Vegetable bakes are quick and easy to prepare. It can be made early and baked later. Every time you make a bake you could try out different combinations. It’s light, delicious and no one will complain about eating vegetables. Basically it’s comfort food which is wholly satisfying.
This recipe of mine is from a Goodfood magazine I picked up a couple of years back. The original recipe had only broccoli and pasta, I’ve divided the quantity between two of my favourites – broccoli and button mushrooms. The end result – just awesome! You could throw in some walnuts for a bit of a crunch – it’s optional. This recipe never fails and hits the jackpot every time I make it. I have hardcore meat eaters who will just not move away from this bake – well, what more can I say? If only the bake could speak …
As a family we too love our shepherd’s pie, fish bake, chicken casserole – all favourites! But, every time I make a vegetarian bake – specially this one – it’s all good. No complaints. All are happy and no questions asked! A short note on broccoli and mushrooms – they are the awesome twosome!
“Broccoli is always good for your body and for your mood.”
We cannot ignore the health benefits of broccoli – it is an anti -oxidant, natural antibiotic, great source of fibre, rich in calcium, cleanses the intestines , maintains a healthy heart – to name a few! Steaming broccoli increases its cancer fighting ability by 30%.
Mushrooms provide a vast array of potential medicinal compounds. Mushrooms is neither a fruit or a vegetable. They are a special type of fungus. There are more than 10,000 varieties of mushrooms. Mushrooms regulate blood pressure, improves immunity, assists in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. They have to be cooked to get their nutritional benefits. Button mushrooms is the most popular variety of mushroom that is consumed in the United States. It is a rich source of Vitamin D. It is also an excellent low calorie food, especially for diabetics. Oyster mushrooms are a good source of iron.
- Broccoli – 300 gms
- Button Mushroom – 200 gms
- Pasta – 1/2 cup
- Milk- 3 cups
- Bay leaves – 4-5
- Garlic minced- 4-5 cloves
- Butter – 50 gms + 3 tbsp
- Flour – 50 gms
- Mustard powder -1 tsp
- Chilly flakes- 2 tsp
- Parsley -2 tsp
- Salt and pepper
- Breadcrumbs – 2 tbsp
- Cheese grated – 1/2 cup (cheddar or Parmesan cheese -optional or cheese spread – 2 tbsp)
- Bring the milk, minced garlic and bayleaf to a boil. Remove and leave to infuse. Keep covered.
- Slice mushrooms (T -shape) and cut broccoli into small flowerets.
- In lots of water, add salt and a teaspoon of oil and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente, adding the broccoli flowerets in the final two minutes. Drain and keep aside.
- In 3 tbsp of butter, add the T – shape mushrooms and lightly fry till cooked. Add the pasta and broccoli, stir well, season with salt and pepper and keep aside.
- Strain the milk into a jug.
- In a pan, take 50 gms of butter and warm till it foams lightly.
- Add flour and stir briskly for a minute.
- Add milk gradually and keep stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps.
- Let it boil for a minute or so.
- Remove and add mustard powder, chilly flakes, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
- Add the mushroom -broccoli- pasta mix to the sauce and mix gently.
- Fold in the grated cheese /cheese spread (optional).
- Pour the mixture into a heatproof dish, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake in a preheated oven 180deg.c for 20 minutes
- Serve hot with garlic bread.
- Only fresh milk to be used.
- It’s always better to make a lump – free sauce using a big whisk instead of a spoon – atleast I prefer it that way.
- I rarely use cheese I my vegetable bakes except for maybe an au gratin or a Mac and cheese where you cannot avoid it!
- You could also divide the quantity -500gms between mushrooms, baby corn and broccoli.
- Serves 4-6.
What you imagine you will create – give it a shot!
Till my next post