Vegetable Cheese Casserole with Chicken
1 head of cauliflower (or one bag frozen)
2-3 carrots, chopped in circles
1 head of broccoli (or one bag of frozen)
1 tbsp oil/bacon grease
1.5 cups shredded or diced chicken - I used leftover from my homemade stock
cheese- LOTS of cheese About 3 cups of your favorite types
6-8 oz of cream cheese OR strained yogurt to make it thick
1 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tsp of oregano
2 tsp basil
3/4 cup of heavy cream or raw milk
1 heaping tbsp of arrowroot (I prefer not to use cornstarch, since it is highly processed)
salt & pepper to taste
Dice onion and saute it until it is very caramelized in oil or bacon grease. Cut up one head of cauliflower and one head of broccoli, boil both is a pot of water with the chopped carrots. If you are using any frozen vegetables, add them after the fresh ones start. You want all the vegetables to be about the same amount of "fork tender" in the end.
While the vegetables are cooking, start grating your cheese. I always use block cheese, because chemical additives are added to pre-shredded cheese to make it last longer. (One thing I'm learning about labels, is if it is an industry standard it does NOT have to be put on the label!) Plus, I love using Raw Milk Cheddar and Raw Milk Monterary Jack. You can only get cheese that is aged past 60 days raw in America. So you won't find Raw milk mozzarella or any other softer cheeses. At the most you can look for Whole Milk Mozzarella. (Learning how to make it on my own is one of my future projects!) Anyway, for this recipe I used: Cotija, marble jack, Parmesan & cheddar. Then I grated some mozzarella and more Parmesan for the top. All in all I used about 3 cups (including the cream cheese) for the filling with just a bit on top.
In a bowl, mix your cheeses, cream cheese, cooled onion, spices and mustard in a very large bowl. When vegetables are fork tender, drain them very well and return them to the hot pot. Keeping it on the flame, gently stir them a bit to dry them out some more. Add the vegetables to the cheese mixture. Add 1.5-2 cups of shredded or diced chicken and stir some more. Pour into a casserole dish and pack it down. In a small bowl, mix heavy cream and arrowroot. Pour heavy cream over vegetable cheese mixture and encourage it to seep down into the dish. Top with a bit more cheese and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.