Zucchini Broccoli Cauliflower Cheesy Bake

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When life hands you lemons, you make a delicious, low-carb drink to go with this fun, simple vegetable casserole. I didn’t have anything in mind when I made this dish, save for to use up the vegetables in my fridge after other cooking experiments. What commenced was a pretty tremendous, delicious dish that looks good enough for company.

That is, if you wanted to share.

With literally a little bit of of this and that from the fridge, you can put together a medley of vegetables that provide vital nutrients and also satisfies your desire for fresh, in season vegetables coated in a delectable, creamy cheese hug of fabulosity. Go ahead. Drool. Ponder. I don’t mind. I’m right there with you.

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I originally made this dish with the leftover bechamel from my Swiss Chard Casserole. If you’d like, this means you can make this recipe after that one, saving aside some of the yogurty goodness. Or you can add coconut or almond milk to this recipe, if you find you need a little extra creamy oomph that doesn’t max out your dairy. Have fun and play with it.

Tip: Want to save carbohydrates and calories? Try subbing out 1-2 cups of the heavy white cream for coconut milk or almond milk.

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Because we love information, I’ve made sure to include variables below, such as the nutritional information for the cheese sauce alone, the entire recipe, and then by 1/16th or 1/12th of the entire dish, per your needs. Of course, I openly admit to eating more than a serving in a sitting, but due to the fat content and the staying power of the fiber in the vegetables, it was a knockout in terms of taste and satiety–I wasn’t hungry again for hours!

This is your moment to shine, you kitchen artist! What’s in your fridge begging to jump into a bake?

Tip: The key to this terrific dish is to not over think it. Use what you have on hand and have fun with it. Cheese sauce covers a multitude of sins.

doodle

 Zucchini Broccoli Cauliflower Cheesy Bake

4 cups heavy white cream
4 cups cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, feta, or anything you have on hand)
4 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

two small [6"] zucchini, sliced thin (about 2 cups)
1 package frozen (or fresh) cauliflower, thawed (about 16 ounces)
1 head fresh broccoli florets and stems, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley, chopped (divided. Save some for garnish)
2 cups fresh green beans, broken in half
1 green pepper, chopped
8 shredded baby organic carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add heavy white cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and heat until a near boil. Add the cheese and stir, incorporating all the ingredients. Once the cheese melts, pour over vegetables in casserole dishes (or a really large casserole dish).

While the heavy cream is heating, I typically add the veggies to their respective casserole pans (large and small pans, because I like variety and sometimes want to freeze the extras). That way, when you’re ready, add the cream sauce, stir, and you’re ready to bake. Here, I add the zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, parsley, green beans, pepper, carrots, garlic and onion.

Bake at 350, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown. In the last 15 minutes, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top to just melt. Serve warm, cold or three days old. It doesn’t matter. This stuff is hard-core delicious.

Share. Maybe.

Makes a bum-load of servings.

Per 1/12 of the recipe: 293 Cals.; 10 g Carbs.; 3 g Fiber; 7 g Net Carbs. ; 15 g Protein; 16 g Fat
Per 1/16 of the recipe: 220 Cals.; 8 g Carbs.; 3 g Fiber; 5 g Net Carbs. ; 11 g Protein; 12 g Fat
For the cheese sauce alone [entire recipe]: 2973 Cals.; 17 g Carbs.; 0 g Fiber; 17 g Net Carbs. ; 143  g Protein; 185 g Fat
Per entire recipe: 3512 Cals.; 125 g Carbs.; 40 g Fiber; 85 g Net Carbs. ; 178 g Protein; 188 g Fat

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Comments

  1. Your recipes are quite intriguing which is why I subscribed. Recipes that are flavorful and satisfying without excessive caloric value are of greatest interest to me. Please tell me why “Your Lighter Side” includes such a heavy recipe as this, complete with large amounts of heavy cream, butter and cheese. Thanks :)

    • Hi there! Your Lighter Side is dedicated to humor and lightness in life. It’s Your Lighter Side. It’s fun. It’s family. It’s food. This sometimes includes some heavily-creamed, more “gourmet” dishes for living it up a little (especially when I’m trying to push vegetables). It’s just fun. The heavy dish may seem excessive, but it’s so filling. I can only eat a serving and I’m stuffed for hours! Plus, I got myself (and others) to eat those veggies. It’s a win win!

    • Heavy cream is actually a very healthy fat, especially if it’s organic cream from grass-fed cows, & the quantity per serving (1/16 of the recipe) is not too much, nor is the amount of cheese per serving (again -organic, from grass-fed cows).

  2. frank weir says:

    As usual, easy to do even for a guy like me…brilliant…

  3. This is a great low carb way to push vegetables and about the only thing I see you need to go with it is the drink. One of your wonderful breads would be great too. I love vegetables and cheese so this dish adds to my happiness.

    • I am so happy to hear that this appeals to you, Susan! I love the thought of a decadent creamy (anything), so the vegetables used really made such a wonderful difference. The dish is hearty, filling and invigorating–not to mention colorful and delicious.

  4. Leslie Sullivan says:

    I am SUPER excited about this recipe! Omit the carrots and it’s perfect for my way of eating. I can see putting some chicken in here, too. The best part about it? I think you could use just about any veggies. I have cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts at home. I think I am going to use those and make this tonight! Thanks again for the wonderful inspiration :)

    • You are so right, Leslie. You could seriously use anything you like.

    • I agree, with this recipe adding some chicken or shrimp to the dish and one of the bread recipes with a beautiful green salad full of some of the fresh vegetables in the house would make a wonderful party recipe for those special family members or guests. Sounds like we’d all shine.

      Thanks Jamie, I will definitely be giving this a try.

  5. Sounds great. What size pan did you cook this in?

  6. Cheese sauce DOES cover a multitude of sins, for sure!

  7. YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe, Jamie!!! I started with your recipe and measured nothing; I just eye-balled it.. I added turkey sausage, kale, green onions, mushrooms, tons of fresh garlic and omitted the onions and peppers and, OMG! It is so delicious!!! Oh, and I didn’t have any parmesan so just sprinkled more cheddar and nutiritional yeast
    on top. It could have used more cheese on top, but the flavour is so satisfying! I think its the cheese sauce. Thanks for posting!!!

  8. Great recipe inspiration, made a few modifications (goat cheese, artichoke hearts, asparagus instead of green beans, and added a mix of breadcrumbs and Parmesan to the top.) Delicious!

  9. OMG tried this last night and it was to die for!!!!!! I have really enjoyed trying your recipes they can really keep a girl on track with induction. I must say (sorry if I sound weird lol) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! My hubby and my picky kids gobbled it right up and I love that the veggies still have a crunch to them. The cheese sauce was amazing! I only omitted the carrots since I am still in induction but I didn’t miss them. Still have a bunch left over, think I will grill up some steaks to have the left overs with and try and make the oppsie rolls!

  10. Could I use this sauce for a low carb lasagna ?

  11. Yum, this sounds SO great. The only thing I’d add to the cheese sauce is a little nutmeg. Thanks for the ALWAYS TERRIFIC ideas.

  12. Oh! Thanks! I love a little nutmeg as well and had forgotten all about that idea! This casserole looks great and I’ll be making it soon!

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