Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.
Spring is Natures way of saying "Let's Party!"
~Robin Williams

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Winter Vegetable Casserole and a Tasty Giveaway for the New Year


I am a real vegetable lover. I could eat nothing but vegetables and be perfectly happy for the rest of my life . . . seriously! Ok . . . I might miss a good steak once in a while, but  vegetables do make me very happy.


I actually crave them.   It's totally true.   If I don't have at least one or two a day . . . something vital is missing from my life, and I'm not talking potatoes here!  (Although for sure Potatoes are a real favourite of both of ours!)


 This delicious casserole is a fabulous way of getting in several of your five a day, and is very easy to make.  You could use thawed frozen vegetables, or a thawed frozen vegetable mix, but I get a special kick out of doing my own vegetables.   I'm kind of odd that way I suppose. . .


 You end up with a tasty mixture of crispy tender carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes and leeks . . . underneath a tasty gratin sauce and a blanket of crispy crumb and melted Blue Stilton . . . because . . . we like it that way.  (Plus it is a good way to use up some of that leftover Christmas Stilton!)


And it tastes good.  The perfect side dish for your New Year Supper, or any supper.  Or, if you are like me . . . just the whole supper.  With a few slices of crusty whole meal bread and some butter . . . tis very, very satisfying.  (If you are serving it as a main, it will only feed 3 or 4 depending on appetites.  As a main I would serve some barley or brown rice with it.)


 *Winter Vegetable Casserole*
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
Printable Recipe

A delicious way to get in a few of your "Five a Day!"  Easy and economical and doesn't use cream soup.

1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
1 medium head of broccoli, trimmed and broken in florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch coins
1 medium courgette, washed, trimmed, cut into half moons, 1/2 inch thick
1 medium leek, trimmed, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

For the sauce:
4 TBS butter
25g of plain flour (1/4 cup)
1 chicken stock pot (or the equivalent of chicken boullion powder)
500ml of milk (2 cups)
1 TBS Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper taste
a handful of crushed round buttery crackers
a handful of crumbled Blue Stilton Cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.  Drop in the cauliflower.  Cook until crispy tender, then scoop out and drain.  Set aside.  Repeat with the remaining vegetables, cooking them one at a time, just until crispy tender and allowing to drain well.  Discard water.

Using the same pot, melt the butter.  Once it begins to foam.  Add the flour.  Cook and stir for one minute.  Whisk in the Dijon mustard and then the milk.  Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens.  Whisk in the stock pot.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a 9 inch square deep casserole dish.   Toss the well drained vegetables together and spread them in the prepared baking dish.  Pour the sauce evenly over top of all.  Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and the crumbled Stilton cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and nicely golden on top.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Along with  the Brand New Year I am happy to offer today a delightful Giveaway from Innocent Drinks.  Once we get all the over-doing it of the Holidays over with, January is a time to try cutting back and making up for all of our excesses.    January is the month for new beginnings and there is no better way to go about that than by pumping up the exercise and eating a bit healthier!


With the New Year, Innocent Drinks are beginning a new initiative to help get you back on track and beat the January Blahs!!   If you click over to their site you can see where they have created some really useful ways to look after your mind, body and soul . . . because healthy isn't just about getting in your five a day . . . but looking after the other stuff as well.   And with that in mind, I am offering one of my readers, courtesy of Innocent Drinks,  a couple of months of Innocent Smoothies, in the form of redeemable vouchers.  To get in on the giveaway, you only need to be a resident of the UK and leave a comment at the end of this post.

Tone and hone your bottom with the Buns of Steel workout, feel great with the Dot of Positivity, or simply Click Yourself Happy . . . all without leaving your desk!  Click HERE. 

Each innocent smoothie is made of pure crushed fruits and juices, containing 2 of your 5-a-day, making them an incredibly tasty way to do yourself some good and beat January.  My personal favourite is the Kiwi Apple and Lime!  So tasty and refreshing.  I love to think I'm doing something good for myself, and enjoying it at the same time!

So, just leave a comment at the end of this post and I will pick a winner on Friday of this week.  Spread the news.  The more the merrier.  Many thanks to Innocent for hosting this fun giveaway and helping us to get the new year off on the right footing!


Knattyknitter said...

Happy New Year. Innocent smoothies are delicious and free ones would be all the more tasty!

Annabelle said...

Found your blog today (decided on a frugal new year) and have joined for recipes and fun. I, too, love vegetables - and your recipe will be lunch today - thank you. I am a (poor) cook and experimenter of cooking and all crafts and realize tooo extravagant so must change. PS. Love smoothies - not tried kiwi but will do so now. xx

lisaflowerpot said...

Oh Love smoothies. Your vegetable casserole looks gorgeous.
Will definately be giving that a try. I love vegetable crumble and that looks similar. Drooling already.
You can't beat a lovely vegetable dish in my opinion.
Happy New Year ! Love Lisa x

choux pastry hearts said...

After spending all of Christmas under the weather, this is just what I need to perk me up this year!


Sarah Leslie said...

Ooh, sounds great! Both the casserole and the giveaway ;)

Patricia Corbyn said...

Delurking to say Happy New Year and yes to the smoothies :~)


Jenny said...

Happy New Year, Marie. I have it all amd will make the casserole today to go with the ham and black-eyed peas I made yesterday for New Year's Day. In the South the peas are a must for good luck in the coming year. xo Jenny

Lynn said...

Happy New Year, I love Innocent smoothies, they make a great quick and easy breakfast when I'm running late or a tasty snack.

Gill said...

Happy New Year Marie!
Thanks for a great veggie recipe and an awesome giveaway!

Manic Mosaics said...

The vegetable casserole sounds amazing, might have to substitute stilton with something else though, there's never any spare in this house lol. Great giveaway :)

Anna Marie Tang said...

I can't enter the giveaway as I'm not a UK resident, but the veggie casserole looks wonderful, and I couldn't agree with you more on the love of vegetables! I can't live without them! Happy holidays!

Gillian Holmes said...

Please put me into the draw - thank you xx

Sybil said...

Not often that I post on yur cookery blog Marie ! but I wanted to use up the vegs etc and there was your casserole so popped in to see what you did..I will mak eit tomorrow but will have to substitute chedder cheese as I don't like any blue cheese!!
Do enjoy the odd innocent smoothie here's fingers crossed I getto try out some more of the fasinating flavours..

Oh So Gawjess said...

Please enter me - just what I need right now!

ohsogawjess at gmail dot com


Last Alliance Studios said...

Happy new year! :D
I've been meaning to comment for ages as your blog has made me, the perpetual non-kitchen dweller actually want to start making tasty things. XD

twannywun said...

I LOVE innocent smoothies. Will be a perfect start to the new year and my birthday soon!
karen s
twannywun at hotmail dot com

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

the smoothies sound wonderful. What a perfect way to start the New Year with that delicious veggie casserole! Happy New Year to you and Todd!
Mary x

Jenny said...

I made the casserole today and it is yummy. Getting ready to eat it for dinner with brown rice, ham and blackeyed peas. Thank you!

togram52 said...

I love casseroles in the winter and this recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for the contest opportunity too!

Marie said...

Jenny, hope you enjoyed! Thanks everyone!

rachel said...

I need to get healthy...this would be a great way to do so

Helen Dickinson said...

I am trying to loose weight after having my son 1 year ago!
We love innocent in this house and are huge fans.

Popping over from:

Thank you xxx

Lisa said...

I've just discovered you ... I am making this recipe tonight - thanks Marie. And I could be persuaded to get into innocent with this offer - a great start to 2013. thanks again!