Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another Quick Class- Casseroles!

A great quick class from our lovely instructor Beth Wade...

Make Your Own Casserole
If you have any leftover meat, or veggies that are starting to look
sad, a great way to make them into something new and more appetizing
is by throwing them into a casserole. Any casserole that contains
already-cooked meat (or not meat at all) can be tightly covered
(sealed as air-tight as you can make it) and frozen, making for an
easy weeknight dinner option- just thaw and bake!

Any basic casserole requires all of the following:
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream or plain (unflavored) yogurt AND
1 cup milk AND
1 cup water AND
1 teaspoon salt AND
1 teaspoon pepper

Then pick one sauce base below:
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted OR
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained (if
choosing this option, omit the sour cream/yogurt and milk listed

Then pick one meat option from below, if desired (not required):
2 (6-ounce) cans solid white tuna, drained and flaked OR
2 cups chopped cooked chicken OR
2 cups chopped cooked ham OR
2 cups chopped cooked turkey OR
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Then choose one 'dry base' from below:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni OR
1 cup uncooked rice (white works best, but you can use other types) OR
4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles OR
3 cups uncooked medium shells

Pick one topping from the list below:
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese OR
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese OR
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese OR
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs, or panko

Pick one veggie from the list below:
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or fresh, cooked
and gently squeezed to a less-moist consistency) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut broccoli (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen Italian green beans (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen English peas (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced yellow squash (or fresh, baked
until tender) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn (or fresh, cooked)

Lastly, pick one extra ingredient (optional):
1 (3-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh, sliced and
sauteed just until tender) OR
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives OR
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper OR
1/4 cup chopped onion OR
1/4 cup chopped celery OR
2 garlic cloves, minced OR
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles (or fresh, diced and cooked
just until tender) OR
1 (1 1/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix

Combine the sour cream or yogurt with the 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1
teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and Sauce Base. Stir in the dry
base, veggie, meat, and if desired, extras.

Spoon the casserole mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" x 2"
baking dish. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

Cover and bake casserole at 350ยบ for 1 hour and 10 minutes; uncover
and bake 10 additional minutes.

If you would prefer to make the casserole up ahead of time and freeze
it, do so before the baking step. No time to thaw the dish before
baking? If you have a sturdy enough casserole dish (like a Pyrex), you
can just put it into the oven, however be aware that you may need to
increase the baking time by an additional 10-20 minutes to compensate.

If you would prefer a vegetarian casserole option, try the
Italian-style diced tomatoes, yellow squash, rice, olives, 4 portions
celery, 4 portions bell pepper, garlic, parmesan cheese, and

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