Call it a casserole and it’s relegated to the 50s but call it a ‘strata’ or a ‘bake’ or a ‘pie’ and suddenly it’s new again.
Everyone has one of their mom’s recipes in their head, whether they hated it or loved it. Casseroles rock because they can be assembled and baked unmonitored. The traditional formula is simple: ingredients in a glass dish heated in the oven. The outcome is especially good for sharing at parties or for making on the weekend and enjoying all week. What could use a little healthy push is the choice of items that go into the dish. Your mom used cans of soup, high carb pasta and maybe some corn flakes on top but we can do better.
Switch it up with these healthier, more updated substitutions to any casserole recipe:
- Instead of ground beef, use canned lentils or cooked chicken
- Instead of heavy cream sauce, use low fat evaporated milk
- Instead of pasta, use spaghetti squash/Quinoa/brown rice
- Instead of grated cheese, use white sauce made with milk or yogurt
- Instead of canned soup, use baby food pureed vegetables
- Instead of corn flake topping, use whole wheat bread crumbs
- Instead of crispy onions, use crushed whole wheat crackers
- Instead of pastry or puff pastry, use phyllo layers
Every casserole has the same formula: body of protein, heart of creamy and moist, and topping of crisp. With a little imagination, you can update old favourites without making a dent in the flavour. Mix and match as you please and serve with a great big salad, and everyone is happy.
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