Recipe: Cheeseburger Casserole

Notes:
Another recipe where substitutions should be totally fine. I cannot eat “cream of x” soup so yogurt gets uses when this is being made to eat at home. Since “cream of x” soup is easier and cheaper that gets uses for work pot luck events. Your final product will also depend on the quality of ingredients used. (Obviously, but it seemed worth noting?) You can also mix this up ahead of time and bake it later.
Ingredients:
16oz ground beef or bison
32oz frozen hash browns (shredded or diced)
12oz*** grated cheese (I use good cheddar)
1 can cream of celery**
1 medium onion*
1-2 bell peppers* (mix green and red/yellow/orange)
2 stalks celery*
8oz*** bacon*
bacon grease*
*add more or less as you like or leave out completely
**500g tub of full fat greek yogurt can be substituted; it is different, but doesn’t have the stuff that is in the cream of soup
***I add cheese and bacon until it looks right to me. Use your best judgement.
Spices:
kosher salt
pepper
garlic granules
Instructions:
  • Slice bacon in 1/4” slivers (I place it in the freezer for 30 or so before slicing it so it’s firm and easier to slice)
  • Place bacon in cold skillet and cook on medium stirring frequently until bacon is cooked, but not quite crisp, drain and set aside, save the bacon grease
  • Chop vegetables into 1/2 inch (ish) pieces and set aside
  • Brown beef with plenty of salt, ground black pepper, and garlic granules, adding a few spoonfuls of bacon grease is completely optional but it adds richness
  • As soon as no more pink is showing on meat add veggies and cook for a few minutes (not looking to make the veggies completely soft just jumpstarting the cooking process and getting the meat juice and bacon grease on them)
  • Set Oven to 350 Degrees
  • In a large bowl add the hash browns, cream of celery, more black pepper, cheese, bacon, and the meat + veggie mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Place in a 9×13 casserole (be sure to spray it with non-stick spray or grease it with butter) and bake until center is bubbly (45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how hot/cold the entire mixture is when it goes into the oven)

Recipe: Meal in Foil

This is one of those recipes that comes ‘from mom’ so that means this is just one variation. This is a very useful recipe because it’s more like a template. You pick the pieces you prefer. Since this is so versatile it’s also great for ‘working around’ limitations like food allergies.

celery_foundation

Step 1: lay down 3-4 pieces of celery as a foundation on a good sized sheet of foil
Allergic to celery? Use another vegetable with similar density. This stage is important because it gives the meat something to rest on as it cooks. You probably won’t want to eat the celery. (Super thick asparagus would work too, but then you don’t want to eat it. Onion)

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meat

Step 2: place 6-8oz beef/bison patty on top of celery. Obviously you can use any meat you want.
(If you’re a vegetarian, try a large portabella mushroom top. But you might need to adjust cooking time.)

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seasoned_meat

Step 3: season meat to taste (I use kosher salt, garlic granules, and fresh ground black pepper) Obviously, you’ll want to pick the spices you prefer.
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meat_with_peppers

Step 4: optional: layer fresh jalapeño slices on the seasoned patty. Or, if you don’t like jalapeño pepper, try bell pepper.

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onion

Step 5: place a slice of onion on top of the meat. The onion comes out very delicious. DO NOT place the onion on the bottom, it caramelizes and doesn’t hold up to the heat.

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potatoes

Step 6: stack potatoes on top of the onion. Obviously, another easy place for variation. Use a root vegetable if you can’t or don’t eat potatoes.

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sealed

Step 7: bring ends of foil together and fold down then fold up sides
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batch

Step 8: place on a baking sheet and bake at 400º F for an hour and a half. Make sure the wrapped foil packages are centered in the oven. These do end up a little tall so you might need to lower a rack.

You’ll probably want to add additional flavors/seasoning to the potatoes. Pick your favorite: butter, cheese, chives, etc. You’ll note that no butter or oil was included inside the foil.

When feeding 2 people, make 4 to 6 at a time for leftovers. This makes a nice meal to freeze. You can freeze a single cooked meal all together in a container. Thaw in the fridge, and then re-heat. Other vegetable alternates include carrots, turnips, and mushrooms. I imagine you could use squash too.

When we eat this the only additional food added is another vegetable – usually something easy from the freezer like peas and carrots.

Pinto beans recipe

This will work for black beans too. We prefer pinto beans. My awesome husband usually makes 2 to 3 pounds of beans at a time. The beans freeze extremely well. We keep beans on hand in the chest freezer because it’s an easy way to get a dinner started. Or, put some in a food processor and – wallah – bean dip.

So, here’s his recipe. Not mine. I bake, he cooks.

Use good quality bacon. Also, note the recipe is for one pound.

Pinto Beans:

1 lb pinto beans
1 whole medium to large onion roughly chopped
several stalks of celery roughly chopped (I don’t always use celery and the amount usually varies between half as much celery as onion and equal parts)
32oz vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 – 2/3 lb bacon chopped and cooked
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic granules/powder
1 tsp cumin
up to 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (This is entirely based on how spicy you prefer. I like spicy.)
lots of fresh ground black pepper

* Sort and rinse the beans
* Add them to a pot with 3x their volume in liquid (I always use 32-48oz of vegetable or chicken broth) and bring to a boil for 5 minutes
* Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour
* Add onions, celery, bacon and return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2.5 hours
* Add the spices sometime after the 1 hour mark, not before

Vanilla Spice Gluten free bars

I took this recipe from the Namaste Foods website and adapted it for my low histamine diet and allergies. I don’t have any dairy allergies so I was happy to use butter and milk. I’d throw nuts in if you can eat them.

Vanilla Spice GF cake bars

1 1/2 cups of Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Bread Flour
1/2 cup oil or butter – I used butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses (I started with a half cup but didn’t fill it up cause I was like OMG SO MUCH MOLASSES)
1/2 cup milk (should be able to use whatever is ok for your diet)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla (1 1/2 tsp might work too)
1/2 tsp cardamon

I used a stand mixer and made sure to mix eggs/sugar/butter until it was a little fluffy and then mixed all ingredients together until it looked fluffy and smooth.

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a greased 9X13 pan. 8×11 would probably work too.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. I think I gave it an extra 5 minutes.

I call them cake bars because they look like bars/brownies but are much lighter in texture. Also, I thought they tested better once completely cooled.