recipe: old folk’s home vegetable casserole

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This is nothing but a big ol’ dish full of comfort. I first discovered it at the retirement home I worked at; it was one of the chef’s specialties, inspired by a dish his girlfriend apparently made often at home. Frozen vegetables sure cut the prep time down, but if you have the time, I recommend going fresh. Either way, this is a side dish that’s quick to throw together, and smothered in creamy sauce, cheese, and breadcrumbs, it makes it pretty darn easy way to get your recommended servings of vegetables!

8 c mixture of  chopped: baby corn, red pepper, broccoli, carrot, snap peas, mushrooms, and whatever else you fancy

1 1/2 c milk

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp brown rice flour

3 mushrooms, chopped finely

salt and pepper, to taste

2 c shredded cheese (try cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend!)

3 tbsp gluten free breadcrumbs

1. If using fresh vegetables, get a pot large enough to accommodate all the vegetables to a boil on the stove. When boiling, dunk in the 8 cups of veggies. Cover and return to a boil. Boil 1 minute; drain immediately, then run cold water overtop til cool; this is called blanching.

2. Preheat the oven to 425F. Now to make the mushroom bechamel sauce: in a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and saute until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the other tablespoon of flour and allow to melt. Now, add the flour and stir well to incorporate; it will form a paste. Add the milk and stir well to remove any lumps. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and no longer tastes of flour, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish; add in the vegetables, then top with the sauce, then the shredded cheese, and finally the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese has browned.

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