OK, we had the barbecue beef and the salad for the dinner to be served after our little munchkin's baby dedication. But what about other sides? My daughter was set to prepare her favorite Company Potatoes recipe (appearing in my first cookbook, Way Back in the Country) that goes great with just about anything. But our crowd was not big on baked beans or any of the traditional barbecue match-ups.
I did an Internet search for vegetable casseroles. On nancysrecipes.wordpress.com in a feature called "A Recipe a Day" I discovered this mixed-veggie casserole that resembles the legendary green-bean dish that's stock-and-trade of Thanksgiving fare—baked with French-fried onions on top and mixed in and featuring cream of mushroom soup as part of the sauce. The original recipe called for frozen mixed veggies to be added, but I modified it so we could serve it the "garden-fresh" way, of course. Steaming some fresh veggies I had on hand made the mixture more healthy and was a good way to use up some leftovers.
Munchkin didn't get to sample any of our goodies that were prepared in his honor for the after-dedication meal. He was very content to nurse and have his supplemental bottle. But because of him we had a good excuse to indulge in some wonderful food. Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese was a big hit with the partygoers.
Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese
1/4 cup fresh corn, cut from cob
4 carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch slices (enough for 1 cup of carrots)
1 cup fresh trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup nonfat sour cream
1 (6-ounce can) French-fried onions
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1/4 cup cheese and 1/4 cup French-fried onions. Steam fresh carrots, corn, green beans, and cauliflower 3-4 minutes on high in microwave until vegetables are tender. Drain. Add peas. In large bowl combine veggies, soup, 3/4 cup cheese, sour cream, 3/4 cup onions, and pepper. Pour all into greased 2-quart casserole dish, Bake 30 minutes. On top sprinkle reserved cheese and onions. Bake 5 more minutes. Serves 6-8.