The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 10: May 24, 2002: Page 4
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      Cooking TLC with Karen Rysavy
Chayote Squash — Versatile, Tasty, Nutritious — And Low Carb!

       Pronounced "chy-oh'-tee", Chayote
            squash, or Sechium edule, also
        commonly known as christophene,
       mirliton, pepinella, alligator pear, or
        vegetable pear, is a member of the
cucurbit (gourd, nightshade) family.  This versatile vegetable (alright, fruit – it is technically
a fruit, just as a tomato is in actuality a fruit, and not a vegetable)  is native to Mexico and
parts of Central America,  and is widely used throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Thanks to its greater availability, chayote is growing in popularity here in the United States as well.

Chayote squash is a good source of folic acid, Vitamin C, Potassium, and dietary fiber. It is similar to summer squash in that has a very mild flavor on its own and it easily absorbs other flavors in recipes. It combines well with strong herbs like basil and oregano, as well as onions, leeks, and garlic.

These four chayote cost under $2.00 at my local 
store, so they are also economical. A ripe, good-quality chayote should have smooth skin with few to no wrinkles, firm, unblemished flesh, and may range in color from a light lime to a medium green. Most chayote sold in the U.S. weigh between one half to one pound each. Although the skin is edible when cooked, it can be quite tough, so it is typically removed. The flesh remains firm even after cooking. The large, tender seed, the leafy tips of the vines, and even the fleshy, starchy roots are edible, but unless you grow chayote yourself, you will likely be limited to using only the fruit.

According to the USDA, one cup of raw chayote squash in one inch cubes weighs 132 gm. and contains 25 calories, 0.17 gm. fat, 5.94 gm. carbohydrate, 2.24 gm. fiber, and 1.08 gm. protein. One cup, boiled and drained: 160 gm, 38 calories, 0.8 gm. fat, 8.15 gm. carbohydrate, 4.48 gm. fiber, and 0.99 gm. protein. According to Wegman's, one medium sized chayote squash weighs 203 gm. and contains 50 calories, 1 gm. fat, 11 gm. carbohydrate, 6 gm. fiber, and 2 gm. protein. (I based my nutritional analysis of the following recipes on the USDA's numbers.)

General Preparation: Use like any other squash — steam, boil, bake, fry, add to stews, salads, stir-fries, and casseroles.

Microwave: Peel and dice, place in microwave-safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook on high for 6 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain off excess water, season to taste with butter, herbs, salt, pepper, etc. and serve.

Stovetop: Peel and dice, place in saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain off water, season to taste with butter, salt, pepper, etc. and serve. May also be sautéed in oil/butter and/or broth.

Salads: Marinated raw chayote slices add a deliciously unique crunch to summer salads — try some soon!


TLC Cheesy Stuffed Chayote

  • 4 medium chayote squash, about 8 oz. each
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 6-8 cups water, for boiling
  • 3 slices low carb bread
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or dash hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Cheesy Stuffed Chayote Cut the chayotes in half the long way. Place in a saucepan and cover with one inch of water. Add salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from saucepan and immerse in ice water for a few minutes, to halt the cooking process.

Preheat oven to 425°F (205°C). Pat cooled chayote halves dry with a clean or paper towel, and remove the seeds (these may be reserved for use in a salad or other dish, if desired). Using a spoon, melon baller, or ice cream scoop, remove the flesh from each half, leaving a thin shell intact. Set the shells aside. Shred the bread into soft crumbs.

Dice the chayote flesh (you should have around 2 cups) and combine it with the bread crumbs, 1-1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, the bran, egg, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper or sauce, celery salt, and pepper. Divide the resulting filling mixture evenly between the reserved shells, packing it gently but firmly into the shells, and mounding the filling up and smoothing it over as needed. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Cover the filling with this mixture, pushing it into the filling lightly if needed, to make it stick. Arrange the stuffed squash in a greased baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot throughout and golden brown on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: 8 servings: 197 calories, 13 gm. fat (8 gm. saturated), 8 gm. carbohydrate (2 gm. fiber), 12 gm. protein, each.


TLC Quick Chayote Bisque

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 medium chayote squash - peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • 4 cups 0-carb chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of a dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • Dash hot pepper sauce (optional, to taste)
  • 1 cup sour cream
TLC Quick Chayote Bisque In a large stockpot, sauté the onion in the oil over medium-high heat until soft but not brown. Add garlic; continue to cook for one additional minute. Add chayote, stock, wine and dill. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes. Add sour cream and puree in blender or food processor or with immersible blender until smooth. Add seasoned salt, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce to taste.

NUTRITION INFO: 6 servings, 155 calories, 10 gm. fat (5 gm. saturated), 7 gm. carbohydrate (1 gm. fiber), 6 gm. protein, each.




   
If you like these recipes, you’ll LOVE my cookbook, Cooking TLC! Order your autographed copy direct from www.trulylowcarb.com to receive FREE Priority Shipping!
                                                                             Karen





            NEW and EXCITING products from The Low Carb Chef!

Thank you for your excellent response on the new Low Carb Chef "Aunt Paula's" cookie mix, The Chef bread machine mix and buttermilk pancake mix! Keep checking back for an announcement of more from The Chef and his "Aunt Paula's" line! As always, if you are not completely satisfied with anything from The Low Carb Chef's kitchen, your purchase price will be gladly refunded!

The Low Carb Chef
In the event you missed it in the last newsletter, The Low Carb Chef proudly introduced his "Aunt Paula’s" line of Chewy Chocolate Chip w/Walnut Cookie Mix and her Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie Mix! There is no better cookie mix on the low carb market! Each LARGE cookie has less than 1 gram of effective carbohydrate and each bag of mix makes 24 LARGE cookies. You will not be able to tell the difference between the taste of these cookies and the ones you find in the "fresh baked" section of the convenience stores! We have received another shipment of the mixes and should be in good supply for the forseeable future. See the Low Carb Luxury review of these terrific cookies!

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As always, we have a wide variety of other products available at www.LowCarbDieters.com, where we bring the low carb store, right to your door!



                                              Brett and Wanda
                                    http://www.LowCarbDieters.com
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