Because of the good feedback i got from the first two recipes i posted on this blog, i decided to post yet another recipe. And since two of my readers are vegetarians (im not sure though if they consume dairy, but im hoping they do, or they could substitute fresh milk for soy milk), i decided to make a veggie casserole.
I have a twelve year old cousin who hates veggies, but loves this dish. I have also tried serving this dish to kids, and they seem to like it too. I think that's because it doesnt look like a veggie dish at all.
Try making and serving this on your next party, and your guests will surely be asking for the recipe.
Promise me though, that you would keep secret the easy steps to prepare this dish. You could also ask your kids to help ytou make this one. Yes. It is THAT simple.
For this recipe i used simple ingredients that we already had in our fridge and pantry, but a lot of different vegetables work werll with this dish. You could try adding some cabage, brocolli, caulliflower, beans, chick peas, green peas, young corn, okra, zuchinni, eggplant, pumpkin, gourd or whatever vegetables you fancy.
So here's how to make a simple, fast, and delicious veggie casserole:
First, cube some root vegetables. For this recipe i used squash, potatoes and carrots (because that was all we had in the fridge. but i usually put jicama and sweet potatoes)
Boil some water (and make sure its REALLY boiling) and add your root vegetables in. Take them out when they are fork tender (that means, your fork goes right through it). If you still do not get what i mean, jus tmake sure it is tender enough to eat. Take the boiled root vegetables out and set them aside.
Mince some garlic (mincing means to chop into really tiny pieces), Dice some onions and bell peppers, and prepare your corn and carrots. If you have vegetables other than what i have in the photo, slice them to a size close to the size of your root vegetables.
In a pan, saute your garlic, onions and bell peppers in butter and/or oil. I prefer butter because of the flavor, but i always use oil with butter since butter burns very quickly; and mixing oil with it lets it burn slower.
Once the garlic has browned and the onions have turned translucent, add in the corn, mushroooms and the rest of all your vegetables andsaute until they are all fork tender or tender enough to eat.
Prepare your herbs and spices and season your dish at this stage. In the photo are stuff i put at this stage: basil, paprika, pepper (the red zombie), salt (the black zombie), and some dried parsley (it is quite a challenge to find good flat leaf parsley in the philippines)
Add in your root vegetables and a couple tablespoons of paprika (this gives it a reddish color, which kids find more attractive, and it also lends a smoky flavor to the dish)
Add in fresh milk (or soy milk, or evaporated milk). Make sure that you put just enough to coat all the vegetables. you do not want too much sauce. Also add in a small amount of sugar. I find that it livens up all the flavors, and highlights the smokiness of the paprika
Cook the veggies until most of the sauce has been absorbed. Taste your dish at this point. Add in more slat and pepper if needs more flavor.
Put on some cheese and some parsley. For this batch i used cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese powder (that was all we had). However, you may use any type of cheese you fancy. I would imagine mozarella cheese would be great, texture-wise, for this dish.
Bake it in the oven until the cheese melts (or in the case of my parmesan cheese, until it turns golden brown). I do not really know what temperature i baked it in, and it doesnt matter as much, because all your vegetables are really cooked through anyway. You are just baking it to give it a cheesy crust which is more appealoing to kids and picky eaters. You could leave this step out altogether but i just find that it makes it more festive.
This is how mine looked like once it came out of the oven. If i had used cheese that actually melted, im sure it would have looked bubbly and stringy. since i used dried parmesan cheese, it looks golden brown but it tastes GREAT!
I hope you take time to try this, and even though it seems like there are a lot of steps involved in this one, it is really easy to make, and it is a sure hit! I hope u enjoy and send me some feedback about your version of this vegie casserole.
Between you and me, i just had dinner an hour ago, and already im craving for another helping of this veggie casserole