Green Food Recipe That My Toddler Will Eat
Today I am sharing something very special with you. It’s a recipe. Not just any old recipe though. This is something I created all by myself. Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here patting myself on the back.
Hand on my heart and with the Girl Scout’s honor, I promise you that this dish is really easy to make and it seriously tastes amazing. Plus, you can freeze and re-heat it in a pinch. That is something surely any busy mom can appreciate.
But you want to know why this recipe is really, really special? My 3-year-old AND the baby ate it. And it contains a green vegetable. I know! I can hardly contain my excitement.
That means the entire family ate the same green vegetable dish. I mean, I can’t even believe I’m giving my secret away for free.
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole ( aka: Green Food My Toddler Will Eat)
You will need:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk, heated (I use 2 percent)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 large bunches of broccoli cut into very small florets
- 6 large russet potatoes (I’ve used red potatoes too and they were delicious- just use the equivalent weight) cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesean
- A rectangular pan
Wash and prep all vegetables and cheese. Put the pan in an easy to reach place. You will need to move fast once the sauce is ready. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1: Make the bechamel sauce.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a paste forms. Cook the paste until it bubbles a bit. This takes about 2 minutes. Don’t let the paste get brown though!
Add hot milk and continue to stir as the sauce thickens. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and cook. Keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the salt and pepper to taste while you are stirring. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce is ready.
Now, move fast!
Step 2: Assemble the casserole.
Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of your baking dish. Next, add a layer of broccoli. It’s ok if the potato layer is peeking through. It all ends up in the same place eventually.
Ladle the bechamel sauce on top of the broccoli. It does not need to completely cover the broccoli. It shouldn’t even mostly cover it. The sauce will melt and cover everything during the baking process. Repeat another layer starting with the potatoes.
After your second layer has been assembled, sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the partially assembled casserole.
Continue layering until you run out of ingredients or you reach the top of the pan. This usually happens around the fourth layer. Top with the parmesan cheese.
Helpful tip: If the bechamel sauce gets thick on you, whisk in a little water. This will thin it out.
Step 3: Bake
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. When it’s done, you should be able to easily stick a knife through the casserole.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
The directions I gave you are for a double batch, which serves about 8 people. We eat half and freeze the rest. I reheat it at 350 until it is bubbling. Then I let it sit for 15 minutes before serving. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does!
Morgan is a blogger and freelance writer living in Southern California with her two daughters and flock of backyard chickens. She is also the Associate Editor for mint.com and the Quicken blog. Her work has been featured on WSJ.com, Slate.com, The Huffington Post, and San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fake shopping online, writing love letters to Ryan Gosling, and avoiding folding laundry.