Showing posts with label Casserole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casserole. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies


Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies
or
My First Shepherd's Pie

I have wanted to try shepherd's pie for a while, so I went with the big guns and started with Gordon Ramsey's recipe and then made some little variations like adding peas along with carrots, and using sweet potatoes on top (minus the butter and cream). I actually did half the recipe with yukon potatoes for the kids, but I don't think they are going to like this recipe... toO much wine flavor, which was really yummy for me, but not for them. I am going to have to make a very dumbed down version for them next time if I want them to eat it... sigh.  

Since I made both white potato topped pies and sweet potatoed tops I could compare them. I found that I enjoyed the sweet potato ones so much more.  The sweet flavor went so well with the wine and onions. Also because sweet potatoes mash creamy without any additions (as well as have a bold taste), I didn't find I needed to add butter or cream. I don't do well with super rich foods so, yay, and it keeps the calories lower per serving. 

Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies Recipe

·  2 lb Ground Beef 93/07
·  1 cup Red Wine, Alcohol Will Be  Cooked Off
·  1 medium Onion, Sweet, shredded
·  1 cup Carrots Shredded
·  1 cup Green Peas (frozen, rinsed and drained)
·  2 tbsp Thick Classice Worcestershire Sauce
·  3 cloves Garlic Clove
·  1 1/2 tbsp Tomatoes Paste
·  2 tsp Thyme, Fresh·  1/2 cup chicken broth
·  6 medium or Sweet Potatoes/yams



1. Peel and boil potatoes until soft. Mash the sweet potatoes with a hand mixer until there are no lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

2. Brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain.

3. Mince/shred your onion using a grater on your food processor or just cut really small. Add to the ground beef along with garlic, thyme, shredded carrots (storebought), frozen peas rinsed and drained. Let cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add red wine and let cook off. 

5. Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup chicken broth and let simmer until thickened. 

6. Add salt & pepper to taste and Hungarian Paprika for color. 

7. You can either spoon the entire mixture of meat into a casserole dish and then top with the mashed sweet potatoes, or you can use little ramekins. Mine hold about one cup total and I have 5 of them, so I made 5 individual pies, and then ut the rest in a casserole dish. You can either spoon the potatoes on or use a cookie press and squirt it on with a star tip like I did. I had JUST enough potatoes... shew! 

8. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. If the potatoes are not starting to get a little stiff and browned, switch to broil at the end. The sweet potatoes seem to take longer to brown than white potatoes. 

14 servings – about a cup of food – 166 calories, 4.5g fat, 2.4g fiber, 14.9g protein 



I love these little ceramic ramekins my Mom bought me. They hold almost one cup of "stuff" and have lids for easy storage. I found some similar ones on Amazon, Good Cook Ceramic Set Of 2 4 Ounce Ramekins, Red, but my Mom got mine at Marshall's. 

The five ramekins are for lunches - oops I mean 4 (I ate one) and the rest from the big casserole dish will be put into foil Mealpod packets and frozen. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cheesy Zucchini Egg Bake


I was going to call this a crustless quiche, but it really isn't very much like a quiche at all.  It's a breakfast casserole and not very different from the Omelet Muffins that I like to make.  This is kind of the lazy version of omelet muffins and also a little easier to wrap for mealpods than the muffins are.  The cheese seems to give this enough fat that it freezes and cooks well from frozen.  It works best if you put the mealpod in the fridge the night before and just pop it in the microwave for breakfast.  



Cheesy Zucchini Egg Bake
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 30 minutes             
Yield: 6

INGREDIENTS:

6 eggs
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup feta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup tsp garlic powder
½ tsp parsley
½ cup onion, diced
2 cups zucchini, shredded
Paprika

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350˚

Grate Parmesan cheese, zucchini and dice onions

Whip eggs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients, except Paprika

Grease 11 x 7 glass casserole dish with butter and pour egg mixture into dish, 
sprinkle the top with paprika

Bake for 25/30 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean

Once cool, slice into 6 square mealpods and freeze.

