Squash makes healthy 'fast food'

Photo provided by the American Institute for Cancer Research

For the Press

Enjoy the bounty of summer gardens with an easy-to-prepare, nutritious one-pot dish. The star ingredient, squash, cooks quickly. And by adding canned, high-protein garbanzo beans to this quick saute, you'll minimize your time at a hot stove.

Squash, in the same family as gourds, may be one of the crops that helped ancient people transition from hunters and gatherers to growers. Their seeds have been found in caves in South America dating back 12,000 years, predating the rise of cultivation by 2,000 years.

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Hollowed squash and gourds were used as containers to carry water. The first ceramic pots were probably formed to resemble these vessels.

Sauteing zucchini and yellow squash with other seasonal crops, such as tomatoes and basil, offers an easy way to take advantage of their abundance this time of year. Add fresh mint from your garden box - its surprising freshness adds something special to this basic recipe.

Double up on seasonal vegetables and add more color by creating a beet and onion salad to round out the meal. Simply slice cooked and peeled beets and a red onion. Place in a bowl, add a dressing made with equal amounts vinegar and oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

American Institute

for Cancer Research

Garbanzo Vegetable Saute


•1 tablespoon olive oil

•3 garlic cloves, minced

•1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

•(1 teaspoon dried may be substituted)

•1 tablespoon fresh oregano finely chopped (1 teaspoon dried may be substituted)

•1 small zucchini, cut in half then sliced

•1 small yellow crookneck squash, cut in half then sliced

•1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

•115-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

•2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

•1 fresh tomato, diced

•3 cups cooked brown rice (or wild rice)


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, basil and oregano and saute for one to two minutes.

Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms and garbanzos and stir well to combine. Continue to saute for about 10 minutes until zucchini and squash are tender crisp. Add mint and tomato and continue to gently saute for three additional minutes.

Serve over bed of cooked rice.

Servings: 4

Nutrition information per serving: 323 calories, 7 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 57 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 9 g dietary fiber, 18 mg sodium.

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