Thursday, August 27, 2009
Summer Squash Love and Alchemy
I now recall why I love summer squash: you can basically eat as much as you want and not gain weight. It's a class of vegetables, like greens of all types, that lends itself to eating massive amounts. And I am sure that's why one squash plant produces so much. It's a reminder that in the summer, it's a good idea to eat lots of higher water vegetables.
I don't need research to tell me that there's something good for me in summer squash, as my intuition does that. In fact, I don't eat food because it's healthy, I eat it because it fuels me and I feel best when I have the energy to go fast and far.
You wouldn't try to run your car on water would you? Well, your body is more forgiving than any car and will let you run it on all kinds of (pardon the vernacular here) crap for quite a long time. But eventually, you need the high-octane fuel to get, and keep you, running at top speed.
All this leads to a simple recipe that I had for breakfast (you can call me odd, that's OK) but most people would eat for lunch or dinner. It amazes me how so few ingredients can turn into something so wonderfully delicious. I say that it serves 3-4 but it only made 2 servings for me.
Simple Summer Squash
Fresh ingredients are a must for this dish because they're the star. Best to grow them yourself, get them from a neighbor or go to the farmer's market or local farmstand.
2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
1/2 cup sliced onion
3/4 cup chopped red, orange or yellow pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons Bragg's liquid amino acids, tamari or soy sauce
8 ounces firm tofu or tempeh (optional), or 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
3 cups chopped summer squash (I used Bianco de Siciliana and Costata Romanesco)
2 teaspoons Organic Vegetable Rub , Italian seasoning or other herb blend
Chopped fresh basil, if you have it
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then the onion. Saute the onion for about 2 minutes and add the pepper and garlic. Saute another minute or two. Add the tofu and Bragg's, cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so tofu doesn't stick. Add the summer squash and vegetable rub and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the squash is cooked through, but still firm (this depends upon the type and age of your squash). Garnish with basil, if desired.
Pressure Cooker directions:
Heat the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the oil,if using, and onion. Saute for a minute. Add the peppers and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tofu and Bragg's and cook 1 more minute. Add the squash and vegetable rub, plus 2-3 tablespoons water. Lock on the lid and bring to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain high pressure for 1 minute, 30 seconds (for regular zucchni, crookneck or yellow squash, only cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute). Quick release pressure and serve right away. Garnish with basil, if desired.
This dish will last a few days in the refrigerator. It does not freeze well. You can adjust this recipe anyway that you want and make it your own. It's a starting point.