Friday, June 3, 2011

Veggie Casserole

In my neverending quest to feed low-carb carnivores and high-carb vegetarians at the same dinner table, I have happened across some excellent recipes. I've also happened across some real duds. Today's offering falls right in the middle. It's not bad, but will require a bit of tweaking before I make it again.  The veggies weren't bad, but the breading was too much. Far too much. If I were to make this again, I'd halve the bread-y ingredients. Or perhaps cut it down to a third. I'll give you the recipe as I followed it, and leave you to make your own choice for how to adjust. We all have different tastes and variety (as we've seen from the myriad of recipes available on this blog) is the spice of life! 

(adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook)

3 - 4 cups of vegetables, cut up. I used zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup grated cheese.

Saute veggies in olive oil until tender. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add vegetable oil, milk, egg. Mix well.

Pour veggies into buttered pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Drop small spoonfuls of batter over the cheese/veggie mixture, trying to smooth it over the top, making it even.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until top is golden and firm. Let stand for a few minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

As you can tell by the photo, there's quite a bit of bread. This was a heavy dish and we low-carb folks weren't too crazy about it. The taste was good, but the breading overwhelmed the wonderful vegetables.

But, I have to admit, I like the idea enough to give it another go. Next time, I'll eliminate the zucchini. We've discovered that we like zucchini, but we don't love it. I'll go heavier on the broccoli and cauliflower. Those are big, strong veggies that can hold their own against the powerful breading.

But it sure was pretty on the plate:

Note: Veggie daughter didn't partake of the ribeye... but you probably guessed that, didn't you?

* * *

Get ready because Tuesday is a crazy cozy day! Lots of books releasing on June 7th, including these three from Mystery Lovers' Kitchen authors:

don't forget about her giveaway

In honor of the June 7 release of A Parfait Murder (the third Mystery a la Mode), which features a story line about the Lantana Round-Up Rodeo Queen Pageant, Wendy is giving away a little cowboy couture:  a leather and rhinestone cuff, and a “rodeo queen” keychain. Eligibility:  This contest is open to everyone living in the U.S. and Canada.  One entry per person, please.
How to Enter:  Send proof of purchase of A Parfait Murder (either a receipt, or a picture of you holding the book, by e-mail to  Put the words “Parfait Giveaway” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on Friday, June 17.  Wendy will randomly select one entry, announce the winner on MLK on Saturday, June 18, and contact that person via e-mail.  If she doesn't get a response within 7 days, she will draw another name. 

Elizabeth's FINGER LICKIN' DEAD (written as Riley Adams)...



And... if you're in the Chicago area this weekend, don't miss PRINTERS ROW! Also knows as the Chicago Tribune Lit Fest, it's a wonderful, fun, energetic, and exciting outdoor event. Over 100,000 people attend annually. It always rains at some point, but that never dampens anyone's spirits.

I'll be at the Mystery Writers of America tent all day tomorrow and Sunday, with two exceptions - when I'm on a panel (Murder Most Cozy) Saturday morning at the Harold Washington Library, along with J.B. Stanley (Ellery Adams), Betty Hechtman, and Joelle Charbonneau, and when I'm signing at Big Sleep Books (Saturday at 2:00).

PS - Even though it's before the actual release day, we'll have early copies of GRACE INTERRUPTED at the MWA tent!

Happy reading!


  1. Julie, very excited for all the new books coming out! Can't wait. Re: experiments. Isn't it interesting how some work and others don't, but you learn to tweak for the future. Sort of like life, isn't it?


  2. Wow! Like a savory cobbler. I'm intrigued. And I'll give it a go, too. Instead of the WW pastry flour, I might try half white and half white-whole-wheat flour, to lighten up the bready bit? And maybe throw in some herbs and garlic into the bread batter? I'm ready to experiment ... thanks for the great recipe.

    And, of course, for the release shout out. Have fun at the MWA tent! Say hi to everyone for me. :)

  3. How philosophical of you, Avery. You made me smile this morning. And I agree... just like life.

    Wendy - it's savory all right. I like your suggestion for changing up the flour. I think that will make a big difference. Thanks ! We'll miss you at Printers Row this year!

  4. Wendy nailed it -- a savory cobbler! We've been eating lots of zucchini, so I was surprised that was the ingredient you would skip. I'm so impressed with your eating healthy kick, but I had to chuckle when I saw that nice piece of meat in the last picture! LOL!

    I'm thinking it could be an excellent main dish for vegetarians, maybe with kidney beans added before it bakes?

  5. Krista - great idea to add kidney beans. As far as the zucchini, I think the flavor is one we're not used to. We like it - in small doses - but strongly prefer broccoli and cauliflower in our veggie meals. It may be a consistency thing, too. Zucchini's good, but it does tend to get a little smooshy. Maybe we just haven't developed a strong enough taste for it, yet!

  6. Julie - I'm always up for a veggie recipe. Great tips on experimenting and perfect timing, too, with the grocery store bins bursting with so much fresh, colorful produce.

    Countdown to congrats on the release of GRACE INTERRUPTED this week! I hope you have a fantastic time at the Lit Fest (aka PRINTERS ROW). What a wonderful place for readers to get out and meet their favorite authors and discover some new ones, too.

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. Thanks for the congrats on Grace Interrupted. Getting very excited for its release! Now I just need to crack down on myself and get moving on #3. Lots of fun plans for that one, too!

    It is a great time of the year for veggies. Love 'em!

  8. Julie,
    I'm so with you on is totally the "smoosh" factor!! I try very hard every summer to embrace it, crave it even..dare I it?? But...not so much! A good zuke bread being the exception of course; heavy on the butter, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and raisins!! But, as usual I digress...I'm going to give this a whirl with asparagus in the place of the zuke as well as go along with Wendy's idea of mixing the flours...
    As always I love how you aren't afraid to show us your "less that love it" recipes, makes you real and even more wonderful!! Looking forward to Grace hitting my Kindle on Tuesday!!