Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Posts tagged ‘casserole’

Primal Breakfast Ideas

For those who may be avoiding wheat or just are tired of cereal for breakfast – I wanted to share a recipe for a crustless quiche or casserole (whatever you want to call it!)

I stumbled across 2 different recipes and have made them both (with a few modifications). I find that the one thing people always say when they hear we are eating wheat free/primal style now is that they just can’t get past the convenience factor of cereal and other typical breakfast items. Making an easy casserole or quiche on the weekend gives you breakfast the whole week and it’s a great way to slip in some extra vegetables! It’s perfect to bring to a party as well!

I can’t take credit for either recipe, the first is from Grain Free Foodies and the other recipe is from The Prime Pursuit.

Both are pretty similar in ingredients and cooking method and I’ll say that I made a second quiche this week for breakfast after trying out the Grain Free Foodie recipe last week and I got lots of compliments on the Prime Pursuit recipe at a work event this week, too!

Soooo good!

 Crustless Quiche (from Grain Free Foodies with my comments in green!)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs
1 can (14-16 oz) of coconut milk without additives (I get the Taste of Thai can from the international aisle)
1-2 T butter or fat for cooking
1/2 onion
1 cup diced meat (I prefer ham)   (I used andoille sausage last week and regular pork sausage this week – both are good!)
OR diced vegetables (bell pepper, asparagus, greens, or zucchini work especially well) (I put veggies and meat in mine – so go nuts as it’s never a bad thing to get more veggies in your belly for breakfast! I usually do peppers, spinach, onion, sundried tomatoes…)
1 cup of cubed cheese (I used cheddar cheese – leave the cheese out if you are doing true Paleo or dairy free)
1/2 tsp salt
other herbs and spices, optional  (I used fresh basil and oregano from our garden, red pepper flakes, some paprika, cumin)

METHOD:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat in the coconut milk.  Mix in the cubed cheese, salt, and any other herbs or spices that you are using.

3.  In a 10 inch skillet (ideally cast iron), melt the fat and saute the onions for several minutes. (I didn’t use cast iron and it still worked out just fine.)

4.  If you are using vegetables, add them now and saute several more minutes, allowing any moisture to come out (such as with mushrooms).

5.  Turn off the heat, add your meat and stir, and then pour the egg mixture over the top.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

It’s really that simple. What I love most about this recipe is that it’s super easy to switch out ingredients to make it taste different or to please picky eaters. I was also impressed that it only used 4 eggs! I put mine in a square baking dish and we got about 8 servings out of it. I’m sure you could do more/less depending on how big of a breakfast you like!

The other recipe has a few more steps but I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Sausage & Spinach Breakfast Casserole (from The Prime Pursuit with my comments in green!)

1 head of cauliflower
3/4 c chicken stock or water (I didn’t use this because I followed the saute instructions below in her update)

1 lb sausage (I picked hot chicken sausage!)
5 cups raw spinach
6 ounces full-fat coconut milk (I prefer Taste of Thai brand)
4 eggs lightly beaten
juice of 1-2 lemons (i used one lemon)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder (I used minced garlic and way more than 2tsp, but I heart garlic!)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I added this in – leave the cheese out if you are doing true Paleo or are dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9X13 baking dish by greasing it with coconut oil. (I just used pam spray and I actually made it in a circle/deep dish baking thingy because I wanted it to be more like a “pie” serving for my work event)

Wash, remove leaves, quarter, and core the head of cauliflower.  Pulse it in a food processor until it looks like grits.  Put all the cauliflower-grits in a pot, add 3/4 c chicken stock or water.  Simmer on low until tender, about 10-15 min.  Drain off excess liquid, set aside.  The grits can also be fried (see below).** (So you don’t need to put the grits in a pot and use the water or stock if you are going to fry them up!)

Brown and crumble the sausage.  Leave the sausage oil in the pan and add in the fresh spinach.  Stir until it wilts.

In a large mixing bowl,  add the coconut milk, eggs, and spinach mixture & cheese, stir well.  Add in the salt, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice and stir.  Add the cooled cauliflower-grits and stir well. (I didn’t cool my “grits” very much and it worked out okay)

Pour into the prepared baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes or until center is set.

**UPDATE:  I have recently been sauteéing the cauliflower “grits” in a frying pan instead of boiling them.  They retain the same texture, but have a toasted taste and appearance.  I like it much better.  Heat 2-3 tbsp of the oil of your choice (reserved bacon is best!!), and sauté the “grits” until they are done.  Let them sit, then toss/flip them every few minutes.

So I didn’t take a picture of this one before I took it into work, but I had multiple people ask me about the recipe. People said they loved the texture and it was a little spicy, too, which I think worked well. I would have never thought to use cauliflower to add texture AND a few extra servings of vegetable, but it worked GREAT! Awesome recipe.

Hope these recipes inspire you to cook a little in advance on the weekend so you can easily enjoy a healthy breakfast all week long! I know I definitely was happy to find some yummy and easy to follow recipes on Prime Pursuit and Grain-Free Foodies blog!

Summer Squash and Broccoli Casserole

We’ve been getting a lot of squash and zucchini in our Spring CSA box the last few weeks. So we decided to put it to good use as a side this week for our meals. We found a makeover recipe that sounded tasty and gave it a whirl. Obviously we are sharing it with you because it was super simple and delicious….and of course – healthy!

The recipe comes from Taste of Home and you can view the original recipe here.

