A peek Into My Kitchen: Cheesy Cauliflower, Spinach & Mushroom Casserole

I haven't posted a recipe in a while, and while they may not be as regular as before, I promise to try to abide by the complaints that I have received and share them more often.

Whenever my husband and I have to rent a car to go to an event out of the city (which to those of us Manhattan-centric New Yorkers means any of the other boroughs 😉 we feel the insane pull of Costco pulling us in…

As usual, I bought some huge containers of the produce that we eat most…unfortunately, I was unable to cancel my Fresh Direct order containing smaller, more expensive packages of many of the very same items.  No stranger to an refrigerator overfull with produce, I had, once again, to improvise.

This casserole makes a nice main with a simple starch as plain baked potatoes or brown rice, but my husband prefers to have a smaller portion with a piece of broiled fish.

This recipe is a different version of the Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce  that I posted a while back.

Cheesy Cauliflower, Spinach & Mushroom Casserole

I medium/large head of cauliflower, cut into florets

Non-stick cooking spray

~2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

4-5 small tomatoes (or 2-3 medium/large tomatoes)

1 8-10 oz container mushrooms, sliced

I bunch (or ~10 oz bag) of spinach, washed well and roughly chopped

1 c milk (skim or low fat work just fine)

1 c grated cheddar cheese

3 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp butter

~1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Vegetables:

Steam cauliflower until just tender.

While cauliflower is steaming, heat olive oil in a small saucepan or saute pan. 

When oil is hot, add garlic and saute until fragrant. 

Add mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms are softened and starting to brown. 

Add spinach and tomatoes.

Stir, cover and cook until spinach is wilted.

Dump cooked cauliflower into a large baking dish (Pyrex is good) coated with non-stick cooking spray and layer the spinach mixture on top.

Cheese sauce:

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. 

Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. 

Slowly add milk, stirring with a metal whisk until sauce is smooth and thick (don't worry if you have a small lump or two, with all that's going on in this dish no one will notice!)  

Add about 2/3 of the grated cheese.  Cook for about a minute, whisking constantly,
until fully incorporated. Stir in mustard powder.

Pour sauce over vegetables.

Sprinkle cheese over the top and Panko on top of the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and browned.