Southern summers mean one thing: summer squash. Well, actually, it means heat, humidity, lightening bugs, and some of the most beautiful sunsets you'll see in our life. And summer squash.
Many people enjoy gardening in the spring and summer. When the veggies start coming up, they do so in abundance. You can hardly drive down the highway without seeing roadside fruit and vegetable stands. Farmers' Markets open early weekend mornings for customers to scour and pick the freshest ingredients.
I have never had a green thumb, but I am surrounded by would-be farmers. My grandparents had a "garden" one year that was literally a half an acre. For a little girl, it was magical. I remember helping plant seeds and picking the fruits and vegetables. They made so much salsa and homemade pickles and preserves. It was amazing.
My in-laws always have a great garden. Last year, Parker got to help them the way I helped my own grandparents. It's so wonderful to pass along that tradition.
We always receive the surplus from others' gardens. It cushions the blow for not being able to grow my own.
One dish that is a staple at family gatherings and church potlucks is squash casserole. It's such a creamy, comforting dish, and like most comfort foods, it's not necessarily the healthiest. I changed up a few ingredients to takeaway some of the carbs to make it more diet-friendly.
2 summer squash, cubed
1/2 c mayo
1 c shredded cheese
Onion powder, seasoned salt, and pepper (to taste)
Crushed pork rinds
3 tbs melted butter
Preheat oven to 375f. Sauté the squash in olive oil with salt, pepper, and onion powder to the point that they are soft without being mushy. In a bowl, beat eggs and add mayo and cheese. Stir to combine. Add in the squash. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and fill with squash mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with crushed pork rinds. Drizzle with melted butter and broil until top is golden.
This dish had perfect squash casserole flavor with none of the extra carbs. The eggs add some extra protein, making this dish almost a meal in itself.
With summer just around the corner, I am thrilled to have a great squash recipe to help use up all of the great veggies we will be receiving! Gotta love a southern summer!