Saturday, February 28, 2009

(Un)Stuffed Cabbage Strata

I picked up the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook this week, and I must admit, I am totally impressed - I will likely try 80% or more of the recipes in the book, which is a lot for me. This one had such a yummilicious picture that I wanted to try it, and even though I'm not normally a fan of cooked cabbage, this gets two thumbs up. It is absolutely outstanding. I'd like to try it with the ground chicken, but since I can't buy it locally, I used ground beef - which was fine. I also used turkey bacon instead of center-cut. I also cheated and used prepackaged coleslaw mix instead of shredding the cabbage myself.

Stuffed Cabbage Strata

Olive oil spray
8 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 2-in pieces
1 1/4 c. minced yellow onion
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
6 cups shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 lb. extra-lean ground chicken bread (or ground beef)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 8-oz cans no-salt added tomato sauce
3/4 cup hot water
hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish (at least 3 inches deep) with olive oil spray.

Over medium-high heat, cook bacon until cooked and crisping on edges. Transfer to paper towels to cool. Discard all but 1 tbsp. of bacon fat from the skillet.

Add onions and rice to skillet. Over medium heat, cook in bacon fat, stirring, until onions are tender and rice is starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Spread 3 cups of cabbage in an even layer on bottom of baking dish. Top with rice mixture, spreading evenly.

Add the chicken, salt, and pepper to skillet. Cook until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to baking dish with a slotted spoon. Spread remaining 3 cups cabbage over chicken.

Discard any liquid from the skillet and add tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Spoon sauce evenly over casserole. Do not let dish overflow. Lay bacon pieces evenly on top of cabbage. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the cabbage and rice and tender and the strata is heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

271 calories, 32 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 75 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 462 mg sodium

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cashew Noodle Casserole

Did you think I had forgotten about you? Of course not - but I haven't done much cooking since the first of the year, when we realized we were going to move in a few weeks. I'm settled in my new place, and have done my first cooking in my new kitchen. Great fun. :)

I adapted this recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook. I changed quantities of most of the ingredients to make it healthier and more economical. It is mild, but quite tasty. If you want to keep some for leftovers, do not add the chow mein noodles before cooking.

Cashew Noodle Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 4-oz can mushroom pieces, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. fine eggs noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup reduced-fat finely shredded cheddar
1 6-oz package chow mein noodles (I only used half the bag)
1 c. whole cashews

Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the mushrooms; set aside. In a bowl, combine the soup, milk, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. In a 2-qt baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray, layer egg noodles, beef mixture, and soup mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and chow mein noodles. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cashews. Serves 6-8