Monday, October 17, 2011

California Veggie Bake

A couple nights ago, I decided to try something new to go with my Old School Meatloaf.  Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as several other times throughout the year, I make the classic green been casserole.  You know the kind I'm talking about. Green beans, mushroom soup, and fried onions baked to creamy perfection.  Well, after 14 years, both my wife and I were starting to get sick of the same old casserole.

So after rummaging through the freezer and pantry looking for ideas, I decided to swap out a few ingredients and make my own veggie bake.  I decided to substitute a frozen California blend (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) for the green beans and cream of celery soup for the mushroom soup.  I also added some sour cream and cheddar cheese to the mix to make it even better.  Topped off with some cheddar French fried onions, it turned out extremely tasty.  Even my picky kids ate it, and they hate celery and cauliflower.

California Veggie Bake
24 oz California vegetable blend (look in the freezer case)
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup French fried onions

Place vegetable blend in large saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Let vegetables steam for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain well.

In medium bowl, stir together soup, milk, sour cream, and cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place vegetables in two-quart baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Add soup mixture and stir to combine.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender and sauce is bubbly.  Top with French fried onions and return to oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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