Monday, August 1, 2011


Casseroles seem to be a little bit a 'thing of the past', but I believe they should make a come-back, particularly with our grocery bills rising by the minute and how many people they can feed.   Casseroles can be fattening if you add sour cream or mushroom soup or lots of pastas or rices, but they can be very healthy, too.   Either way, they're very often full of lower-cost foods than we might make otherwise.  Instead of pork chops or lamb chops, ground meats are usually in casseroles and they're usually less costly.  Sometimes, you can throw a bag of frozen vegetables into a casserole and, if you're not watching your carbs, they're often full of rice or noodles, and they're not expensive, either.    (I happen to love tuna noodle casserole but never make it because it's not exactly weight or health conscious!)

Do you have a favorite casserole you'd like to share with us?
   You don't necessarily have to post the recipe, but give us an idea of what's included.    Was your casserole a family recipe, or is it one you just found and loved?  Let us know!  Thanks!

Talking about tuna noodle casserole reminds me of a dish I came up with out of sheer desperation while living in Paris.  We hadn't shopped for a while and I was running out of food and we decided to stay in for dinner that night so I found some spaghetti, a large can of tune and lemons and roughly did this:

Z's Pasta and Tuna:
Sauteed a thinly sliced onion on olive oil, added a little garlic if you've got it (Or garlic powder, not garlic salt, never), threw in the tuna(oil or water included) and broke it up into the olive oil, warmed that all up, squeezed lemon juice into it, added enough white wine to make it juicier (add a bit more olive oil if the sauce seems to need a little thickening to stick well enough to the pasta), and then threw cooked spaghetti noodles into that tuna 'sauce'.  I grind a good amount of black pepper on top as tuna and black pepper are such a good combination and it adds a real depth of flavor.  If I have parsley, I finely chop some for the top, and sometimes I throw some grated Parmesan on top. We loved it and I made it for Mr. Z several times even if I did have my refrigerator full of other foods to choose from!  I later took to adding chopped dill, which he adored, or anything else I thought might work.  It's delicious, cheap, and has a lot of things you already have in your house, right?  ENJOY!



sue said...

Z - Since I already gave you the hamb/cabbage casserole recipe, I'll
choose another one for this post.

Your 'spontaneous' tuna dish sounds delicious, and more importanly - has fond memories to go with it.

Last night I thought of a little
ancedote appropriate for a food blog.
When my husband was in the Army and stationed in Michigan, a friend of mine told me that when someone asked her mother for a recipe, she would oblige - while at the same time leaving out one of the ingredients. (;

Thinking about that always brings a smile to my face.

sue said...

Z - This recipe is very special to me because it is the only one I have from my mother. She printed it out on a 3 x 5 card a number of years ago. Now she is 96 and going strong. (-: I'd like to share it with you.

Ground Beef Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion (or less)
1 c. chopped celery (or less)

Saute onion and celery in small amount of oil and mix with browned hamburger.


1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 cup Minute Rice

Combine soups, soy sauce and rice in sauce pan and heat.


Combine hamb. and soup mixtures and place in 9 x 14 casserole dish.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 45min. at 325 degrees.
Last 15 minutes add chow mein noodles on top until hot.


Z - This is an easy dish. I served it to my daughters and their families and everyone loved it!

Z said...

Yes, that's kind of an 'old joke' about people leaving one thing out so the person can't make it quite as good. I think it's SAD, Sue!! As it's kind of funny, it's a little mean, don't you think!? :-)

Z said...

Thanks for that recipe, Sue...super to have such a nice family recipe like that and even more super to have a 96 yr old mom who's still going strong!!

sue said...

Thanks for the comment about my mom, Z.


I remember when Jackie told me that - about her mom leaving out the one ingredient. I'm sure she loved her mom, but I knew she thought it was weird!

It's like giving someone a puzzle that's missing a piece.);

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

That sounds rally good Z and Sue that sounds interesting. I may just try both now. I think Casseroles should make a comeback.
For some reason I never make too many casseroles,but I need to rethink that after reading this post.
Your Mac-N'-Geeez blog is such a fun change from politics.
Thanks for "mixing it up".

Z said...

Lisa, thank YOU! I'm trying to figure out how to leave a kind of permanent area on my blog reminding people of this blog.......wish me luck!

Always On Watch said...

Casseroles seem to be a little bit a 'thing of the past'...

Really? I LOVE casseroles.

Don't have many good recipes, however, as my father wouldn't eat casseroles. Mom didn't pass down to me any recipes for casseroles.

Z said...

Sure, AOW, you almost NEVER see casseroles on the Food Channel on ANY of the shows, if at all.
But, they really are very economical and filling and can be very healthy.
I have to admit my mother didn't make many either because she wasn't from America and they're not quite so known in EUrope or Egypt, etc....(but, brother, did we eat GOOD :-)

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