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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Veggie Mac 'n Cheese

I've been craving some homemade mac 'n cheese, but I've also been craving some vegetables with Spring here and the summer bounty so close. I rummaged through the fridge and found all the fixings to make a healthy mac 'n cheese - never mind all the cheese, it's healthy. I swear!! I counterbalanced it with broccoli and cauliflower, but I felt like it needed something more. I rummaged again and found some quinoa. Perfect!! The mother grain was sure to bring some health back to my ooey gooey cheesy dinner. And the upside is my kids love everything in this, like a party in our mouths. I served it up with a slice of warmed bread, and you definitely could (and probably) add a salad, too.

Veggie Mac 'n Cheese
(serves 6)

1 (13.5oz) package of whole wheat rotini
2 C shredded cheese (any type of your liking - I used brie & cheddar & parmesan)
2 C lightly steamed broccoli & cauliflower
1/2 C quinoa
4 T butter
4 T flour
1 C milk
salt & pepper

Boil rotini until al dente, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 C of water to boil and mix in 1/2 C of quinoa. Cook about 10 minutes on low, covered, until the moisture is absorbed. Mix pasta and quinoa together in a lightly buttered casserole dish. Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower, gently. In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour, whisking steadily over medium-high heat until a nice caramel color is achieved. Add milk in slowly and bring to a boil, whisking still. Let it boil for 1 minute then stir in cheese until melted, and a sauce consistency is reached. Add a dash of salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Mix into pasta, quinoa and vegetables. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hodge Podge Casserole

The other day I decided it was time to put together an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink meal. I have beans filling my cupboard from our Pantry Share we got in the fall from Wolf Pine Farm. I decided to make those the base of the casserole, then clean out the cupboards and fridge from there. What I ended up with was a nice Tex-Mex kind of meal that was incredibly filling a versatile. I served it up with fresh shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and some homemade hot sauce. Delicious!

Hodge Podge Casserole
(Serves 6)

4 C of beans (we used a mix of black and pinto)
1 C cooked brown rice
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T garlic, sliced
1/2 package of polenta (the type that comes in a tube, or make your own)
1/2 C nutritional yeast cheese (you can replace this with any type of cheese)
9 taco shells, broken into pieces
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 T olive oil
1 T chili powder
1 t garlic salt
salt & pepper, to taste
bacon grease (or butter)

Grease a large glass casserole dish with bacon grease and place slices of polenta along the bottom. Heat oil over medium heat, then saute peppers, onions and garlic until soft. Stir in chili powder, garlic salt and nutritional yeast, then gently stir in rice. Place that layer over the polenta, then pour beans over that. Sprinkle with 1/2 the cheddar cheese, some salt and pepper. Cover with broken taco shells, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Bake for 45 minutes in 400 degree oven, covered. Then remove cover and bake another 15 minutes, to crisp up the top.