Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup. This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago. The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)
The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef. For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June. She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.
Family sized version:
- 2 lbs grass-finished ground beef
- 1 medium sized onion – chopped
- 3 medium sized carrots – chopped
- 1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped
- 1 24 oz jar tomatoes
- 2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole. Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!
Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.
Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits. I make my own, but you can buy some to use. Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top. Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.
Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown. This makes 6-8 servings. Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver. What does it cost? that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.
- 2 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese – divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large farm eggs
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water (may not need this much)
- 8-10 ounces of grass finished ground beef or lamb or home made beef or lamb sausage
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- Optional ingredients i usually add: sliced black olives and sliced fresh mushrooms, extra cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F .
Use a Ninja Blender (mine is called a Fit Blender i believe) or some other type.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, pumpkin, sesame flour, ground flax seed, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, onion powder, and sea salt. Mix well. Then i add the two large eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, and the water. Mix and combine thoroughly.
Butter a 10″ x 15″ pan (i use a stone jelly roll pan). Place the dough on the pan, then spread the dough by hand. You may have to keep your fingers wet using olive oil or water to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Bake for 20 minutes.
When you are ready, spread the pizza sauce, i sprinkle some Parmesan cheese if i have any, but usually i don’t, so i use some shredded raw cheddar or whatever i have on hand. Then crumble the cooked meat on top of that followed by optional olives and/or fresh mushrooms. Top with remaining mozzarella or other cheese. Bake for another 12 minutes.
Cut into about 12 pieces; this is very filling. One piece may fill you right up!
Encouraged by the wonderful recipe, Broccoli Mushroom Cheddar Quiche published by Cooking With A Wallflower last month, i pulled together what ingredients I had and then tweaked it a bit to meet our tastes, discovering along the way that despite adoring black olives, i did not like them in my recipe! Unfortunately, I did not have mushrooms and i think that those will be much preferred. BUT, here’s my recipe for today – easily tweakable for your own tastes.
Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 cups almond flour (i grind almonds)
- 1/2 cup sesame flour (i grind sesame seeds)
- 1 cup shredded provolone
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Real or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup melted beef fat (grassfed beef bones) (olive oil or melted butter will work)
Mix it all together with a fork and press mixture into a buttered 9-inch pie dish. Cook in a 350°F oven for 12 minutes.
Pie filling Yummies
- 1 cup cooked and crumbled home made beef sausage
- 2 cups broccoli florets (rinsed and patted dry)
- 2 or 3 dientes garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup real milk
- 1 cup monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Crumble and cook your homemade beef sausage in a saucepan with a lid. Once it’s done, remove with a slotted spoon leaving the drippings in the pan and add slice garlic. Saute those for a couple minutes, then add sliced olives and broccoli florets. Cover and let simmer just to steam the broccoli a bit. Don’t cook it until it gets soggy.
Mix the sausage back into the broccoli, etc. Pour off any excess moisture, but i didn’t have any. Dump the lot into your cooked pie shell. Spread the 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese kind of over the top and mix in a bit maybe. Then whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour that over all the mixture, then top with the 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes. I stuck a toothpick in the middle right at 45 minutes and it was spot on perfect done. Let it stand maybe 15 minutes before slicing into 6-8 pieces. Serve warm.
Now, here’s an important note about the crust. Unless you want an extra thick crust, you’ll find that you have about 1/3 of it left over. Not wanting any to waste, i went ahead and buttered the end of this stone baking pan and spread it out and cooked it along with the quiche, but it’s only going to need cooking about 20 minutes! This makes really tasty crackers.
Here’s an easy, delicious, and gorgeous recipe i tried for the first time and was pretty successful! Taken from my old Betty Crocker International Cookbook. When i posted it on facebook, a friend noted that it would make a great Challah bread for Shabbat and some of YHWH’s Feasts! Unbeknowst to me at the time, the little write up for the recipe in the cookbook suggested exactly that!
French Cheese Braid
“The rich yellow dough used to make this braid (the French call it natte) is similar to the Jewish holiday bread called Challah, but somewhat richer in flavor and flecked with bits of cheese. It is delicious as a luncheon or light supper bread served with soup and salad.”
- 1 package active dry yeast (i use 1 tablespoon)
- 3/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Real salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces Swiss or Gruyère cheese, shredded or diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (i use mozzarella or cheddar)
- olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook). Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up. (i spray the dough and bowl with my Misto olive oil sprayer and leave the dough in the same mixing bowl). Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, 1 to 2 hours. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. (If you can’t find a warm spot in your house, set the bowl in a bowl or pan of hot water)
Punch down dough; knead in cheese until well distributed. Divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a rope, 15 inches long. Place ropes together on lightly greased cookie sheet. Braid ropes gently and loosely; do not stretch. Pinch ends to fasten; tuck under securely. Brush lightly with oil. Let rise until double, 40-50 mintues. (May have to set your sheet on top of the pan of hot water again)
Heat oven to 375F, Beat egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water slighty; brush over braid. Place on oven rack below center of oven. Bake until braid sounds hollow when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. If braid is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
My experience is that this baked fully at 25 minutes and the braid needs covering at about the 18 minute mark.
This is perfect bread to accompany soup!
Today started out with me castrating about 25 ram lambs. Thankfully, Dallas and Rick caught and held them for me – MUCH easier to have extra hands. To castrate lambs, one catches them up and holds their hind legs up to their front legs thereby the testicles are easy to grab hold of. The handler is holding the ram on his lap. I assured Rick I’d never missed before. I think i scared him a bit! 😉 (I did NOT use my teeth!) We also dewormed all the lambs as well as the ewes. That will help clean them up and get them gaining well before selling the lot on September 7 at Kirksville Livestock Auction at the special sheep sale that day. After selling off 54 lambs, 80 ewes, and 2 mature rams on Monday, we counted out about 51 lambs and and 52 ewes to sell the 7th, then I’ll be out of the sheep business.
This afternoon, I’m doing the washing and will clean up and around the barns in preparation for semen checking the bulls tomorrow and hauling out to the cows.
“Moussaka” is an Arabic word and a popular dish in many Middle Eastern countries, the immortal eggplant-and-lamb casserole is generally credited to the Greeks, who claim it as a national treasure. This recipe provides 8-10 servings.
- 1 large eggplant (or about 2 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup red wine or beef broth
- 1 tablespoon snipped parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- White Sauce (see recipe)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
Cut unpared eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Cook slices in small amount boiling, salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain. Heat butter in 12-inch deep skillet until melted. Cook and stir lamb and onion until lamb is light brown: drain. Stir in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook uncovered over medium heat until half the the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Prepare White Sauce.
Stir 2/3 cup of the cheese, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs and the egg into meat mixture; remove from heat. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs evenly in greased oblong baking dish 13 1/2 x 9 x 2 inches. Arrange half the eggplant slices in baking dish; cover with meat mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the remaining cheese over meat mixture; top with remaining eggplant slices. Pour White Sauce over mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook uncovered in 375ºF oven 45 minutes. Prepare Tomato Sauce. Let moussaka stand 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares; serve with Tomato Sauce.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
Heat butter over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir at least 1/4 of the hot mixture into eggs. Blend into hot mixture in pan.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf, crushed
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until onoion is tender. Add remaining ingredients except tomato paste. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. (Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water if necessary for desired consistency.
I use organic grass fed milk, eggs, and butter. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and locally and organically grown tomatoes for sauces. You can buy organic tomatoes and paste in the stores. Thankfully, between what we raise ourselves and what i can purchase, it is all local and/or organic. Flavors are much better.