Vegetable bake – quick and cheap

This is a very simple vegetable bake based on Delia’s  Leek, Carrot and Potato Pie, which features in my original copy of Delia’s Frugal Food. It was perfect after a freezing day – warming and comforting. I used tinned potatoes to save time – they are 15p in Aldi and I couldn’t buy fresh for less – and also a packet of bechamel sauce that cost 10p from Approved Food. Half of the leeks were from the garden – the last of them – and the other half came from Aldi from their Super Six range and cost 59p.

Vegetable bake

200g carrots, chopped ( I don’t bother peeling them)
2 x 420g tins of potatoes
50g butter
100g mushrooms
500g leeks, washed and chopped
1 small onion
1/2 pint white sauce
150g cheddar, grated
2 tbsp breadcrumbs, made by whizzing up half a crust of bread with my hand blender
2 pinches cayenne pepper

vegetable bakeCook the carrots in boiling water until cooked but still al dente. Sweat the leeks, onion and mushrooms in some butter until soft. Season well to taste. Drain the carrots, reserving 1/4 pint of water to make up the sauce, then follow the instructions on the packet but replace half the suggested milk with this water (or make a bechamel from scratch so that it can be gluten free if necessary). Slice the potatoes. Arrange the vegetables in layers in a deep casserole dish, finishing with a layer of potatoes, seasoning as you go. Combine the breadcrumbs with the cheese and cayenne and sprinkle on the top. Bake in a medium oven (180C) for about 40 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

This vegetable bake is cheap and easy comfort food.

7 thoughts on “Vegetable bake – quick and cheap

  1. I have always enjoyed veggie food (although as I’ve mentioned before, a lot of it looks brown and rather earnest, as if it could say “this will do you good whether you like it or not!”) and this dish sounds great and one that could be so easily adapted with whatever veggies you have to hand. Husband never minds going meat-less as long as there’s a plateful of food to eat – he was a war baby (I’m speaking the 1939-45 war) and is grateful that we have good and plentiful food to ear, he’s not picky at all.
    I made a pasta bake today by cooking penne pasta, steaming sliced leeks, cutting up left-over chicken fro the roast, and combing these into a cheese sauce (as I’ve mentioned before I use three kinds of cheese – cheddar, gruyere and parmesan – to make a lovely sauce to which I add a dollop of crème fraiche if I have some handy) and then grilling. I also add a veggie Oxo cube to the cheese sauce for added flavour. This, with crusty bread, was really tasty and I’ve a 2nd portion for two of this now in the freezer.
    I would say that gruyere and parmesan are expensive cheeses (well, we all know that) but you don’t need a lot of it, and the better the quality and strength of the cheese the less you need.
    Margaret P

  2. I love the sound of your cheesy bakes, Margaret. And I love the above recipe too. I frequently have to take food to share at gatherings, and this sort of dish will be it!

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