Aug 08, 2013

Summer Squash Casserole

You know what’s great about a casserole? … Leftovers. I love making a huge casserole and then having it for leftovers for a couple of days. Well, especially if it’s a nutritious and delicious casserole like this one!

The other great thing about a casserole is that it can be a meal in itself. In this summer squash casserole there are veggies, rice, beans, nuts and seeds. I think it would rank pretty high on the MANDI points system (Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional ranking of meals based on their nutrient-load, detailed in his book Eat for Health). The MANDI points system helps one learn to identify high-nutrient foods and how much per day you need to be eating to lose weight and not be hungry. For example, a half cup of cooked spinach is 23 points; 1½ cups of cooked kale is 25 points. The object is to reach 100 points per day in overall food scores. MANDI stands for Meal Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.

I personally never use the MANDI points system because all I eat are foods that are high in nutrients. But it would be a useful tool for those who eat a Standard American Diet and want to incorporate healthier, nutrient-dense foods into their meals.

On to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large, sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cans salt-free chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tsp Spike salt-free seasoning

~ for the sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

~ for the topping

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Daiya vegan cheese shreds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
  3. First cook your rice. You can do this ahead if you want to save time.
  4. Water sauté the onion until tender.
  5. Toss the cooked rice with the chick peas and 1 tsp of the Spike.
  6. Spread the rice/bean mixture evenly onto the bottom of the casserole dish.
  7. Lay the squash sliced, overlapping slightly, atop the rice and beans until the dish is covered. I alternated yellow and green for a nicer presentation, which then all got covered up by the onions and the topping anyway! 🙂
  8. Sprinkle another teaspoon of Spike on top of the squashes.
  9. Top the squash slices with the cooked onions.
  10. Place the cashews and 1 cup of water into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  11. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend again until smooth.
  12. Pour the sauce over the squashes as evenly as possible.
  13. Sprinkle the final teaspoon of Spike on the top.
  14. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about one hour, until the squash is tender.
  15. Place the walnuts and sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until crumbly but not too small, you want the topping to be about the size of peas.
  16. Uncover, sprinkle with the topping ingredients and broil for about 5 minutes.

Serves 8. Enjoy!

I’m on my way to Florida today for a few days… helping my son move back to attend college locally. Yay! Can’t wait to have him home again…

Healthy trails,

6 responses to “Summer Squash Casserole”

  1. Anonymous says:

    My husband has been bringing this casserole, and a spicy version he improvised with what we had on hand, to work this week. He loves this recipe! Thank you!

  2. Helyn says:

    Yay! That warms my heart. Thanks for the feedback!!!

  3. Kaela says:

    I'm looking forward to trying this soon; it looks delicious! I need some good squash recipes for the summer! Do you think I could prepare it the night before and then bake it for dinner the next day? Or would the rice soak up too much of the sauce?

  4. Helyn says:

    Kaela, as long as the rice is cooked enough, it should be fine. You may want to add just a bit more water to the sauce, like 1/4 cup or so. Enjoy! 🙂

  5. Kaela says:

    We had this for dinner the other night and loved it! Thanks!! I didn't prep it ahead of time, but may try that next time…

  6. Helyn says:

    That's great!! Thanks so much for letting me know :))

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