Easy, Cheesy, Any Veggie Bake

There always comes a time when I find that I have small bits of different vegetables in the fridge, but not enough to make an entire dish.  Or, I don’t have any fresh veggies, it’s cold and rainy outside, and I’m too lazy to go out.  I always have at least a few packets of frozen vegetables, potatoes and onions on hand just in case, and mixing the fresh and frozen veggie bits makes for an easy and tasty meal.

Ingredients

3 cups of any mix of vegetables you like, cooked and unseasoned

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (or 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp of dried herbs)

1 small onion

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

2 tsp dried red chilli flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 cups fat free milk

1/2 cup gruyere or other cheese which melts well, grated

1/4 cup bread crumbs, unseasoned

2 tbsp parmesan or other hard cheese, grated

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onions and saute for a few minutes.  Add garlic (if using) and continue to saute for a few more minutes.  Add the cooked vegetables, herbs (reserving a small amount for later), salt, pepper and red chilli flakes (if using), and mix well.  Continue cooking until heated through.

3.  In a small saucepan, heat the butter over a medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk continuously until well combined and the flour has cooked (raw flour smell will be gone).  Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously to keep lumps from forming.  Continue cooking on low heat until the sauce thickens.  Slowly add the grated gruyere cheese, whisking until it melts.  Remove from heat.

4.  Mix the breadcrumbs, reserved herbs and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Place the vegetables in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Pour the cheese sauce over veggies.  Top with the breadcrumb mixture.

5.  Bake in a 350F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the veggies and sauce are bubbling and the breadcrumb topping has browned.

6.  Serve hot with bread or salad on the side.

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