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Calabacitas (Zucchini Saute)

This is a pretty versatile dish. You can make it spicier by adding jalapenos instead of pasillas/poblanos. You can add corn and omit some of the zucchini, use it as a taco filling, make it a vegetarian meal by omitting the chicken boullion powder, and use different squashes if you’d like. You can also use different cheeses here. Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Queso Fresco, etc. There is no wrong way to make this.

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  • 1 pasilla (or poblano, same thing), stemmed, cut in half and seeded 
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 zucchini, stemmed and chopped into large pieces
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. chicken boullion powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat, part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

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Heat a burner on the stove over high. Take the halved pasilla pepper and place it directly on the burner (I know this sounds insane, but it works!). Char the peppers exterior skin only (not the fleshy inside) for 1-2 minutes until black.  With tongs, remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Run peppers under cool water and using your fingers, rub away the blackened skin. Place on cutting board and slice into thin strips and chop. Set aside.

Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes until lightly browned and softened a bit. Add the garlic. Saute 1 minute, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add zucchini, poblanos, salt, pepper, oregano, and chicken boullion powder. Stir together and cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini begins to soften. Add tomatoes, stir, and cook for another minute. Top zucchini with shredded cheese and cook for another 4 minutes until cheese melts over the vegetable mixture.

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If you’d like, you can pop it under the broiler for a second or two to brown it up. Make sure to keep an eye on it. TIP:  If your pan’s handle has plastic, wrap it in foil. This will keep it from melting.