We’ve all been there: You felt so proud of yourself for making a healthy salad for lunch. By 12 p.m., your pride faded into dissatisfaction of the combination of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. That’s when you know it’s time for a salad makeover – the first step?
Squash is healthy, delicious, inexpensive and can be easily grown right in your own backyard. So if the benefits that come with it don’t have you headed out the back door with your garden gloves and shovel in tow, the flexibility of the vegetable will. Squash can be prepared in a number of ways, from how you cut it to the way you cook it: diced, sliced or spiralized and baked, roasted, sautéed or steamed. With that being said, it can be used as a substitute for a number of foods: pasta, noodles, mashed potatoes and even fries.
This recipe is simple, but it packs a serious punch in terms of the health benefits. It serves as a great source of vitamins and more, depending on the type you choose. So go ahead and enjoy – your body and even taste buds will thank you for it!
- 1 lb. yellow squash or zucchini (or mixture of both, about 4 small)
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, optional
- 1/4 tsp. garlic or onion powder
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped OR 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp. fat-free Parmesan cheese, grated
- Slice the squash into very thin slices. You can use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons, a mandolin to make thin slices or julienne with a knife. Set aside in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, pepper, garlic or onion powder and parsley and whisk thoroughly. Whisk in Parmesan. Add to squash and toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 54 calories; 3.5 g total fat; .5 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 3 g total sugars; 27 mg sodium.
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association.
Jazz it up!
Feel free to jazz up this recipe with the following:
- Incorporate summer squash and/or cherry tomatoes for added color
- Fresh basil, thyme and/or red pepper flakes and even feta cheese for added flavor