Sunday, August 28, 2011

southwest veggie bake

Last week was crazy for me. Between multiple grandparent birthday dinners, 10 hour work days, and a few kickboxing classes, I barely had time to breathe, let alone cook! Luckily, with some quick, simple recipes, and some planning ahead, I survived the chaos! One such recipe I made, was inspired by this summer vegetable tian over at Budget Bytes. The reds, greens, and yellows of the tomatoes and squash, were totally eye-catching, and I knew in a moment that I had to make my own version.

Stuff you need: 1. Yellow squash 2. Zucchini squash 3. Tomatoes 4. Black beans 5.Sharp cheddar cheese 6. Your favorite salsa

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees while you get everything else prepped. Slice your squashes into rounds, and your tomatoes into chunks that are roughly the same size. When everything is chopped up, arrange all the slices in a greased baking dish, until it's completely full. Give it a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, and maybe a little cumin too for good measure.
Next, combine 1/2 cup black beans, 1 heaping cup sharp cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup salsa in a bowl, and stir everything together, until it's mixed well. Spread this mixture on top of your veggies, and then cover the dish with its corresponding lid or some foil.

Pop the dish into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the the vegetables are tender, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Now grab those hot pads and retrieve your meal! I gobbled mine down with a little more salsa on the side, but it was pretty tasty on its own as well.

The colors of the summer vegetables are so pretty, and the meal came together incredibly quick. It's a great dish for a busy week, because I managed to do laundry and other chores, while I waited for it to bake. I also liked the addition of black beans and salsa, which gave it a little protein, and a gooier texture. Next time, onions, potatoes, and more spices would all be excellent additions. It was the perfect dish for a busy week, and it made enough for lunch the next day too- bonus! :)

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