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Savory Gluten-Free Vegetable Kugel

Gluten free kugel recipe with savory roasted vegetables and gluten free bread crumb topping


From Hollywood to Kugel.


What the heck is a kugel, you ask? Jewish comfort food. And if it's done right- with handfuls of roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, and crunchy toasty gluten-free breadcrumbs- it can make you weep, Bubela. Because kugel is soul food - wrapped in love. But first- as with any good family recipe- a story. 

Traveling gluten-free is a challenge. You know this. I know is. And if you are driving to your husband's first movie set you'd be wise to pack a cooler. And a rice cooker. And an electric tea kettle. All of which I did. Every gluten-free goddess deserves safe food, after all. And sometimes you have to be proactive and plan ahead and not be afraid to look like an old school gypsy when you unload your car at the hotel, dragging said appliances and trailing electric plugs down the hall to your room. 

Hey. It beats getting sick. And it beats going hungry in a town where everything is deep fried and washed down with Coors.

There was Craft Service on the set, of course. And kudos goes to the fabulous caterer, Chad, who actually knew what gluten was [and apparently makes gluten-free Po' Boys back in LA for a certain zaftig blond movie star [with the initials Katherine Heigl- oops- I guess I spilled the beans].

All I dared to eat from his array, per his advice, was bananas, fresh watermelon and a strawberry or two (and okay, some mini peanut butter cups). I lived on peppermint tea and rice cakes and my Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins.

The last day on set (after standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon holding Dear Husband's hand) I conjured a new invention in the rice cooker I'm calling Pizza Rice. Note to self: always bring bottles of herbs and a jar of gourmet pasta sauce, because you never know when you'll be craving something hot and Italian (and no, I don't mean Giovanni Ribisi).

But after all the excitement and lack of sleep and kick-ass creativity and a long ride home snuggled in your Honda Fit admiring your husband's pensive profile against a Southwestern sky, all a gluten-free goddess wants is some old school comfort food while she hefts heaps of laundry past the sweetest newborn bunny holed up in the pinon wood pile and sifts through all those red Netflix envelopes scanning titles and muttering, What was I thinking?

It's comfort you need. The kind of comfort browned and golden and crunchy on top and melty-creamy inside. You know what I'm talking about. It was time for kugel.





Savory Vegetable Kugel Recipe

My kugel is always an improv. I use different ingredients every time. Sometimes I use leftover rice noodles. Sometimes I use cooked potatoes. This time I roasted a pan of vegetables with gold and purple potatoes, plenty of garlic, sage and basil. I even tossed in some baby salad greens and a can of drained chickpeas, just because.

Use your own favorite veggies and combine colors and textures. It makes for an interesting kugel. Live it up.

Ingredients:

4 cups roasted vegetables: gold potatoes, green beans, mushrooms and roasted corn
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
10-12 grape tomatoes, halved
Half a bag of baby spinach salad greens
8 large organic free-range eggs
1 cup milk or Half and Half or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
8 oz. garlic marinated mozzarella, sliced (or non-dairy cheese)
2 cups gluten-free breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a large lasagna-style baking dish.

Spread the roasted vegetables evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Note: I always save a few sliced mushrooms for the top.

Scatter the chickpeas and tomatoes on top of the roasted veggies. Add a layer of baby spinach salad greens.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs till light and frothy. Add the milk, sage, basil, parsley, sea salt and pepper; whisk again to combine. Pour the egg mixture all over the vegetables and allow it to seep in and around all the nooks and crannies, pressing the greens and veggies down a bit with a spatula, if you need to.

Add a layer of sliced mozzarella. Mix the bread crumbs with enough extra virgin olive oil to moisten. Top the kugel with the bread crumbs. Add the saved roasted mushrooms, if desired. Sprinkle with extra herbs if you like. Can't hurt.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven until hot and set [test the center by inserting a thin knife; when it emerges clean, the kugel is done]. This takes anywhere from 60 minutes to 70 minutes or so. Check it at about 40 to 45 minutes, and if the crumbs are browning too much, you can tent the pan with foil.

Remove the kugel from the oven when done, and place the kugel on a wire rack. Allow the kugel to settle and set for a few minutes before slicing and serving.



Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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