Saturday, April 4, 2009

Garden Fresh Zucchini and Whole Grain Bake

Do you ever have a craving so big you can no longer ignore it? Try as you may, it sneaks up on you and whispers your name until you give in. This happened to me. It was caused by the Popcorn S'mores. I ate way too many, and felt positively sick after two days of binging on them. Dang it, I wanted some vegetables!

It is hard for me to eat enough veggies. I like them, but they require a lot of work. A. Lot. Of. Work. Like 10 minutes a week to chop them up. That is too much for me. Yes, yes. I know I spend several hours making junk food. Let's not get technical here.

Ann gave me this recipe, and I have made it four times so far. It says you can use shredded zucchini or chopped broccoli, but Ann made it with zucchini and I've always stuck with that. It has really expanded my zucchini recipes - I used to only make zucchini bread, and now there is one more thing I can make.

When I told her that I love the recipe but it is a lot of work, we commiserated on why we both needed a slave boy in the kitchen. I need him because I need somebody strong to shred the zucchini. Ann thought I was nuts for not having a food processor to shred and chop. I told her they were out of my price range, and she said they came in all price ranges. So.....can you give me any ideas on which food processors you like?

The smell of it baking in the oven makes my stomach beg for a piece. All of this begs the question: if I like vegetables, and I crave vegetables, why don't I eat more vegetables? Let's not get philosophical here. Let's just eat some zucchini rice bake!

Garden Fresh Zucchini and Whole Grain Bake
2 t chicken bouillon
2/3 C whole grains, uncooked (or 2 cups cooked)
1/2 C chopped pepper, green or red
2 C shredded zucchini or chopped broccoli
2 beaten eggs
1 C skim milk
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1/8 t pepper
3/4 C shredded cheese
4 ounces cream cheese

In a saucepan, combine the bouillon and 1 1/2 C water. Bring to boiling; add grains. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine pepper and 1/2 C water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add shredded zucchini or chopped broccoli. Cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or till tender-crisp. Drain. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat eggs then add milk, onion powder, basil, oregano, and pepper. Stir in cream cheese. Stir hot grains into the egg mixture. Stir in cooked vegetables. Spoon into a 9X13 casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long.)

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