Nutrition:  238 calories, 17g fat, 450g sodium, 4G carb, .5g fiber, 17g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:






Sunday, April 8, 2012

Make Ahead Ham & Cheese Casserole





Ham is such an Easter staple, many of us have left over ham tonight and are looking for something to do with it besides make sandwiches.  I am in love with the concept of the make ahead casserole because of my daughter's activity schedule.  Some nights I have more time to cook than others.  On softball practice nights we are out from 5:15 to 7:15, so something my husband can throw in the oven while we're out is perfect!  We come home and don't have to wait to eat.  


- Melissa

Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 90 minutes             
Yield: 6

      INGREDIENTS:

½ cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
16 oz frozen green beans
16 oz mini red potatoes
8 oz shredded cheese
1 lb ham steak

DIRECTIONS:

·         Chop onion and cook in skillet until soft

·         Cook potatoes in microwave for 2 minutes to soften, then cut into wedges and add to skillet with onions to brown lightly

·         Add frozen green beans to skillet and mix thoroughly

·         Chop ham steak into bite size cubes and add to skillet mixture, combining until all ingredients are mixed throughout

·         Pour mixture into 9 x 13 dish and mix in shredded cheese, sprinkle additional cheese over top of casserole if desired

·         Cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours, when ready to cook, preheat oven to 350˚ and cook for 60-90 minutes until everything is warm and cheese is melty and bubbly

Store leftovers as mealpods once cooled

Nutrition: 6 PODS 270 calories, 9g fat, 836g sodium, 15G carb, 3g fiber, 30g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:







Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turkey Skillet Dinner



This recipe would have been quicker with leftover turkey or even a rotisserie chicken.  The turkey breast took two hours to cook, which was fine for me because it was my day of cookingn anyway.  This has bacon, potatoes and turkey.  You really can't go wrong with that combo.  I microwaved my potatoes for just 2 minutes before I diced them so they didn't need to cook in the skillet too long.   I probably could have thrown them in the oven with turkey, but didn't really think about it. 
Turkey Skillet Dinner
Prep Time: 20 min                
Cook Time: 25 minutes             
Yield: 8

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ cup red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp butter
4 cups cooked potatoes, diced
2 cups cooked turkey, diced
8 slices bacon, cooked
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

·         Cook turkey breast completely, allow to cool.  Use precooked potatoes or cook until just soft.  Cook bacon until done, but not too crispy.

·         Prep all vegetables prior to cooking.

·         In a large, deep skillet, sauté onions and pepper in butter until soft.  Add the potatoes, turkey and bacon and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add cayenne and nutmeg, stir through.

Allow to cool, then portion 1 cup per mealpod for freezing


8 PODS: 247 calories, 7g fat, 170g sodium, 25G carb, 3g fiber, 21g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:







Monday, March 26, 2012

Make Ahead Ham & Cheese Casserole

So... um... that's not my casserole up there.  That's a random ham picture.   I made this Ham & Cheese Casserole and put it in the fridge on Sunday night.  Then I came in on Monday after my daughter's Book Club and threw it in the oven that my husband had thoughtfully preheated.  And we ate it.  Then I realized I needed pictures.  Doh!   


I didn't want to not post the recipe because it was GOOD.  And easy.  I am loving these make ahead type casseroles for Monday nights because Sunday is cooking day and Monday is an activity day.  It makes cooking a good dinner not so hard.  


We now have softball practice on Tuesday and Thursday and I need to come up with a better plan for these days.   We can either eat at 4:45pm or 7:30pm and frankly, neither works well for me or includes much time for cooking!



Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 90 minutes             
Yield: 6

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
16 oz frozen green beans
16 oz mini red potatoes
8 oz shredded cheese
1 lb ham steak

DIRECTIONS:

·         Chop onion and cook in skillet until soft

·         Cook potatoes in microwave for 2 minutes to soften, then cut into wedges and add to skillet with onions to brown lightly

·         Add frozen green beans to skillet and mix thoroughly

·         Chop ham steak into bite size cubes and add to skillet mixture, combining until all ingredients are mixed throughout

·         Pour mixture into 9 x 13 dish and mix in shredded cheese, sprinkle additional cheese over top of casserole if desired

·         Cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours, when ready to cook, preheat oven to 350˚ and cook for 60-90 minutes until everything is warm and cheese is melty and bubbly

·         Store leftovers as mealpods once cooled

6 PODS (servings) 270 calories, 9g fat, 836g sodium, 15G carb, 3g fiber, 30g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:





 




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bratwurst & Bacon Skillet



I am a HUGE fan of one dish meals.  Typically my Sunday of cooking will yield at least two dishwasher loads and sometimes three.  The weeks that I can get everything cooked and only have one load of dishes to unload is like a I've hit the jackpot.  

I know these ingredients don't sound like they all go together, but amazingly once you cook them all you get a tasty, hearty meal with just a bit of kick.   The mushrooms really fill it out and the tomatoes make it not all boring and light colored.  

Life has been really hectic lately, so I haven't had much to say.  I am impressed enough to get my recipes cooked and posted!

Bratwurst & Bacon Skillet

Prep Time: 20 min                
Cook Time: 20 minutes             
Yield: 5

INGREDIENTS:

6 uncooked bacon strips, diced
½ cup onion, chopped
5 cooked bratwurst, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp jalapeño, diced small
2 cups diced tomatoes with liquid
½ cup fresh Parmesan, grated

DIRECTIONS:

·         In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is almost crispy.  Remove bacon and onion from skillet (leave drippings) and set aside.

·         In same skillet, sauté the bratwurst, mushrooms and jalapeño for 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms ae done.  Stir in diced tomatoes and bacon/onion mixture.

·         Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through. 

Allow to cool, add Parmesan, then portion 1 cup per mealpod for freezing.

5 PODS: 409 calories, 28g fat, 1234g sodium, 13G carb, 1g fiber, 25g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kielbasa Ratatouille Skillet


I like sausage.  It's easy, it taste good, what else can you ask for!  There has been a lot going on at my house lately, so quick and easy is what I have been aiming for.  My daughter had a sewing lesson Sunday morning, so I had less time to cook my weekly meals.  
Kielbasa Ratatouille Skillet

Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 15 minutes             
Yield: 6

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb kielbasa
½ cup onion, chopped
1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
3 small zucchini, cubed
1 green pepper, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh basil
½ tsp fresh oregano
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

·         Chop all vegetables and slice kielbasa to prep

·         In large skillet, sauté kielbasa with onions

·         Stir in eggplant, zucchini and green pepper, cooking until soft about 5-7 minutes

·         Stir in tomato, salt pepper, basil and oregano and heat through

Portion into pods, allow to cool, then add Parmesan cheese to top before freezing.

6 PODS: 297 calories, 24g fat, 820g sodium, 8G carb, 2g fiber, 12g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake


Boneless, skinless chicken thighs were on sale last week, so I bought them and threw them in the freezer.  Then I started looking for a recipe base of what I wanted to do with them.  I love to think of flavors that sound good to me then just Googling "chicken, sweet potato, casserole".   Almost every casserole recipe I come across has a sauce with flour to thicken it or the icky cream of whatever soups.  I really don't find all that stuff necessary if you use fattier meats and good fats like coconut oil and butter. 

This really doesn't look very pretty, but its extremely tasty.


Chicken & Sweet Potato Bake
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 45 minutes             
Yield: 6 



INGREDIENTS:

1 large apple, diced

2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 small onion, sliced into half moons
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1lb)

 DIRECTIONS:

·         Preheat oven to 400˚

·         Peel and dice apple and sweet potatoes, slice onion into half moons, mix in a bowl with spices.

