Make more out of your favorite casseroles
Crazy for Casseroles
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C
Casseroles Have Double Duty
Spice It Up!
OK, truth be told, I'm not really that crazy for the traditional casseroles. Most of them are full of salt, fat, the wrong kinds of carbs, and lots of cheese. They almost always look the same no matter what you've thrown in there and they taste about the same as well. There is hope! Casseroles don't have to be cheesy, crumbly, calorie, carb busters. They can have lots of different flavors, textures, and colors. Here's some tips to making more out of your favorite casserole dishes.
Add Veggies - Broccoli, green beans, peas, shredded cabbage, and carrots are a good start, but how about adding tomatoes or red peppers for color, purple cabbage for fun, or why not toss in some bright chunks of squash? Garlic and onions add great flavor to almost any dish.
Add Meat - Sure you can always use the typical stand-by like tuna or hamburger. However, a salmon casserole can ramp up the omega 3s in your dish. Or how about using chicken to help lower the fat content? By precooking your meat, you can cut down the oven time needed to bake your casseroles as well.
Filler Up - And now we come to the fillers. Things like breadcrumbs, noodles, rice, potatoes, and cream of yuck soups are what most folks use, and while some of these are ok, I'd skip the canned soup for sure. Instead, get that creamy texture by using plain yogurt mixed with some low fat mayo or sour cream.
Spice It Up - When it comes to seasoning your casseroles, the sky's the limit! Some of my favorites include garlic, curry, Herbs de Province, lemon pepper, thyme, sage, rosemary, sage, and of course freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Go wild here. Season to taste and don't be afraid to experiment.
One of the best things about casseroles is that they can be assembled ahead of time and cooked later. I've always got at least a few stocked in my freezer for those busy nights or times I need to take dinner to a friend in need.
Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.
In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.
On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular, FlyLady.net, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. SavingDinner.com. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.
Take the Next Step:
- For more great recipes for casseroles, please click here.
- Your groceries cost less when you get cash back! Checkout 51 can show you how!
- For all things "Groceries & Food," please visit the Dollar Stretcher library section.
- Visit our Pinterest board for Smart Couponing and Grocery Budgeting.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- What you should (and shouldn't) buy in November
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie
- 6 ways a pet could save you money
- Make money on Black Friday
- Turning your hobby into extra income
- How to score cheap concert and sport tickets and avoid ripoffs
- 10 steps to zap holiday stress
- Unique ways to wrap holiday gift cards