Italian Sausage & Quinoa Stuffed Summer Squash

DSC_0175

If you are trying to eat the rainbow in fruits and vegetables (as they say you should, every day, to get the nutritents and vitamins you need), yellow is a tough color to find. There’s corn, but that’s basically a carb and probably doesn’t count. There are yellow peppers, but they’re usually more expensive than green peppers (and really, do they taste any different?) so I’m usually unlikely to buy them unless they’re on sale (enough so to be cheaper than green peppers). There are a few yellow fruit to choose from – pineapple, bananas, lemons – but if you’re looking for a yellow vegetable, you’re pretty much stuck with summer squash. They probably didn’t take this into consideration when they decided to encourage eating the rainbow.

I’ve always thought of summer squash as the lesser relative of zucchini. Zucchini is green, which, in my book quates to a higher status in the vegetable hierarchy. Summer squash has a high water content (apparently right up there with cucumbers) meaning it gets mushy fast. It also has a waxy consistency (has anyone else noticed that?). So, whenever faced with an option to use summer squash or zucchini, I choose zucchini. It’s not that I don’t like summer squash, I just feel like zucchini is better.

However, “Oh, I’m sorry, I prefer zucchini” was not an option last week, when I received five (yes, five) whole summer squash in my box. Enter this stuffed summer squash recipe. Summer squash, I’ll give you another chance.

Italian Sausage & Quinoa Stuffed Summer Squash

4 servings. Serving size: 1 whole squash. Per Serving: $3.11, 284 calories, 13g fat, 30g carbs, 16g protein.

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa according to package direction. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put 4 medium sized squash in a sauce pan and fill halfway with water. Bring to a simmer and boil for 6 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Saute 1/2 diced onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 Italian sausage without the casing and cook until browned. Add 3 diced roma tomatoes and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until tomatoes are soft and remove from heat. Add quinoa, salt, and pepper.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and spoon out seeds, then place upside down on a paper towel to drain. Fill with stuffing and top with 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

If you like this recipe and feel adventourous, you could use the same stuffing in different vegetables – try green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms. All you need to do is adjust the cooking time based on the density of the vegetable. For example, tomatoes are more delicate and require less time to cook (so don’t par cook them to begin with) and keep an eye on them as they bake in the oven.

Advertisements

Baked Eggs with Kale and Sausage

DSC_0413

We have a runner up for the most beautiful plate of food I’ve ever photographed (in first place, surf and turf from my summer vacation on Cape Cod).

I had the pleasure of entertaining a few of my lovely lady friends for brunch this past Sunday. I had a few recipes I wanted to try and needed a taste testers, plus I love being in the company of these girls! You can’t have a bad meal with great company, so all in all it was a brunch success. In addition to this baked egg casserole (which was a hit) we had an oven baked pancake (recipe coming soon), Bloody Mary’s, and delicious cupcakes-disguised-as-muffins for dessert.

Adapted from a recipe from the Food Network, this is an elegant meal you could eat for brunch or dinner. I can’t wait to make and share some variations!

Baked Eggs with Sausage and Kale

Lightly toast 6 slices bread. I laid them out on a baking pan and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, flipping once. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange the bread on the bottom, slightly overlapping.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sauté ½ cup diced onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add 1 cup sliced mushrooms and sauté until brown. Add 2 cups baby kale and sauté until wilted. Meanwhile, brown 2 hot Italian sausage links, cases removed, in a small sauté pan. You could put the sausage in with the onions mixture, but I kept them separate so I could make a few eggs without sausage for my girlfriends.

Put the kale mixture and sausage over the bread in an even layer. Crack 1 egg on each slice of bread (6 eggs total) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You may need to arrange the kale and sausage to make a little spot for the egg to fit, so it doesn’t slide off into the casserole dish. Pour 1/3 cup milk over everything to keep it moist, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes, longer or shorter depending on how you like your eggs. I baked mine for 20 minutes and the yolks were medium/hard. I love runny yolks so I’ll take them out sooner next time!

Yield: 6 servings. Per Serving: $1.20, 236 calories, 11g fat, 21g carbs, 15g protein.