I try to learn something new everyday. Today it was Patty Pan. Who knew?

Knowing how much I love garden veggies, I had a friend tell me that he had an abundance of Patty Pan, if I might want some.  Patty PanWha?  Well, I don't know where I have been, but I have never heard of it.  I was excited to get it and experiment with the Patty Pan!   TA-DA....here it is...

Patty Pan turns out to be a cute little squash that I just fell in love with.  The picture is a stack of them all washed and ready for cooking.  They are awesome for stuffing and baking.  I'm sure it would be great fried too.  I just went for the healthy approach because that is what I do. 

I decided to stuff my Patty Pan with a quinoa stuffing.  You could easily do rice or breadcrumbs, I just have a new addiction to quinoa.  :)  There were alot of different recipes, some called for boiling the squash first, and some called for roasting.  I decided to roast mine.  Although it took mine WAY longer than other recipes had read.  So, you may have to keep an eye on them while baking.  I will give my best directions, and the photos may help some. 

First, cut the tops off the squash but keep them for later.  Scoop the seeds and pulp out of the Patty Pan leaving about a half an inch or so of the flesh inside.  They will look something like this...

Place them in a roasting pan with about a half inch of water in the bottom.  Put them in the oven on 375 for about 30 minutes.  The recipes I looked at had said about 10 minutes, but I wanted mine to be pretty tender.  I just kept an eye on them and waited until they had a little softness to them.  You will cook them a little while longer after stuffing them, but you want them to be pretty done after this stage of cooking.

For the stuffing, I kept it healthy.  First I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet.  I sauteed 1/2 cup of onion and a cup of celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes.   Then I added 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, a teaspoon of Greek seasoning and a teaspoon of roasted garlic powder to the onion mixture and cooked a few more minutes.  Finally, add a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper, and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan and let it melt into the mixture. 

A few other ingredients that you could add to this would be shredded carrots, diced bell pepper, mushrooms or even some of your fave sausage, beef or chicken would be great!

To finish, you can use the same pan you used for roasting the squash earlier but drain the water and line the pan with foil.  Take each Patty Pan( I love the name), and fill it with the quinoa stuffing.  Place them back in the oven at 375 with their little lids just laying on the pan beside them.   Cook for about 20-30 minutes, you want them to be nice and warm inside.  Remove from the oven and put their stems back on for presentation and serve!   I just loved these!  

Remember..Love what you eat and eat what you love!  


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