Amongst the plethora of blogs nestled within my Google Reader RSS feed, there are plenty of vegetarian blogs. Even blogs written by fellow carnivores seem to have Vegetarian themes, such as the lovely Wendy’s Meat Free Monday’s. Apart from my soups, it dawned on me that I really struggle to prohibit meat from my meals.
So when I found myself with some courgettes, spring onions & sweet potatoes that needed using up, I realised I had an opportunity to make… gulp… a vegetarian main meal. I have absolutely no desire to become vegetarian, but it would be nice to know I don’t need to rely on meat to complete my meals.
Sadly, I’m still waiting for that lightbulb moment, as I sit here craving a quarter pounder cheeseburger meal from McDonalds.
All is not lost, however. The dish is lovely, but I’ll be keeping it as a side dish from now on!
I took inspiration from this recipe for potato & courgette casserole. I would call my dish more of a gratin than a casserole though. When I hear the word casserole, I automatically envision sausages or chunks of pork, with meaty gravy’s and such. Lllarrrrrrrrrr.
Anyway, here’s what I did:
4 x sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
2 x courgettes, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
1 x onion diced
5 x spring onions, chopped finely
1 x sachet cheese sauce (I used this one)
300ml x milk (I used whole)
1 x tsb dried parsley
50g x grated parmesan cheese
50ml x cream (optional, I only used it as I had some leftover)
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees.
I made the cheese sauce by mixing my sachet with the milk; I brought it to a boil then simmered for two mins, stirring continuously.
Meanwhile, I also lightly fried my onion and spring onions, adding my parsley.
I layered my sweet potatoes till it covered the bottom of the dish. I then added my courgettes and a layer of cheese sauce.
I topped with my onion mix.
Next I added more courgettes, the rest of my sweet potato, then the remaining cheese sauce & cream.
I topped the whole thing with 50g grated parmesan cheese, covered with foil then popped in the oven for 1 hour.
I removed the foil and let it bake for a further 15 mins, letting the top turn golden and bubbly mmmm.
I could tell mum wasn’t particularly impressed with this as a main dish. “It’s nice, but it’s missing something”, she said. I knew exactly what she meant… the dish is just crying out for an accompanying juicy pork chop/chicken breast.
I would definitely make this again, if I ever find myself with these leftover ingredients. I’ll also be happy to experiment making gratins with whatever else I have to hand.