Saturday, May 20, 2006

disguise the veggies please

first off, thank you to everyone who replied to my 'kitty help' email. the evil kitty seems to be eating again. the reason for his fasting is still undetermined. personally, i think he was trying to shed a few pounds, probably trying to score more points with the ladies. it is summer after all, the season of shorts and swimsuits. or possibly he was depressed at andrew's leaving. if he couldn't chew on andrew's toes then why bother with kibble? either way, one day while he was not eating, i came home from work and discovered that he had piled all of his favorite toys into his food bowl on top of his uneatened food. and i thought this was just too cute. it made me think of a little kid trying to hide brussle sprouts in a napkin or slip the family dog a green bean, anything to not eat the veggies. and that made me think of a casserole i like.

at work, we seem to have a knack for hiring people with food issues. its not a big office but we have: a woman alergic to wheat; a man who barely eats anything besides chicken and fruit or sometimes rice and beans; then we hired a second wheat alergy person; next came a woman who doesn't eat meat but will do fish; we've got a couple of randomly picky eaters; and then for a while a total vegetarian. and then the rest of us really enjoy just about everything, especially the stuff thats bad for you. some of the food issue people have since gone away, but at the time of this tale, they were mostly all present. and at work, we do a monthly potluck. which is the only reason i know or care about other people's food issues. i have no food issues. my husband has no food issues. no one in either of our imediate families have food issues. so i often wonder, how does my workplace manage to have such a high percentage of people with food issues? so the montly potluck came around and no one knew what to bring. it seemed that no matter what, only the person who brought it was going to be able to eat it. i decided on this particular casserole, bought some glueten free bread for the no-wheat lady, and hoped that there was enough cheese and cream cheese to hide the fact that there really are a lot of veggies in it. everyone loved it and a couple of people have fixed it at home and managed to get their kids to eat some veggies. i don't know what the real name of the dish is, so i'm going to call it:

eat your veggies casserole

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large purple onion, sliced
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into stips
3 T olive oil, divided
2 yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
8oz pack sliced mushrooms
6 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices sandwich bread, cubed
8 or more oz cream cheese
2 or more cups shredded swiss cheese

preheat oven to 325. saute first 4 ingredients in 1 T oil until tender, set aside. saute squash and zucchini in 1 T oil until tender, set aside. saute mushrooms in remaining oil until tender, set aside. whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper. in a large baking dish/pan, mix together all the veggies, bread, cream cheese and swiss. pour egg mixture on top and stick it all in the oven. bake at 325 for 1 hour, covering after 45 minutes to prevent overbrowning. serve warm. its better leftover if you use extra cheese. but really, i think its better on the first round if you use extra cheese. the trick is to not use too much to overflow the pan...


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