Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meatless Mondays

One of the things I've been doing this winter is having a Meatless Monday. Some of the recipes we've tried include a mac-n-cheese with pumpkin and one with sweet potato and greek yogurt. My daughter pretty much will eat anything with pasta, so she's eaten both types, but my son has become more of a critic. He's at an age now where the texture of foods (too soft or squishy for example) bothers him. He protests about some foods now, whereas before he pretty much ate anything we gave him. Overall though, they are both really good eaters and enjoy a variety of vegetables. I think we're on the lucky side...many of the moms I talk with say their kids don't like veggies.

Anyways, I don't have a picture of this dish, but I made a really good Meatless Monday casserole with a secret ingredient that no one picked up on. I even had to tell my husband about it. It was steamed and pureed cauliflower. Lucky for us, cauliflower is one of the those veggies that my kids eat.

For the most part this recipe was on the healthy side. I'm guessing on the exact amounts, but you'll get the idea and can modify it based on your taste.

Meatless Monday Veggie Casserole
This made enough to feed eight people, and so we have leftovers that we are eating for lunch or leftover night. I would suggest if you don't care for leftovers, cut the amounts in half.

1 bag of Egg Noodles (you could use whole wheat or no-yolks), boiled al dente, drained. Add about a tablespoon of Brummel and Brown spread, 1 cup (or more) of fat-free plain Greek Yogurt (I like Fage), a 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Romano blend (I used one from Trader Joe's) and about a 1/2 or more skim milk to desired consistency (The Greek yogurt can be thick).

While pasta is cooking prepare veggies.
In a large saute pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, heated on med-high heat add:

1 package of sliced mushrooms, chopped to your size specifications
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups diced butternut squash

Saute for about 5 minutes, season with Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning (or other blend), garlic, and salt and pepper to taste). You may want to microwave the squash for a couple minutes first, so that they are soft or add them to the pan first and let them cook 5-7 minutes longer than the other veggies.

Meanwhile, steam a whole head of cauliflower, chopped in fairly large pieces until soft.  Then place the cauliflower in the food processor and pureed until smooth.

Mix the sauteed veggies with pasta, add the cauliflower and combine. I then checked the seasoning and added more garlic. You can add spice heat to the dish, with cayenne or chipotle. I left this out and we added hot sauce to the adult portions.

Spray a 9x12 baking dish and add ingredients. Top with lowfat cheese blend of your choice (and quantity). 

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is lightly brown and bubbly.