French Market Vegetable Casserole

At Madri Gras time I always think of cajun cuisine and food that is typical of New Orleans. I love the way Paul Prudhomme uses spices and herbs to create unique dishes. While some of his earlier recipes are rich, this recipe is healthy and delicious from  Prudhomme’s  lighter fare in Fork in the Road

1/2 c. dried white beans

Seasoning mix

2 1/2 t. onion powder

1 1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 t. sweet paprika

1 1/2 t. garlic powder

1 1/2 t. ground cumin

1 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

1 1/4 t. dry mustard

1/2 t. black pepper

1/4 t. white pepper

1/4 t. cayenne

Other ingredients;

1 c. chopped onions

1 c. chopped green bell peppers

1 c. chopped celery

2 bay leaves

1 t. minced fresh garlic

2 c. apple juice

1 1/2 c vegetable stock

1 large carrot, 1 large yellow squash, 1 large zucchini, and 3 parsnips,sliced diagonally exposing as much of the inside as possible, into medium bite-sized pieces

12 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 medium onion, peeled and cut into medium to large bite-sized pieces

Day 1: Add enough water to the white beans to cover them by 3 or 4 inches, and soak them overnight in the refrigerator. As the beans absorb the water, they will more than double in volume.

Day 2: Drain the white beans. Combine the seasoning mix in a small bowl. Preheat a heavy 10 inch skillet, preferable non-stick, over high heat to 350 degrees, about 4 minutes.

Combine the onions, bell peppers, celery, drained white beans, bay leaves, garlic and the seasoning mix in the skillet. Stir and cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet to clear it of all brown bits, for 4 to 6 minutes. Add 1 c. of the apple juice, scrape the bottom of the skillet, and cook until all the liquid evaporates and the vegetables start to stick and turn brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in the stock, clear the bottom of the skilllet, bring to a full boil and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Transfer the ingredients from the skillet to a blender, add the remaining apple juice, and puree until completely smooth. Place the pureed mixture in a large bowl and add all the cut vegetables. Mix thoroughly and transfer the mixture to a 17 x 11 x 2.5 inch casserole, cover with foil, and bake until done, about 40 minutes.

Makes 6 cups – Per 1 c. serving Calories 171  Protein 6g  Fat 1g  Carbohydrates  37g

5 % calories from fat

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