I picked up a long, cylindrical green object at the farmers’ market. “What’s this?” I asked the young girl who was collecting money. “I don’t know,” she said. “Let me ask my sister.” It turned out to be something called a fuzzy squash. I’d never seen (or cooked) one before so, of course, I bought it.
Thus began the Internet search for “fuzzy squash.” Apparently, it’s also called a fuzzy melon, although it’s definitely more of a squash than a melon in my mind. Although the vegetable in front of me was a much brighter green than the ones in the online photos and didn’t have spots, I’m assuming it was indeed a fuzzy squash.
I found a great sounding recipe at Come Cook with Me. I had just picked up some organic garlic, heirloom tomatoes and jalapeño peppers at the market and thought they would work well in the recipe.
Two things I learned about fuzzy squash:
- You should always peel them. They are a bit fuzzy, after all!
- They are like tofu in the sense that they don’t have much flavor on their own and they adapt well to whatever spices they are cooked with. Be bold!
I was so inspired by reading this recipe, I dug out a jar of tikka paste from the pantry and combined it with Greek-style nonfat plain yogurt (equal parts) to marinate some boneless chicken breasts. I also decided to make Good Life Eats’ Whole Wheat Indian Naan, which I’ve been meaning to try for a while. It got a huge thumbs-up from the Grillmaster and was perfect for soaking up the spicy juices in the bottom of the pan. Here’s a tip if you make the naan: use a tortilla press. It works great! I’ve included nutritional information for the naan below.
The fuzzy squash dish is very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus.
Adapted from Come Cook with Me
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 fresh bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 jalapeño chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), chopped
1 fuzzy squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
½ tsp Kosher salt
spice mixture (see above)
1 heirloom tomato, seeded and diced
1 lemon wedge
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, combine ingredients for spice mixture. Set aside.
Heat wok, then add oil, jalapeño, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add squash, salt and spice mixture. Stir and cover. Cook about 5 minutes or until squash is tender, but not mushy. Add tomatoes, turn off heat and cover. Let the wok sit for about 5 minutes.
Just before serving, squeeze the lemon wedge over the dish and garnish with cilantro.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 103 calories, 5g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 309mg sodium, 15g carb, 5g fiber, 8g sugar, 4g protein
Whole Wheat Indian Naan (from Good Life Eats)
I followed the recipe exactly, but formed balls a bit smaller than golf ball size because I wanted to flatten them with my tortilla press. I ended up with about 36 balls of dough. I pulled out what we needed for dinner and froze the rest. Balls this size made naan about 5 inches in diameter (about the size of a corn tortilla). I consider three of these to be a serving. If your meal plan can’t afford 36g of carb, only eat one or two.
Makes 12 servings
Per serving (three 5-inch naans): 213 calories, 5g fat (3g sat), 28mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 36g carb, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 7g protein