Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Adar 5761 - March 14, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family

by Rivka Tal

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 biur chometz!

Chicken-Vegetable Casserole

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.

Bean Casserole

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

10 eggs

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.


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