Monday, January 10, 2011

Two Squash, One Way. Fast Vegetables For An Easy Meatless Monday.

    The great thing about Meatless Monday, is that it always comes just in time. Mainly when we need it the most... like after a non-Meatlesss Weekend. Make that a very non Meatless Weekend. So after the damage has been done, it great to start off the new week with something fresh and green. Or in this case, something fresh and green and yellow.
   The thing I like about this squash dish is that it can be made quickly, it tastes great, and paired with another vegetable dish and some rice or chapatti, it's a meal.  Plus, you feel so guilt free. This squash dish is made with chayote, that pear shaped vegetable which looks like a slightly aging avocado and is frequently associated with Mexican cuisine. It also one of those vegetables that's migrated from one hemisphere to another, mainly from Mesoamerica to...everywhere. In this case South India where the recipe originated.
    Now, not everybody at every time can get hold of chayote, which locovore that I am, was the situation. So I went looking for other squash, less exotic, closer to home. I  decided to dress up the lowly zucchini and the yellow crook necks and take 'em uptown.

Squash With Coconut

   Here's how to do it in less than 30 minutes:

  Take 1/2 lb of zucchini and 1/2 lb of crook neck squash and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
 In a large skillet or kadhai, heat about 2 Tbs of coconut or other vegetable oil.
 When the oil is hot toss in:
 1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
   When the seeds start to sizzle and pop toss in:
 About 12 curry leaves
 1 cup of finely chopped onion
 1 tsp of chopped shallot
 2  fresh serrano chiles stemmed and split up the middle.
Give them a stir, keeping it moving for around 4 or 5 minutes.
Now toss in the chopped squash and 1/2 tsp of garam masala.
Cook the squash for 2 minutes and then add in:
3/4 cup of water
2 Tbs of grated coconut
1 tsp of salt and bring the whole thing to a boil.
  Cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer. Cook the squash for about 15 minutes until it's cooked through. Put the squash in a serving dish and before serving, sprinkle the whole dish with 2 Tbs of roasted ground peanut powder.
And there it is. About 30 minutes from fridge to table, and if you happen to find good cheap local squash in your local farmers market as I did, it's an inexpensive tasty treat, and the peanut powder adds some extra protein punch.
   Coming up next, another Meatless Monday alternative, a rich and creamy cabbage dish without a shred of dairy.


  1. Great meal!! Love the addition of the excuse not to cook, eh?

  2. Kathy - so happy to have discovered your site! Thank you, so continuing to give the RGB #FF shoutouts on Twitter. The squash recipe(s) look delicious. We gave up meat and alcohol for January, so now I'm on the hunt for meatless meals. If I try this, I'll be sure to report back.

    Have a great week!


  3. @Kim,
    yes let me know how you like it..I going to be featuring a very easy cabbage dish also that tastes creamy even though there isn't any dairy.

  4. Squash and coconut is a lovely combination. I have to get back to my meatless weekdays soon.

  5. Oh Kathy thats squash looks wonderful. I'm the only one who will eat squash around here so I'll be halfing this one!

  6. @redkathy,
    maybe the peanuts would help?

  7. love squash, thank goodness they now are available most of the year,ours are now coming from Florida but I understand many crops were damaged by cold of late... love the flavors in this dish, you always amaze me with so much versatility in your ingredients....



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