We made a few changes so I’m listing the ingredients and showing you our changes:

This recipe makes 15 servings – we cut this in half, so please make sure you take that into account if you want to make this!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 medium onions, sliced (we used both red and yellow onion)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided (we used less better than this)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 reduced-fat butter-flavored crackers, crushed (we didn’t crush ours – see picture!)
  • We added about 1.5 cups (uncooked) broccoli (sans stems) to the very top of this mixture (well, right under the cracker “crust

Up close so you can see the yummy layers

We followed the directions provided on the website pretty faithfully other than reducing the amount of butter (since we didn’t make the crust “crushed” there was no reason to add the extra butter to the crackers) and adding broccoli. We actually added broccoli after we poured the egg/flour mixture on top of the squash/onions, but you could certainly add the broccoli before pouring the mixture over everything. I think it would taste good either way.

We had it on the side of our grilled hamburgers last night and it was super yum. We give this 2 dReJ thumbs up. At about 200 calories per serving this is a great side dish for a meal or a fun potluck dish to bring to share at a party.

Seafood Chowder Casserole

Shrimp & Crab Yumminess!

Quick Link: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/seafood_chowder_casserole.html

So for any of you Harris Teeter shoppers – we live by “what’s on sale” via their weekly VIC email promotion. This week, I noticed their crab meat was on sale – 16 oz for $11.99 so i figured we should do something with it. But, I have to admit, I’m very picky when it comes to seafood. Usually when I say I like Crab – what i really mean is: I like crabcakes.

With some left over frozen shrimp from last weeks VIC special (buy 1 get 2 free!) – we looked for a recipe that involved crab meat and shrimp. A fav recipe site of our is EatingWell.com (sign up for an account for free to save your recipes!) – and we found this Seafood Chowder Casserole.

If you click on the link – you’ll find the recipe calls for white fish, shrimp and crab meat – but again, I’m picky and we left out the white fish and added extra crab meat.

I’m eating it for lunch at this very moment – so it heats up surprisingly well for seafood.  The cheese and breadcrumbs really bring it together for the casserole feel, and the portion is pretty decent since it includes 2 types of fish and a potato.  If you aren’t familiar with clam juice – look for it where you’d find the canned meat (like tunafish) at your grocery store. We got ours for under $3. To save more – we just used dried dill instead of fresh. Also – we cut this recipe in half since it serves 8! So that helps, too.

It comes in a 377 calories if you make it the way the recipe goes, so be sure to account for the  changes you make!

All in all, pretty decent meal. Whether it goes or not, I added a little hot sauce to spice it up. The only thing that semi-stinks is literally, it smells fishy! Hard to avoid. So watch out if you are bringing this to work with you…although, its pretty yummy so who cares what the co-workers think! 🙂

 

 

Chicken Mushroom & Wild Rice Casserole

We’re back! Slowly but surely, we’ll catch up on what we’ve been eating. We picked this recipe over the holdiays – and we were SO pleased we did. It was majorly delicious. It’s still that time of year when casseroles just sound so much better than they do in the summer.

Here’s the quick link for those of you tired to reading ABOUT it and just want to check it out:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_wild_rice_casserole.html

Toasted Almonds were the perfect topper!

8 servings (remember to split the ingredients in half if you are cooking for just yourself or for 2)

Active Time: 1 hour  Total Time: 1 3/4 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (we just used brown rice)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup dry sherry (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups frozen French-cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

dReJ Say:

So this one is pretty straight forward. You cook the rice (that’s easy), you cook the chicken (simple) and then you just slowly keep adding stuff to a skillet and cook it up. Pour it in a pan, sprinkle almonds on top and bake. Really not a rocket science recipe. Don’t be freaked out if you aren’t used to cooking with Sherry. There are lots of recipes that will require cooking sherry – and it’s not hard to find (check the vinegar section of your store).

This comes in at 371 calories – and it was pretty filling. Great recipe to make and take for lunch the next day as well. I am not usually a a huge almond fan – but they went with this dish very well – and gave it a nice “crunch.” Highly recommend this one!

 

Week in Review: Nov. 29 – Dec 3

This week, we have options that are easily changed in case you don’t eat a certain meat. So for the Tex Mex Pork – you could easily sub steak or chicken. For the Pasta, we used chicken sausage – but you could use any type of sausage, same thing in the casserole! So have fun with it, and make it your own. We’ll have details and pics up later – but for those wondering “What’s for Dinner?” – here you go!

Tex Mex Pork: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=50400000108389 (Rating: This was delicious! A definite favorite for both Dre and RJ)

Sausage, Tomato and Arugula Fettuccine: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=50400000108346 (Very tasty, but we didn’t use enough pasta, so the meal wasn’t the right portion, so be sure to not skimp on the pasta in order to ensure a full belly)

Chicken , Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms with Marsala Wine: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001611676 (Can’t go wrong with a chicken and veggie medley – we do suggest having a side to go with this meal as it is NOT served with pasta or rice!)

Sausage and Bean Casserole: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001673012 (we used a spicy chicken sausage to heat this casserole up – very good, and easy to reheat!).

 

Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake

Quick Link to recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quick_shrimp_enchilada_bake.html

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound peeled cooked shrimp, (see Ingredient Note), tails removed, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed corn (we used canned corn)
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles, (not drained)
  • 2 cups canned green enchilada sauce, or green salsa, divided We used red enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce can nonfat refried beans (we got the refried black beans)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese, such as Mexican-style cheese blend, Monterey Jack or Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

dReJsay: This truly a quick and easy recipe. Perfect to make ahead and cook later, or reheat for lunch. It was tasty, and you could easily trade out shrimp for another type of meat or make it totally veggie. We had some extra avocado so we served the meal with a little slice of that on top. I also added a bit of green salsa on top of mine just because I love it so much.

We made all 8 servings since the calories were pretty low and we wanted to eat this as a hearty dinner. The servings were ample this way and we felt totally satisfied with no sides.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 281 calories

 

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