LAST EDITED ON 11-13-09 AT 04:33 PM (EST)
The last dish was elegant and exotic; this one is rustic and work-a-day. I have been making variations of this recipe for 30 years, and probably never the same way twice.
It’s the sort of thing I make for DH and myself, and we eat it for the rest of the week, and it’s also a great potluck dish.
Don’t worry if you don’t like cabbage; it isn’t all that noticeable here or you can use some other vegetable. The recipe is amazingly versatile, so let your creativity go wild. All quantities are flexible. I can’t wait to hear what all of you wonderful, innovative OT cooks do with it.
Veggie Mac & Cheese Casserole
(Makes about 8 entrée servings.)
Preheat oven to 350º
½ cup sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, or your choice)
1 red pepper, chopped
Sauté in butter:
2-3 cups chopped cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (canned works ok, too)
1 large carrot, shredded
1 1/2 tsp whole caraway seeds
Boil in water until just underdone, then drain well:
8 ounces macaroni or other pasta
Combine everything. Add:
2 tbsp soy sauce
lots of black pepper
Spread in a greased 2 quart casserole and garnish with paprika.
Bake, covered, for 35 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes more.
Here’s a few options just to get you started:
low fat versions of any or all of the dairy products
1-2 cups cubed ham
2 tbsp prepared mustard
1 cup mung bean sprouts
toasted sunflower seeds – as topping or mixed in
chopped fresh or frozen spinach – highly recommended in place of some or all of the cabbage
whole wheat pasta
yogurt - in place of the sour cream
ETA: Notes on liquid management: This dish can be a bit watery especially if you use low fat dairy products. I recommend letting it sit for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven before you serve it.
I also recommend:
• undercooking the pasta because it will absorb some water as it finishes cooking in the oven
• being careful to thoroughly drain tomatoes, spinach and other liquidy veggies before adding them
• perhaps salting and blotting off the water from zucchini
• perhaps adding breadcrumbs or a tablespoon or two of flour to the end of the sauté
• perhaps cooking it without the cover for longer than the last 10 minutes
If it does come out watery, in my experience it’ll dry out a lot overnight in the fridge and the leftovers will be fine.