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Summer Squash Improv and a Thank You!

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Vegan Planet: Summer Squash Improv and a Thank You!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Summer Squash Improv and a Thank You!

Last summer, our vegetable garden produced a mountain of zucchini, so this year we decided to mix things up a bit and plant some yellow summer squash, too. I’m glad we did. I use the yellow squash in all the same ways I cook zucchini and sometimes I'll use one of each in a recipe, just for the color contrast.

Two of the four yellow squash pictured here I simply diced and roasted in an oiled baking pan at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or so, turning once. I had seasoned them with salt and pepper while they baked. Once tender, I tossed them in a bowl with some fresh chopped parsley and halved cherry tomatoes from the garden. So simple and so good.

The other two squashes inspired an “improv” casserole that turned out to be a cross between mac-and-cheese and that Southern-style yellow squash casserole that every grandmother in the South makes when squash is plentiful.

To make the casserole, I chopped the squashes and sautéed them with a chopped sweet onion until soft. While the squash and onion were cooking, I rummaged through my refrigerator and found some leftover cooked angel hair pasta and a container of creamy chive-flavored Sheese.

For the sauce, I combined 1/2 cup of the same creamy Sheese in a bowl with about 2 cups of soy milk to make a thick sauce. I stirred in a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and some snipped chives to bring out the chive flavor of the Sheese. I cut through the cooked pasta a few times with a knife so the pieces would be more manageable, and mixed the pasta, sauce, and cooked squash and onions together. I then spread the mixture in an oiled baking dish, topped it with dry breadcrumbs, and baked at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I served it with a bowl of diced tomatoes simmered with garlic and basil. The quick and easy casserole was totally yummy and there are loads of possibilities for variations, using different vegetables and herbs.

Finally, I want to say a big THANK-YOU to everyone who took the time to post a comment or send me an e-mail about my six-month post. Your suggestions for improvement to my blog are very helpful, and I hope to implement many of them in the coming months. I also want to tell you all how very much I appreciate your kind words about my blog. It’s nice to know there are so many of you reading and enjoying it, and it’s also a great motivator to keep me blogging. As promised, one commenter was chosen at random to receive a free cookbook, and so a copy of Vegan Fire & Spice goes to: Annette. [Note to Annette: please e-mail me with your address and I’ll get a book out to you!]

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Sheeze...I was given some and am waiting for a very special occasion to actually open it and try it...
I tried the "cheddar" sheese but didn't really like it. I would be more than willing to try the creamy one though! The casserole sounds delicious!
Carrie: The flavor of the creamy Sheese I used was mellowed by the soy milk and other ingredients, so it all blended together for a nice flavor. I haven't tried the regular "cheddar" Sheese yet, but I plan to give it a try soon and I'll be sure to post about it when I do.
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