Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

I’ve really been loving cauliflower lately.  When I saw it was on sale last week at my local grocery store, I was all over that!  I debated making a batch of my favorite cheesy cauliflower soup, but knew I should crawl out of my comfort zone and come up with something new.  I decided on a cheesy cauliflower bake.  I wanted it to be super cheesy and creamy in the center with a crispy panko topping.  That is exactly what I got; it was perfect!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

After browsing quite a few recipes for inspiration (on pinterest, of course), I settled on a recipe to use as a template for my delicious creation.  I started with this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe, added onions, changed out the topping, and made a few other adjustments.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

I like to use sharper cheeses for dishes like this or homemade mac and cheese; I absolutely love that sharp taste when the cheese is melted.  I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella (about 1 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c mozzarella), because it was what I had in my fridge, but of course, you could use any cheese you like.   I wanted to cut some calories so I stuck with 1% milk for this dish.  You can substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth as Mel did) for the milk, and it might turn out thicker/creamier.  Don’t get me wrong, this cauliflower bake was creamy; but it wasn’t terribly thick.  Overall, I’m super happy with this side dish and will definitely make it again!  It will be perfect for family get-togethers over the holidays or an easy potluck dish!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9x13 pan, 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warm
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar + mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Notes

You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/04/09/cheesy-cauliflower-bake/

Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Spinach Pizza Quinoa CasseroleI love quinoa.  Why?  More like why not!  It’s full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus and- yeah yeah, we all know it’s super healthy.  But what I really love is the texture it adds to a dish; whether it’s cold, tossed with pesto and veggies, or smothered in cheese and baked into a warm casserole.  It’s so versatile and and can be substituted for pasta or rice in almost anything.  This is especially important to me, being a vegetarian who doesn’t care much for milk or nuts…to have a superfood like quinoa with all those essentials?  Yes, please!   What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?

This quinoa and spinach pizza casserole was fabulous!  It was cheesy and flavorful, and the leftovers held up great in the fridge for reheating as weekday lunch!  It’s even compatible with children and picky eaters because the flavors of the tomato sauce and spices are so powerful.  This dish is a winner!

Spinach Pizza Quinoa CasseroleSpinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Yield: 9 servings / Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • optional: cheese for topping (I used shredded cheddar and slices of mozzarella)
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  While it is cooking, chop your vegetables and thaw your spinach.  Let the quinoa sit for five minutes while you combine the vegetables and seasoning.
  2. Preheat oven  to 350.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine.  Add quinoa and mix again.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Pour into a 8×8 baking dish and cover with cheese.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes covered, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is completely melted.Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Crockpot Vegetable Casserole

Crockpots are the greatest thing.  Nothing beats coming home to a prepared meal, still warm, after a long day!

I had a bunch of produce from the farmer’s market that I wanted to use before it started to go bad, so I threw it all in a crockpot and added some tomato sauce, more or less.  My husband said it was one of the best things I had ever made – quite the compliment!  He had devoured most of it before I got home from working a night shift, and we packaged the rest for him to take to work for lunch.  So unfortunately, there are no pictures of it after it was cooked.

Crockpot Vegetable Casserole

  • 1 24 oz  jar tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 large carrots, sliced (~2 1/2 – 3 cups)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (~2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (~1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen beans, thawed
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a blend of mild cheddar and white cheddar)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  2. Spray the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread the potatoes on the bottom; they can overlap (if you use a smaller crockpot, you could use half of the potatoes and add another layer of potatoes later).
  3. Do the same with the onions and half of the carrots.
  4. Pour half of sauce over the veggies and top with half of the cheese.
  5. Layer the broccoli, beans and the remaining carrots.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Program crockpot to cook on high for 3 1/2-4 hours.