·         Spread in the bottom of an 8 x 8 dish, top with chicken thighs and place ½ tbsp on butter on each thigh.

·         Bake 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft and chicken is done.

Allow to cool, wrap tightly in foil, then freeze.

Nutrition:
6 PODS (serving) 194 calories, 7g fat, 111g sodium, 16G carb, 3g fiber, 18g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:




Monday, February 27, 2012

Faux Italian Sausage Meat Sauce with Hidden Veggies for 3 Mealpod Recipes

Artwork: Italian Decadence - colored pencil by Nicole Caulfield 

If your family is like mine, it is very rare that everyone is completely happy with a given meal. Everyone has to make sacrifices. This week I did Italian - good ole red sauce Italian, but I did it 3 ways to make everyone happy. One red sauce and 3 Mealpod Recipes that is. I made a noodle-free eggplant lasagna for me (a recipe I posted before here), a whole wheat noodle lasagna for hubby, and whole wheat angel hair pasta for the kids. The sauce WAS a compromise however - because I added loads of hidden veggies (shhh the kids don't know how many I put in there).

If it weren't for making the meals into Mealpods (portioning them and freezing them in packs) I would not be able to cater to everyone's tastes. I spent two hours cooking all the recipes but I got about 24 servings of food out of it - with 3 different varieties. Not bad! 

 

The sauce is the big star in all of these recipes. When I went shopping, the ground turkey was on sale - CHEAP. I don't really like the aftertaste of ground turkey so I decided to make a faux Italian sausage meat sauce using 2 lbs of the turkey on sale and 1 pound of ground sirloin. We try to keep our meats lean and lower in saturated fat if we can. I figured the sirloin would add some flavor, but then added fennel seeds (the seeds in Italian sausage), and red pepper flakes right into the meat before cooking to mimic the flavors of sausage.

Another camouflaged element in the sauce were those veggies. The trick to getting the kids to eat the veggies in the sauce and not pick them out is to cut them very very small. I think some people put them in the food processor after cooking and pour them in the sauce like a V8 but I like the chunks in the sauce even if they are small chunks. 


So here is the recipe for the chunky sauce which you can layer in lasagna like I did, put it over pasta, or heck it tastes so good you can eat it as is. Hey its just like chilli! 

Meat Sauce w/ Faux Italian Sausage & Hidden Veggies

This is a kid-friendly - chunky meat sauce with lean meats and teeny vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 zucchini chopped really small
  • 1 small onion chopped really small
  • 2 bell peppers chopped really small (your choice on color)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic or garlic powder
  • 30 oz strained Pomi tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 2 tbs Italian Seasoning
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine your meats and add fennel seeds, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper.
  2. Brown in a pan and drain, set aside.
  3. Dice your veggies really really small like the photo above and sautee with some minced garlic, olive oil, and Italian seasoning until softened. 
  4. In a large pot pour in your strained tomatoes, tomato paste, and add in your veggie mixture, and meat mixture. 
  5. Bring up to a simmer and them simmer for about 30 minutes. 

- I used the sauce layered in the no-noodle eggplant lasagna. Recipe here (this one was for me)

-  made a traditional noodle lasagna layering it with whole wheat noodles, part-skim ricotta & egg mixture, and part-skim mozzarella.  (for hubby & the kids a bit) This recipe is really the noodle-less one but replacing the eggplant slices with whole wheat noodles. The trick to keeping it healthy is picking the part-skim dairy products (Sis might disagree on this one). 

-  lastly just mixed it with some angel hair whole wheat pasta for the kiddos who don't really like ricotta. 


& here is the most beautiful thing. The freezer all stocked back up! There are still bags of other pods but they were getting pretty empty. You must be wondering if we eat frozen food every night. Well of course not. We ate fresh today, and we do a couple of other nights too. The Mealpods are eaten about 4 or 5 out of 7 nights which is such a treat not to cook on those nights without ordering takeout!


- Nicole