Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stuffed Squash

OK, so I know I have been slacking with the posts this month. I'm very sorry but I promise that I will start posting more often now that life has calmed down a bit.

I love squash. Pretty much any kind and any way. I have several favorite squash recipes and this is one of them. It's another recipe my family got from my grandmother's friend Mary Taylor.

You will need: 5 squashes (I used zucchini but any squash works), 1/4 cup of chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 stick of butter, and 1/2 cup of Italian bread  crumbs.

Start by boiling the zucchini in a large pot of salted water until tender.

While the zucchini is boiling, chop up the celery...

And the onion.

Melt the 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) in a medium pan over medium heat.

That's a lot of mediums.

Add the veggies to the pan...

Along with some salt...

And some pepper.

Stir it around  and cook until the onions are translucent.

Does anyone else think this is one of the greatest smells in the world?

When the zucchinis are easily pierced with a fork, strain the zucchini.

Rinse with cold water until cool enough to touch.

Slice the zucchini in half length wise.

Lay them cut side up....

And use a spoon to scrape the seeds out of the zucchini. Try not to break the zucchini but it happens. I broke one of mine.

Place the scraped out zucchini halves in a large baking dish...

And save the seeds in a small bowl.

Once all of the zucchini are scraped out...

You'll have a small bowl of zucchini seeds.

Pour the bowl of seeds, with any juice, into the pan.

Break up the large chinks of seeds with a spoon.

Next add in the bread crumbs....

And the cheese.

Stir everything around. The mixture will be extremely thick.

Fill the zucchini with the seed mixture.

Sprinkle with extra cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Serve immediately.

These are super yummy. The stuffing is so good you almost forget you're eating a vegetable.

Stuffed Squash
Serves: 6

  • 5 squashes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of Italian bread  crumbs.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Boil whole squash in salted water until tender. Cool, split lengthwise and scoop out pulp.
  2. While squash is boiling, melt butter over medium heat and add in the veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.Then, add the pulp, breadcrumbs, and cheese to the pan and mix well.
  3. Stuff the squash shells with mixture and top with additional grated cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tangy Tuna Noodle

First and foremost, I apologize for not posting anything new in almost 2 weeks. Finals and graduation kept me super busy until recently.

This is one of my favorite summer meals. It's a chilled tuna and pasta salad which makes it not only budget friendly but also something you want to eat on a 90+ degree day.

Now, the ingredients in this don't seem to go together, but I promise you won't be sorry after you try it.

Note: I made a double recipe but all the written measurements are a single recipe so if it seems like I'm adding a lot more in my photos than I say to, that's why. I had to make the double recipe so I could give half of it to Chunk who patiently sat on my couch eating a snack while I cooked:

That's a 24 year old man eating Chef Boyardee out of a can.

You will need: 1 lb rotini pasta, 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, 1 large dill pickle spear and 2 Tbsp of pickle juice, 7 oz of Spanish olives (with pimentos) plus 2 Tbsp olive juice, 3 7 oz. cans of tuna in water (drained), 1 lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 3 Tbsp chopped parsley, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, and 3-4 green onions, whites and greens.

Start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Add the 3 (drained) cans of tuna to a large bowl.

Next pour in the 2 Tbsp of olive juice.

Once your water comes to a boil, cook your pasta according to package directions.

Next we need to slice half this jar of olives in half. I'm about to show you the coolest trick I learned from watching 30 Minute Meals. You'll need 2 deli (or in my case cottage cheese) lids. You want them to be about the same size.

See? I watch Food Network for your sake. I definitely don't do it to drool over food all day. Nope. Not at all.

Place the first lid upside down on your cutting board and pour a single layer of olives in it.

Like so.

Now place the other lid on top of the olives right side up. Basically, you're making an olive sandwich but with 2 lids instead of bread. Make sure the lips of the lids are facing towards each other. This keeps the olives from rolling around.

Now hold the top lid down with one hand and cut in between the lids, parallel to the cutting board with the other.

BOOM. Halved olives in half the time.

This method works with any small, round object that you don't want to cut in half individually.

Add the olives to the tuna.

Now pour some pickle juice into the bowl.

Now grab a large pickle spear and slice it lengthwise.

Rotate that sucker 90 degrees and slice again to create a dice.

Add the pickle to the bowl.

Now pour in the (drained) can of chick peas.

Next dice up your green onions and add them to the bowl as well.

Now slice a lemon in half...

And juice it into the bowl. Try to catch the seeds. You don't want to take a big bite of Tuna Noodle and get a seed. Yuck.

Not that it has ever happened to me...

Next toss in some garlic. This is the one time where I do NOT recommend adding extra garlic. Been there, ate the results.

Now throw in the mayo and mix everything together.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and rinse it until cool. I know you're never supposed to rinse pasta, but in this case it's ok. I promise. Add the pasta to the tuna mixture and mix everything up very thoroughly.

Chop up the parsley...

Add it to the bowl and mix everything up again....

Until it looks like this.

Tada! Tuna Noodle.

Tangy Tuna Noodle
Serves: 8

  • 1 lb rotini pasta, cooked and rinsed until cool
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large dill pickle spear, diced
  • 2 Tbsp of pickle juice
  • 7 oz of Spanish olives (with pimentos), halved
  • 2 Tbsp olive juice
  • 3 7 oz. cans of tuna in water (drained)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-4 green onions, whites and greens diced
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. If mixture seems dry, add in more mayonnaise. If mixture needs more salt, add more pickle and olive juice.
  2. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until cold, before serving.