Happy Monday! Meatless Monday to be exact…..
Today’s recipe comes to you from my old college roomie and one of my best buds, Natalie. Let me start by saying that Natalie had quite a unique style of food preparation when we were in college. Our dorm room often looked like a lab test gone awry. Her propensity to use multiple condiments did not always make for the most appetizing of dishes, especially on mornings when I awoke with a raging hangover to the remnants of the previous night’s concoction just inches from my head.
But that was many years ago and we’re all grown up now. My friend is now married, with a baby and a cute house in Kentucky. Gone are the days of microwaved Casserole a’la Nat for dinner. (If I remember correctly that was something like equal parts Lipton rice, butter buds, ranch dressing and mustard topped with crushed up white cheddar rice cakes).
Yes, we’ve definitely changed, and that would be most apparent to anyone that heard our breakfast conversations in the 90’s vs today. Instead of detailing our most recent fraternity party escapades, we now talk mostly about babies, home design/decor and cooking. As we sipped coffee in Natalie’s kitchen a few weeks ago, I inquired as to what she’d been doing with the crop bursting from her little backyard veggie garden. Her eyes lit up and she excitedly began digging for a recipe to share with me.
Vegetable Pie? She assured me that although it didn’t sound terribly exciting, it would rock my world. Even her husband chimed in saying “it may be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth”. This statement coming from a big, strong, meat-eatin’ man is pretty impressive.
8 oz of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Garlic salt to taste
1 10-inch pie shell, baked at 325 degrees for 20 minutes
1 tomato, sliced
1 cup mayo (see below for my substitution)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
I'm not a fan of mayo so I substituted Greek yogurt* with the juice of one lemon and a little bit of salt & pepper mixed in for flavor.
Saute vegetables (remember that tomato is NOT a vegetable!) in butter until crisp but not soft. Drain well and add seasonings. Place tomato slices in bottom of pie shell. Add vegetables. Mix together mayo and cheese in small bowl. Spread cheese mixture over vegetables. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
One last thing I would like to point out- the vegetable measurements listed above are reduced from the original. This is because I’m pretty sure the Jolly Green Giant was the recipe writer. Seriously, they were double the amount and could only possibly be contained in a ginormous pie shell.
That said, even though I’m giving to you the minimized version, Nat and I both chose to go with the original and make the full amount of veggies. One of two things happen if you go this route- you have leftover sauteed veggies to use in something later in the week, or you create 2 pies. Pie crusts typically come packaged in 2’s anyway, so use them both, then share one with a friend or your co-workers! Just note that if you do this, you’ll need 2 tomatoes instead of 1, and you’ll need to double the mayo/cheese mixture.
I assure you my friend’s cooking style has seen a dramatic improvement from our college days, and this dish backs up that claim. My husband, like Natalie’s, seemed to really enjoy it- 3 pieces in one sitting is usually a good indication. So go ahead, celebrate the adundance of summer produce we’re all blessed with right now and bake one of these for dinner tonight!
*This dietitian’s review of Oikos Greek yogurt (the brand I used), does a great job outlining the health benefits and versatility of Greek yogurt.