Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Casserole | Inside-out Stuffed Peppers

I love a good casserole. The ease of throwing everything into a dish and popping it in the oven for an hour, the ooey gooey cheesey goodness, and the way that it wholeheartedly makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you take a bite. My thought is, any sort of casserole is complete and utter savory satisfaction (and a working girl's dream because they take about as much effort as a crock-pot meal!)

My mother has been raving (and I mean, raving) about this recipe for months. She gave me the recipe back in May and I have yet to make it. She reminded me about it the other day because my grandparents had put in a request, and I thought to myself, "self, this is the perfect time to make this casserole because it will last through the 3 days of dinners we need this week before going to NOLA" -- decision made, grocery list started, plan in place, recipe..below.

The Recipe
Recipe courtesy of: my mother
(where it actually came from, I have no idea)
1 lb ground beef (I haven't decided yet, but I will most likely use ground turkey, since that's what I do)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
14 oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped (if you like a lot of peppers, use 2-3)
1/2 cup uncooked, long-grain rice
1/4 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt / 1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown the beef and onion. Drain and transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix. 
  4. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until rice is tender.
  5. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese - bake additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Diet-Friendly Meatball Macaroni Soup

So, I love Rachael Ray, but sometimes her recipes are not all that diet-friendly. Because I am trying to be health conscious, this poses a bit of a problem for me in general. Tonight, I was able to "dietize" one of her recipes (and yes, I have made "dietize" a word). This recipe is based on hers, but I didn't use red meat (I rarely make red meat at home), I didn't use white macaroni, and I didn't serve it with 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwiches. Overall hers isn't even that bad I suppose, but I made it better, if I do say so myself.

Thanks to Nemo, groceries are limited in the house. I have ground turkey in the fridge (because, obviously, I always have ground turkey in the fridge) and so I had to think of something - and the usual just sounded horrific to me. Also, thanks to Nemo, I was craving something warm and hearty. 

The Recipe
Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
Fresh thyme, leaves off of 2-3 stems
Sprinkle of poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, eyeball it
½ cup plain bread crumbs, eyeball it
½  teaspoon nutmeg, eyeball it
6 cups low-sodium, fat free chicken stock
2 cups water
¾ box of whole wheat rotini pasta
1 bag frozen peas
2 handfuls of baby spinach, coarsely chopped

  1. In a deep pot over medium heat add first seven ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.
  2. Uncover your soup pot and add liquid. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. The meatballs will cook in the broth.
  3. When you finish your last meatball, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add in frozen peas, bring back to a boil and cook another 5 minutes.  Stir in chopped spinach,  let it wilt, and the soup is ready to be served. 
While the grilled cheese sandwiches featured on RR's recipe sound like one of the most delectable things you could possibly eat with a bowl of soup, I chose to forgo them. Maybe next time if I'm feeling cheesy.