Monday, April 9, 2012

Cheesy Zucchini Squash Casserole

After saute, before oven & cheese topping........Beautiful!!

 I grew up on a ranch/farm in WA state. Had lots of   horses (rode in rodeo's with my sisters). We also raised our own beef, pork, chickens etc.... so of course grew our own vegetables. I remember the hours weeding and tending the garden which at that age was not my idea of fun but so appreciate the benefits of now. I recently remembered one of my father's favorite dishes my mother used to make and since I had my mother and father over for dinner last night I made her famous zucchini squash casserole. Anyone who grows a garden and plants zucchini or squash knows that you end up with enough to feed a small country.
Very meaty, amazing flavor
Since my mother is in her golden years now and is not cooking much these days it was a real treat for them to enjoy a regular from the past we had almost forgotten about. It will now be a regular again breaking out of the archives.
My mother always added water chestnuts or bamboo shoots for a bit of crunch that we loved. I just happened to have water chestnuts in the pantry however I will from now on replace it with bamboo shoots which are much more carb friendly.
              (1/2 cp Water Chestnuts 8.7g/Bamboo Shoots 2.1g)
We have worked to eliminate nitrates and nitrites from our diet so I have been using Trader Joe's Uncured Bacon Ends for all of my bacon seasoning.

Zucchini Casserole with BBQ Smoked Pork Chop
& Cucumber Salad
1 pkg Trader Joe's Uncured Bacon Ends
6 cps zucchini/squash-sliced
1 Lg white onion- lg chop
2 cans Bamboo Shoots-drained
1 15oz can diced tomatoes-drained
2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cps shredded cheese
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°. I use a dutch oven so I can saute and bake in the same cookware. Cut bacon into bite size pieces. Cook on med/low in skillet until cooked but not brown. Drain off a bit of the drippings if necessary, (it will depend on how lean your bacon ends are). Add onion and saute to just before softened.  Add sliced zucchini and all other ingredients except cheese and toss. Bake covered for 30 min. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake, uncovered until melted.
option: add mushrooms,
Serves 6 to 8.