For these cold winter months, take it from lumberjacks, mountain climbers, and your mom — it’s good to get a hearty meal in ya! Baked dishes with starches and proteins and a bit of veggies tossed in for vitamins and color are best. Here’s an easy dish that’s great as a side or entrée. It’s pretty tasty, and you’ll be saying “Yes, ‘peas!’ ” to seconds.
Potato, Tomato, Cheese, Peas & Beans Bake
- 3 or 4 russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (Tip: Wheat flour will add an earthy flavor and nutrition!)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 or 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup canned navy beans, drained and rinsed
- Grated Parmesan cheese, enough to sprinkle over dish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional seasonings: Red pepper flakes, dried garlic, thyme
- 9″ x 9″ baking dish
- Preheat oven at 375°F.
- Cut the peeled potatoes into equally sized cubes (about 2″ x 2″) and place them in the greased glass dish.
- Chop the plum tomatoes and set them aside with the peas and beans.
- Begin making a roux with the butter (or margarine) and flour. In the saucepan at medium heat, add the butter. Sprinkle in the flour little by little as the butter melts, stirring with your wooden spoon until the butter and flour are incorporated. Slowly stir in the milk. You should eventually have a creamy mixture (which is also a base that you could use in mac n’ cheese, scalloped potatoes, or broccoli soup!).
- Add in the cheese and stir until you have a gooey mixture. Stir in the peas, tomatoes and beans.
- Carefully pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes.
- Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the glass dish with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
- Once it’s bubbling, test a potato with a fork. When the potatoes are soft, your hearty meal is ready!*
*WINSTON KITCHEN TIP: If you like to indulge in some burnt cheese now and again, let the dish bake uncovered until the edges and some of the top brown.
Best of all, this recipe is easily modified. What kind of variations would you do with this?