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VEGETABLE BREAD PUDDING

Serves: 6 
Bread puddings offer a great way to use up the last few pieces of bread in a loaf and vegetables that are getting a bit tired. This is a cheesy cousin to baked stuffing, but with more emphasis on vegetables than bread.

4 slices whole grain bread, torn into small pieces 
3/4 cup low-fat milk, rice milk, or soy milk 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped 
4 cups finely chopped vegetables of your choice (see options, below) 
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated mild white cheese or nondairy cheese 
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated mayonnaise 
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Wheat germ for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the torn bread in a mixing bowl and pour 1/2 cup of the milk over it. Stir to moisten the bread, then set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until the golden and just beginning to turn brown. 

Add the vegetables of your choice and just enough water to keep the skillet moist; cover and steam until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Combine the vegetable mixture with the bread in the bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1/4 cup milk. Mix well, then transfer to a shallow 2-quart round or square baking dish. Sprinkle a generous layer of wheat germ over the top as desired. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and just beginning to turn crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.