Casserole. I must admit:

You’re not just for blue-haired ladies and church banquets.

I have a hangup about the C-word for some reason.  Casserole.  It conjures images of un-healthy and under-flavored dishes at suburban potlucks.  Rubbery vegetables.  Overcooked noodles.

So today, whilst spending my noon hour prepping a dish that could be assembled in a baking pan and easily thrown in the oven at 9 PM when I got home that night, I found myself going way out of my way to avoid calling it what it was: a casserole.

“Dear hubs,” I composed an email.  “I made dinner – it’s a pasta and turkey sausage and cheese….thingy.  It’s in a rectangular glass dish in the fridge.  Please put in the oven at 375* when you get home.  Thanks.”

All the time denying the tiny voice in my head: it’s an effing casserole.   Just own up to it.  You like casseroles and this is a very good way to pre-prepare a delicious and healthy dinner.

Because really, it is.  No rubbery green beans or bacon bits required.

Today’s EAT:  A turkey sausage and penne CASSEROLE.  (Say the C-word with me!)

The players: Garlic and a medium onion, chopped, sauteed in a tablespoon of olive oil in a massive skillet.  Add three  juicy tomatoes, chopped, and a pound of spicy turkey sausage.  Cook until everything is cooked through and soft.  Meanwhile, boil random whole wheat pasta.  Throw cooked pasta in to sausage skillet.  Stir.  Add some cream cheese – about 1/4 cup.  And some shredded mozz – about 1/2 cup.  Spice as desired – I used oregano and basil and salt.  When everything is thoroughly combined, transfer to a casserole dish (sprayed with cooking spray).  Top with an additional 1/2 C mozz.  Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 15 or so, until cheese is browning and bubbly.  Enjoy!  And don’t think about the fact that you’re eating a casserole!

The hubs and I both gobbled this up, and it was the perfect make-ahead meal.  Bonus: we have tons of leftovers for lunches and/or quick dinners this week.  Casserole.  Not just for potlucks!

Today’s DRINK: I was intrigued by this “white wine” – mostly for the name and label, I admit – when I saw it on FreshDirect.

It’s quite a bit sweeter than I expected, but I’m enjoying it!  The hubs, on the other hand, refused to drink it.  Different strokes, I guess!  I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to buy this wine again, but I don’t find it offensive at all!

Today’s RUN: I was a good girl.  I didn’t race tonight.

I did, however, have a fantastic time watching my teammates and friends race!  What a beautiful night to be out at Icahn Stadium.  It was also great to meet several CPTCers who workout with the “track group” (I’m in the “road group”) or who I haven’t met until now for whatever other reason.  Big team, lots of awesome people, fun times!

In between it all I managed to log about 4 easy miles.  That sort of feels like a day off, but I’ll take it for what it is!  This week should be low-key and lower-mileage anyway, leading up to this Saturday’s 10K!

Today’s QUESTION: Where do you stand on casseroles? And if you have a great recipe – please share!

18 responses to “Casserole. I must admit:

  1. You may have inherited your dislike for the word or idea of casserole from your Dad. I refused to eat them or put up a fuss whenever your mom tried to “slip one by me”. Since I have learned to be more open about what I eat, I may want to try one of yours though. That would be like family constellation therapy we could share, huh?
    I love your cooking stories.

  2. danicastacijo

    Tatertot casserole is a good recipe to make plus it’s quick and easy. has a good recipe I just subsitute ground turkey for ground beef and cream of celery for the low sodium kind. Enjoy

  3. I recently made a black bean tortilla casserole (from Cara’s Cravings) that was absolutely delicious!

    Have you ever seen the Vagina Monologues? I couldn’t stop thinking about that show when reading this post, which is totally wrong.

  4. I’ve got zero casserole shame. This looks great!

  5. I’ve got zero casserole shame. This looks great!

  6. No judgment here. It’s just lasagna by another name. Casseroles are non-fussy meals-in-one, and there’s a reason why hassled moms made them: they’re EASY. I make this casserole with tofu mixed with spinach, layered between baked and breaded eggplant and tomato sauce and cheese. No really. It’s awesome.

  7. I like casseroles, healthy ones of course. I do not make them with “cream of crap” soups and I tend to only make them during the winter months.

    But now that I see what you made, I want to put it on my menu.

    • Seriously, you’d be amazed how just a little cream cheese gives it that creamy, cheese flavor…way better (and healthier of course) than cream of crap soup. 🙂

  8. lifeisbeachykeen

    I openly admit I love casseroles.. casserole casserole casserole, YUM! I love them, all kinds.. maybe cuz I grew up going to Church functions where we had casseroles galore, and all family functions REQUIRE casseroles, oh yummy goodness! =)

  9. I love casseroles. They are the perfect comfort food. My mom used to make a great macaroni casserole. I wish I could recreate it!

  10. OMG I love casseroles!! They are so easy to make and great for leftovers. My mom grew up in the Midwest so these were staples at our house! She would whip them up pop them in the oven go for a run and voila dinner done when she got back! Tuna with potato chip toppings is my favorite. Also, super jealous you get groceries delivered there is no such thing here in the boondocks of Montana. Le sigh one day I will have grocery delivery!

  11. Sorry to be crass but…”Fuck yeah, casserole” is where I stand.

  12. Casseroles are not wrong in my book. So easy, and you can make them a million different ways!

  13. It’s called Hot Dish around these parts. As in Tater Tot Hot Dish. Heck yeah.

    I have made “pasta bakes” quite often, but they are totally casseroles.

  14. I absolutely love casseroles. I have a great tuna noodle casserole recipe from my mom, but I healthified it using whole wheat noodles, and greek yogurt instead of mayo.

  15. That’s what I like to call Hotdish! lol

    And I lurve them, too!! =)

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