Summer Veggie Bake

Yesterday was one of those days. The weather was pretty crappy, overcast and gloomy with 1000% humidity and I was on day two of the never-ending headache. We had an afternoon full of errands to run involving some of my least favorite places to go, and I had no patience left for planning and cooking an elaborate meal. Enter this little baby:

 

Don't you just want to take a bite? MMM. Summer Veggie Bake

Don't you just want to take a bite? MMM. Summer Veggie Bake

It’s not quite a quiche, not quite a frittata; it’s what I’d call an Egg Pie, but without the crust. And it’s so easy. You can adapt this to whatever you have on-hand and have it on the table in less than an hour. That’s exactly what I needed yesterday evening— something relatively quick and easy, but still healthy and of course it has to taste good. My only complaint about this is that I should have doubled it so we could have had the leftover for breakfast. 

I am so happy that eggs and butter have been taken off of the Verboten list for healthy foods, aren’t you?  I’ll admit, I never stopped eating them, but I know so many people who denied themselves these two magnificent foods for too long. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, especially those yummy little yolks—packed with Lutein, they can help prevent Macular Degeneration. I’m especially glad about that, as my beloved Nana lost her sight to that awful disease. Hopefully my egg habit will prevent that developing in my later years.  And butter—Oh my goodness! I have had a lifelong love affair with butter. As a kid, I would sneak bites off of the stick in the fridge, and even now, I’ll have a little nibble when I’m cooking. Don’t worry, I cut my nibbles off of the block nowadays—No teeth marks or fingerprints to incriminate myself!  I insist on using butter from free-ranging grass fed cows, and try to buy local butter when I can. You really can see and taste the difference. A little butter to sauté your veggies gives so much flavor and silky texture to this dish, that it’s almost a crime to use anything else. But if you are a non-dairy eater, you could sub Coconut Oil, or EVOO. These will give a slightly different flavor and mouthfeel, but the dish will still be delicious. 

And yes, that is some creamy Chèvre you see there in the photo. My daughter specifically requested it for this, and how can I deny that doll? If you aren’t a goat cheese lover (I’m not sure we can be friends if you aren’t), just use whatever you like, or you could go without any cheese if you don’t do dairy. I’m not going to suggest a vegan cheese alternative, because I haven’t found one that I think would work well here. 

As far as spices and herbs, we went with a slightly Mexican theme, using Roasted Cumin, Smoked Paprika, and a little Chipotle powder. But you could just as easily use a more Mediterranean blend, or an Herbes de Provence blend. Whatever floats your boat. 

Pair this with a simple green salad and you have a perfect summer dinner! 

Summer Vegetable Bake

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 Eggs, beaten and set aside

1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and julienned 

1 Yellow Onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings

1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Zucchini, cut cross wise into 1/4” discs

2 TBSP Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee (can substitute EVOO or Coconut Oil)

6 oz Chèvre or other cheese, crumble or grated as necessary. 

1 Ear of Corn—Kernels sliced from cob

1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin

1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Grease a 9” cake or pie pan and set aside. Heat Oven to 400 F.

Method:

1.In a heavy sauté pan, melt butter and add the onions and peppers. Cook over low/medium low heat until the onion begins to color and the peppers are softening. Add the sliced tomatoes and continue to stir frequently, as tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices. Add in the zucchini and corn kernels, and continue cooking until the vegetables are soft, but not falling apart. Season with spices, stirring to distribute evenly. 

2. Transfer Vegetables to the baking dish, and combine with cheese. 

3. Pour beaten eggs over the vegetable mixture and tap pan lightly on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. 

4. Place in Pre-Heated oven for 20 minutes. 

5. Check for doneness— the dish should be puffed and slightly browned in places. Remove when done, and allow to cool and settle for 10 minutes before slicing. 

6. Slice and serve! 

Any leftovers (hahaha!) can be wrapped and refrigerated. Then, either serve at room temperature or gently reheated. We didn’t have any leftovers, and you probably won’t either. 

So there you have it, a great little dish to throw together on a busy day and still be able to have a healthy, delicious, home-cooked dinner. And like I said before, you can adapt this to what you have on hand…that’s its beauty! 

Have a great day, and let me know if you try this—better yet, make it and invite me over! I’ll bring the wine.