. Remove from the heat.
While the squash cools a bit, set aside half of the cheese and half of the onions to use as a topping. Combine the remaining half of the cheddar cheese and fried onions in a medium sized bowl along with the eggbeaters, milk, salt, pepper and spices.
Gradually add the squash and onion mixture to the egg beater mixture, stirring while you add the warm ingredients to keep the egg from scrambling.
Pour the mixture into your casserole dish, and then top it with the remaining fried onions followed by the remaining cheddar. Pop it into the oven and bake it for 35 minutes or until the egg is set and the cheese starts to brown on the top.
I divided mine into six servings.
I’ve got to get to bed, but before I go I want to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Aunt Nancy. I ate some of my homemade ice cream this evening and had a little celebration of my own in her honor. It was always so nice having my aunt and uncle close by, and I always looked forward to spending time with them in the Ozarks each summer. My brother and I would get to go swimming in nearby creeks and rock quarries, visit Branson and Silver Dollar City, pick blackberries in the woods, feed the flying squirrels and just generally have a great time at their house each summer. As the song goes…. “Thanks for the memories…” and a very happy birthday to you!
Now, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow is Friday. Woo hoo!!! Ciao for now, y’all and have a great weekend!