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Squash Casserole

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When I think of dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, I think of squash casserole.  Craig tells me that his mom actually never really made this delicious side-dish until he and his brother were both adults, but it has been a regular dish since I began hanging around.  Honestly, she probably makes a point to make her squash casserole when Craig and I visit specifically because of how much I always say how much I love it, but that is perfectly fine with me.

There are a few reasons that I particularly love this casserole.

  1. It is a casserole that Craig can eat.
    • So many casseroles contain cream-of-[insert whatever] soup, and Craig can’t eat those.  Of course, I could create some sort of dairy-free version of those ingredients from scratch and then attempt all these otherwise-un-Craig-friendly recipes, but I don’t have that type of time on a typical evening.  One day, I would love to have an extra freezer so that I can make all these dairy-free basics from scratch and then freeze them to use in casseroles and other meals when I need them, but we don’t have that kind of room right now.  If I want to whip something together quickly for dinner, it’s going to have to be dairy-free (or easily altered to be dairy-free) from the get-go.
  2. It has a vegetable in it, and Craig likes it.
    • Now it’s not that Craig isn’t willing to eat vegetables at all.  He’s almost always willing to try something at least once, and he has definitely taught himself to like some vegetables way more than he used to.  Still, it’s hard to find vegetable-focused foods that Craig really loves.
      • Before anyone has an urge to comment and tell me how having a casserole with a vegetable the title doesn’t mean it’s healthy because of the high caloric content, there is no need to waste your time.  I am well aware that a squash casserole has way more calories than plain squash, and honestly, I’m thankful for that.  Yes, I definitely have to be aware of my portions so I don’t consume more calories than I should, but Craig’s metabolism is so insanely fast!  And it’s not the “You-have-a-fast-metabolism-because-you-are-young-and-active” type of fast.  It’s the “You-have-amazing-calorie-obliterating-genetics-and will-always-have-to-consume-WAY-more-calories-than-a-norml-person-no-matter-what” type of fast.  I literally have to ALWAYS keeps baked goods in our kitchen so that Craig has them available to eat some calorie-dense food when he needs it.  If he only consumed what we would consider “healthy and nutritious” food, Craig literally could not consume enough calories to keep from losing weight.  Yeah, I know.  It’s simply unfair.  My dad, my twin brother, Craig’s mom, and Craig all have these metabolisms.  In my family, we (being the less metabolically-blessed family members) call them H.M.F.s…standing for High Metabolism Freaks.  But I digress…  My point is, if I can find something that includes a vegetable and is a little higher in calories than just the vegetable itself, that’s even better for Craig.
  3. I like it!
    • Yeah, I’m well aware of the fact that I just listed “I like it” as a reason that “I love this casserole.”  It seems redundant, I know.  However, my goal of Craig-friendly recipes is not to create something that someone who never has any dairy would like.  My goal is to create something dairy-free, but that anyone who eats dairy-filled recipes on a regular basis would still enjoy eating.  This falls into that category.

My mother-in-law told me that she’s basically had this recipe forever, and that she originally found in an old Southern Living recipe book.  I tried to find it again online, but they pretty much have ten million squash casserole recipes, so oh well.  I did my best to give them credit.  🙂

Squash Casserole Recipe*

  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs (divided)  –>  I didn’t crumble my crackers very small because I like the bigger chunks, but the originally recipe has the crackers really crumbled.
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (which I obviously omitted)
  • 1(-ish) pound yellow squash

*I actually made just under a double-batch, so if you are thinking to yourself that what you see in the pictures is more than I have listed above, that’s because you’re right!

Directions

  1. Clean the squash and cut off the ends.  Then, cut up, boil and mash the squash.
  2. Combine mayo, onion, 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs, egg, sugar, salt, & pepper.
  3. Combine the mayo mixture to the mashed squash, and mix well.
  4. Pour into a lightly greased 1 quart casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle the other 1/4 of the cracker crumbs on top.
  6. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.I used whole wheat crackers, so don’t expect your crackers to be this brown when your casserole is done if you are using regular crackers.  At that point, the crackers would probably be burnt.
  7. (If using cheese) After the casserole is baked, sprinkle the 1/4 cup of cheese on top, and stick the casserole back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

We enjoyed our casserole with a deliciously marinaded london broil, rolls from the Publix bakery, a glass of Malbec, and a salad with mixed greens, craisins, slivered almonds, goat cheese, and a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Simply Luscious London Broil « McKinney Living

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