Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vegetable Casserole

Attention! Last night my blog was hijacked! Actually, Bri just knows my e-mail log-in and snuck onto my blog to write a post! I hope you all enjoy:

If you have been keeping up with Binomial Baker, then you already know that Jodie and I do a lot of cooking and baking whenever she visits me in St. Louis. A lot. During these visits, I’ve had tons of fun making everything from Gnochi to mini Peanut Butter Pies. (Has Jodie ever mentioned that she likes mini desserts?) However, these visits have had the slight drawback of leaving me with some unused ingredients straggling behind. For example, a quick look into my fridge reveals a few potatoes, half a can of corn, a salad's worth of spinach, and various amounts of shredded cheeses.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the school year I went shopping to pick up basic cooking and baking ingredients to last throughout the year (i.e., to make it through Jodie’s visits). Most of my purchases, such as sugar and flour, have worked out pretty well. The only exception has been this: breadcrumbs. Why did I think I would need breadcrumbs?? Only the Food Gods know.

Anyways, since my usual diet (when Jodie’s not around), consists of Lean Cuisines and asian noodle dishes, I’ve been at a loss of what to do with all this extra food. That is, I was at a loss of what to with all my extra food until I found the perfect recipe from Soupbelly that will use up (mostly) everything: A Vegetable Casserole!

Keeping in mind Jodie’s wise philosophy that a recipe is a lead sheet rather than a divine command, I simply adapted the recipe to cut out things that I don’t like (such as bacon), and to add in the rest of my stray ingredients (Such as corn and spinach). The result was a delicious savory casserole that would inspire even the young ones to eat their veggies!

Vegetable Casserole with Zucchini, Potatoes, and Tomatoes.
(From Soupbelly. My additions/cuts are in parenthesis)

1 large green zucchini, sliced thinly
1 large yellow zucchini, sliced thinly
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
2 medium potatoes, sliced thinly (I used 3 small Russet Potatoes)
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (Being a vegetarian, I left this out)
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded. (I also threw in some mozzarella).
2 tbsp parmesan cheese (I ended up using closer to 4 oz)
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (I just eyeballed this)
olive oil
(fresh spinach)
(canned corn—not creamed)

Directions: (Adapted from Soupbelly, but original enough that I’m writing from scratch.)

1. Thinly slice all the veggies. Rinse the spinach and corn.
2. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees.
3. Drizzle olive oil at the bottom of a casserole dish.
4. Place all the potatoes at the bottom of the dish.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs.
6. Add spinach on top in a thin layer. (I had just enough to loosely cover the potatoes).
7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
8. Place all the zucchini on top.
9. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and cheddar cheese.
10. Sprinkle corn on top. (again, I had just enough to loosely cover a layer).
11. Place all the tomato to make the top layer.
12. Sprinkle salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese on top.
13. Drizzle olive oil on top.
14. Bake in the oven at 420 degrees for one hour, uncovered.

All the main ingredients.

The bottom potato layer.

Adding the spinach and mozzarella cheese.

The zucchini layer.

Fully prepared casserole.

Fresh out of the oven.


Although this casserole probably works best as a side-dish, it can also work as an extra healthy main course. Since the spirit of this dish is really just to use straggling leftovers, I recommend throwing in whatever spare veggies and cheeses you have lying around into your casserole, rather than strictly following any set recipe. Enjoy!