Category Archives: Casseroles

Casseroles, the perfect comfort food

Bean and Pasta Casserole

I was feeling very tired and perhaps a little lazy when I googled “one pot vegetarian meal” and came up with this: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/maindishentreerecipes/r/quickbeanpasta.htm
A quick mental check of the pantry assured me I had all the ingredients necessary to make this happen. While the water was boiling for the pasta I had a closer look at the recipe and decided it looked rather bland. While the pasta was cooking I threw in a couple of cloves of sliced garlic;
added spices, spinach and parmesan cheese to the mix and voila! A tasty and satisfying vegetarian casserole.

Bean and Pasta Casserole
Bean and Pasta Casserole

1- 796 ml can Diced Tomatoes
1- 796ml can Crushed Tomatoes
1- 540 ml can Red Kidney Beans
1 cup Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried Basil and Oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 cups fresh Spinach Leaves
1 375 g package pasta

Preheat oven to 375F.
Lightly spray a 4l casserole dish with veg oil spray.
In large pot bring salted water to boil; add pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
Drain pasta, rinse and throw back into the pot.
Stir in diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, parmesan cheese, chili flakes, basil, oregano, S&P and chopped onion.
Spoon a third of the pasta mixture into prepared casserole dish, top with a layer of fresh spinach leaves and a third the shredded cheese.
Spoon another third of pasta into casserole, top with remaining spinach and another third of the shredded cheese.
Spoon remaining pasta into casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake in 375F oven for 40 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 6 – 8

Gardener’s Shepherd Pie

I love that Canadian Living posts dinner ideas. I often click on their suggestion and think “Ah, yea, that would be good!” But invariably I am missing some ingredient or another but tonight I had everything, and more, to come up with this version of Gardener’s Pie. ( http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quick_and_easy/gardeners_pie.php)

Gardener's Shepherd Pie
Comfort food extraordinaire for a cold Winter's night: Gardener's Shepherd Pie

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, grated
6 medium Mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Tablespoon dried Basil
1 pkg Yves Ground Round Original
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Water
1 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock cube
2 Tablespoon Catalina Dressing (or 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste)

Potato Topping
8 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup Milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Light Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly spray a 9X13 casserole dish with vegetable oil spray; set aside.

In medium saucepan cook the potatoes until tender; about 10 – 15 minutes depending on how small or large you cut your potatoes.
Drain potatoes and return to pot.
Mash with milk and butter.
Stir in parmesan cheese and cream cheese.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Cook onion for about 3 minutes; add garlic and continue cooking for another minute or so.
Add grated carrot, basil, frozen mixed veggies and mushrooms.
Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add water, Catalina Dressing and vegetable stock cube.
Bring to a boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat and continue simmering until the potatoes are ready.

Once potatoes are ready to go, pour the “meat” mixture into prepared pan.
Spread mashed potatoes over top.
Dot with scant dollops of butter.
Bake in 400F oven until hot through, about 20 minutes.
Serve with Salad and Crusty Rolls.

Serves 6