Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cheesy Cabbage and Celery Bake

Use any basic cream or cheese sauce recipe to use up extra vegetables on hand, or to add vegetable variety to meals. This version has lower fat than most cream sauces.

1 cup chopped celery
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons butter blend - Earth Balance, Olivio, and Smart Balance are all healthier choices than butter or margarine
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon whole-grain flour - I was out of wheat flour so I used rye flour, which added excellent flavor
pinch of dried mustard
¾ to 1 cup nonfat milk
½ to 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese or any cheese of choice - I used about ¾ cup finely shredded Colby-Jack cheese
freshly ground pepper
chopped celery leaves, optional

Heat an inch of water in a large saucepan on the stove. Add celery and cabbage, cover, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Drain any remaining water.

Heat oil and butter blend in a shallow frying pan on the stove. Add onion and cook until softened--2 to 3 minutes. Stir in flour, and then dried mustard and milk. Stir over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute.

Spray a casserole dish lightly with cooking spray. Add half of the cooked cabbage/celery mixture. Top with half of the cream sauce, and then half of the cheese. Top with remaining vegetables, sauce, and then cheese. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and then top with celery tops, if desired.

Bake in 375° oven until vegetables are cooked and cheese is starting to crisp--20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!