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Recipe Exploration: Chicken and Veggie Casserole

January 2, 2013 1 comment

I love casseroles. No. I don’t think you understand. I looooooooooove casseroles. I love them so much I would marry them if it was legal. I’m lobbying for it so fingers crossed.

But the main problem with casseroles and my weight loss plan is that a normal casserole’s calorie content would equal two meals for me so I’ve been avoiding them with sadness.

It took me six months to realize, I should Google healthy casseroles. What is wrong with me!  So I went on a quest. It took one minute. Success! \

I modified the original recipe a bit as you can do with this. Casseroles are very forgiving in substitution which makes them wonderful yet again. I listed the recipe exactly as I prepared. Feel free to be creative. Let me know your favorite modifications!

Chicken Veggie Casserole

Chicken and Veggie Casserole

Minutes to Prepare: 15

Minutes to cook: 20 (15 if you break it up into separate containers)

Number of Servings: 6

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 340

Fat: 12.4

Sodium: 736

Carbohydrates: 38

Protein: 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon dry parmesan cheese
  • 7 oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespooon oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves of garlic if you use fresh)
  • 4 1/2 ounce can of mushrooms
  • 12 oz good quality canned chicken (Canned works great for casseroles, I’ve found. If you use fresh, chop it.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Tony’s Chachere’s Spicy seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)*
  • whipped cream cheese**
  • 3 slices pepperjack cheese *
  • 3 stalks green onions chopped
  • nonstick cooking spray

*If you aren’t a fan of spicy things, omit or lower the amount of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes and replace the pepperjack with a different kind of cheese. Also because I used three small containers, you might need more pepperjack cheese to cover the top.

**If needed.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start preparing the sauce by melting the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Once the butter foams up (it won’t take long), add the flower. Stir immediately and continuously for 1 minute.
  4. Add milk and parmesan cheese and continue to stir until it starts to bubble.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Add a handful of salt and a tablespoon of oil to the water. Drain.
  7. In a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of oil and heat to medium heat.
  8. Add in garlic and onions and saute for 1 minute.
  9. Add in peppers and saute for another minute.
  10. Add in canned mushrooms and canned chicken. Stir until mixture is heated up.
  11. Turn down to low heat.
  12. Add pepper, italian seasoning, Tony’s seasoning, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes to white sauce while stirring continuously.
  13. If the mixture is too thin, use whipped cream to thicken it. I ended up using 1 tablespoon 1/3 less fat Italian seasoned whipped cream cheese.
  14. When all spices are incorporated, pour sauce into chicken mixture stir well.
  15. Add in pasta until all pasta is covered.
  16. Spray a 9 x 13 oven proof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used three small crocks.) Pour pasta into dish.
  17. Bake for 20 min (lower time for smaller containers), adding the cheese during the last few minutes until melted.
  18. Add green onion on top of cheese
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Recipe Exploration: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

April 2, 2012 1 comment

Name: Spicy Black Bean Burgers
By: Renee Valentine

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:  10 min

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (16 Oz. Size) Black Beans
  • ½ whole Onion, Cut Into Wedges
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Rough Chopped
  • 1 whole Red Pepper, Stem And Seeds Removed, Chopped
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce (or Your Favorite Hot Sauce)
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Burger Buns Or Kaiser Rolls

Directions:

  1. Drain the can of black beans. In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a fork or a potato masher.
  2. Use a food processor to chop the onion, garlic, and red pepper until very fine. Stir the mixture in with the beans.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, Sriracha and cilantro. Add this to the bean mixture and combine well.
  4. If the mixture has a lot of liquid, strain with a cheesecloth or let it strain through a colander with very fine holes. Once the excess liquid has drained off, return the bean mixture to the bowl and stir in half of the bread crumbs.
  5. Use your hands to form four evenly sized patties. Coat the outside of the burger patties in the remaining bread crumbs.
  6. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Cook burgers in the pan until heated through and slightly browned on both sides.
  7. Put the burger on top of a bun. Dress with all your favorite burger condiments and enjoy!


Notes:

Recipe Exploration: Blue Ribbon Chili

February 6, 2012 1 comment
Name: Blue Ribbon Chili
By: Renee (modified from All Recipe)

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 1 package of chili seasoning mix
  • ½  (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • ½  (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  • ½  (15 ounce) can of chili beans

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Notes:

* Can spice up this chili with any seasonings you would like.  It’s very versatile.

Recipe Exploration: Spicy Sausage Casserole

February 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Name:  Spicy Sausage Casserole
By:  Renee (modified from AllRecipes.com)

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Bake Time:  60 minues

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb fresh, ground spicy pork sausage
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used instant with no problem)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed (can also use crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, brown sausage and drain grease.
  3. Stir in rice, onion, garlic and peppers. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Pour into 9×13 inch pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Or, at this step, you can cover and freeze it.

Notes:
* If you don’t want it too spicy, you can either cut back on the cayenne pepper or you can get less spicy sausage

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