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I live in South Florida and have been asked to create bariatric friendly versions of traditional foods for the Jewish holidays.
While I am not claiming expert on these traditional food pairings, this is my version of Kugel without noodles. It has lots of wonderful Spring vegetables and a burst of color and flavor from cherry tomatoes. It’s really delicious and very popular with our friends.
Vegetable Kugel or Gratin
Author: Susan Maria Leach, Before & After
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced using only white part of bulb
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 pint grape or teardrop tomatoes, red or mixed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme if you buy a fresh package)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or sliced almonds
- Preheat over to 325 degrees.
- Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil, over medium heat until softened and tender - do not brown, season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish to create a layer.
- In the same hot pan, saute the spinach until wilted, drain off any liquid released and make a layer in baking dish. Saute and arrange a layer of zucchini slices over the spinach, adding two additional layers of zucchini slices around the outside edge of dish leaving a place to place the tomatoes in the center.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cottage cheese, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and thyme. Carefully pour the egg batter evenly over the vegetables - sprinkle with the pine nuts.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until set near the center. Allow to cool to almost room temperature before cutting into squares.