Gem Squash with Greek Mince Filling

Another mouth-watering dish from the amazing Dalene Crafford:

 

GEM SQUASH WITH GREEK MINCE FILLING

 

Gem squash halves have their own built-in bowls, making them such wonderful organic containers for all kinds of fillings.

 

Here I have decided to make a Greek-style filling for the gem squash, using beef or lamb mince, grated baby marrows (courgettes/zucchini) and Feta cheese. The mince filling is richly seasoned with garlic, paprika, coriander, cinnamon and rosemary. These LCHF Greek gems make a very satisfying main or light meal.

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 3 gem squash, cut in half (remove the seeds if preferred)
  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ red pepper, chopped
  • 125 g beef or lamb mince
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated baby marrows (courgettes/zucchini)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese (plain)
  • milled black pepper or white pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • sprigs of rosemary to garnish (optional)

 

METHOD:

 

Boil the gem squash. Drain well and place the 6 halves (cut side facing up) on a baking tray. Place a teaspoon of butter in each half. Set aside.

 

Prepare the filling: Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok. Sauté the onion and red pepper for a few minutes. Add the mince, paprika, coriander, cinnamon and rosemary. Stir-fry until just cooked. Add the grated baby marrows (courgettes/zucchini) and garlic. Stir-fry for 2 − 3 minutes over medium high heat until the baby marrow is just cooked. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Feta cheese. The Feta should not melt completely − pieces of Feta should still be visible. Season with pepper. Taste and add salt if necessary (the Feta cheese is salty, so you might not need to add any salt).

 

Preheat the grill to medium hot. Spoon the mince mixture into the squash halves. Pop under the grill until heated through. Watch closely as the mince might burn quickly. If it happens, turn the grill setting down and/or move the baking tray to a lower oven rack. Alternatively, you could bake the gems in a preheated oven at 180ºC until just heated through. Take care not to overbake.

 

Garnish the gem squash with rosemary sprigs and serve with stir-fried green beans, a crisp garden salad and black olives.

 

(Serves 3 as a main meal or 6 as a light meal.)

 

TIPS:

 

This is a very versatile Greek mince recipe. If you do not use it to fill gem squash, then you could serve it with cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash.

 

Top roasted eggplant (brinjal/aubergine) slices with the Greek mince.

 

Toast banting bread and brush with olive oil. Top with thickly sliced tomato, thinly sliced red onion and finally the Greek mince.

 

The mince makes and excellent omelette filling.

 

Serve the mince with scrambled or fried egg and stir-fried mushrooms.

 

A nice extra is to add chopped or flaked almonds to the mince (at the same time when adding the Feta cheese).

 

Dalene Crafford

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