Saturday, December 18, 2010

Root Veggie and Ham Au Gratin


Word to the mother ship!

This Au Gratin is off the hizzie! It is so good it's inspired me to speak gangsta! And I'm a white girl living in northwest Montana.. so it's really sayin' somethin' to speak gangsta out here!

You could use this au gratin as a honing devise for Santa or Batman if you really wanted to. Just the scents that come off of it is enough to bring neighbors from a two mile radius! If you don't want guests I suggest you lock your doors, turn off the lights, and eat with a flash light.

Just sayin'!

The root vegetables in this Veggie and Ham Au gratin make the flavors deeper and richer than just using potatoes. They add a little bit of extra crunch and brightness to this that makes it just amazing! Not to mention they add tons of fiber and are low in fat. They provide extra flavor without adding any added unnecessary fat!

So I say... fashizzle your nizzle (I think that's how it goes?) Why not hone in your loved ones and enjoy this dinner that some say (okay it's just me really) is off the hizzie!

**Note: If you have been following along, I have been talking a lot about how easy crock pots are during these busy holiday weeks. If you want you can throw all of the ingredients into the crock pot (after you par-boil the root veggies of course) and set it and forget it for about 3-4 hours on high! The crock pot is always a great option on a busy day! You could even par-boil the vegetables in advance for an easy prep in the morning before work. Or just set the crock pot on low all day and when you arrive home from work, your neighbors will be waiting outside to join you for dinner!

Root Vegetable and Ham Au Gratin
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
1 medium rutabaga
1 large parsnip
1 medium white onion; diced
4 cloves of garlic; minced
4 cups smoked ham; chopped
2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh chive; minced
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Wash the potatoes and peel the rutabaga and parsnip and slice into 1/2 inch round even slices.
2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the rutabaga and parsnip slices into the boiling water and boil for 20 minutes. We are just par-boiling the root vegetables here to start the cooking process. We will finish the cooking process in the oven. Once they have boiled for 20 minutes, add the potato slices and continue to boil for another 20 minutes. The rutabaga and parsnip need a little more cooking time.

3. Pour the water off and cool down the veggie slices by filling the pot with cold water. Let the veggie slices chill for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile in a large skillet saute the onion and garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent. Remove the onions from the heat and drain the water from the root vegetables.
5. Now we are ready to assemble the scallop. We are going to do two layers. Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a large baking dish. Then add a layer of sauteed onion and garlic, followed by a layer of half the chopped ham a cup of your plain non-fat yogurt, then half of the flour. Next add a layer of the rutabaga and parsnip slices evenly and top with the sauteed onion and garlic along with the ham. Top with the additional cup of yogurt and top with the shredded cheddar cheese and chives. 
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes. The vegetables should all be easily pierced with a fork and the cheese should be slightly browned and the whole thing bubbling!

Servings: 8 (one cup servings approximately)

Nutritional Skinny: 

170 calories / 1.3 g fat / 29 g carbohydrates / 4.3 g fiber / 15.6 g protein

Mental Health Benefit: Cooking with other root vegetables expands our horizons as well as our pallets. The parsnip and rutabaga add a delicious bright flavor that compliments the salty and creamy from the yogurt and ham. It is the perfect blend of flavors and the bright fresh chive made me almost forget that it's winter and we only get about 30 minutes of daylight! (Just kidding.. it's more like 45 minutes!) Don't be intimidated by their different shapes. Treat them as a slightly more firm potato and you are good to go!


Me said...

thanks for inspiring me to create something delicious with leftover Christmas ham and root vegetables languishing in the frig! -in not so sunny MN

Hot Mess Cooking said...

So glad that you like the recipe and were able to use your leftovers! Thanks for stopping by!