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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Simple and delicious complete meal !!

Guilty pleasure.. what is that? I dont know and I dont care to know at the moment. Baked vegetable can't be guilty pleasure! It has all colors of vegetables full of vitamins and essential nutrients and cheese - excellent source of calcium, protein and phosphorus. Nope its just not that. And such an easy dinner to fix. 30 minutes from start to finish..now I am sounding like Rachel Ray !!

Today my meal consisted of vegetables in Béchamel sauce and scrumptious mushroom-spinach toast. What is this Béchamel sauce? .. you ask. Oh its just a fancy French name for white sauce....it just sounds way cooler. This sauce is made of  flour-butter roux. I can almost hear you... now what the heck is roux!!! Well another French name for flour cooked in butter. I tell you, these French cooks make even simple stuff sound so fancy and scrumptillious. Along with baked vegetable, I made mushroom-spinach cheesy toast that was a breeze to make. Simple yet delicious.  I'll get on with business now, I am sure you're itching to do it too.

Baked Vegetable
Ingredients

4-5 chopped beans
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup small cauliflower florets
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup grated cheese for topping ( anything but mozzarella.. I  used  cheddar )
1/8 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

For white sauce:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup warm millk
3/4 shredded cheese ( anything but mozzarella.. I  used  cheddar )
1/3 tsp  pepper ( adjust according to your taste )
Salt to taste ( cheese has salt too... so be careful )


Get Cooking 

Preheat oven at 350F.Blanch the vegetables and drain. I cook the cauliflower and bean a little longer than others.

To make white sauce, melt butter in a pan, add flour to it. Saute it until the raw smell is gone and its fragrant. Add warm milk slowly while stirring vigorously, otherwise lumps will form. Once the mix is smooth, let is simmer until its starts to thicken. Add  cheese and take it off heat. Once melted , add pepper and salt according to taste.

Time to assemble. Mix  vegetables with white sauce in a baking dish. I  used my new lock and lock pan for this. It was perfect for serving baked vegetable from the oven to the table...looked pretty. And the right amount too. This is one dish that tastes best when its prepared fresh and eaten.

Now mix cheese for topping with parmigiano cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle it on top, covering completely.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn on the broiler to get a brown cheesy crust. Be careful and keep a watch.. it can burn quickly.  Its ready to serve... pipping hot oooey gooey goodness!

Mushroom-Spinach Cheesy toast
Ingredients

1 tsp oil
10 sliced mushrooms ( I used cremini mushrooms, button would taste good as well ) 
1 cup chopped spinach
6 slice of bread
Slices of white cheese ( I used montery jack but mozarella would be yum as well )
Ketchup

Get Cooking 

In a pan, heat oil. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until completely dry and sort of crispy. Add spinach. Once it wilts, add salt and pepper.

Toast the bread slices on both sides. You can apply butter before toasting to get a richer taste. Apply a thin layer of ketchup on the toasted slices. Pile on the spinach-mushroom mix on the bread. Top it with sliced cheese. I didnt pile alot because I prefer it that way. Leftover mix was just munched down by my husband.  That cheddar cheese slice is for my daughter... the quick fix pizza. Broil until the cheese melts. Take it out immediately.

Here is a shot up close and personal...ready to be devoured. Go ahead, I won't mind if you take a quick bite. Its a perfect side dish for anytime.

So here it is complete meal... Wasn't that easy? Enjoy it with your mushroom-spinach cheesy toast.

Notes:
  1. I used frozen peas that I dropped straight into the vege mix.
  2. If you prefer, use less sauce as I did. Leftover white was used later to make single serving of sauted pasta  with onions, tomato and cilantro and then mixed with white sauce.
  3. You can also use onion in mushroom-spinach mix. Saute onion until golden and then add mushroom.


Sending this Kid’s Delight- Colourful n Healthy Meal ideas using Fruit and Vegetables hosted by Mina. You can find information about it at Srivalli's blog as well. 

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