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  I’ve prepared this dish by a wide variety of recipes over the years.  But this version is my favorite.  For those not familiar with what we Texans call Calaba squash, the pic below is an example of one popular strain.  This sauash is also called Mexican Zucchini.  They are mild and very similar to zucchini in taste, but are shorter, lighter green, slightly striped (some have even darker stripes than the squash in the pic) and they are more oval in shape than zucchini.  The inside flesh is slightly firmer and yellower and best of all, it does not bleed water into your recipes as badly as regular zucchini does. You can definitely substitute zucchini in this dish if you can’t get calaba squash where you live.  I’ve even been known to make this recipe with yellow summer squash.  Comes out tasting a little different, but still quite good.  This dish is Induction friendly.

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Mexican Zucchini (Calaba)


1 lb. diced calaba squash (½-¾” dice)

½ large leek, sliced thin

4 slices lean bacon, chopped

1 T. butter, unsalted

½ c. sweet red pepper, chopped

3 oz. cheddar cheese

3 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese

Pinch each of black pepper, ground cumin and celery seed

DIRECTIONS: Brown the chopped bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (do not drain off grease unless there is more than 2 tablespoons).  When done, add butter and diced calaba squash, stirring often and cook until just about fully tender.   Add sliced leeks, red pepper and spices  and continue stirring for about 5-10 minutes until all veggies appear to be done.  Top with cheeses and pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  This dish goes well with pork, fish and Mexican food.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 large servings each containing:

235.5 calories

17.7 g  fat

7.65 g  carbs, 1.8 g  fiber, 5.85 g  NET CARBS

12.9 g  protein

394 mg sodium


4 comments on “Calabacita

  1. My mother made a similar dish:
    6 calabasas
    1 can corn
    1/2 onion sliced
    2 Tomatoes diced
    1-2 cile california diced
    1 small block Monterey cheese cubed
    1-2 cloves garlic
    Salt and pepper to taste
    3-4 T oil
    Sautee onions, garlic, tomatoes and chile together in oil. Add calabasas, stirring frequently for 5 minutes adding corn last and seasoning to taste. Mix in cubed Monterey cheese and lower medium flame to low allowing cheese to melt. Serve with white rice and salad. Enjoy.


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