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!
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- First cook your rice. You can do this ahead if you want to save time.
- Water sauté the onion until tender.
- Toss the cooked rice with the chick peas and 1 tsp of the Spike.
- Spread the rice/bean mixture evenly onto the bottom of the casserole dish.
- 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! 🙂
- Sprinkle another teaspoon of Spike on top of the squashes.
- Top the squash slices with the cooked onions.
- Place the cashews and 1 cup of water into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend again until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the squashes as evenly as possible.
- Sprinkle the final teaspoon of Spike on the top.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for about one hour, until the squash is tender.
- 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.
- Uncover, sprinkle with the topping ingredients and broil for about 5 minutes.
Serves 8. Enjoy!