Squash and eggs, squash and pesto, squash casserole and cake

After picking all of the squash before a 4-day road trip, only to find 3 more huge squash on our return, I can tell that is squash season.  I’ve been busy eating squash at almost every meal to keep up with our garden’s abundance.  Here’s what has been on our menu:

  • Squash #21 of the summer was shredded along with an onion, sautéed in oil, then mixed with a few tablespoons of fresh made vegan pesto (2 cups basil, 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 cloves garlic, 4 tbsp olive oil, salt).
  • Squash #22 was also shredded to become not one, but two frittatas.  One had pesto and the other had some cherry tomatoes and garlic.
  • Squashes 23, 24, & 25 were juillenned and mixed with a red wine vinaigrette for a raw squash salad that made a very tasty lunch.
  • Squashes 26, 27, 28, & 29 were cut into coins and formed into a sour cream and squash casserole topped with cracker crumbs and baked.
  • Squash 30 was shredded, cooked in some lard, and seasoned with pepper and soy sauce.
  • As we speak, our 31st squash of the summer is being shredded to be cooked into a chocolate budnt cake, recipe via Serving Up the Harvest.

Soon, I may have to admit that I cannot keep up with as many squash the universe throws our way.  I have plans to give a few away, but for now I’m still hanging tough.  My biggest challenge to date is that my 3-year-old gags every time he eats squash and had been skipping a few meals due to hunger strikes. At least I can count on him to help eat the budnt cake.

Summer squash #3 – Beef garden skillet

After a week of visiting 2 farmers markets and harvesting some stuff from our tiny home garden, I had a fridge full of odds and ends that were coming to the end of their life, plus lots of other goodness to see us through the week.  So to clear out my third squash of the summer, I decided to use another favorite dish that can be made of whatever I’ve got bouncing around at that point of the summer, or fall, or winter!

I’m calling this one beef garden skillet and it follows the following loose format:

  • Brown 1 lb grass-fed beef with some kind of onion and some kind of garlic (this time I used some leftover red onion and some garlic scapes)
  • Add tomatoes plus any vegetables and fresh herbs (this time I used my last whole frozen tomato from last year, a zucchini, beet greens from one beet, a couple of kale leaves, some fresh basil)
  • Add rice or quinoa, plus water or bone broth (this time I cooked 1 cup rice and 1 cup of quinoa in a separate pot because Matt isn’t eating grains for the next few days, but usually, I cook it all together in the skillet)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer until vegetables and/or rice are cooked.  Because I used kale, I added the juice of a lemon just to balance out the flavors.  This is one of those random dishes that it definitely better than the sum of its parts.  I could eat this every week of the summer and it would never be exactly the same. I am guilty of over-cooking the vegetables, mainly because my one-year-old only has a few front teeth and little kids like soft vegetables, so you might want to add veg later if you like yours a bit crisper.

To me, grass-fed beef makes all the difference and gives it a much richer flavor.  If something has been holding you back from sourcing your own grass-fed beef, start asking around because it probably costs less than you think, and tastes better than you imagine.

2nd zucchini harvested.  Delicious in my beef skillet.

2nd zucchini harvested. Delicious in my beef skillet.