Holle loves to cook. She creates a lot of delicious recipes and enjoys sharing them.
The Low-Carb Diet
The subject today is squash recipes. If you’ve been reading my articles about low-carb recipes, you know that I’m trying to stick to a low-carb diet. I eat a lot of eggs, chicken, beef, pork, turkey, shrimp, crabmeat, and finned fish, and I also try to include low-carb veggies. Yellow squash is one of my faves.
Year-Round Yellow Squash
Thanks to modern farming methods and transportation of produce, we can now enjoy summer squash all year in the United States. I love the flavor of fresh squash in just about any recipe I can think of. In fact, sometimes I eat it raw in salads to add interesting texture, color, and taste to a green salad made with raw spinach or lettuce. Sometimes I eat raw squash by dicing it and combining it with diced onion, diced cucumber, diced fresh tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and herbs and spices.
When it comes to how to cook yellow squash, I have a veritable arsenal of squash recipes, and I’m sharing a few with you here. One is a detailed recipe for sautéed squash, while the others are more in the idea category. In other words, you don’t need hard specifics on those—just some guidelines. Next time you see some attractive summer squash at the supermarket or vegetable stand, pick up a few and try a couple of my squash recipes!
Recipes for Yellow Squash
I’ve created numerous recipes for yellow squash. That’s because I like it and because we used to grow lots of it in our gardens over the years. If you’ve had experience growing summer squash, you know that once the plants start producing, they’ll continue to do so up until a hard frost, as long as they’re cared for properly. That means bushels of squash! Also, you can use zucchini in practically all the same recipes, too.
My squash recipes include stewed squash, fried squash, squash soup, squash fritters, squash pancakes, baked squash, stir-fried squash, stuffed squash, pan grilled squash, grilled squash, pickles, sautéed squash, and casseroles. (I have more than one type of squash casserole, by the way.) As you can see from the variety of my squash recipes, it’s a pretty adaptable vegetable, and it’s low in carbs. Let me clarify that—yellow squash recipes can be low in carbs. Winter squashes are higher in carbohydrates.
Watch Out for Carb-Laden Ingredients
Recipes for yellow squash can be high in carbs, too, if you add carb-laden ingredients. For example, deep-fried squash that has a batter made from white flour wouldn’t be a very good dish for a low-carb diet. The same goes for squash casseroles and stuffed baked squash that include crushed crackers or bread crumbs. Rest assured that the dishes I’m sharing here are all made with low-carb recipes.
How to Cook Yellow Squash
The best methods for cooking yellow squash are somewhat limited to the squash itself, especially on the tenderness factor.
- Older, larger squash are usually going to be harder and tougher, and so are the seeds within the fruits.
- Small, immature fruits are great steamed or boiled, but they’re not really large enough to use for fried squash or grilled squash.
Obviously, how to cook yellow squash also depends whether or not you’re preparing foods for a low carb-diet. The veggie itself is okay, but you have to be careful about which ingredients you add.
For most of my recipes for yellow squash, I prefer to use fruits that are about five inches in total length. The fruits should be firm but not hard. They should be a pale yellow color instead of being a deep yellow or gold shade. Before cooking yellow squash, I wash the fruits well in cool water and remove any blemishes from the skin with a knife. In most cases, I also remove both ends of the fruits.
Sautéed Squash Recipe
This sautéed squash is wonderful! When I’m following a low-carb diet, I often have it as a meal. It’s filling and satisfying, and it’s a good way for me to add some calcium without getting all the carbs and sugars in milk. If you have a Vidalia onion, use that here. If not, use any type of yellow onion.
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- 4 strips bacon
- 4 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 onion, sliced, diced, or chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Grated cheddar cheese
- In a black iron skillet, fry bacon until just crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Cook squash and onion in bacon grease over medium heat. Stir until squash begins to brown.
- Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover skillet with heavy lid and cook to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or so. Crumble or tear bacon and add to squash.
- Line a plate with paper towels and place squash on plate. Quickly transfer squash to another plate and sprinkle with grated cheese. If cheese doesn’t get "melty" enough, heat squash briefly in microwave or oven.
Baked squash is super easy to make! In fact, you don’t need a recipe. When the old man or dinner guests come over for grilled steak, BBQ chicken, or smoked pork shoulder, I often make baked potatoes in the oven while the meat is cooking outdoors on the grill or smoker. I make a baked squash or two for myself in lieu of the potatoes.
- In the Oven: I simply wash and dry the squash and bake it on a cookie sheet with the spuds.
- In the Microwave: If you’re not baking potatoes for others, you can cook squash in the microwave. Again, I just rinse off the squash, remove any bad spots, and nuke it until it’s tender. I then split it open or cut it into chunks and add butter and garlic salt. Sometimes I might sprinkle on some Parmesan, grated cheddar, or shredded mozzarella.
Think fried squash can’t be part of a low-carb diet? Think again! The secret it to leave off the white wheat flour and use soy flour, instead. The only problem with this low-carb fried squash recipe is that soy flour cooks and browns quicker than regular white flour does, so you have to make sure the squash itself gets done at the same time the batter does. You have to slice your squash very thinly.
- Make an egg wash with an egg and a little milk or buttermilk.
- Add some soy flour to a bag and season it with salt or garlic salt, onion powder, and/or black pepper. For some extra zip, you might want to add some cayenne, chili powder, paprika, or chipotle.
- Heat at least two inches of oil to 360°F.
- Dip the sliced squash in the egg and milk, and then shake it in the seasoned soy flour. Fry the dredged slices in the oil a few at a time, until the squash is golden brown.
- Drain the fried squash on wire racks or on paper napkins or towels.
You can make a low-carb version of fried zucchini using the same method I describe above for fried squash.
You can also change it up a bit by adding some grated Parmesan cheese. When I do this, I sometimes just add the Parm to the soy flour, but sometimes I do it a little differently by dipping the squash in the egg, then in the flour, then back into the egg again, and then into the grated cheese.
Another way to make fried zucchini is to first stuff the fruits with a square slice of mozzarella cheese. You might want to use one of those round cheese string sticks. Then slice the zucchini into thin slices and follow the recipe for low-carb fried squash from that point. To make the recipe healthier, you can add some flaxseed meal to the soy flour.