Well, not literally… but I did just harvest my first squash from the new community garden at work. The facilities team built a fenced-in garden with one above-ground plot for each department. It’s a wonderful job perk, and one that really helps me out, since I have an apartment with no ground space to grow veggies and very little sun on my porch. So far, I am growing yellow squash, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, basil, mint, parsley, okra, and chives. This is my very first garden!
In honor of my squash harvest, I decided to make a meal around squash fritters. I found a squash fritter recipe at This Primal Life that I heavily modified to make the patties more colorful and crunchy.
Squash Fritters with Creamy Dill Sauce
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 fresh ear of corn kernels
- 1 tsp Lowry’s seasoned salt (or regular salt)
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 1 tbsp. water (as egg replacer)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp. chives, chopped fine
- dash chili powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- dash pepper
- 1/4 c. coconut oil for frying
- 1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Vegenaise
- 1 tbsp. dill
- splash apple cider vinegar
Combine sauce ingredients in a small dish and mix well. Refrigerate until fritters are ready.
Wash the squash and zucchini, chop off the ends of each, and grate through a cheese grater. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and let sit for 10 minutes. If you have a cheesecloth, drain the grated squash through it, otherwise, do like I did and squeeze the squash with your hands to drain it. There was quite a bit of water, and you want to get out as much as you can. You can use a clean washcloth or napkin to press more water out. Next, heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. As the oil is heating, combine the grated squash in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients (green onions, bell pepper, corn, flaxseed mixture, garlic, parsley, chives, chili powder, flour, and pepper). Mix thoroughly with a spoon. Once the oil is hot, use your hands to make patties about three inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the fritters one at a time on the end of a spatula or slotted spoon and carefully drop into the oil. My fritters took about 3 or 4 minutes to brown nicely on the bottom. Once they are browned, turn them over with the spatula and fry another 2 or 3 minutes. Drain on a clean kitchen towel. Drizzle with dill sauce when ready to eat.
To accompany my fritters, I made quinoa, steamed kale, and black bean chili from a PCRM database recipe. The meal was outstanding if I do say so myself. I’m looking forward to more yummy squash meals from my garden.
I hadn’t planned on making anything festive for Cinco de Mayo, but when I got home from work, I had an extreme hankering for Mexican fare and mango margaritas. Have I mentioned how much I love Williams-Sonoma’s margarita mixes? They come in pineapple, lemon-lime, and mango. I’ve been making mine with added frozen fruit like strawberries, pineapple and peaches, and blending to creamy consistency. My taco idea turned out great, and since there is no added cheese or sour cream, these are a pretty healthy and satisfying meal.
Spinach and Sweet Potato Tacos:
- 1 sweet potato, baked (I poked holes in mine and threw it in the microwave for about seven or eight minutes)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 1 15 oz can fat free vegetarian refried beans, warmed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 6 corn or flour tortillas, taco size
- Salsa (I used my favorite, Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa)
Heat about 1/4 cup of water on medium in a large frying pan on stove top. Add chopped onion and sauté for about five minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add spinach, stir, and sauté another two minutes. Scoop sweet potato out of its skin, chop into 1-inch cubes, and add to spinach and onion. Add cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder, and stir again. Heat another pan on medium-low, and place one tortilla flat in the middle of the pan. Scoop a layer of refried beans down the center, then top with spinach-sweet-potato-onion mixture. Fold over one side of the tortilla to make a taco, and heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, flipping with a spatula. Transfer taco to a plate and top with salsa. This recipe yields six tacos.
I’m an eggplant fiend, and I used to make eggplant parmesan for special occasions, layering eggplant with mozzarella and marinara like a lasagna. But the process of slicing the EP, dredging, battering, and frying in oil can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not in the mood.
I found this purple box of Dominex EP cutlets in the frozen foods section at Fresh Market, and snatched it up. I decided to try them on hoagie rolls with marinara and sauteed spinach, garlic and onions. Delicious! They might be even better with some Daiya mozzarella on top, but I don’t think it’s necessary. This makes a very hearty, filling, and quick meal. Perfect for a weeknight when you’re starving and want a fast hot “diner” dinner. Here’s a pic of my sandwich: