Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Never Ending Casserole Combos

We've got a week till payday and I'm trying to NOT buy groceries till then.  Except for milk, of course.  We always run out of milk!  So, I'm having to get pretty creative in the kitchen.  I like these times because I find things in my pantry that I forgot I had, and sometimes I come up with things that end up becoming family favorites.  Then there are nights like tonight where I just don't feel creative, and that's when this MYO casserole recipe comes in handy.   That's when this MYO Casserole recipe comes in handy.

Anyway, Using the ratios below you can make a delicious balanced meal out of just about anything in your pantry and fridge.  My casserole has tuna, peas, noodles, condensed soup and almonds, topped with cheese.  I used garlic and Italian seasonings for my flavorings.  Play around with flavor and ingredient combos and you'll be sure to end up with a delicious, filling dinner.  Let me know what you come up with, I'd love to hear how it turns out!  What are your strategies for stretching your pantry store before payday comes?

You will need:

1 c. of your main ingredient (can be any meat or fish, tofu, veggies)
1 c. of a second ingredient (more of the main ingredient, or a veggie, hardboiled eggs, etc.)
1-2 c. of a starcy ingredient (crushed chips, cubed bread, noodles, rice, cooked potatoes)
1 1/2 c. binder (cream sauce, condensed cream soup, sour cream, mayo)
1/4 c. of a goodie mix-in (pimiento, olives, water chestnuts, nuts, etc.)

Season as you like with anything from lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, worchestershire, garlic, chopped onions and peppers, curry powder, grated cheese.  Think about what sort of a flavor feel you want your casserole to have (southwest, Indian, French, etc.) and start there.

Mix all of your ingredients thoroughly.  If it seems dry you can add another 1/4-1/2 c. of cream, milk or stock.  Place mixture in a buttered casserole dish.  You can then top it with crushed crackers, breadcrumbs, chips or grated cheese.  Bake 30-45 min. @ 350 till hot and bubbly.

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