Browsing Tag

easy

Squash Casserole

 

While we were brunching hard over the weekend, my friend had mentioned wanting to make a squash casserole to use up some of the squash from her farm share. Wouldn’t you know I could not stop thinking about it. I’ll daydream about foods and things, and squash casserole is usually not on the top of my daydream worthy foods. But it was there. When I was checking my garden I noticed a couple of really nice zucchini and took that as a sign that I should make it. Typically this recipe uses yellow squash, which I now have, but at the time I was limited to my zucchini. So I rolled with it. It was basically amazing. So amazing, that I actually ate most of it, while it was cooling, before the rest of dinner was even ready. I could not stop. It was so good, that I knew my husband who absolutely hates zucchini simply had to try it. He was skeptical and asked me not to take offense if he spits it out. But I smiled knowing it wouldn’t even get to that. And, of course, I was right. It makes me happy when I can get him to eat something he hates and can show him it’s actually not so bad. The toddler on the other hand…. not so much. The instructions, at first, looked daunting. But it was so easy to put together. And when I saw daunting, I mean after working a really long day at the office, having picked up my son from school and being alone with him so all he wanted was to play and didn’t care about me making dinner daunting. But the crackers were a great distraction. He just popped up on the counter and sat there “helping” me by eating the crackers. I love when he gets involved and asks questions about what I’m doing in the kitchen. It also makes me happy when I give him a veggie and he asks, is this from our garden? It seems, to him, it’s more rewarding to eat something we’ve produced and I couldn’t agree more. It just tastes better somehow! This recipe is very forgiving with what type of squash you use yellow/green/a combo of both, go crazy. I might even adapt this further to make a fall casserole with my butternut squash that’s growing. Yum!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place squash, onion, and a small amount of water in a pan. Place on your stove top and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is softened. You want this to be fork tender, not at all mushy. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, add Ritz Crackers to a Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin, or with your hands, or with anything you have around. Add the cheese to the bag and shake to combine.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, measure our the milk. Add in the eggs, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Spray a baking dish (8x8 ish is what I used) with cooking spray. When the squash is done, drain and add to the baking dish. Mix in half of the crushed cracker/cheese mixture and stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and stir once more. Pour the egg mixture over the top and mix it up a bit so that it's all combined. Sprinkle the additional cracker mixture over the top of the casserole. Using your hands, lightly spread it around so that it's evenly distributed over the top. Place the tiny cubes of butter across the top.
  5. Place the casserole in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and the egg mixture is set. 20 minutes was absolutely perfect for me. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving (if you can!). Serve warm.

Notes

Barely even adapted from All Recipes

Light and Healthy Banana Muffins

 

It’s almost the freaking weekend! Friday is my favorite. I’ve said it before and I will say it again….and again……and again….. I LOVE Friday. During the summer, our office closes an hour earlier (yay!), and I actually get to pick my son up from daycare, one of those rare moments that I absolutely treasure, and we get to enjoy two “home days”. I love home days. Snuggles galore and the time that I get to focus on baking and cooking. Nothing sounds better to me. So to celebrate the weekend, I’m sharing these lightened up banana muffins. These are so good, I couldn’t tell they were lighter. The original recipe uses white whole wheat flour which would be great here. I used all-purpose because I happened to run out of white whole wheat flour and they still came out great. Super easy to whip up and they will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line your cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup with an electric mixer. Add in the egg whites, banana (I left mine whole and just let the hand mixer do the mashing), maple syrup, apple sauce, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and blend just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and top with crushed pecans. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste.

Overnight Oats

 

Mornings are such a struggle for us. Are they for you? I always like to start my day with a decent breakfast but that can be tough when I’m trying to get myself and our three year old out the door so I can drop him off at daycare and make it to work on time. Most mornings, except on the weekend, I’m eating breakfast while I drive into work. Needless to say, I’m looking for something quick and easy to transport and eat on the go. I would say most often my mornings consist of a variation of toast, but some days it’s just easier to grab a muffin. Not so great when you are trying to be healthy, and not get hungry an hour later. As much as I love and adore toast in all varieties, I do like to change it up. So I did, and I tried overnight oats. I will be honest, my first attempt was not great. I tried a banana bread overnight oats, which sounded great, but tasted too much like yogurt. I’ve tried a few variations since, and have been very pleased. What I particularly love is that you can just grab it and go, because eating it cold is perfectly acceptable and delicious. Or, you can heat it a bit, if you prefer to have it a warmer. I generally make mine on the more basic end of the scale, to start, so I can jazz it up with some mix-ins. Yes, I just said jazz it up. But let’s move onto the mix-ins. So many options. You can load it with nut butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips if you need a morning dose of chocolate, seeds, spices. For this particular recipe, I only slightly adapted a recipe I found on Hip Foodie Mom. By the way, this site is awesome. So many yummy and healthy recipes can be found here. But if you are looking to change up your breakfast routine, definitely give overnight oats a shot. It’s healthy and very minimal prep.

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to a mason jar and shake up to combine. Let sit in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning, place in a bow and add on your favorite mix-ins. For this I used sliced banana, a spoonful of almond butter and some crushed honey almond chex cereal.

Notes