Monday, December 10, 2012

Mexican Meat and Squash Casserole

I had one of my Mexican cravings over the weekend.  And since I couldn't have any dark chocolate or fruit since I'm doing a 21-day sugar detox, I needed to come up with some way to give into my fiesta urges.  I looked in my freezer - tons of grass fed hamburger beef.  I looked in my fridge - about six small yellow squashes just sitting in there all alone waited to be used up.  Surely I could come up with something that could blend the two together nicely. 

Challenge received and conquered with this delicious recipe!  I was even able to sneak in some eggplant too that almost got unnoticed.  It did get eaten though. 

Trust me, you'll like this one.  It will surprise you at how tasty and Mexican-flavored it is!

Mexican Meat and Squash Casserole

1 Tbsp of olive oil + more for greasing pan
1 pound of grass fed hamburger meat
6 yellow squash sliced into small noodles (about 4 cups)
1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes, mostly drained - read label carefully for no added sugar or salt
1 can (14 oz) of tomato sauce - read label carefully for no added sugar or salt
1 tsp of chili powder
2 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 Tbsp of taco seasoning, homemade (like in this recipe)
2 dashes of sea salt
1 dash of pepper

Variations/Ways to Mix it up:
2 links of ground up nitrite-free chicken sausage, such as Aidells brand (optional)
1/2 of a small eggplant sliced into shapes like the squash (about 1 cup) - optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 2 Qt pan with olive oil.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook your grass fed hamburger meat (and optional chicken sausage if using it).  Season it with 1 tsp of the onion powder.  Drain and set aside in a large, separate bowl. 

Wash, slightly peel and slice up your yellow squash into 2-3 inch noodle size pieces.  (Or the size of a typical french fry).  Like this:

Wipe down your skillet.  Add in the 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Cook your yellow squash (and optional egg plant slices if using them).  Sprinkle with the sea salt.  Saute them for about seven to eight minutes. 

Place the cooked squash (and optional eggplant) in the large bowl with the browned meat.  Open your can of diced tomatoes.  Drain almost all of it and toss over the meat and squash.  Now add in all your remaining ingredients - tomato sauce, chili powder, onion powder (the other 1 tsp), garlic powder, homemade taco seasoning and a final dash of salt and pepper.  Mix all ingredients well in the large bowl.  Scoop out into the greased 2 quart baking pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

We topped ours with a bit of all-natural Amish cheddar cheese.  This would also be great topped with avocado slices, salsa or all natural sour cream.   

Even my picky five year old daughter said she really liked this dish.  I ate it for three meals in a row and was disappointed when it was all gone.  Good stuff!  Who needs the tortillas or pasta when better-for-you vegetables like squash (or eggplant) work just as well?!  :-) 

Enjoy! And You're welcome (De Nada!)  :-)


Still craving more Mexican?  Check out my Mexican Meatza recipe too! 

What kinds of other foods do we eat within a month?  Here is my sample meal plan with recipe links!

Cheers and be well! 


No comments:

Post a Comment