Taco Squash!

The pictures for this recipe are not so pretty, and for that I apologize, but trust me, it’s yummy!

Taco-filling-stuffed Summer Squash

Taco-filling-stuffed Summer Squash

I’m always looking for new ways to use Summer Squash! In this case baby Crook-necked squashes, but this would work with larger yellow squash or zucchini just as well. I usually oven roast sliced squash and use them as a side, topping, or salad additive, but they make a great vehicle for stuffings, too! I can imagine a more traditional version of this with carrots, celery, and sage instead of the Mexican-spiced filling I did here; maybe next month we’ll give that a go.

I’ve been working on different meatless taco fillings, and this lentil and barley mixture, cooked in tomatoes and broth, is pretty good.

Baked Summer Squash with Mexican-Spiced Filling serves 4, but makes A LOT of filling, enough for a whole second meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2c green or brown lentils
  • 1/2c pearled barley
  • 26oz canned or boxed chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/4c broth, or water and bullion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 small can of green chilies, or a minced jalapeno
  • 1-2 TBSP of This homemade taco seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp soy sauce or Worcestershire
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar, or bottled taco sauce *optional
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can of black beans
  • oil for sauteing
  • 12 Crookneck Squash
  • 1/2c Cheddar or Daiya Cheese

First thing, get your lentils and barley cooking since it takes about 40 minutes. Rinse the lentils and the barley and put them in a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, along with the tomatoes, broth, garlic, chilies, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring periodically and adding more broth if need be.

While that’s cooking, prepare your squash. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay them out in a 9×13 baking dish or whatever they will fit in. If they won’t stand up on their own, you can cut a bit off the bottom to make them flat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with a little oil.

IMG_1345

After your squash is prepared, preheat your oven to 375F degrees.

Dice your green pepper and onion, then saute it in a little oil until softened.

I served my squash with cornbread, so if you want to do that you should mix that up now so the squash and the bread can go in the oven together.

When the lentils and barley are soft, remove the pot from the heat and mix in your peppers and onions, your black beans, your Worcestershire or soy sauce, and vinegar or taco sauce (if using). Taste the filling and add salt and pepper, or more taco seasoning if desired.

Use a round Tablespoon measure to fill the squash with a heaping spoonful of filling (you will have a lot extra, you can freeze it for later). Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

IMG_1346

After 30 minutes, remove the foil, top with cheese, and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let it cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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