Friday, May 20, 2011

Simple Veggie Bake

When life is busy, the last thing I feel like adding to my To-Do List is detailed menu planning, recipe searching, grocery-list making, and grocery shopping. That’s too much hassle just to put something home-cooked on the table for dinner. I find it’s way more convenient—and fun—to create dishes from ingredients already in the cupboard or fridge.

One of my latest “Kristina Creations,” as my family and I are apt to call my frequent culinary experiments, is a yummy veggie bake that I made from basic ingredients we had on hand. (I prepared the dish as one of the sides for a dinner for six.)

From the fridge, I grabbed . . .
  • three heads of broccoli
  • one red pepper
  • ½ an onion
  • the rest of the package of shredded cheddar cheese (about half of the package)

From the cupboard I opened . . .
  • a can of cream of chicken condensed soup
  • a new jar of medium salsa
  • a package of croutons

This simple veggie bake took only a few minutes to throw together. First, I chopped the veggies and tossed them into a casserole dish. Next I added the soup, a few scoopfuls of salsa, and the cheese and mixed everything together right in the casserole dish. Then I crushed the croutons and added them to the top, before baking in the oven at 375.

As a friend pointed out to me, cooking in this manner is also an easy way to save money. Learning from her, I’ve started making my grocery lists according to the sales and then designing menus accordingly, versus planning a menu first and then shopping for the necessary ingredients. Don’t you love it when something is convenient, economical, and delicious?

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