Garden Casserole

by Joanne on July 9, 2010

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong.  You always go too far for your body.  You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet.  It is the will to succeed.  – Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon Champ.

My body didn’t want to run today even though my mind kept telling it there was only a few miles to go.  The mental urging won over the lazy legs. “It’s a total rest day tomorrow. No running tomorrow. Day off tomorrow” I kept mentally reassuring my body as I ran around the streets and into the park.  

tired runner

Then I started thinking about a story a friend told about when he used to run the Boilermaker and couldn’t stop humming  “Those were the days…”

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Today’s total running miles were 4.98 ending in strides, 6 x strides.  Total running miles thus far this week = 38.91.  Expected total after Sunday (2 + mile warm up + 9.3 race) = 50 plus.  Longest weekly average to date. …. I hope  

my bike

On the way home, we saw Ted on his bike.  Shane started pulling like crazy so it was the easiest and fastest 3/4 mile I’ve ever done. 

We got home, did a quick change (now I know what the transition area is like at a triathlon) and hopped on the bike.  Ted and I cycled 16 miles in 63 minutes.  What a great aerobic workout today!  Not sure that was much of a taper for the 15K on Sunday.

Foodies!  Looky, Looky!  Do you have a garden?  If so, you will want to take down this recipe.

My friend Barb from Gather sent me a recipe called “End of Garden Casserole”.  She said this dish is a “…..good way to use up vegetables that aren’t quite as fresh as they once were. Since they are in a casserole, the flavors meld and the fact that one or another may be past its prime isn’t as important as if it was served on it’s own..”   Barb, you were so right. This is an excellent dish.

I just love it when people send me delicious recipes to try. It’s too much fun.

Barb’s recipe for End of Garden Casserole

1 pound medium potatoes, thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

½ pound medium onions, thinly sliced

1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced

1 pound medium tomatoes, sliced

1-1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup water

Layer half of the first 10 ingredients in a 3-quart backing dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat layers. Pour water over the top. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until tender. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

Instead of the spices listed, I use Mrs. Dash’s Italian spice blend. I also like to use those

Sargento Italian cheese blends. Some of them have garlic in them. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use canned and measure the liquid. You may not need to add the water.


This is how I made it using Barb’s concept but totally different ingredients because I didn’t have the ones on hand that are in her recipe. 


Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Add about 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets to baking dish.


Add 8 oz of shelled English peas (eat a few because they taste so good raw!)


Top with 8 oz mushrooms.  Peel and slice.


Slice 14 or so grape tomatoes and add to the dish.


Add 1/2 of a large chopped sweet onion.


On top of all your veggies, add the 2/3 cup sliced mozzarella, 1 TBS basil (I love basil so I increased the amount),  a pinch of salt and pepper,  and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.


Pour 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth over the casserole. Cover and bake 1 hour 10 minutes to perfection!


For additional protein, I made an egg white omelet to drape over the top of the vegetable casserole.


That’s what I call a perfect week night meal.  Thanks Barb!

On tap:   A FAB-O FRIDAY night meal with hubbly-bubbly, Mr. Ted!

Did you go out to dinner this week?  Where? What? With Who?  Do tell


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  • At 2010.07.09 21:17, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

    You did a brick workout! Looking at any duathlons this year?

    • At 2010.07.10 22:20, Monet said:

      Yum! I’m loving this veggie casserole. I could be content eating a bowl of steamed broccoli at every meal…so I know I would just love this vegetable goodness!

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