Meatless Monday- Cheesy Garden Casserole

The fall is here and i am going big on veggies. When it is cloudy and gloomy outside, i need all the heart warming love i can get. Mostly that comes to me in forms of thick, chunky soups but today, it was time to turn on the oven, put some mittens and bake a casserole! Since cheese makes everything wonderful, here i am with my latest obsession- Cheesy Garden Casserole.

A casserole is basically any food cooked using a casserole dish. Usually that means a baked dish. Surprisingly, i was not aware of this terminology till pretty recent 😛 One day, i was just searching for some “veggie” inspirations and came across a webpage full of casserole recipes. It was then that i understood (trust me, i felt very silly at that moment). I always assumed casseroles to be a “fancy-schmacy” dish with very complicated ingredients and something that i would make only on occasions like thanksgiving. When i read about it though, i was relieved ! Mostly because my mom used to make such casserole dishes like all the time but also because i knew i could make something like that myself too 🙂

As vegetarians and a veggie lover, i love to include various types of vegetables in my daily stews and curries. Indian cuisine offers a lot of recipes which can be loafed up with veggies and made more nutritious but at my place, it is rare that we eat Indian food even 2 days in a row. For today, i wanted to make something hearty but thought of adding in some white sauce and cheese to it. So, this recipe is similar to what my mother used to make for us. She used to just call it ” Baked vegetables in White sauce” … exactly what it is !

Cheesy Garden Casserole

Cheesy Garden Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

garden casserol copyIngredients

This is a baked dish. You would need mixing bowls, 2 saute pans and one deep casserole dish to bake.

This recipe has 3 components

  • Cheesy white sauce
  • Kale, mushroom and onions saute
  • Potato Gratin

Cheesy White Sauce

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups of milk

Garden Saute

  • 1 bunch of Kale, chopped roughly
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped, lenghtwise
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups mushroom, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Potato Gratin

  • 2 big potatoes, peeled and cut into thin discs
  • 1/2 cup Cheese for topping
  • Black pepper

Method

Let us begin with preparing the Cheesy sauce.

  • Take a non stick skillet. Add in butter and bring to heat. Add in chopped garlic and saute till lightly toasted. Now, add in the flour and toast for a couple of minutes. Add in milk and whisk till the flour dissolves. Add in salt, pepper and parsley and mix. Add in cheese and mix till it is all well combined. The sauce is ready when it comes to boil. Shut the flame and keep aside. The sauce is ready.

Next, let us make the Kale, Onion and Mushroom stir fry

  • Take a skillet. Add in oil and heat up. Add in the onion and saute on medium high flame till the onion turn translucent. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add in the cauliflower florets and cook till half cooked. Next, add in chopped kale and cook till the kale reduces and releases water. Cook till the water evaporates. Add in salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Now, for potatoes

  • Cut the potatoes into discs. Microwave the potatoes for 3-4 minutes or till par boiled.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on top as needed.

Let’s Assemble

  • Pre-heat the oven at 375F and keep ready.
  • Take a casserole. Grease the casserole with butter. Start the layering by first layer of potatoes, then a layer of sauce and finally a layer of sauteed Garden vegetable.
  • Repeat the layers till the casserole is 3/4th full. Top it with a layer of cheese and sprinkle pepper on top.
  • Bake the casserole for about 30-40 minutes or till the cheese on the top forms a crispy crust. The dish is ready.

With the dish looking so hearty and wholesome, who would not pick this up for the meatless monday meal? I know i would 🙂 I served these with some simple toasted ciabatta and it was delicious. My family gobbled up the casserole in a jiffy and i was very happy to see my family enjoy vegetables in such a royal way. When i told my mom that i made this dish, she was so happy ! I dedicate this recipe to u mom 🙂

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