There are several vegetables and legumes that get the shaft, and who’s to say why. We all have our preferences of course, and that’s allowed. Usually it stems from a childhood aversion to whatever your mom may have made that you slid under the table to the dog. Or perhaps you had a really bad experience after eating something different at a friend’s house, and you vowed never again to let it touch your lips. Brussels sprouts seem to be the biggest culprit. Either you love them or hate them–there’s no in between. There are other veggies that fall on either side of the love-hate spectrum. If you happen to dislike spinach, black eyed peas or squash, this dish may not be for you. If you love one or all of those ingredients, this boatful of vegetable goodness will rock your world.
In an effort to sprinkle a few more healthy meals into the cooking repertoire, here’s a side dish that is as satisfying as it is colorful. For anyone who may have said ‘Blech’ in response to the mention of spinach, black eyed peas and squash, keep an open mind. A particular combination of ingredients in a dish can totally shift how something tastes. The spinach and squash are not soggy (a total no-no!), and the peas have been transformed into a ‘spread’ if you will that melts into each bite. It makes eating your vegetables way too easy. Don’t be hesitant! Just take a bite.
Spinach and Black Eyed Pea Stuffed Squash – Serves 4
2 large yellow squash, halved and pulp removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1 cup black eyed peas, cooked with juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium sauté pan. Once hot, add the garlic and onions and cook until onions just begin to turn translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes and spinach leaves. Once spinach has wilted, remove from heat. Stir in salt and sriracha. Set aside.
3. Using a food processor, blend black eyed peas until smooth. Spread evenly over the bottom of the four squash halves.
4. Top each squash half with some of the spinach mixture, followed by a sprinkling of cheese and panko crumbs.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese and panko brown and squash feels soft once pricked with a fork.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.