I love when my fans ask me to give their favorite recipes (or a recipe they’re itching to try) a healthy and nutritious makeover, so when Kristin B., a longtime fan and mom of two from San Jose, CA asked me to take the classic Betty Crocker Bisquick recipe for Impossibly Easy Vegetable Pie and make it over, I hit the kitchen running.
The recipe Kristin sent us calls for whole milk, full-fat cheese, and half a cup of Bisquick. Bisquick Original is made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, so Kristin requested I either use Bisquick Heart Smart (it’s lower in fat and made with canola oil), make up my own baking mix recipe, or try Trader Joe’s Multi Grain Baking & Pancake Mix.
Given my baking mix options, I went with the TJ’s brand; it has 2 grams of fiber in a 1/3 cup serving versus Bisquick Heart Smart with less than 1 gram.
Broccoli and Cauliflower were featured in the original recipe, so I stuck with those two kid-friendly veggies. But you could really make this pie with just about any other vegetable under the sun (see my tip below).
I felt the recipe needed some herbs, so I added fresh chopped basil, dill, and tarragon from my garden. Feel free to add a tablespoon of chopped herbs … or two.
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1 slice
- Calories: 180
- Fat: 9g
- Saturated fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Sodium: 440mg
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 12g
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1½ cups cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
- ½ cup whole grain baking mix (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (I used a combo of tarragon, basil, and dill)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Heat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly oil or coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the cooked vegetables in the pie plate. Top with the Cheddar cheese, and use a fork to gently mix the cheese into the veggie mixture.
- Place the eggs, milk, baking mix, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, herbs, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour evenly over the cheese and veggie mixture. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
- Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. (Cover with aluminum foil about 20 minutes into the baking time if the top browns quickly.)
**Per slice: 20% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C 25% calcium
So what did Kristin and her kids think of my recipe makeover? Well for starters, Kristin made the zucchini version because zucchini is growing in her garden right now. She added a clove of garlic (great idea) and chose basil and thyme, also from her garden. As for the flavor, Kristin sent us an email with the following feedback …
“I love the pie. I love the crisp outside and the creamy, cheesy interior. My kids (8-year old Sam and 10-year old Anna), however, do not. Sigh. They would not take more than their ‘no thank you’ bite. I should’ve expected this, because they are generally not fans of casseroles and other dishes where things are mixed up together: they like plain and separate. So it’s a big success for me, but not something my kids will eat, I’m afraid.”
Hey, the fact that both kids took a “no thank you” bite makes us happy. As for my own kids, let’s just say the zucchini version disappeared at Liz’s house, and it ended up serving four people instead of my suggested six. That’s what happens when teenagers show up at the dinner table 🙂