Vegetables. Damn, I love them. I feel so smug when I read nutritionists advising people to eat more vegetables. It wouldn't be physically possible for me to eat more vegetables. I'm like some kind of voluntary foie gras duck when it comes to vegetables. I apologise for that cruel and unusual visual.
This bake is a good way to eat lots of different vegetables. And it's healthy because though it has mozarella in it, it also has five different types of vegetables plus kidney beans. And that's pretty much it, so I guess it's also extremely easy. This is my recipe (it evolved from an ancient recipe for a brown lentil and cauliflower bake) which I always do slightly differently every time I make it, so don't bother following it too closely. You could use almost any vegetables - sweet potato, parsnip, carrots and swedes are some I've used successfully in the past. I almost always use broccoli though because it is so delicious with mozarella.
Ingredients (amounts as given make 3 medium servings)
1 medium tin of red kidney beans or equivalent dried
1.5 cups chopped cauliflower
1.5 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 a cup potato cut into cubes
1/2 a cup of butternut cut into cubes
About 3/4 cup of buffallo mozarella
3-4 tablespoons of plain or greek yoghurt
dried coriander to taste
dried cumin to taste
chopped fresh parsley to taste (at least half a cup, come on, it's so delicious)
salt, pepper to taste
1. Put the beans in a saucepan with coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Let simmer gently while you do the rest of the recipe. If you used dried and soaked beans you need to do this for at least an hour, as I am sure you know.
2. In a large pot of water, add the potato, then the butternut. When they're about half done, add the cauliflower and broccoli. Let cook until they're soft but not falling apart.
3. Drain the vegetables and then partially mash them roughly with a fork, adding the yoghurt and half or 2/3 of the mozarella (cubed or torn as you like). Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the parsley. I added at least a cup because I love parsley.
4. In a pie dish or what have you, put down about an inch thick layer of the thick vegetable mash. Then drain the beans of excess water and put down a layer of beans. Then top with the rest of the vegetable mash.
5. Take the rest of the mozarella, torn up into little bits, and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the vegetables.
6. Bake in the oven or in your sad student-flat microwave with the grill on until the top gets brown. I dont have an oven, so I can't give you an actual temperature. I use aforementioned sad microwave and I use the highest setting on the feeble imitation of a grill element. It doesn't really matter since everything is cooked already, you're just getting all the flavours to mix into each other and making the cheesy top all golden and delicious.