Sub Jee

Sub Jee is one of my favorite things to eat which my kids probably wish was not the case, as it has no meat and is mostly vegetables.

Two things right up front about this recipe:
1. It doesn’t photograph well – I tried with my limited abilities, but alas, it tastes much better than it looks!
2. I have no idea where the name comes from – it seems a very Americanized version of something that may have Indian roots, but who knows? My original recipe, heavily modified, is an old yellowed copy from a newspaper, probably from about 15 years ago.

The two main ingredients are potatoes and cauliflower and while cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, even if you don’t like it, I would challenge you to try this. The vegetables break down with the spices into a whole new “taste sensation” (for lack of a better term – stay with me here!).

The great thing about this dish is that other than the potatoes and cauliflower, you can use whatever vegetables you have that need to be used up. Over the years I’ve put just about every vegetable in the pot and it always tastes good.

Also, it is an inexpensive meal that uses up whatever you have on hand – I love these kind of recipes! It comes in at around $5.00 for the meal, depending on what kind of a deal you find on tortillas, cauliflower and cheese. And we always have enough leftovers for a couple of lunches the next day.

Here’s what I used this time: potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, onion, garlic, some spinach that needed to be used, a few of my home canned pickled jalapenos, and the spices. Also shown is the broth (in the freezer container – remember to make your own broth as I described here).

You will also need these items to serve the Sub Jee: Tortillas, Jack cheese (I’ve tried others, and for some reason, this dish really works best with Jack in my opinion), sour cream, and chopped tomatoes.
I try to eat in season with produce, so I’m using a jar of Canned Bruschetta Tomato Topping I made last fall instead of fresh tomatoes. This tomato topping was a new recipe and I was afraid they’d be mushy, but they turned out REALLY well with great flavor, which is a treat in the dead of winter.

Oh man, this is a super easy recipe, too, taking about 10-15 minutes to chop the vegetables and 20 minutes to cook!
So, chop up all the vegetables in uniform sizes so they cook equally, add the spices and the broth.

Stir it all together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

When done, it will look like this with all the ingredients melding together into one dish – Sub Jee. Again, pictures can’t do this dish justice – you just have to take my word for it and try it. :-)

To serve, spoon it on a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, chopped tomatoes and a few dollops of sour cream (I’ve used yogurt in the past and it was good, too). Roll up as you would a burrito and bite into yumminess (is that a word?).

You see a knife and fork in the picture and it’s totally your call as to whether this is a just-use-your-hands dish or utensils-only dish. We’re split in our family, though sometimes it turns out juicier than other times and we all end up using the forks!

Oregon Cottage Sub-Jee

  • 1/2 of a medium-large head of cauliflower, cut into uniform pieces (not florets – just chop it up)
  • 2 to 3 large potatoes, any kind, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup, each (about 2 c. total), of any of the following vegetables, chopped: celery, carrots, sweet peppers, leeks, spinach or chard, mushrooms, zucchini…you get the idea!
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno depending on heat tolerance, finely minced (pickled work, too, or about 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander (optional)
  • dash ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

For serving:

  • 6-8 flour tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream
  1. In a large heavy pot, stir together all the ingredients except the ingredients for serving.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Heat the tortillas in foil in the oven or wrapped in a dish towel in the microwave.
  4. To serve, sprinkle some cheese on a warm tortilla, spoon some of the vegetable mixture down the center of the tortilla, top with some chopped tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream and roll up like a burrito.

Approximate cost breakdown: vegetables- $2.10; cheese- $1.00 (bought @ $3.00/lb), sour cream- .55 (bought with a coupon), tortillas- 1.50, and spices about .10 = $5.20.

For other low-cost, creative meals see the $5 Dinner Challenge.






  1. Anonymous says

    This sounds good. I am wondering about how many cups total of the additional( not the potato/cauliflower) vegetables do you usually add? I am afraid I will go overboard and not have enough sauce and spices for all the vegetables. Thanks, Tami

    Also, thanks for all the recipes. I have been canning up a storm and have tried many new recipes this year…..spicy plum jam, addictive tomato chutney, bruschetta topping, garlic refrig.dills, dried tomatoes in oil besides recipes I have found elsewhere tomato jam, dill relish, plum preserves, hamburger dills along with my old favorites. I have more condiments than our little grocery store!! I appreciate that all your recipes are from “safe sources” as I am a safe freak myself and don’t normally follow canning recipes from blogs unless I can look them up for myself. Thanks again!!

  2. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Tami- Well, I didn’t make that very clear, did I? :-) I put between 1-1/2 c. to 2 c. of other veggies, though I don’t usually measure. Honestly, the problem with Sub Jee is usually too much liquid- I try to cook it enough that it won’t run off the tortilla when we’re eating it, so I don’t think you need to worry about that. :-)

    Goodness, kudos to you on all your canning! Hope you enjoy them this winter!

  3. Diana says

    My family absolutely loves this. It is so delicious and all my kids gobble it up (I have five…baby, two three year olds, an eight year old and a thirteen year old). Thanks for the recipe. We put cut up cucumber sticks on after as well as some yummy full fat sour creeme. Just love this.

    • Jami says

      You can’t know how happy I am to hear that, Diana! It truly is one of my favorites and it doesn’t get near the respect I think it should. :)

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