If you’re here from My Meatless Mondays, welcome, and abject apologies. I posted B.C. this morning (before coffee), and accidentally posted the wrong recipe and can’t delete it. The following recipe *can* be vegetarian, but that’s not how I made it. This is the squash recipe I meant to post.
(Adapted and reposted from The Common Room)
Remember the five dollar challenge from Slow Foods USA? Or maybe you never saw it the first time. Take a look.
A few weeks ago on our way home, the neighbor two houses over (that’s a mile or two around the corner for you city folk) ran out to flag us down. I thought he was going to tell us the cows were out again, or that I’d just hit his dog, there was so much urgency. No, he wanted to give me an ice chest full of summer squash that he had just that minute picked from his garden. The squash had exploded. It was very pretty, pale yellow fading into green.
It reminds me of an Easter Egg, only prettier. God is an incredible artisan. He’s also quite awesome with flavors.=)
Well, that was a few weeks ago. This week he came to the door with a five gallon bucket full of them. As I told a family friend, we live in Lake Woebegone, where the only time you lock your car is the summer, and that’s just to keep the friendly neighbors from donating their bumper crop of zucchini behind your back.;-)
The first time we cooked with this, the HG had one of her milk donors who keeps my grandson healthy with generous donations of human milk, and has become a good friend over to our house with her three children so they could all go swimming.The Equuschick and her two little ones came over, too. Shasta even looked in briefly. It was a fun morning. The friend/milk donor/Angel to the Striderling is doing the paleo diet and I am eating low carb, so this is what we had for lunch:
A casserole largely based on this recipe., our version posted below
A salad composed only of tomatoes from the garden
Garlic stuffed olives
Bread with butter for those who wanted it
Raw milk from grass fed cows. I get from a local farm family for 2.00 a half gallon jar.
We grated 16 cups of summer squash and didn’t even use half. We froze about four cups of the squash and made enough of the casserole to feed a dozen people (a couple of whom were small and ate only little bits)- we still have a casserole leftover for another meal. But here’s the smaller version:
4 Tbsp coconut oil or other fat (I get organic butter from Costco, or you could use fat skimmed off other cooking)
1/2 a yellow onion, diced, picked from a local organic farmer
12 eggs, beaten (our eggs are also locally grown, free range, and yummy- 2.00 a dozen)
about 4 cups of grated summer squash (yellow or green) grated in the food processor
1/2 cup of garlic chives from my mother’s garden
3 or 4 cups of leftover cooked chicken (because that’s what we had. I generally buy what I can get on sale, but when I can get it, I like Miller’s chicken, and no, I don’t get any kick-back for that. Bacon would also be good- we get uncured, nitrate free, grass fed beef bacon for just a little more than pork bacon with nitrates at the store)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grease the pan
saute the onion in oil.
Beat the eggs until lemon colored.
Combine all the ingredients, pour into greased pan, and bake at 350 until set in the center and golden at edges (about 45 minutes)
When it’s done, take it out of the oven. Don’t turn off the oven and leave it in because the kitchen is full of people and you think you’ll remember to get it out of the oven when the dozen people are in your dining room instead of the kitchen or it might get a little over brown around the edges.
|summer squash crustless quiche
Doesn’t this recipe seem to you as though it just cries out for cheese? I thought I would regret the lack of cheese, but actually, it was very rich and filling without the cheese. Perhaps that’s the benefit of farm-fresh eggs and freshly grown summer squash, I don’t know, but it tasted really good without the cheese, and I love cheese.
On a side note, not too long ago I went with a group of women on a jaunt out to the store where we get our grass fed beef, my .89 a pound beef hearts, our affordable uncured beef bacon- and all manner of specialty, locally made cheeses. They had cheeses out for tasting. One of the less culinarily adventurous of my companions followed me around, wide-eyed, watching me boldly (or brashly) sample every single one. She would ask me after each one, “Is that any good? What does it taste like? Is it good?” After watching her shudder after my enthusiastic “mmmmmm, delicious,” I had to keep telling her, “It’s cheese. It’s locally made from milk from local cows. Of course it’s delicious. But I love cheese, so you should ask somebody else.”
Truly, the only cheese I have ever had that I hated is American and Limburger, and I’ll even eat American in a grilled cheese sandwich (but I’d rather have Havarti).
So take it from me, it doesn’t need the cheese. Although, if you wanted to, you could stir in a nice bowl of fresh cottage cheese.
So… on the side we had diced tomatoes with sea salt- free, except for the salt. The tomatoes were grown in five gallon buckets on part of my driveway and tire retaining wall. I did not take a picture, because after all, tomatoes are tomatoes. On the other hand, home-grown tomatoes are rubies of goodness bursting with the taste of summer, just looking at them makes my taste buds stand up and take a bow. The children didn’t all love them, and this could have been filled out with wild greens- lambsquarters,day lilies, garlic mustard, purslane, dandelion greens, or I could have grown turnip greens and quickly sauteed them for a free side dish.
Then the bread. You could do storebought, you could go with some simple biscuits, with the Hillbilly Housewife’s garlic bread, or you could get fancy (full disclosure- I went with storebought because I had small cocktail sized loaves of whole grain rye bread I bought on sale, but these are actually deceptively easy):
The bread is neither paleo nor low-carb, but all the ingredients in our home-made breads are organic, purchased from the co-op, ground at home in the bosch grain mill.
As near as I can figure, a meal of the summer squash casserole, bread, organic butter (try Costco or a Trader Joe’s), tomatoes, with raw milk or water to drink cost us about 6 or 7 dollars and fed roughly a dozen. Obviously, there won’t always be a bounty of tomatoes, and they don’t freeze as nicely as the grated squash (I could make the casserole again in the middle of winter since we grated so much of the squash and froze it), but in the winter, I would choose a different side-dish, perhaps a soup, or a winter salad made with grains or of home-grown sprouts, and maybe muffins instead of bread for a change of pace.
These are my best tips for eating organic (officially organic, or from a local producer who isn’t seeking legal certification, which I prefer because I loathe the government’s involvement in my food supply at any level, and especially at certification over organics),or local:
Carpool- go in with others to find good sources and travel together, or take turns picking up group orders.
Join a food co-op
Network- make friends, be a friend, and be willing to accept things like a giant ice chest full of summer squash.
Be adventurous- we get beef hearts from a reputable family butcher/farmer for .89 a pound because nobody around here eats them. Tongue is also inexpensive for me.
Know your local wild edibles- not the scary ones, just the easy stuff.
Learn how to make use of the veggie parts that people don’t eat any more.
Combine errands- we pick up raw milk only when my daughter is working in town- even if we are out of milk- or when we are at the thrift shop which is near the farm.
Ask your local natural foods’ store if they offer discounts- I’d been shopping at mine for five years before I learned they gave discounts for retired military families (other people, too, but that’s the one that counts for us).
Farmer’s markets, of course, local CSA’s, and comb the internet looking for local sources.
Keep your eyes open when driving out in the country- lots of people in our area have signs out for eggs, fruit, or honey.
Drive out in the country where a lot of people garden and leave your doors unlocked.=)
You may also enjoy this post on a birthday meal which came in well under five dollars a person yet was special and celebratory.