Food, Glorious Food:



 The Brits call it a 'bake'. People from Minnesota often describe it as a 'hotdish'. Most of us however use the term 'casserole' to denote a food baked and served in a single dish. The variations in casserole dishes include ragouts, cassoulets, gratins, tagines and much more. No matter which type of casserole dish you prefer, it has become a favorite way to cook and serve food since casseroles first appeared in the 19th century.


Photo of light tuna casserole

This is a flexible dish. Other noodles can be substituted for the egg noodles. Yellow, green or orange peppers can be used rather than red, or use a combination of them. Don't forget the red onion. For a richer dish, regular fat milk, mayo and noodles can be used. Even a few veggies can be thrown in, such as peas.


3 cups uncooked yolk-free noodles
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) reduced-fat & sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 can (5oz) albacore white tuna in water
1 jar (6 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red pepper

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, mayonnaise and mustard.
  3. Stir in the tuna, mushrooms and red pepper.
  4. Drain noodles and add to soup mixture. Stir until blended.
  5. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  6. Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over casserole.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Serves 4. 1-1 1/2 cups - 322 calories. 4 grams fiber, 18 grams protein, 9 grams fat.
Recipe courtesy of


This easy and delicious casserole recipe comes from the popular blog, where it is called 'My Mom's Mexican Casserole'. She recommends this for a large gathering since the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. And according to her mom, this casserole's leftovers freeze well.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 can ranch style beans
1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
sour cream and salsa for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degree.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the beef. Drain off fat.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water.
  4. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well mixed and heated through.
  5. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish.
  6. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, than half of the cheddar cheese.
  7. Repeat layers
  8. Cover with foil and bake 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
  9. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and salsa.
Serves 6-7.
Recipe courtesy of


Despite ingredients that include half-and-half, maple syrup and brown sugar, this delectable casserole was initially printed in the November 2002 issue of Cooking Light. A wonderful side dish on a chilly late winter day, it is also sweet enough to serve for dessert. And this buttery, creamy dish is perfect for parties, serving up enough for 18 guests. Don't worry if the party isn't that big. Leftovers from this casserole taste wonderful


14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 lbs.)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  4. Combine the half-and-half and the next four ingredients (half-0and-half through egg) in a large bowl. stir with a whisk.
  5. Add potatoes to egg mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
  6. Spoon potato mixture into a 13x9 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  7. Combine flour and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  8. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  9. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.
  10. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  11. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until topping is browned and potatoes are thoroughly heated.
Serves 18.
Recipe courtesy of


Baked ravioli is a perennial favorite. This recipe from Martha Stewart gives you the flavor of a made from scratch sauce with the ease of store-bought frozen ravioli. If you want to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce, add some sugar to taste.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme. or oregano
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds store-bought frozen ravioli
1/1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20-25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta, then return to pot.
  6. Toss sauce with pasta
  7. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9x13 inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses.
  8. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly before serving.
Serves 4-6.
Recipe courtesy of


Whether you're cooking this up for the family or taking it to a church supper, this chicken tetrazzini is sure to please. Some cooks substitute white wine for the sherry, others add 1/2 cup of frozen peas. This particular recipe comes from cookbook author Diana Rattray. And as a resident of Mississippi, it should come as no surprise that she has a deep love - and talent - for Southern cooking,


4 cups cooked diced chicken
salt and pepper
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light cream, or half-and-half
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
ground sweet paprika, optional
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish (e.g. 13x9x2 pan).
  3. Cook spaghetti or noodles acc. to package directions.
  4. Meanwhile, in skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat; saute sliced mushrooms until golden.
  5. In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter; stir in flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  6. Stir until smooth. Add chicken broth and cream.
  7. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.
  8. Add cooked chicken, cooked mushrooms, and sherry. Heat through.
  9. Place noodles or spaghetti in a buttered baking dish. Pour on sauce.
  10. Top with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with paprika.
  11. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Serves 8.
Recipe courtesy of


This recipe comes from Paula Deen via the Food Network. First demonstrated on her show 'Paula's Home Cooking', it was a highlight of an episode devoted to comfort food. Quick, easy and perfect as a main entree for dinner or a tasty side dish.


1 (8-ounce) package wild rice
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1.2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
  1. Cook rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water.
  2. Drain and cool.
  3. Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook the shrimp for 1 minute.
  4. Drain immediately and set aside.
  5. Heat the butter in a saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  7. In a large bowl, combine rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups cheese, shrimp and vegetable.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  9. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11x7 inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray.
  10. Place mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Recipe courtesy of

February - March 2013