As promised, here are the two recipes that were mentioned in this week's Taste of the Past column.


Serves 6.

Note: "I recently visited my brother in California, and while I was there he served a delicious squash dish," wrote Julie Gaiennie of Shreveport, La. in the first entry of the syndicated "Low-calorie cooking" column in Taste on Sept. 2, 1987. "When I saw his recipe I realized I wouldn't be able to stay on my diet if I continued to eat it. I hope you can help me with this recipe because I love squash, and right now we have it 'coming out of our ears' here."

6 medium zucchini or yellow squash

1 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced

1 to 2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 ½ c. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 c. finely chopped walnuts

½ c. toasted pine nuts

¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp. oregano

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Line a baking pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and trim squash, then blanch in boiling salted water until tender but still firmly shaped, about 5 minutes. Drain and immerse squash in cold water, then drain. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out flesh (chopping flesh and transferring to a strainer to drain), leaving just enough edge to hold the shells intact. Set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lightly brown mushrooms, then removed mushrooms from heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook onions until golden brown. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and drained squash flesh. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high and cook until almost dry. Stir in mushrooms, walnuts, pine nuts, parsley, nutmeg, oregano, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Spoon mixture into squash shells, place shells on prepared baking pan and bake until squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Author Jeanne Jones responded: "Dear Julie: I think you will be pleased with your comparison of calories between your stuffed zucchini and my revision. I lowered the amount of olive oil and used extra-virgin olive oil for the maximum flavor. I eliminated the butter and I also great reduced the amount of walnuts and pine nuts because they are very high in calories. I like the lower-fat version better than the original. I have also rewritten the method to make the dish so that it's easier to assemble. Since this dish won't win any beauty contest, you might want to "mix and match" the color of the squash and garnish it with some freshly grated cheese – that way you could serve it as an entrée, and with the lower-calorie version you could stay on your diet."


¼ c. chopped walnuts

¼ c. pine nuts

6 medium zucchini or yellow squash

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

½ medium onion (3/4 c.), chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced

1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 c.)

1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

1 tsp. oregano, crushed

¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts and pine nuts in a baking pan and bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. In a steamer over rapidly boiling water, steam zucchini (or yellow squash) until they can be pierced with a knife, about 6 to 8 minutes (be careful not to get them too soft). Remove from steamer, halve lengthwise and scoop out flesh (transfer flesh to a strainer or colander, strain out excess liquid, chop flesh then reserve), being careful not to get the shells too thin. Reserve shells. In a skillet over low heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook, covered, until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms, cover and cook until mushrooms are soft. Add chopped tomato and reserved squash flesh and cook, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring rapidly, until mixture is almost dry. Add parsley, oregano, nutmeg, lemon juice and pepper and mix well. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spoon mixture into squash shells and place in a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Calories per serving: 315 for original recipe, 130 for revised recipe.

Cholesterol per serving: 5 mg for original recipe; 0 mg for revised recipe.

Fat per serving: 28 mg for original recipe; 9 mg. for revised recipe.

Sodium per serving: 400 mg for original recipe; 195 mg for revised recipe.