This post was written by my foodie sister Robin, who is now sharing all of her favorite recipes and kitchen tips regularly on the new “Make It and Love It – in the KITCHEN” portion of this blog. Try a few of her recipes…your belly will thank you! -Ashley
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At work a few years ago, my coworker put a plate of food in front of me during lunchtime. There was a ton packed in his lunch and so he had a lot to spare. It didn’t look overly spectacular, it was just potatoes and some sort of cheese topping. I didn’t want to seem ungracious so I went ahead and took a bite. And you know what? It was way better than I expected and that peculiar cheese topping was, hmmm, smooth and flavorful. Then, the kicker. I asked him what the topping was and he told me it was — wait for it — mayonnaise and cheese. Uhhhh, ewwww. Really?!
Let me explain, I have this love-hate relationship with mayonnaise. It is more hate than love. I love what it can do for a recipe, as long as I can’t taste it. That gloppy white stuff needs to be very well disguised. If it tastes like mayo AT ALL, I have to stop right there before I, um, lose my belly. There were several sandwiches thrown in the waste bin, back in grade school, when my mother forgot to skip the mayonnaise on my sandwich for lunch. So, from someone who detests mayonnaise, trust me, this is really REALLY good! (I know you needed that history because if any of you are like me, just hearing that there is mayonnaise in this dish is going to cause you to hit “next”.)
And let me just say, if you have a mayonnaise hater in the family, just don’t tell them what it is. Just say it’s a cheese-y topping. Because Ashley’s husband is an extreme mayonnaise-hater too but I made this for their family several months ago. Ashley told me not to tell him, so I kept it a secret. And guess what? He loved it! And once we told him what was in it, he told us he wouldn’t have touched it with a 10-foot pole, had he known. Ha! Victory!
It must be that cooking mayo changes the taste and gives excellent texture to the vegetables. So don’t let this scare you if you are a hater also. I would be the same way. Just think — it’s just baked eggs and oil, eggs and oil, eggs and oil…
I added in extra vegetables than what my co-worker had me sample, to give the dish different textures, colors, and flavor. And well, maybe some extra nutrients too. :)
I’ll tell you what though, those steamed veggies and perfectly soft potatoes marry perfectly with this creamy seasoned topping. Such a sneaky way to let the side dish veggies steal the show. And EASY.
Because really, you won’t find a simpler side dish. Just chop up a few things, throw it all in a pan, and forget about it while you whip up the rest of your meal.
Believe me, it’s worth trying at least once!
(But just watch, you’ll make it again and again…)
Here is the shopping list to gather from your pantry/fridge or grocery store.
Here they all are:
Whoops, I forgot to add this guy in the picture… the good ole onion.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You will start with 3-4 medium potatoes, depending how much will fit in your 9 x 13 dish. It isn’t really necessary to have the exact amount of each of the vegetables and potatoes, just fill up your dish with what you like best. (However, I like about half potatoes and half mixed veggies.)
Don’t bother peeling the potatoes, just scrub the skin and if you see spots of green like you see below….
…cut them out.
Because of the size of my potatoes, I used 3 potatoes. Now, place into your 9 x 13 dish.
Chop up the vegetables, except for the carrots, into approximately ¼ inch cubes.
I like the carrots to be shredded since it takes longer for carrots to cook and I didn’t want to bite into big pieces of carrot — but still wanted some beta carotene.
Toss all the vegetables and potatoes together in the dish. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
Spread an even layer of mayonnaise on top of the vegetables, until completely covered, like below:
Cover the pan with tin foil and place in the oven and bake for one hour or until the potatoes are tender.
Uncover and it should look like this.
Sprinkle the cheese on top. I used a mozzerella and parmesan mixture. Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese…
…and until the cheese turns a nice golden color, like this:
**You can change it up a bit by adding garlic powder and fresh herbs such as Italian parsley, basil, cilantro, or dill. Yum!
Oooh, this makes your kitchen smell so nice. It is making me hungry just looking at it. And remember how much I hate mayo!?! But I can almost promise this will be hit.
Serves 8-10 people
Mix all the vegetables together along with the salt and pepper. Place in a 9×13 casserole dish. Spread the mayo evenly on top and cover the dish with tin foil. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Pull off the foil and sprinkle the cheese on top and allow to melt and slightly brown for 5 minutes.