I have to admit with all that has been going on lately and all of my projects that I have neglected cooking up the wonderful produce that I got at Apple Annie’s. So, tonight I decided that I definitely needed to do something with at least one of the items I got and preferably one of the ones that has a shorter shelf life. I decided to go with the pattypan squash. When I picked these pattypan I specifically got large ones so that they would be the perfect size for stuffing with some yummy filling. Here is what I threw together.
- 2 large or 3 smaller pattypan squash
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 an onion chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- pinch of ground cloves
- dash of cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- spicy V8
Start browning your ground beef and then add onions. When beef is almost cooked through and onions are starting to get translucent and brown add in the garlic. Once completely cooked season the mixture with cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl mix your beef mixture with the rice, cottage cheese and pine nuts.
Fill your squash bowls with the beef and rice mixture.
Pour the spicy V-8 over your squash and add about 1 inch to the bottom of the baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until a fork easily inserts into the squash (depending on the size and thickness of your squash this will take 40-60 minutes). Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
If you are using larger squash cut in half and serve. If you are using smaller squash a whole squash would be a serving. You can pour some of the thickened sauce over the top if you would like
In making this there were a few things that I learned. One was that you can buy cottage cheese with chives in it. However, if you are unaware that there are chives in your cottage cheese when you open it this will lead to the immediate thought of “OMG I just bought this and it’s moldy.” Luckily, the chive flavor was really mild so I went ahead and used it without really changing the flavor I was aiming for. Secondly, was how much longer giant squash take to cook versus the smaller squash that I have used for stuffing in the past (this is why the cooking times I provide are so varied). In general this turned out really well. I think next time I may skip the V-8 and just use a little olive oil and salt on the outside instead. The V8 is better suited for softer vegetables, such as zucchini, and it is absolutely amazing when used with eggplant. The best thing about stuffing squash is that there are so many combinations of filling that you can try, different meats, chesses, vegetables, spices. Mix it up and experiment with the flavors you love and maybe you will surprise yourself with what you come up with.