Friday, April 23, 2010

Successful winter foods! - Part 2

As promised, here is the second set of recipes. Casserole heaven!

Winter is a season of comfort foods. Casseroles are the quintessential comfort food. However, so many casseroles are variations on the pasta them that they lack something in the protein and vegetable categories. Here are two casseroles my family (yes, even the kids!) enjoys which try to offer some protein and veggies.

Cheesy Lentil Rice Casserole
A new favorite here and oh-so-easy!

3 c. broth (I did vegetable bouillon cubes)
3/4 c. uncooked lentils (feel free to mix up the colors)
1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
3/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. basil (I used fresh to 3xs that for fresh)
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. grated cheese (I don't measure, just put enough to cover the top at the end.)

Mix all ingredients except cheese in casserole dish. Bake covered for 90 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove cover and top with cheese, then bake for up to 20 minutes more.

YUM! What's great is that you can add in veggies or anything. I've added chopped carrots and broccoli before, and yes the kids eat it!

Squash Kugel (kugel = pudding)
Another fairly easy one, though you may have to play with the bake time.

20 oz. butternut squash, peeled and cubed (defrost if frozen!)
1/2 c. creamer (I use heavy whipping cream)
1 stick butter (8 Tbsp.), softened
7/8 c. natural applesauce
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar (original recipe calls for 2 c, I reduced it)
5 eggs

Mix everything EXCEPT the cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour in a 8x8 or 9x9 pan, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until firm and springy.

Depending on your pan and oven, it may take longer to bake. The first time I made it, it took something like 90 minutes. Oh, and I learned to put a cookie sheet under it to catch any drips.

Serve warm. Cut in squares for serving.

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