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casserole

Loaded Potato Nachos

A twist on regular nachos to spice things up! This recipe serves 4 and may be the best bang for your buck in a long time.

Ingredients:
8 medium potatoes
1 c. shredded cheese
1/2 large onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes (or ~2 large tomatoes, diced)
1 can black beans2-4 tbsp. olive oil
Salsa (of choice)

Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds. Spread evenly in a casserole dish and lightly coat with olive oil, stirring until they are evenly covered. Bake on 425 for ~45 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle on half of the cheese. Drain cans of diced tomatoes and beans and spread on top of cheese along with onions. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly over the whole thing. Return to oven for about 5 minutes, until cheese is nicely melted. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with salsa.

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Dad’s Lasagna

This is a modified version of the lasagna I ate all the time growing up. Perfect for a family dinner and stays well in the refrigerator if you have leftovers.

Ingredients:
1 box lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
32 oz. container ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 jars tomato sauce
2 c. spinach
shredded Parmesan cheese

Boil the lasagna noodles until mostly done, adding in a small splash of oil once the water is boiling. Drain the noodles and allow to cool. Mix ricotta, mozzarella, and egg in a bowl until thoroughly combined, and then stir in spinach. Put ground meat in a frying pan and cook until fully browned, making sure to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Drain the excess oil from the pan and add 1 to 1.5 jars of sauce to the meat. Lightly cover bottom of lasagna pan with a layer of sauce (from the jar that is not mixed with meat). Lay 4 noodles on the bottom, overlapping them so that there are no holes. Put half of the cheese mixture on top of this layer – 6-8 big spoonfuls will do, and it will melt so no need to spread thoroughly. Cover with another layer of overlapping noodles. Pour the meat sauce mixture over the noodles, and then cover with another layer of noodles. Add the rest of the cheese on top and cover with one last layer of noodles. Finally, cover the top with another layer of sauce (from the jar). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake on 375 for about an hour. Serve with extra sauce and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Baked Ziti Extravaganza

This dish will warm you up on a crisp fall day and has everything you’d want in a meal. Between the veggies, ground turkey, pasta, and cheese you can get your fill of protein and carbs in every colorful bite.

Ingredients:
1 box of veggie pasta (I used Barilla’s tomato/carrot penne)
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used Prego’s tomato/basil/garlic)
1/2 head of broccoli
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1-2 c. frozen spinach
1-2 c. frozen stir fry vegetables
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Cook the pasta for 6-8 minutes, or until almost done, and then add in broccoli and mushrooms. Once the pasta is done, drain the pasta/broccoli/mushroom mixture. While the pasta is still hot, add in the jar of tomato sauce and all the frozen vegetables. Cook the ground turkey until fully brown in a separate pan and then add that into pot of pasta and vegetables. Season with oregano and stir. Pour mixture into large casserole dish and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake in oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Enjoy!!

Crustless Quiche

We remembered this old quiche recipe that my mom hadn’t made in years, and it was as good as we hoped! It’s super easy to make enough for a whole family, or to last one person for nearly a week. But if you want less, feel free to cut the recipe in half and use a smaller dish. Also, try adding different vegetables and cheeses to the quiche to change it up.

Ingredients:
12 eggs
2 c. bisquick
2 c. shredded cheese
4 tomatoes
3 heads of broccoli
handful of scallions
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Grease a casserole dish and distribute cheese evenly along the bottom. Slice tomatoes into disks and lay them on top of the cheese. Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces and distribute them over the tomatoes. The more tomatoes and broccoli the better! In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and bisquick, then add salt, pepper, and scallions. Pour this batter evenly over the casserole so that all of the vegetables are covered. Bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes, or until the quiche has browned on top and is solid all the way through.

Rice/Vegetable Casserole with Tomato-Balsamic Chicken

This main course was an experimental meal that I made for my mom, and she loved it! You could experiment with adding other vegetables to the casserole and varying the amount of cheese in the dish; it’s sure to be delicious no matter what.

Casserole:
2 c. cooked brown rice
1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach
1 medium-sized head of broccoli
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c. scallions, chopped
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Italian seasoning
Salt

Chicken:
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes (with basil, oregano, or other spices)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Handful of scallions
Garlic pepper

For the casserole, cook brown rice as directed on the package. Allow spinach to thaw and drain the water using a strainer. Chop mushrooms, broccoli, and scallions into small pieces. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, and add a pinch of salt and Italian seasoning. Stir in the scallions, mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach. Then add in the feta and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Finally, add in the rice and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish (ours was 1.5 quarts) and bake on 350 covered for 30 minutes. It should be warmed all the way through with the cheese beginning to melt. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top and return to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, so that the cheese on top is beginning to brown.

Here’s a photo of the casserole just out of the oven!

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While the casserole is baking, prepare the chicken. Cut the breasts into 1-2 inch pieces, sprinkle with garlic pepper, and saute on medium until mostly cooked – it’s okay if they are still pink in the middle. Remove the chicken from the pan, and saute the scallions for a few minutes. Then add in the diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Return the chicken to the pan and allow to cook on medium for another 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Let the chicken simmer until the casserole is done, and then enjoy the two together!

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