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What's Cooking Wednesday


Squash are an indigenous crop to the Americas. Early agricultural practices combined squash, corn, and beans, the proverbial three sisters, and fantastic companion plants. The corn stalks, stretching tall to the sky, provide a supportive structure the bean vines can climb. Meanwhile, crawling across the Earth, the squash plants provide coverage to the ground, helping to prevent excessive moisture loss from the soil. 


Squash comes in many varieties--summer squashes include shiny zucchini and the cheerful yellow squash. Fall harvesting varieties include butternut, acorn, patty pans, and of course, those iconic pumpkins. This nourishing vegetable can become a prominent part of our plates for a wide swath of the year.


Since Summer is in full swing, let’s explore how we can add zucchini and yellow squash to our meals all season long!


“Beef” up your spaghetti

Squashes are a great addition to pasta dishes. We all remember the zoodles trend of a few years back. Let me say it here first, squash is not a substitute for pasta, but it is a great thing to add to your pasta. Cube and sauté squash to add it to spaghetti. Slice it up and add it to lasagnas. 


Pasta salad

Raw zucchini, especially thinly sliced, is a fantastic crunchy and slightly sweet component to toss in with your favorite pasta salad recipe. I’m particularly fond of doing a pesto salad, with tomato, basil, bowtie pasta, and slivered zucchini.


Stir fry and grain bowls

Squash and zucchini get a really beautiful texture when cooked in a little drizzle of olive oil. Serve over your favorite grain- rice, quinoa, farrow. The world is your oyster. 


Zucchini bread and muffins

Shredded zucchini adds moisture, texture, and a little nutritional oomph to muffins and breads. Some variations include nuts, fruits, or chocolate chips as add-ins. A favorite in our house is a double chocolate zucchini bread, with cocoa powder and chocolate chips.


Zucchini pie

This one is a little controversial, but hear me out. Peel a zucchini and slice it in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and slice the flesh. Put it in a pie crust, treat it just like apples. This creative use of hidden veggies can be a fun take on the abundance of the season and can tide you over between berry season and apple season.

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