Quick and Easy All-in-One Meals
In these busy post Purim and pre-Pesach days where time is
at a premium yet appetities are commensurate with the number
of hours spent cleaning, the need for convenient, healthy
meals is more pressing than ever. One-dish meals are a great
way to combine healthy foods, great taste, and preparation
and cleanup simplicity. In a mini-series of articles, we
will hopefully study various variations on the one-dish
meal. First installment: casseroles. On the way: stews,
soups, salads, stir-frys and crock pot recipes.
The term `casserole' refers to both a baking dish and the
ingredients it contains. Since ingredients are cooked and
served in the same dish, casserole cooking is a real time
saver. A casserole can include meat, vegetables, beans, rice
and anything else that goes together. A cheese or breadcrumb
topping is often added.
What does the word `casserole' mean to you and your family?
If you ask your husband what he would like for supper, he
would probably not request "that unidentified foreign
objects-whatchamacallit casserole." Perhaps casseroles have
gotten a bad reputation because many people equate them with
unsophisticated flavors and over- processed ingredients,
like canned Mandarin oranges, cream of mushroom soup or
canned onion rings. But although tastes have changed and
broadened, casseroles need not disappear from our menus when
they have so much going for them. Though not technically
fast foods, casseroles are convenience foods, valued for
their nutritional value and ease of preparation.
Try not to let casseroles be (only) a dumping ground for
leftovers, although it is certainly tempting, especially pre-
Pesach. Use fresh, wholesome, interesting ingredients and
you have already scored major victories.
Bread, a green salad and fruit for dessert are the only
things needed to complement these meals; okay, add some
mishloach manos treats for dessert in the interest of
1 cut-up 3 - 3 1/2 lb. chicken
2 onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tablespoons oil
6-8 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 16 oz. can diced carrots
1 cup frozen peas (half of a 10 oz. package)
2 tablespoons flour, sifted
1 cup chicken broth or boiling water
Place chicken pieces in a casserole with a tight-fitting
cover or a rectangular baking dish. Saute diced onion and
green pepper in oil. Spread over chicken. Cover with sliced
potatoes, tucking around chicken. Add carrots and peas.
Sprinkle with flour. Add liquid, cover and bake 1 1/2 hours
at 375 degrees F., basting occasionally. Uncover and leave
in oven for five minutes. Garnish with raw carrot curls,
parsley and green pepper strips.
2 cup dried beans
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, diced
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 cup diced leftover meat
1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons margarine
Soak beans overnight or for at least six hours. Discard
water and check. Cook in boiling salted water until tender.
Drain. Add carrots, onions, tomatoes and meat. Season with
salt and pepper. Put in greased casserole and dot with
margarine. Bake at 350 degrees F. until vegetables are
tender, about 50-60 minutes.
Microwave Tuna Casserole
2 6 1/2 oz. cans tuna
3 cups egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup sharp yellow cheese
1 tomato, chopped
Drain and flake tuna; set aside. Cook noodles according to
package instructions; rinse and drain. Combine noodles with
tuna, celery and green onions. Blend in sour cream, mustard,
mayonnaise, and salt. Spoon half of the mixture into a 2
quart casserole dish with a cover. Top with half the
zucchini, then add rest of tuna mixture and rest of
zucchini. Cover dish. Microwave at full power for 6-8
minutes. Top with cheese and tomato. Microwave at full power
for 2 more minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings.
Potato and Egg Casserole
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oil or butter
2 1/2 cups cubed boiled potatoes
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups Swiss or sharp cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
non-stick cooking spray
Saute onions in oil. Beat eggs. Combine onions, potatoes,
cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking
dish with non-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until eggs are set.
Yield: 8 servings.