The most common question in every household on a daily basis is, What’s for dinner? Today we kick off the Simple Meal Series with the Ultimate Casserole Cheatsheet. This cheatsheet is bound to leave you wondering why you have turned your nose up at such a quick, filling, tasty, and nutritious meal option. Follow along and let your eyes be opened to the endless possibilities!
First, let me tell you why I chose to teach you about casseroles to kick off the Simple Meal Series. Choosing to live a simple mom life is rewarding from a personal perspective, but often overlooked in this lifestyle is meals. A day gets away from you for whatever reason. You are drained to the core or you simply want to spend more time with your family. Preparing and cooking a more traditional meal is not on your To Do List anymore. Casseroles are an overlooked answer that can be prepped, cooked, and served in less time than it takes to order a meal at a restaurant.
Casseroles often get a bad rap. The food is mushy. Most recipes contain many ingredients that are processed foods. One casserole recipe does not usually fit all. Any meal that calls for a can of cream of something soup has you running for the nearest exit. Casseroles are lacking in nutrition. Yep, all of these statements can be true, but they don’t have to be!
Life Gets Crazy
I love cooking, creating recipes, trying ones I pinned on Pinterest, picking recipes from cookbooks, the whole shebang. I do so enjoy cooking. Nevertheless, when you are trying to lead a simple life, cooking large traditional home-cooked meals on a daily purpose can draw you away from your other goals. Knowing how to prepare some simple meals with wholesome ingredients quickly can help to keep your life simple without sacrificing taste or nutrition. The Ultimate Casserole Cheatsheet can be one of the tools to help you simplify mom life.
Yup. I know you have been there more times than you want to admit. Those nights when you had a dinner plan, but the day got a little crazy are not going to be an issue. I have some solutions for you! Too many to actually put them all in one post, as it were; and that is a good thing. Today I will show you how you can make a casserole for a quick nutritious meal.
Casseroles are often a last-minute quick meal. They are so simple and can be constructed from just about anything. You can even use frozen ingredients. It will take you less time to assemble AND cook a casserole than to be seated, order, and wait on food to be served in a restaurant! (Maybe that is just in my head because I actually do not enjoy eating out as a rule.)
Without further blabbering let me give you the ultimate basic casserole recipe to construct the first of the Simple Meal Series recipes.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED or THE BASIC CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS:
2 cups protein (or you can go all veg in a casserole and skip the protein all together, as well as use vegetarian meat substitutes)
1 cup vegetables, fresh or frozen
1 cup milk, broth, or water + 1 TBSP butter + 1 TBSP flour*
½ cup liquid, any type of broth is my preference
1 cup starch or grains
Seasonings that compliment your other ingredients
Ummmm, yep that’s all there is to a basic casserole. You can add a topping such as bread crumbs, crushed crackers, crushed chips, croutons, cheese, etc (Kale placed on the top of a casserole crisps up nicely) if you have them on hand and think they would go well with whatever you put together in your simple casserole meal.
*sour cream, greek yogurt, gravy, marinara sauce, ricotta or cottage cheese are all viable substitutes
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER or THE INSTRUCTIONS:
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
- Melt butter right in the casserole dish on medium heat
- Stir in flour and stir until it thickens
- Pour in 1 cup broth (or whatever you are using for this ingredient) and whisk until smooth
- Add ½ cup liquid.
- Stir in grain/starch, protein, and veg
- Add toppings if using them.
- Pop this baby in the oven for 30-40 minutes
Dinner is Served!
HOW ABOUT A FREE BONUS?
Today, I have something special for you that I am super excited about! I put together my Ultimate Casserole Cheatsheet in a PDF to make your meal plan even more simple. The Ultimate Casserole Cheatsheet includes the simple instructions and other options to consider to make it even more simple. You will also find additional instructions for a variety of basic casseroles that will offer you an unlimited number of simple meals. All this will make you the Queen of Casseroles that are delicious, simple, and ever so tasty dishes that will continue to make mom life simple.
Simply add your name and email to receive your Ultimate Casserole Cheatsheet. What are you waiting for ?