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 an expert on food pairings, this is my version of Kugel without noodles. It has lots of soft vegetables and a burst of color and flavor from cherry tomatoes. Its really delicious and very popular with our friends.

Spring Vegetable Kugel

Vegetable Kugel or Gratin
 
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Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 325 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cottage cheese, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ 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. Allow to cool to almost room temperature before cutting into squares.

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