In observance of Lent this year, I thought long and hard about what it was that I would be giving up for 40 days. I try to find something truly challenging in order to honor the reason for the act itself, but not impossible, because I don’t want to let down the Big Man Upstairs by caving after 2 hours and three beers. So after lots of thought, it was decided. BYE, BYE meat! See ya in 40 days!
Jeremy was initially as thrilled about this development as you might expect, but he’s managing to survive quite well. In fact, on three different meatless occasions he has turned to me, looked me square in the eye, and declared “This. is. DELICIOUS.”
One of those times was this weekend during an experimental “what the heck do I do with all this squash?!” adventure. I had a leftover pie crust in the fridge from a tomato pie craving that I fulfilled earlier this week, and I knew we both loved my mom’s squash casserole (who doesn’t, really?), so I got to thinkin’… What if I put squash casserole INTO A PIE CRUST? There are just some crazy things in life that can’t be bad, you know?!
All I have to say is… MAKE THIS. Make this NOW.
Now of course, being an “experimental” recipe (and we all know I love those) I’m not 100% sure about what went into this piece of magic, so you may want to experiment yourself if you make it. But the recipe below is my best attempt to put quantities to what I did!
Squash Casserole Pie
1 refrigerated pie crust (brushed with an egg yolk and baked for 5 minutes @ 350 degrees)
1.5 – 2 lbs yellow squash, sliced into rings
1/4 of a Vidalia onion, chopped
2 tbs Olive Oil (or butter)
2 tbs fat free mayo
1 cup of fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella
1/8 cup sharp white cheddar cheese (or yellow, whichever you prefer as long as it’s sharp)
6 Ritz crackers (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 deg.
1) Be sure to prep your pie crust as stated above – brush with an egg yolk or some butter and bake for about 5 minutes.
2) Heat the olive oil or melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw squash and onions into skillet and cook until squash is tender & onions are translucent.
3) In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, mayo and mozzarella. Salt and Pepper to taste.
4) Place squash and onion mixture into the pie crust. I made sure to spread mine so that all my squash rings were laying flat…..because I’m OCD. I’m pretty sure this won’t affect your flavor. Sprinkle sharp cheddar on top of squash mixture. Spread cottage cheese & mozzarella mixture over the top.
5) Bake for 20 minutes.
6) Top with crumbled Ritz. Bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until bubbly around edges.
NOTE: I mentioned above that this is sort of a “combination” recipe of tomato pie and my mom’s squash casserole. When I make my tomato pie, I use much less mayo and cheese in order to keep it light and summery. The squash, however, was begging for more of that richness so I bumped up my mayo and cheese amounts, but I’m sure it would be just as good if you made it a little lighter! 🙂