This throw together meal was delicious, but I must confess it wasn’t premeditated. I have admitted before that I often have a hard time coming in from the garden in the evenings to make dinner. Earlier in the season when I had lots of greens, I could throw together a salad. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few Swiss Chard plants, I don’t have any greens. The only vegetable I have in abundance is squash, which doesn't necessarily lend itself to a throw togther dinner. I rummaged through the fridge and freezer to see what I had on hand and found frozen Mexican Rice and hamburger and formulated a wild plan.
This dish was a huge success with my family. It is an example of how flavor can trump ingredients. My daughter dubbed it, “Operation Covert Squash” but my intent was not to hide the squash; I just wanted to make a dent in my supply.
The Mexcian rice not only added flavor, but it also soaked up the excess liquid from the squash as they cooked, so the final product did not have too much liquid.
I layered the ingredients like lasagna:
Southwest Squash Lasagna
Yield: 8 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup salsa
2 medium yellow squash
4 cups leftover Mexican Rice
1 lb. hamburger
1 ¾ cups diced tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (or 1 seasoning packet)
3 cups grated cheese (I use mozarella)
Brown hamburger. Add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. (Adding diced tomatoes to taco meat is a tip I picked up from Tegan's Taco Recipe. The first time I tried it my whole family loved and now it has become a standard).
While the hamburger is cooking, slice the squash into 1/4 thick slices.
In a small bowl, combine salsa and tomato sauce.
Spoon half of the salsa mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Lay half of the squash pieces down. Spoon half of the rice over the squash. Spoon half of the meat mixture over the rice, then top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese just begins to brown.
I still have a lot of squash so I expect “Operation Covert Squash” to continue for a little while.
This post has been linked to $5 Dinner Challenge.