Posts Tagged With: casserole

Poor Man’s

So, anyone whose followed me for awhile knows I like to cook.  Actually, I kinda love it.

But I love it when I have time for it, when I can put my tunes on and Juke and Jive to some Motown, 70s Rock or  Vintage Elvis.  I love it when I have time to putz and taste and simmer and stir and have everyone come in and out and ask … “just what is that, man that smells sooo good!”

During the week, I’d say I’m a functional cook.  I get in – get it done – and get out.

Working full time as I do, I’ve always had my list of “go-to” meals.  My preference is to cook up a bunch of chicken and a few sides and fix a big, hearty salad. Yep, I can eat a salad and chicken all week long. Hubbs, well let’s just say he’s a man and he needs some soul-filling foods.  You know, meat, potatoes, a bit of green thrown in for good measure.  And brownies. Or cookies, too.

So, many moons ago, when we met and fell in love, my list of “go-to” meals was considerably different.  Why? Well, at that time, it was me & a five year old.  Chicken, mac & cheese, soup, sandwiches, a bit of a roast here & there and we were good.

Not so with Mr. Man.

Being a Midwesterner, he came to the marriage with a hearty share of experience in the casserole department.  A list as long as his arm.   And, over time, he kept talking about this one dish his Mom used to make and his eyes would get all deep and dreamy and stuff and I remember thinking, “I just have to know what’s behind that look.”

So I asked her.  GM Jan, as we called her (she’d been a seamstress for General Motors; she was feisty and fun, a skinny smoker with a beehive and a closet full of shoes, but I digress.)

Pleased as punch, she shared her recipe with me.

Me.

The only in-law who, so far, wasn’t an out-law. And I made it, and adapted it, and well, here we are.

I made it last night for Hubbs and you would’ve thought I gave him the keys to the kingdom. His eyes lit up like a kids the night before the fair comes to town.  Rubbing his hands together he excitedly checked the bread and butter supply before announcing gleefully, “That’s perfect! I’ll have that for lunch tomorrow and maybe for dinner, too!”

And with that, my friends, I give you Poor Man’s:  Poor Man’s Chop Suey.

Who knows the calorie or fat content? Who cares?  All I know is this: every time I make it, the twinkle in his eye grows to a gleam and I might just as well be a star on “Top Chef.”

** MJ’s (and Jan’s)  Poor Man’s Chop Suey **

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Soy sauce
  • 2 cans cream soup – I used 1 cream of mushroom and 1 cream of celery
  • 1 can of water (just over a cup)
  • 1 cup of “Shredds” (shredded vegetables – carrots, broccoli, cabbage – found in the produce department)
  • 1 cup (or so) of cooked rice, any kind
  • Seasonings to taste
  • Optional: add slivered celery, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onion or almonds.

Directions

Brown beef, drain off fat and season liberally with Mrs. Dash, dried Onion, Rosemary and Pepper.  Pour in 1/4 cup of Soya Sauce (or more, to taste).  In a separate bowl, mix soups & water then pour into beef mixture.  Add veggie shreds and rice, mix well, tumble the whole hearty mixture into a 13×9 pan and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until bubbly.  The rice will absorb the sauce as it stands.   Should serve 4 people but, in my house, this serves one grinning and delighted man for oh – 1-2 days :).

Poor Man's Chop Suey

Poor Man’s Chop Suey

Were you raised on casseroles?  Is there a dish you make for others but don’t crave yourself? Is there one you love but everyone else thinks is weird? (Mine is “Holpchi,” better known as cabbage rolls).

*This dish was Frankie’s favorite leftover; it’s been a month now and I miss that old grey-faced dog, especially when I cook.

To visit my Recipe vault, just click on the links below:

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Food, Grief, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Recipes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

TLC Chicken Spaghetti

There are many versions of this recipe out there but this is mine, adapted from one I found at Taste of Home.  Our boys added the “TLC” moniker, an abbreviation for the “tender,  loving care” they claim is baked “right in.”

TLC Chicken Spaghetti is a “go-to” dish to bring to the bereaved, give to the recovering or drop off to new parents. It’s easy for a family or a party of one to enjoy; it warms up just as well in the middle of the night or for lunch the next day. But what you really need to know is this: it’s delicious.  The recipe makes a lot but I promise you, this is soul-filling, hearty, warm you-to-your-toes kind of food.  And it’s perfectly paired with a pan of my Game Day Brownies or Magic Pumpkin Spice Cake.

While not low calorie, I have been able to reduce some of the of the fat and salt by using reduced fat and low sodium ingredients and not compromising on the taste.

MJ’s TLC Chicken Spaghetti

*   1 small onion, chopped
*   3 stalks of celery, chopped
*   2 tbsp margarine

*   1 cooked rotisserie chicken (OR 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken)
*   2 ½ cans of low sodium chicken broth
*   1 12 oz package Spaghetti Noodles
*   2 10.5 oz cans Cream Of Chicken Soup (you can use low fat/low sodium)
*   1 10 oz can of Ro*Tel (Diced Tomatoes with Green chile peppers; store brand OK)
*   1- 16oz brick of Velveeta Cheese, cubed (you can use store brand and/or reduced fat)
*   Seasoning to taste – your choice. I use a bit of garlic, seasoning salt, cayenne and Onion Mrs. Dash
*   1 cup shredded cheddar – I like Colby Jack or Sharp Cheddar in this.

chicken spaghetti; google.images.com

How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 1 9×13 pan or 2 8×8 pans (freezes and travels well).

Melt the margarine and saute the celery and onion until tender, about 5 min.  You could substitute a bit of oil here for the margarine, if you wish.

Remove meat from the chicken and tear/cut into bite-sized pieces.  I use both dark and light meats.  You’ll end up with about 2-3 cups of chicken.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil; break the spaghetti in half and cook to el dente – not soft but not crunchy either (about 7 minutes).  You want the spaghetti to be slightly undercooked for this recipe.   Drain the water from your spaghetti and place the hot spaghetti back into the pot.

Pour chicken broth over the spaghetti and then stir in your sautéed vegetables.
Next, cut Velveeta into cubes and stir into the noodle mixture; the cheese will start to melt. Then pour in the 2 cans of soup (do not add water) + 1 can of tomato/green chiles mixture.  Stir well and add seasoning.

Pour the entire mixture into the pan(s) and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Place pan(s) in the oven for about 25 minutes or until all the cheese is melted on top and the sauce mixture is bubbling slightly.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min; the sauce will thicken as it stands.

Serve with steamed vegetables, a tossed salad, garlic bread or rolls and drinks of your choice.  Stand back and smile at the accolades sure to come your way!

To freeze:  Prepare casserole as per above.  Let cool completely.  Then cover the unbaked dish with plastic wrap.  Then do it again.  Wrap twice in tinfoil and freeze immediately.  To cook at a later date, remove from freezer and defrost in the fridge (24 hours).  Remove all plastic and foil then bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 -35 minutes.

What are you cooking today?

Categories: Food, Friendship, Home, Random, Recipes, Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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Better Days Blog

Learning from yesterday, living for today

Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

Life Write Here

“I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.”

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, and Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...