Marnina and I are obsessed with the Moosewood Cookbook. It is a recipe book written by Mollie Katzen when she was a member of the Moosewood collective in Ithaca, New York. The cookbook is literally a bible for vegetarian cooks. Even though we are not vegetarians, our animal consumption is limited to Friday night Shabbat dinners and special occasions (mostly because of the high prices of Kosher meat). Every single recipe from this cookbook that we have tried has been superb as are the creative names and illustrations attached to each recipe. We once made a dish from the cookbook called Zucchanoes, which are onion, pepper, and cheese stuffed zucchinis that look nothing like canoes by the time they are out of the oven, but they do float you to food heaven.
We have identified about 50 recipes in the Moosewood Cookbook that we want to cook, and since we had a bunch of mushrooms (Harris Teeter had a mushroom sell-off) and carrots, we decided on a Carrot-Mushroom loaf. ‘Loaf’ is a misnomer for this dish though. It is baked in a 9/13-inch pan, and it more closely resembles a casserole. I had doubts that this dish would be filling enough, but the shear amount of veggies provide enough fiber to fill you up, and the moderate amount of eggs and cheese provide enough protein. A food processor fitted with a grating attachment would have made this casserole a lot easier, but a hand grater works fine too.
As you might have noticed by now, veggies are a staple in Marnina’s diet. She is dedicated to having some type of veggie in almost every meal, which takes a certain amount of planning and preparation because the veggie must be soft enough for her to digest. Over the past 8 months that I have lived with her, I have witnessed, and been astonished, at her ability to always have a veggie in our lunches and dinners. She has taught me some valuable lessons, and I want to pass on some nuggets of advice for those who are trying to incorporate more veggies into their diets. First, always have fresh produce in your kitchen, and try to keep it in sight – as the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind.” Second, buy extra servings of veggies so that when you do cook the veggies you will have enough for a few meals. Third, when you are bored, cook some veggies for a future snack. When snack time hits, we often tend to reach for a high- calorie, highly-convenient snack. If you have some roasted squash or steamed green beans on-hand, you are more likely to pass up on the ‘convenience’ snack.
Pictures and recipe below:
Grated carrots and chopped mushrooms
Sauteeing the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and herbs.
The assembled product before it is put into the oven.
2 cups minced onion
1 tablespoon butter (I used at least 2 tablespoons)
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dill
3 to 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds carrots, grated (about 6 cups)
2 cups superb bread crumbs (I used about half bread crumbs and half “oatmeal crumbs”)
1 cup (packed) grated cheddar
2 eggs, beaten (I used 3 eggs)
black pepper, to taste
1) Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2) In a large skillet, sauté onions in butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, herbs, and garlic, and continue to sauté for about 10 more minutes.
3) In a large bowl, combine carrots, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, and pepper. Add the sautéed mixture and mix well. Spread into the prepared pan and sprinkle with your choice of toppings. Cover the pan with foil.
4) Bake for 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Serve hot or warm.Note: Once baked, this casserole can be frozen. It reheats beautifully.
extra dill, cheese, bread crumbs; any, some or all
Note: Once baked, this casserole can be frozen. It reheats beautifully.
Adapted from: Moosewood Cookbook