Tag Archives: au gratin

Veggies Au Gratin

Welcome back and welcome to 2011! A new year to begin new resolutions and start fresh. I already started my exercise resolution today. I didn’t go to the gym but I did walk for an hour which was about 3 miles. Don’t want my body to freak out all at once. Must ease into it…

Well today’s recipe is something I threw together last week. I was looking for something different as a side dish. I think we were having a pork tenderloin or something. I actually don’t remember. Anyway, I came up with this recipe and there was enough leftover to “reinvent” it again for another night. I think it was even better the second time around! The flavors melded together much better. It is actually lower in fat and calories if you can believe it! I used fat-free half-and-half, Light Laughing Cow cheese and low-fat mozzarella. Also the flour I used to thicken it was soy flour but you can also use whole wheat or regular. The butter I used was a butter substitute also. Saving calories all over the place!!! When I “reinvented” it the second time I added cooked orzo and some leftover green beans I found in the fridge. Added a little more half-and-half and just heated it all up! Voila! Two nights! (and actually there was still a little leftover for a 3rd night for us to have a little more!)

When I made this I didn’t measure so I am guessing on the measurements here. If you need to adjust it for yourself, please do! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli and cauliflower

1 cup fat-free half-and-half

½ stick (4 tbsp) butter substitute

1½ cup soy flour

2 wedges Light Laughing Cow cheese (any flavor you like)

1 cup grated parmesan/pecorino cheese

½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

garlic powder

DAY 2 INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked orzo (cook according to package directions)

any leftover veggies in fridge

fat-free half-and-half as needed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook the frozen broccoli/cauliflower in microwave on High for about 7 minutes. Drain and put into a small casserole dish. Sprinkle with garlic powder, mix and set aside.

2. Meanwhile in a medium sauce pot add butter and half-and-half and stir until butter is melted. Add the flour and continue cooking on medium-heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and there are no lumps in the flour, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the Laughing Cow cheese and stir until melted completely. If it’s chopped into small pieces it will melt faster. Add the grated cheese and mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.

4. Add cheese mixture to the vegetables in the casserole dish and mix well until all vegetables are covered.

5. Place in preheated 350º oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned. This should be about 30 minutes or so. Check after 30 minutes to be sure.

DAY 2:

1. Cook the orzo according to package, drain and add to leftover Au Gratin mix. Add a little more half-and-half and cheese as needed to make it a little more creamy. Heat in medium saucepan stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t stick to pan.

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Cauliflower au Gratin w/Panko Crusted Flounder

Today’s post I have to give props to Biz at My Bizzy Kitchen. (see the original recipe at My Bizzy Kitchen)The cauliflower au gratin part of the recipe is from her blog and it is so good I had to rave about it today. I had to make a few changes to the recipe only because I didn’t have all the exact ingredients. Original recipe called for skim milk, I didn’t have any so I used fat-free half-and-half; original recipe had mozzarella cheese and blue cheese, I used swiss and gorgonzola, which I had. It still came out great. I also didn’t cook the sauce long enough for it to thicken but it still came out great. There were no leftovers which is a good sign it was edible! I served it with panko crusted flounder fillets. For these I just dredged the fillets in a little soy flour, dunked in egg/milk mixture and then coated with panko bread crumbs. Just fry them in a large pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. You don’t need a ton of oil so don’t go freaking out that it’s fried. I used olive oil also. Actually the entire dish is pretty low-calorie.  Lots of protein and vitamins!

Flounder frying in very little olive oil

Cauliflower before baking

So before you look at the finished photo remember, the sauce was a bit watery! But, I also discovered that it tastes great poured over the fish as well! (no pic of that of course!) So all in all I would make this again. Very easy actually and cooked pretty fast. Oh also, the original recipe called for cooking the cauliflower first on the stove in water. I cooked mine in the microwave. Less heat since I was using the stove for the flounder and the oven was heating up for baking the cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite size pieces

1 cup fat-free half-and-half

1 tablespoon butter (I used a butter substitute)

1 tablespoon flour (I used soy flour)

3 ounces shredded swiss cheese (You can use mozzarella, monterey jack or cheddar too)

1 ounce crumbled gorgonzola cheese (You can use blue cheese too)

1 tablespoon Italian bread crumbs (I used panko)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe container with about ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6-8 minutes, checking halfway through to see if it’s tender. Drain water when done. Set aside.

2. While the cauliflower is cooking melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook on medium heat for about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, making a white sauce, stirring constantly. (Here is where I apparently didn’t cook it long enough. You can raise the heat a bit and keep stirring until it thickens up a bit. Don’t worry if it doesn’t. It’ll still taste good.)

Cauliflower au gratin!

3. Remove saucepan from the heat and mix in the other cheeses until they all melt. The gorgonzola or blue cheese may not melt all the way but that is fine as it will continue to melt in the oven. Add the cauliflower and mix well. If it’s easier to mix the cauliflower in the casserole dish you are going to use that is fine. That’s what I did. Top with the bread crumbs and bake at 425º for 15-20 minutes. I put the broiler on for a minute or so just to brown it up a little more. The cheese should be nice and bubbly! Serve

Voila! Flounder and Cauliflower au Gratin!

Makes about 4 servings.

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