Vegetables and Meatless Main Dishes

Here's the truth about vegetables. The best vegetables are the ones you grow yourself. The next best are bought directly from farmers at roadside stands or farmers' markets. Supermarket veggies are a distant third (fresh, canned or frozen). They are better than nothing, but plan to start a garden in the spring. You'll be amazed at how good the vegetables taste. If the kids get whiny about vegetables, hide the veggies in the casseroles and main dishes. They will taste so good they won't even notice they are eating broccoli and green beans. Save money by using these recipes as the centerpiece of your meals, thus avoiding the high price of meat.

Bob's No Meat Italian Sauce

Saute shredded zucchini, carrot, & yellow squash (for 3 or 4 people, use 2 carrots, and 1 each zucchini and yellow squash), chopped onion, garlic, until onions are clear. Add tomato sauce (28 oz), simmer for at least a half hour, longer is better.

Rice and Broccoli Casserole

1/2 cup onions, chopped finely | 1/2 cup diced celery | 4 tbsp olive oil | 3 cups cooked broccoli | 1/3 lb shredded cheese | 2 eggs | 2 cups cooked rice | 1/2 cup cracker crumbs | 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped | 2 cups gravy or 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Saute onions and celery in oil or butter. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients (except peanuts and cracker crumbs), mix well, and pour into a greased 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. Melt some butter and brown the cracker crumbs lightly. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, sprinkle chopped roasted unsalted peanuts on top of casserole (optional). Variation: use other vegetables instead of or in addition to broccoli. Add corn.

Corn Loaf

1 can creamed corn | 1 can whole kernel corn | 2 cups biscuit mix | 1 can chopped green chilies | 2 eggs | 1/4 cup sugar | 4 tbsp melted butter | 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)

Mix ingredients except cheese. Grease two 9 x 9 inch pans. Divide one half of the mixture between the pans. Sprinkle cheese over the batter. Pour the other half of the batter over the two pans. Bake 30 to 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Note: don't drain the can of whole kernel corn.

Queen Ann Cabbage

Slice a head of cabbage. Cook in water with 2 tbsp of sugar added until tender. Drain (save liquid to make soup with later). Put in baking dish in two layers with bread crumbs, salt and pepper between layers. Pour one cup of white sauce over the casserole and grate cheese (optional) over the top. If you don't top with cheese, top with crumbled crackers mixed with butter. Bake in 325 degree oven until it is browned well on the top. Non-vegetarian variation: add fried hamburger, sausage, or ham (but not on Friday!).

Creamed Vegetables

For six servings, add 1-2 cups Medium White Sauce to 2-3 cups hot cooked vegetables. Serve on toast or hot biscuits, or with rice and noodles. Add garlic and herbs for flavor.

Scalloped Vegetables

Place Creamed Vegetables in a greased casserole. Top with cup dry bread crumbs mixed with melted butter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are browned. Variation: for vegetables au gratin, sprinkle grated cheese on top before placing crumb topping.

Golden Carrot Casserole

2 cups cooked rice | 3 cups shredded carrots | salt and pepper | 2 beaten eggs | 1/2 cup milk | chopped onion

Combine rice, carrots, milk, eggs, onion, and seasonings. Sprinkle top with crushed crackers, corn flakes, or shredded cheese. Bake in oven one hour at 350 degrees. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top before serving if you have them.

Vegetable Casserole

3 cups carrots, sliced/chopped | 1-1/2 C milk | 2 eggs | 3 cups zucchini (sliced/chopped) | 1 C shredded cheese | 1-1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs | 2 C stock | 1/4 tsp thyme | 1 tbsp chopped parsley | salt and pepper to taste

Simmer carrots in stock for 10 minutes. Add diced zucchini and simmer 3 or 4 minutes (add more broth or water if necessary). Stir occasionally. Add seasonings. Beat eggs with milk, add crumbs and cheese, stir in vegetables. Pour into greased casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Corn Tomato Casserole

Combine in 1 quarter baking dish: 2 cups canned corn (drained), 2-1/2 cups tomatoes (chopped), 1/4 cup chopped green pepper, 1 tbsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with some grated cheese and cracker crumbs, dot top with butter. Bake at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes.

Squash Casserole

4 cups cooked squash | 2 medium carrots, grated | 1 medium onion | 1 can cream of mushroom soup | 1 cup sour cream | cornbread dressing

Mash squash and mix with carrots, onions, soup, and sour cream. Spread layer of cornbread dressing in 13 x 9 inch casserole. Alternate layers with squash mixture, ending up with a thick layer of dressing on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can use any kind of squash, including zucchini, for this dish. You can replace the cream of mushroom soup with 2 cups gravy.

Veggie Burritos

Cooked beans | shredded zucchini/yellow squash | chopped jalapenos | corn or flour tortillas | chopped jalapenos | canned chilies and tomatoes | shelled peanuts (1/4 cup) | 2 C cheese sauce | chopped onion and garlic | spices to taste (chili powder, cayenne, cumin) | tomato sauce or tomato soup

Saute shredded zucchini/yellow squash with onions, garlic, add peanuts. Add cooked beans, tomato sauce or soup, spices. Roll in tortillas and place in pan. Mix cheese sauce and canned chilies/tomatoes and pour over burritos. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until it is hot throughout and bubbling. Variation: add shredded carrots.)

Cooperative Greens

Greens for cooking include mustard, chard, turnip, and spinach. Wash greens and tear into pieces, including the stems. Add crushed red pepper and dried Italian herbs, saute in olive oil until wilted, cover with stock, broth, or water with bouillon, add a little Liquid Smoke, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes to a half hour. This can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight, the flavors are more intense and mingled the second day. It can be cooked longer if desired. Serve with a sprinkling of vinegar.

Oklahoma Rice

This is a bulgur wheat pilaf. To make the bulgur wheat: Soak wheat overnight and then bring to a boil one part whole Oklahoma wheat berries plus two parts water or stock, then simmer until the berries are tender (about one hour). Spread the berries on a cookie sheet and bake in a 225 F oven, stirring occasionally, until dry (about one hour). Grind in a blender, grain grinder, or crush with a rolling pin, to the consistency of cracked wheat.

To make the bulgur wheat pilaf: saute onions, garlic, and bulgur wheat in olive oil. Add 2 parts broth, stock, or water with bouillon, to one part bulgur wheat, plus dried herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley. Cooked or stir-fried vegetables and/or chunks of meat can also be added. Be liberal with the seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until liquid is absorbed. Note: wheat can vary, so check while cooking and if necessary add more liquid.

Jonalu's Turnips

3-4 c. peeled & cubed turnips | 1/2 c. honey | 2 c. red wine | 1/4 c. butter

Place turnips in saucepan; add remaining ingredients & enough water to barely cover. Simmer until tender. Pour into baking dish & bake at 350 degrees for hour.

Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes

3 cups very cold water | 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice | 1/2 cup minced onions | 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic | 3 tablespoons bacon drippings |1-1/2 cups sliced okra | salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste | 2 C corn | 1 cup fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped

Combine water and lemon juice. Soak okra in this mixture for 30 minutes to help remove gumminess. In a large cast-iron skillet, saute onion and garlic in bacon drippings over medium heat. Add okra and continue to saute over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add water as necessary to prevent sticking. 4 to 6 servings.

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