|Teena's version of a veggie bake|
I used to make veggie bakes a fair bit in my early 20s, when I attempted to be a vegetarian. I managed to refrain from eating red meat for 3 months, but I still ate chicken and fish, so I wasn't really a vegetarian! But after 1 month off not eating red meat, the aroma of red meat cooking became an unpleasant smell. I found the original idea for this veggie bake in the Australia the Beautiful Cookbook, which someone gave to me many, many years ago.
You will need -
your choice of veggies, enough to fill 2/3 of your casserole dish
your choice of a base, like rice or couscous, your choice of beans (optional), and olive oil
mushrooms, garlic, butter and flour for the mushroom sauce
grated cheese for on top, a couple of handfuls
For my adaptation last night, I began by preparing the vegetables. You can use any veggies for the bulk of the bake. Last night I used a bunch that needed to be used up, some home-grown potatoes and a squash from David's father's garden, a zucchini, a sweet potato, a red onion and some pumpkin. In my younger days, I would use celery and carrot as well, they are very cheap! There were enough vegetables to fill our small steamer.
Next I made a garlic mushroom sauce. That's a white sauce using butter, flour and liquid from the bottom of the steamed veggies. Then I fried up some butter, garlic and mushrooms in a small pan, and added that to the sauce.
I also prepared some couscous, which is too easy and convenient not to use. All you have to do is add boiling water to the same amount of couscous, I used half a cup which made plenty for us. Let it sit while you prepare other things, then fluff it up with a fork. To the couscous I added some olive oil and strained butter beans.
To put it all together you put the couscous mixture in the base of the casserole dish, you could also use rice or pasta for this. Next you pile in all the strained steamed veggies. Then you pour the mushroom sauce over them. Lastly, you put a couple of handfuls of grated cheese on top. I also put the last few dobbles of left over garlic herb butter on top to melt. Then it all goes in a 220 oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is golden brown, yum!