hostess with the mostess – cheesy spinach and squash au gratin

my mom is a pre-K teacher and still on her holiday break, so she and my aunt (her sis-in-law) came over to hang out, sleepover, and keep Chiso company with us. which means, i get ta’ COOKIN’!  whipping up healthy, tasty food for my family gives me life (add that to the phrases we should stop using in 2014 :roll: ) but it best describes how i feel while i’m doing my thing in my kitchen.  now can i do all this again tomorrow?  you bet! playing hostess is FUN. what we chowed down on today:

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lean turkey burgaaaaaas for lunch!  super easy recipe can be found on my instagram post from earlier today (look for this same photo).

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i topped the patties with cheddar style rice cheese,

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and i found those sprouted grain buns at Sprouts Farmer’s Market recently.  i was looking for the Ezekiel ones but these were cheaper and by Alvarado Street Bakery.  heard a lot about them and was not disappointed.

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no lettuce or avocado in the house, womp. but i did have condiments, tomatoes, and plenty of pickles. stuff your burgers with your fave toppings and toast your buns (makes a big difference in taste and texture).  everyone enjoyed their burger except for you-know-who.

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he touched it like he was going to pick it up and then faked everybody out.  i’ll try again tomorrow.

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i’ve been playing around with a squash casserole type recipe for the past few days and finally just went for it today since i was all up in the kitchen anyway. turned out better than i imagined, whoa. 

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 Sonny says it tastes just like Boston Market’s squash casserole side and well, i won’t argue with him!

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cheesy spinach & squash au gratin

the stuff:

  • 2 large zucchini, raw, coined & halved (see pic above)
  • 2 large yellow squash, raw, coined & halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 cup frozen, thawed spinach
  • 1/2 cup cheddar style rice cheese
  • 1/2 cup skim mozzarella (you may use mozzarella almond cheese as well)
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

breadcrumbs:

  • 3 slices Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful bread, toasted until crispy
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 cup light parmesan cheese

do this:

  1. spray your casserole dish with no-stick cooking spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. make breadcrumbs by combining listed ingredients in your food processor and pulsing until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. in a large skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic, onion, zucchini, and squash together for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. add spinach, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid aminos, parsley, and cracked black pepper to pan; mix.
  5. cover pan and let cook down for 10 more minutes before shutting off the heat and pouring your squash mixture into your prepared casserole dish. set aside.
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs.
  7. to the egg mixture, add 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of breadcrumb mixture, 1/2 cup of cheese, and the 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  8. if your squash mixture has completely cooled by now, go ahead and add the egg mixture to it in the casserole dish and mix WELL. if it’s still warm, temper the eggs by adding a little bit of squash mixture to the egg mixture (in that order, please!)  at a time to prevent making scrambled eggs.  the cold almond milk should help cool the squash mixture down faster too. once all combined, set aside.
  9. add the last 1/2 cup of cheese to  1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of your casserole evenly.
  10. bake for 40-45 minutes or until the casserole no longer jiggles when you shake the dish.
  11. let it cool then dive in.

i divided my dish into 8 nice size servings and here are the stats for 1 serving: 162 cals, 6g fat, 14g carbs, 15g protein, 4 g sugar.

have a seat, Boston Market :lol:

lastly, for dinner, i heated up some leftover chicken & veggie stir fry and mixed it with some marinara sauce to revive the flavors. very yummy!  i also baked two pans of swai for tonight and for Sonny’s lunches tomorrow.  i don’t add ANY salt to the swai cause it doesn’t need it at all like tilapia.

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  i topped these with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt free Southwest seasoning from Mc Cormick (found at Walmart and HEB) and cooked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. that’s it!  roasted brussels sprouts on the side.
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 thinking about all the crazy business ideas in my head and on my heart for 2014 and it overwhelms me.  i’m determined to make 2014 NOTHING like 2013 though. one day at a time.  ok, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

le

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