Archive for the ‘casseroles’ Category

This dish has all my favorite Chinese flavors. I used a spicy soy sausage instead of the real thing, and thought it added a great zing.

Chinese no clay pot chicken casserole (from TheKitchn blog)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 1/2 teasoons sugar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 boneless chicken breasts, about 1 pound, cut into 1/2″ cubes

3 scallions, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve

3 garlic cloves, minced

1″ piece fresh ginger, roughly grated

2 ounces spicy soy sausage, cut into 1/4″ cubes

10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil

2 cups Chinese long grain rice

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups chicken stock

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Stir in the chicken, scallions, garlic, and ginger, and toss so that they are coated with the liquid. Place this mixture in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 15 minutes while you cook the mushrooms.

Place a 3-quart Dutch oven over medium high heat on the stove. When it is hot, add the sausage and brown. Add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook, without stirring them, for 5 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot, and saute the rice briefly to develop some toasty flavor, then add the salt and the chicken mixture from the fridge. Pour in the stock. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and bake for 45 minutes. Make sure to taste the rice for doneness before taking it out of the oven.

Let stand 5 minutes, covered, before serving. Stir up the rice before serving, as the chicken and mushrooms will have risen to the top during the baking.

Garnish with chopped scallions. Makes 6 servings.

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A quick and easy dinner, I used cauliflower because I was out of broccoli. Still yummy.

Bowtie chicken bake (adapted from The Comfort of Cooking)

8 ounces bowtie pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1″ cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium pot, boil water for pasta. Cook according to package instructions, til al dente. Strain and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Once the chicken is still slightly pink, add cauliflower florets and mix gently. Cover the Dutch oven and let cook for 3 minutes. Mix in tomatoes. Mix in pasta. Add remaining spices. Lower the burner to medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Mix in the soy parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the burner.

Sprinkle the mixture with the 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake for 20 minutes in your Dutch oven. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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We all remember beef-a-roni. Here is a healthier version, made with ground turkey breast. This was just as good as I remembered it as a kid, with all the added vegetables giving great substance to this classic.

Turkey-roni (adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen)

1 pound ground turkey breast

1 onion, finely diced

1 bell pepper, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons sugar

salt and pepper

2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles

Cook the ground turkey, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.

In the same pan, heat oil over medium heat and add margarine. Add the vegetables and garlic and stir to cook several minutes until soft. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute. Add the undrained diced tomatoes to the pan and the cooked ground turkey. Add the spices and turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni til tender; reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain. Do not rinse. If your sauce seems to be drying out at any point, add in some of your reserved pasta water as needed.

Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Combine with noodles. Toss to mix well and separate noodles. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

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I’m not sure if this is supposed to look a little prettier, but it sure tasted excellent. I always loved those tater tots as a kid, and I thought it was a novel idea to use them as the topping in a shepherd’s pie. My taste-testers heartily agreed. Gone in one dinner and one late night snacking.

Tater-tot shepherd’s pie (from Rachael Ray, with a few adaptations by me)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground turkey breast

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

salt and pepper

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons margarine

2 rounded tablespoons flour

1/2 cup apple cider

2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 cup watercress leaves, chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded soy cheddar cheese

1 bag frozen tater tots

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the toil. When it ripples, add the turkey and brown well, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the vegetables, 10 – 12 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and reduce the heat to simmer.

In a small skillet, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in the flour; cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the cider. Reduce by half, then whisk in the broth and thicken to a loose gravy.

Place the meat and vegetables in a casserole dish and stir in the watercress and gravy. Top with the soy cheese and tater tots, then bake until the tots are golden and crispy on top. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I just love spaghetti crusts. For this dish, I used a whole-grain spaghetti, which I believe added a lot of wholesomeness to it. It was kinda fun to eat spaghetti with southwest flavors; so different from the familiar Italian ones. I hope this photo conveys the “crust” formed by the spaghetti.

Sante Fe spaghetti pie (from the Family Health Cookbook, with nondairy adaptations by me)

vegetable oil spray

3 cups cooked spaghetti (1/2 pound uncooked)

2 egg whites

1/2 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups grated soy Jack or cheddar cheese

Lightly coat a 9 x 12″ baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Cook raw spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with the almond milk until frothy, then stir in the hot pasta and soy parmesan cheese. Spread the pasta over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and cook the turkey, onion, and green pepper, stirring often over medium heat, until the turkey is white and the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno pepper, and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cumin, oregano, cayenne, tomato sauce, and beans. Spread the mixture over the pasta crust. Sprinkle the soy Jack cheese evenly over the filling. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, and the casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Makes 8 servings.

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I’m not sure my photos did this dish justice, but it sure was tasty. I meant to post this one sooner, but this is a great dish for the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the inspiration.

Brown rice casserole with leftover turkey (adapted to be nondairy; modified slightly, too)

2 cups cooked brown rice

16 ounces asparagus, chopped

2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)

1 onion, diced into small pieces

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 – 2 cups diced leftover turkey, cut into 1/2″ dice

1/2 cup turkey stock or chicken stock

1/2 cup soy sour cream

1/2 cup coarsely grated soy parmesan

1 1/2 cup grated soy cheese

Cook brown rice following package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in heavy non-stick pan and saute asparagus until bright green and still slightly crunchy. Remove to a dish.

In same frying pan, add 1 teaspoon more olive oil and heat, then add onions and saute 3 – 4 minutes until onions are softened. Add thyme, ground poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and saute about 2 minutes more.

When onions cook, dice leftover turkey. Add asparagus and diced turkey into pan with the onion-herb mixture, and stir to combine. Add rice and gently stir until all the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed in the rice.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and chicken stock, then stir in the grated parmesan and 1 cup soy cheese. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spoon rice mixture into the casserole dish and pres down to evenly distribute. Bake for 25 minutes, or until casserole is slightly bubbling and barely starting to brown. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated soy cheese and bake about 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Makes 6 servings.

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Macaroni and cheese is some of the best comfort food I know, and also one of the dishes I missed the most when I had to cut dairy out of my diet. I’ve tried my hand before at mac and cheese here and here, and I was quite pleased with the results. But I think that today’s recipe, from Williams-Sonoma, probably tops them all. It’s a very grown-up mac and cheese, with browned bits of pancetta and cauliflower in it, and a crispy breadcrumb crust. I am quite sure that Fontina and Gouda cheeses, as listed in the original recipe, make this dish special. But I used a mix of soy cheddar and soy mozzarella, and this dish gets 5 stars.

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese (with my nondairy adaptations)

3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

8 ounces pancetta, diced

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1/2″ florets

3 tablespoons margarine

1/4 cup AP flour

2 tablespoons white wine

3 cups almond milk

2 cups shredded soy mozzarella cheese

2 cups shredded soy cheddar cheese

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1 pound macaroni, cooked until al dente

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, melted margarine, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and reserve the fat in the pot. Working in batches, add the cauliflower to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized, 10 – 12 minutes per batch, adding a little margarine to the pot if needed. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water to the pot and stir to scrape up the browned bits. Add to the bowl with the cauliflower. Wash out the pot.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the wine and almond milk and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cheeses, cayenne, nutmeg, and cream. Stir until melted. Salt and pepper according to taste. Then stir in the pasta, pancetta, and cauliflower. Transfer to a large baking pan or dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook until the breadcrumbs are crispy and brown, 4 – 5 minutes. Serves 10 – 12.

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