Serendipity

Ever look into the refrigerator the day before shopping day and wonder what you can throw together for a quick meal?

The stocks are low…there’s a few green veg in the crisper that won’t last much longer before they wilt and a few tomatoes won’t stretch to an entire salad. On the shelf, there’s a heel of cheese and an open container of crème fraîche. And, of course, at the back of the shelves and lining the door are a miscellany of little jars and bottles of condiments.

But since you are ingenious, you don’t panic. Combined with a few items from your pantry, you have the makings of a a quick casserole, easy enough for kids to prepare.

veggie_mac

Veggie Mac & Cheese
I got the idea for this from a recipe in my supermarket’s monthly magazine. Since there is no cheese sauce making, this is an easy recipe for children to follow.

Serves 4

  • 8 oz. Macaroni, approximately 2-1/2 cups
  • 2 Small to medium-size courgette (=American zucchini)
  • 2 cups Chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 oz. Cheddar cheese, approximately 3 cups grated
  • 1/2 cup Creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1-2 Tomatoes, optional
  • 3 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare a shallow casserole by liberally buttering it. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the macaroni according to the specifications listed on the packet.

Meanwhile, finely chop the spinach and dill and put into a large mixing bowl. Clean, top and tail the courgette before cutting in lengthwise. With a teaspoon, scoop out and discard the soft inner core that surrounds the seeds. Coarsely grate the courgette and the cheese. Add the courgette, cheese, creme fraiche and mustard to the spinach and dill. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed and the vegetables are coated.

When the macaroni has been cooked, rinse in cold water, reserving 1/3 cup of the salted cooking liquid. Add the macaroni to the mixing bowl with the cheese and vegetables and mix until the macaroni is coated. Add the cooking liquid a little at a time, mixing in as you go. Spoon this mixture into the prepared casserole.

Cut the tomato into thin slices and layer on top of the macaroni. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs to form the top crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crust is golden.

veggie_mac_end

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