Guess what. Oh, all right… I’ll just tell you: cheesy vegetables aren’t unhealthy. Seriously! At least, these ones aren’t. Not only are they secretly good for you but they taste AMAZING! I felt so guilty and decadent eating these but I’m not going to lie. I also felt a little smug because I love cheese. We almost always have cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, and jalapeno cheddar in the house and now that Sargento also has tasting cheeses*, we usually have 1-3 triangles of that as well.
Cheese, dates, and crackers is a pretty typical after-
school work snack for me.
Of course, I also try to eat on the healthy side most of the time so when I found this idea over on Diabetic Living Online, I knew I had to give it a try. With my own little tweaks, of course. I mean, how could I pass up a healthified cheesy side dish? I couldn’t. That’s how.
I couldn’t find a sauceless broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix in my grocer’s freezer so I just used a lot of frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Even though I increased the vegetables by a third, I kept the sauce ratio about the same and it seemed to work just fine.
About the only thing I will change when I make this again.. and I will. Oh, yes. I will… is I want to mix a a couple teaspoons of melted butter into the panko to give it a crunchier and more brown topping.
When making the sauce for this, though, don’t walk away from it or it’ll burn to the bottom of the pan pretty quickly. Or, um, so I’ve heard?
- 24oz frozen broccoli pieces, thawed but not cooked
- 24oz frozen cauliflower pieces, thawed but not cooked
- 12oz can fat-free evaporated milk
- 2 Tbsp white wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 4oz (1 c) shredded sharp cheddar
- 4oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- ½ c panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Rinse and drain the vegetables and place in a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk, flour garlic, pepper and paprika. Heat over medium, whisking frequently, until thick and starting to bubble, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cheddar and cream cheese until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to coat well. Spread into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the panko.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
*I was in no way paid to endorse Sargento. I doubt they even know I exist, but I do like their tasting cheeses. 🙂