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Splendid Squash

by Jacqueline Dunnington


Squash, a word of Native American origin from the Narragansett
area in Rhode Island, is a member of the flowering Cucurbitaceae
family, which includes gourds, pumpkins, cucumbers, and some
melons.  Popular summer squash varieties include crookneck,
pattypan, and zucchini.  The most frequently available winter
squash are acorn, hubbard, honey delight, and turban.

Each of the following recipes feature a different gourmet treat.

GOLDEN SQUASH DIP
(Serves 8)

A union of native squash with an exotic Middle Eastern dish called
baba ghanoush.

1 pound any yellow summer squash
1 medium eggplant
2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame butter)
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 large garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Salt to taste 
1 teaspoon olive oil 
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

Scrub (don't peel) squash and cut into olive-size cubes. 
Steam squash, drain, cool, and lightly mash to a coarse
consistency.  Pour into a serving dish.
     Meanwhile, pierce eggplant skin in at least twenty places
with a fork.  Broil eggplant in a fire-proof pan set about
six inches from flame.  Turn eggplant until uniformly browned. 
(This takes at least 30 minutes.)  Cool eggplant, slit
lengthwise, and spoon out interior pulp into bowl containing mashed
squash.  Combine well and slowly add tahini, sesame seeds, garlic, 
lemon or lime juice, and salt.  Chill dip.  Drizzle cooled dip
with oil and garnish with parsley before serving.  
     This dip keeps well if refrigerated. 
Serve with pita bread or crackers.

Total Calories Per Serving: 65  
Fat: 4 grams  

SPINACH-STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
(Serves 4)

Serve this delicious dish with brown rice. 

2 large acorn squash
Salt and pepper to taste
4 teaspoons oil 
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup dried currants
Generous dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Halve squash width-wise, remove
stem, and discard seeds.  Sprinkle cavities with salt and
pepper.  Place a teaspoon of oil and a teaspoon  of water in
each cavity.  Set in deep, oven-proof dish. 
Surround with 2 inches of water, cover, and bake at 375 degrees
for 40 minutes or until squash is soft.  
While squash bakes, saute onion until clear in 1 teaspoon of oil.
Remove squash from pan, cool, spoon pulp into a mixing bowl,
making sure to leave some flesh on shell sides.  Mix squash
pulp, sauteed onions, spinach, wheat germ, and currants.  Add
seasoning to mixture. 
Refill squash shells with mixture and set in baking pan.  
Reheat until piping hot.

Total Calories Per Serving: 308   
Fat: 8 grams  

CALABACITAS SOUTHWESTERN STYLE
(Serves 5)

A favorite dish served throughout the Mexican-American border
states. (Calabacita is squash in Spanish.)

1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, seeded and minced 
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon corn oil
1 cup corn kernels removed from cob
2 pounds crookneck squash, chopped
One 4-ounce can green chilies or 4 
     roasted chilies, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup hot water
Salt to taste

     In a large, deep skillet, saute onion, red pepper, and garlic
in oil.  Add corn and cook until uniformly browned.  Meanwhile
scrub squash and sliver.  Carefully cut chilies into long thin
strips.  Add squash and chilies to skillet along with water and
salt. 
     Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes.  Serve
with hot tortillas. 

Total Calories Per Serving: 98   
Fat: 3 grams  


TWO SQUASH BAKE 
(Serves 4)

Two varieties of squash mingle in a flavorful casserole.

1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oil
3 cups shredded raw zucchini and yellow 
     squash of choice
1 cup shredded raw carrots
1 cup shredded raw red potatoes,   
     unpeeled
Pinch of crushed dried oregano
Salt to taste 
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Saute onion and garlic in oil
until brown.  Meanwhile shred squash, carrots, and
potatoes into large bowl.  Mix well, adding seasonings. 
Oil a 2-quart (deep not wide) baking dish with cover.  Pack half
of the shredded raw vegetables into the dish.  Press down with
a wooden spoon and top with half the onions and half the wheat
germ.  Repeat this layer.  
     Bake covered at 400 degrees for at least 30 minutes and
uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.  (Add a bit of hot 
water if too dry.)  Serve with crusty whole wheat bread.

Total Calories Per Serving: 151   
Fat: 3 grams  


OVEN-ROASTED SQUASH
(Serves 4)

This is an extremely versatile recipe.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, well 
     crumbled
1 pound small red potatoes, unpeeled
1-1/4 pounds squash: zucchini, small 
     pattypan, summer and/or crookneck 
     (try to combine at least two
     varieties)
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour oil and
seasonings into a plastic bag.  Add raw, unpeeled potatoes, cut
into chunks the size of extra-large ripe olives, followed by
squash cubed twice as large as the potatoes along with onion
chunks.  Coat vegetables with oil and herbs.  Spread in
flat baking pan about 12-inch X 8-inch and roast uncovered at 400
degrees for 30  minutes.  Increase oven temperature to
450 degrees, stir vegetables again to assure uniform
cooking, and continue roasting until brown (this will take about
20 minutes longer). 

Total Calories Per Serving: 175   
Fat: 7 grams  


CREOLE PATTYPAN SQUASH
(Serves 4)

A New Orleans treat.

8-10 baby pattypan squash (about 5-inch 
     diameter)
1-1/2 cups water 
1 large white onion, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1 cup crushed cooked tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly-chopped parsley
Large dash of Tabasco Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups pre-cooked brown rice
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

Cut squash into small wedges (size of orange segments) and
simmer in a deep pot with water to cover (about 1-1/2 cups),
onion, and bay leaf.  When done to desired softness, drain
squash, reserving liquid, and discarding bay leaf. Mash mixture
with a fork and pour into a serving dish.  Add tomatoes,
parsley, seasonings, more liquid if needed, and finally the
rice. Stir well, re-heat, and serve on dish garnished with
parsley.  This dish is great with a steamed green vegetable.

Total Calories Per Serving: 153   
Fat: 1 gram  

This article originally appeared in the September/October 1994
issue of the _Vegetarian_Journal_, published by:

      The Vegetarian Resource Group
      P.O. Box 1463
      Baltimore, MD  21203
         (410) 366-VEGE

WHAT IS THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP?
Our health professionals, activists, and educators 
work with businesses and individuals to bring about 
healthy changes in your school, workplace, and community. 
Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the 
development of nutrition-related publications and answer 
member and media questions about vegetarian diets.  
The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit
organization.  Financial support comes primarily from 
memberships, contributions, and book sales.

The contents of this article, as with all The Vegetarian 
Resource Group publications, is not intended to provide 
personal medical advice.  Medical advice should be obtained 
from a qualified health professional.

For questions or comments on this article, please contact 
Bobbi Pasternak at bobbi@vrg.org. This article may be 
reproduced for non-commercial use intact and with credit 
given to The Vegetarian Resource Group.  



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