Seasonal Eats: Chayote Squash

standard October 3, 2016 Leave a response

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Fall is the time of year when summer squash still abounds in gardens and supermarket shelves. Yet pumpkins and butternuts and all the glorious winter squash start to make an appearance as well. Mixed in there you also find chayote, spaghetti squash, and a few other oddball varieties.

Chayote is an interesting squash; most people have never heard of it, it looks almost like a pear, and it has very little flavor on its own, so you can season it to fit almost any cuisine. It can add texture and fiber to almost any dish, and you can swap it in for zucchini or summer squash in most recipes.

Nutrition:

One medium-sized squash contains 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 0 g fat, and almost 40 calories. With minimal sugar content and a moderate amount of fiber, chayote makes an excellent low-calorie addition to a recipe or meal.  These interesting vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, manganese, and zinc. With almost 50% DV folate, chayote is a terrific food for pregnant women and new mothers.

Benefits:

Since this small, strange squash contains so many vitamins and minerals for so little calories and bulk, it is an easy way to add nutrition to your diet. The fiber aids in fullness and weight loss. Folate aids in heart health and stroke prevention, as well as fetal development. And there is some evidence that chayote can even help with bloating kidney stones, and acne control.

Recipes:

Swap chayote into one of your favorite squash recipes or give one of these a try this Fall:

 

Sources:
Chayote, fruit, raw. USDA Food and Nutrient Database. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2919?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=chayote&ds=

 

Roasted Summer Veggie Gratin

standard July 15, 2015 Leave a response

The best of any summer recipe is all the ripe, bright flavors melding together. Whether raw in a salad, steamed as a side dish, or roasted with tons of herbs and spices, there is nothing better than summer produce piled on a plate. This dish is no exception. I used what I had in my CSA delivery, but green beans, eggplant, potatoes or any other seasonal combination would work excellent here.

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Roasted Summer Veggie Gratin

Serving Size: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 202 kcal

Roasted Summer Veggie Gratin

Seasonal flavors of squash, corn, and tomatoes mix with bright herbs and a little crunch for a ripe summer side dish. Or toss in chickpeas or quinoa to make a heartier meal on its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 c squash (acorn, summer, zucchini, whatever you have!)
  • 2 ears corn, cooked
  • 1 c mushrooms
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 1 T nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Prep your veggies! Thinly slice squash, mushrooms, onion and tomatoes. Cut corn off the cob.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with 1 T olive oil. Evenly spread squash, mushrooms, and onions on sheet and roast until browned, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Spread onion and garlic evenly in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Top with mushrooms, then squash, then corn. Finish with a layer of sliced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast. Sprinkle evenly on top of dish.
  5. Combine remaining 2 T olive oil with herbs. Drizzle over top of breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until vegetables are bubbling and crust is browned.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/roasted-summer-veggie-gratin/

Nutrition:

Per serving: 202 kcal, 24 g carbs, 11 g fat, 5 g protein, 323 mg sodium, 11 g sugar

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Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

standard September 25, 2014 1 response

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Curries scared me for a long time. Then I actually tried a recipe I found on Pinterest that seemed super easy, and it was amazing. I was hooked. I’ve made quite a few different versions since that first easy and delicious one. Some have been better than others. All have different methods of preparation. But they all seemed to have the same simple base: veggies, coconut milk, spices, and usually a protein.

For this simple dish, I used a homemade curry spice mix (from Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life). Any curry spice or even red curry paste would work okay here. I’ve built up a bit of a tolerance to the heat of the spices so I use quite a bit, but start small and taste and add more as you go if you haven’t ventured into curries before.

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Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 495

Ingredients

  • 1 c sweet potato, diced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 c eggplant, diced
  • 1 c squash, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1-2 T curry powder
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c vegetable stock
  • 1 c cooked lentils
  • 2 c cooked rice
  • 1 T green onion

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook sweet potatoes until almost tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggplant and squash. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, garlic, and ginger. Stir and continue to cook until veggies are translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Deglaze pan with vegetable stock. Add curry powder, tomato paste, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add lentils and adjust seasonings as necessary. The curry will thicken up quite a bit as the lentils absorb some of the milk.
  5. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/sweet-potato-lentil-curry/

Nutrition:

Per serving: 495 kcal, 49 g carbs, 30 g fat, 11 g protein, 507 mg sodium, 7 g sugar

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