Yellow Squash Taco Casserole

Some weekends I just don’t feel like doing a whole bunch of meal prep to make one meal. I want to enjoy my time off, and that is what I did this past weekend. Instead of spending all morning or afternoon working on prepping vegetables and meats, I got to spend my days working on my syllabus for the class I am teaching this fall at a local college.

Oops. So much for enjoying my time off…

BUT I did get to have a girls night out with some of my friends. We went to a local pottery place and painted those little light up Christmas trees that were all the rage back in the 70s. How much fun does that sound? And while I am not an artist, it was a much needed break from my version of artistic creating–cooking and baking!

tree
Not my finished project. Just an example.

Staying true to my exploration of ways to incorporate lots of fresh vegetables into my meals, this yellow squash taco casserole is loaded down with lots of vegetables and it extremely adaptable. You can add whatever vegetables, meats, and other toppings as you want.

You can also swap out the “crust” if you do not like yellow squash or if you cannot find it. Spaghetti squash or zucchini will both work well with this dish. The sky is the limit for adaptations!

Yellow Squash Taco Casserole

  • 2 cups yellow squash (approximately 2 medium sized squash), thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground chicken (or meat of choice)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used fat free*)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook meat. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat.

While the meat sauce is simmering, thinly slice the squash and place one layer in the bottom of a greased 9×11 pan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes to remove some of the moisture from the squash.

Once the squash has pre-cooked, top with the spinach and meat sauce. Top with cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

*If you are using reduced fat or fat free cheese, be sure to cover the pan before baking. This prevents the cheese from overly drying out. Remove the cover for the last 5 minutes of baking.

If you are adding additional vegetables, add them between the squash layer and the meat sauce layer.

This recipe makes 8 servings and even though it looks like a thin layer, it is very filling. Pair it with some broccoli and a salad to round out your plate.

The macro counts for one serving how I made it is:

  • 7 grams fat
  • 4.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 19.8 grams protein

Inspiration for this recipe came from Low Carb Yum.

 

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