Summer veggie bake first cooking adventure since move

I have been remiss with my blogging recently and I am glad to be back! I moved and started a new job so not only have I been really busy but for a decent part of my absence my cooking utensils were wrapped in newspaper and boxed away. So now that I am almost fully moved into my new apartment, my kitchen is fully unpacked and I have found time to start cooking again I am happy to be back blogging about my food finds, formulas and faux pas.

Farmers' Market Veggies

Tuesday is my normal day off so I will probably be cooking and blogging that day from now on and this past Tuesday I decided to make a run to TJMaxx and found an amazing orange Le Creuset baking dish and was really excited to use it. So I went to the Farmers’ Market and bought some squash, zucchini, green peppers and tomatoes to make a veggie bake.

Veggie lentil bake

I’ve never roasted a conglomeration of veggies before so this was a definite learning experience. I basically layered the zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers and tomatoes with garlic powder, onions and olive oil between all layers. I also added some dried basil to the top of the entire dish because basil goes really well with tomatoes! I wanted to add some substance to a completely veggie dish so I put some lentils in. This was almost a mistake because I forgot to soak them overnight so they wouldn’t have to cook so long but it ended up working out in the end.

Zucchini layer

Zucchini layer

 

Yellow squash layer

Yellow squash layer

 

Lentil layer

Lentil layer

 

Green pepper layer

Green pepper layer

After about an hour in a 350 degree oven I took the dish out, added some water and garlic vinegar, covered it with aluminum foil, dropped the oven down to 250 degrees and baked it for another 2 hours so the lentils would cook up.

Finished veggie lentil bake!

Since I had forgotten to soak the lentils the dish didn’t finish cooking until around 10pm so I put it in the refrigerator to eat another day. Then tonight I heated up some of the veggies, make a salmon fillet (just cooked it up in a saute pan with some olive oil) and added some aged cheddar cheese from Nasonville Dairy (back home in Central Wisconsin!) to the top for some real Wisconsin flavor!

The dish: The veggies cooked up very nicely and in the end, the lentils added a nice texture to the whole thing! Plus, lentils are an easy and healthy addition to most veggie dishes. I am also excited to use my Le Creuset for some more yummy oven-cooked meals!

Lesson learned: remember to soak any dried bean or grain before adding it to most dishes with a cook time of less than 3 hours!