LOW FAT VEGETABLE BAKE
Normally people think that teaching is a very easy job because teachers get lots of holidays and their working hours are less compared to other civil servants, etc. They have no idea how tough the teaching job is inside the classroom itself, when dealing with different student characters and personalities, we have to treat them with love and care, and it is not easy to explain the subject matter and discipline them, till they are satisfied and understand the concept. Apart from the classroom work we have to do a lot of work outside the classroom, which takes extra time and is more effort-demanding like preparing lessons, lesson plans, marking scripts, homework planning, involvement in co-curricular activities, staff and departmental meetings etc., the list is endless!
When I was working, one day, I had a long day in school. After teaching in the morning from 7 am to 1 pm, there was a staff meeting which started at 2 pm and finished around 6.30 pm. In those long meetings when we teachers were checking time, again and again, I remember, my Headmaster (principal) reminded us jokingly by saying “Teachers!! Remember, you are 24 hours government servants, I suppose you will be marking homework when you get home!!”, and we used to reply “Oh no!”.
When I reached home after 6.30 I had neither the energy nor any mood to cook anything. Unwillingly I opened the fridge and was disappointed to see that there is no leftover food in the fridge. To my big surprise I found lots of fresh vegetables in the fridge, then I realized, maybe my husband brought them while coming back from work. That is when this recipe rescued me, in this vegetable bake, just cut and mix-match any vegetables and put it in the oven and one pot meal can be ready in around 45 minutes.
This is also a wholesome meal as it is loaded with vegetables; there is some protein in the form of cream cheese and grated cheese. Carbohydrate is there in potatoes. So here you go less labor and a tasty full meal is ready.
This is another good example of low-fat cooking. Instead of making the white sauce (roux) with butter, as is usually done in an au-gratin, I have used low fat cream cheese as a substitute and it tastes very good. I’ve replaced a carb-fat with a protein, always a better substitute.
I have used very little grated cheese on top only for garnishing so that it looks good and it still tastes good.
- 400 grams boiled and sliced potatoes
- 200 grams cauliflower florets
- 200 grams green beans cut lengthwise
- 200 corn kernels ( fresh or frozen)
- 200 grams onion sliced
- 400 grams tomatoes sliced
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbs mustard seeds (ground)
- 150 grams low fat cream cheese + 4 tbs milk
- 150 grams low-fat mozzarella/cheddar grated cheese
- 1 tbs dried parsley
- 2 tbs oil
- Heat oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds, fry onion till golden brown, add beans and corn with salt, leave it to cook for 5-8 minutes.
- Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Mix cream cheese and milk thoroughly.
- In an oven tray layer the potatoes, sprinkle some salt.
- Now layer the vegetables, pour cream cheese mixture.
- Layer with tomatoes, sprinkle black pepper and salt and put it in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle grated cheese and parsley and cook for another 5-8 minute.
- Serve hot with some salad of your choice.
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