Fennel and White Beans au Gratin

You can enjoy the richness of a cheese sauce without the addition of fat by using a sharp-flavored cheese like Asiago. Just a small amount of this cheese goes a long way. If Asiago is unavailable, use provolone cheese.

Extra health benefits:Blood building, stronger immunity
Times:Prep: 10 min.; Cooking: 4 min.; Baking: 20 min.
Makes:4 servings
Per serving:
Fat:5.2 g. (23% of calories)
Fiber:5 g.
Cholesterol:4.7 mg.
Sodium:523 mg.
  • 2 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup defatted low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fennel
  • 8 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions

Spray 4 individual au gratin or shallow baking dishes with no-stick spray; set aside.

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute, then stir in the milk and broth. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, thyme, paprika and pepper; set aside.

Place equal amounts of the fennel, beans and onions in each of the au gratin or baking dishes. Pour the sauce over each. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fennel is tender.

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