Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Casserole with Grass-fed Beef

mashed potatoes and gravy casserole

Previously: Pie Week and Candy Week.

Welcome to CASSEROLE WEEK!  As we work our way through, I will add to the casserole week list as we go so you have a handy list of one dish dinners that are tried and true!

There isn’t much that is more hearty and satisfying than mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.  And when you use long-simmered beef stock, the gravy is full of naturally occurring gelatin and minerals, which benefit digestion.  Homemade stock makes a deep, earthy flavor that you cannot mimic with shortcuts like bouillon cubes.

So I decided to make mashed potatoes and gravy into a casserole that would provide the same savory satisfaction as a big heaping scoop of mashed potatoes with homemade mushroom gravy (my favorite).

While I was at it, I decided that upping the nutritional benefit would just make the casserole better, so I used plenty of sweet onions, finely minced garlic, and local grass-fed beef, layered to perfection.

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Basil Parmesan Dutch Baby with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

savory dutch baby

Previously: Pie Week and Candy Week.

Welcome to CASSEROLE WEEK!  As we work our way through this week, I will add to the casserole week list as we go so you have a handy list of one dish dinners that are tried and true!

The colors of Italy are clearly present sprinkled over this beautiful and aromatic Dutch baby.  I am hopelessly beholden to my Italian taste buds at least once a week, so this is what was born from my latest need for salty parmesan cheese.  And when you add in the Casserole Week aspect, it’s only natural that I would come up with something this bright and flavorful.

Can I just spaz out a little over how much I love vinegary things?  The chopped artichoke hearts and tangy sun-dried tomatoes and the salty bite of the parmesan cheese really make this Dutch baby something special.  This is the kind of food I love to sit and savor as I slowly eat each bite.

A sort of puffed egg pancake, and sometimes called German pancakes or a Dutch puff, a Dutch baby is usually prepared with fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, and other sweeter flavors.  (source)  My son E likes to call this a “bubble pancake”, so I am partial to that description even though you won’t find it in the official definition! [Read more…]

Fresh Herb Chicken Tetrazini with Homemade Pasta

chickentetrazini

Previously: Pie Week and Candy Week.

Welcome to CASSEROLE WEEK!  As we work our way through, I will add to the casserole week list as we go so you have a handy list of one dish dinners that are tried and true!

Cross-posted at The Polivka Family.

What better way to start Casserole Week than with a beautiful baked dish full of homemade pasta noodles, herbed white sauce whisked to perfection, earthy mushrooms sauteed in golden grass-fed butter, and a nutty crust of parmesan cheese on top?

This fresh herb tetrazini with homemade noodles is one of my family’s favorites, tried and true by my kids and, um, discerning husband alike. [Read more…]

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole

If you go through the trouble of opening a can of condensed soup, you save about 20 minutes of work for yourself.  But you gain a healthy dose of yeast extract, MSG, and other questionable ingredients.  Plus you miss a golden opportunity.

One the greatest losses that we have in our home kitchens nowadays is an understanding of simple sauces and gravies.  They aren’t even hard to make; we just haven’t learned how.

I know that green bean casserole is traditionally a Thanksgiving recipe, but every year when I make it from scratch, I vow that I will make it more often than once a year.  It is so worth it.  And green bean casserole just happens to be an excellent example of how to use basic sauce knowhow to make a spectacular dish.  (Especially when so many people rely on those cans of soup!) [Read more…]

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (Gluten-free)

chickencordonbleucasseroletext

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I have toyed with the idea of making Chicken Cordon Bleu at home, not just for a special occasion but for the family on a regular basis.  It is time-consuming to make traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Stuffing the chicken with cheeses and ham?  Plus hoping it is cooked through?  Not very relaxing, either.

And so the casserole version was born!  It’s not that I’ll never make it the traditional way; I’m sure I will.  But this version is much easier, and real foodified to offer maximum nutritional benefit!

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Classic Italian Lasagna (Gluten-Free)

Most of the time I slow things way down here.  I wax nostalgic about mint brownies from college, or I describe settling down for a cup of peppermint hot cocoa and a piece of shortbread.  I remind myself and all of us to enjoy every bite, savoring how good real food is.

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods.  It’s lovely to make on a cooler day, since your oven with be on for over an hour.  And it makes your kitchen smell amazing, like you have been transported to Italy.

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Butternut Squash “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Pecan Crunch

Butternut Squash "Sweet Potato" Casserole | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Naturally sweet squash blended with rich grass-fed butter, warming spices, vanilla, and a tangy swirl of sour cream, this simple side dish is perfect for a Thanksgiving banquet table.  It is far from the overly-sugared version we grew up with, covered with corn-syrup mini marshmallows.  Topped with gently sweetened pecans, this butternut bake is crispy on top and smooth in the middle.  Scoop it onto plates for a side dish that can beautifully round out the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing fare.

This tummy-friendly casserole is a delicious and less-starchy version of candied yams or sweet potato casserole.  Butternut squash is easier to digest, as well as providing many vitamins and nutrients during the wintertime when it is in season.  I also took care to sweeten it just so, making the flavors enhanced by the honey instead of overpowering it.

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