Sunday, March 3, 2013

Broccoli Rice Casserole (No Canned Soup)

I don't know about you but there is something special about being able to cook something from scratch that really makes me feel good about myself. It seems like most recipes these days call for cream of soups and processed cheese, or as my husband would say, fake cheese.

We have made a version of this recipe for quite some time now and after a few alterations this is how we make it now. Perfect for family gatherings and pot lucks!

Don't laugh, I have my own pictures for this one! I do have a great camera, but the lighting in my kitchen is horrible and my photography skills aren't much better. Lets hope I can master the art before my newborn arrives in July. Wish me luck :)

Broccoli Rice Casserole (No Canned Soup)
Serves: 10

4 cups fresh broccoli florets and stems, chopped.
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup mushrooms
1 tablespoon flour
12-ounce can regular evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked rice

I have even added pre-cooked cubed ham to this before to make it more of a main dish verses a side dish.

1.) Steam broccoli. I have a rice cooker that has a top rack for steaming so I actually do my rice and my broccoli together.

2.) Squeeze juice of 1/2 a lemon over steamed broccoli.

3.) Melt butter in a skillet, add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic and cook until soft.

4.) Add flour, stir frequently on low heat for about a one minutes to rid the raw flour taste.

5.) Slowly whisk in milk and cook on low heat until thickened, then add 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir until melted.

6.) Combine rice, broccoli and cheese sauce in a 2 quart baking dish and mix well. 

7.) Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese over the top and baked at 350 degrees until warmed through and cheese is melted.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Taco Salads

Welcome! This is my first attempt at posting on my new blog! I am just starting out so I do not have pictures of my own creation for this meal but will try to post pictures with my future blog posts. 

Call me crazy but I have never made Taco Salads... EVER... before last night. Now that I have, I'm not sure why it took me so long to do so. I love easy meals and half way healthy is helpful too.

I am always unsure how to go about something I have never done before so of course I referenced Pinterest so I would have somewhere to start and found the Women Living Well's Blog and the attached recipe. The picture alone was enough to inspire me to create my own. 
Picture from Women Living Well

This is what I came up with and my husband loved it!

1/2 head lettuce
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1/2 bag corn tortilla chips
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
garlic powder
salt & pepper
your favorite toppings

First I browned the ground beef  with the chopped onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

While the hamburger was cooking I poured 1/2 a bag of corn tortilla chips into a large mixing bowls and lightly smashed them with the bottom of a glass cup. 

Then I took 1/2 a head of lettuce shredded it and added it as well as the shredded cheese to the crushed chips.

Once my hamburger was done I drained the grease added 1/2 packet taco seasoning and half the water that it called for on the package then returned it back to the heat until thickened.

I added the seasoned meat to the lettuce/chip/cheese mixture and tossed it all together.

Since my husband and I like different toppings and dressings I dished out our portions on a dinner plate and we topped them as we liked. He used salsa and sour cream and I didn't salsa, sour cream AND ranch! It was delicious, who knew something so SIMPLE would be so easy and good all at the same time. Even better little to no clean up is involved with this meal.

Doing it once now I will add pinto beans rinsed and dried on paper towels and fresh tomatoes next time to make it more hearty! Maybe next time we will have left overs...