in order to make most vegetables fit to eat, you must cover up the basic taste of vitamins with calories.
-peg bracken, the i hate to cook book
let it be known that the above quote does not entirely sum up my philosophy on healthy eating. i like to eat healthy, i really do. i like the snap of a good apple, the delightful grittiness of almond butter and the colorful display of a pretty salad. and i do like vegetables, and to cook. i'm leaning in the kitchen, and i love it.
but truth be told, i also really like cheez-its. and butter. melted butter, to be exact. and i love a good bargain. thus, this casserole is perfect. made almost entirely of canned vegetables, with fanciful toppings like sliced almonds and four-blend cheeses, it's a perfect go-to weeknight meal on a budget. and hey, it's chock-full of veggies, so the guilt is minimal.
a shout-out and thank you to my sweet neighbor suzanne, for pointing this recipe out to me from, what else, a church cookbook.
suzanne's favorite veggie casserole
you will need:
one 15 oz. can of mixed vegetables
one can of pinto beans
one can french-style green beans
one can of veg-all mixed vegetables
one can of gold and white corn (i could only find gold)
one 15 oz. can chicken broth (i only needed about 9 oz.)
one package dry onion soup mix
one 10.75 oz. can of cream of celery soup
two cups of four-cheese (mexican) blend
1/2 a box of cheez-its
1/2 cup melted margarine (jackpot)
one cup sliced almonds
what to do:
drain the pinto beans, green beans, mixed vegetables and corn. pour drained veggies in a 9x13-inch dish.
mix the chicken broth, onion soup mix and cream of celery soup over the vegetables.
pour cheese over casserole mixture.
lightly crush crackers and mix with melted margarine. pour over casserole mixture. cover cracker crumbs with sliced almonds.
bake 20 to 30 minutes or until topping is browned.
serve with crusty bread, salad or just a glass of ice water, because this bad boy is a meal in and of itself.
robert and i ate this last night, the carolina sun beaming through the windows. and like most decadently perfect things in life, this kind of meal has to be had in moderation. but when the time calls for it, this type of meal is sublime. it's comfort food at its core, and everybody, even the most dedicated health nut, needs to be comforted every once in a while.