Monday, August 13, 2012

Hamburger Cornbread Casserole

My sweet friend Laura requested that I post something a bit more on the healthy side...and seeing as how she has a house full of cute kids to feed...I figured that this casserole would be fantastic! This casserole came about from a hankering for cornbread and a thawed out pound of ground beef as well as some random mushrooms that I used instead of beans to save the Weight Watchers points! I love that the casserole was perfect on a hot summer night but would also make a cold winter evening totally cozy! This is a great meal for a family or a house full of friends! 

Hamburger Cornbread Casserole

1 lb. ground beef, 95% fat free
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

1/2 c. flour (I used gluten free but all-purpose is great)
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 c. milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat an 11x7 in. baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, cook onion and garlic over medium heat until onions are just starting to get soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the meat and cook until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, chili powder and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Taste your filling and add salt & pepper if it needs it. Transfer to an the prepared casserole dish. 
  3. For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon over filling; gently spread to cover the top. (You could add cheese to the topping if you want to be decadent!)
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 14-18 minutes or until filling is bubbly and a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.
Note: You can really go crazy with the filling in this! You could add corn, celery, fresh chopped tomatoes, beans, zucchini, spinach (cooked & drained) or any number of other deliciousness! It's super versatile so use whatever you have in your fridge! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apple Brown Betty

I've been sitting on my couch all morning staring at a giant pile of Granny Smith apples in my kitchen, periodically dreaming about the fabulous combination of cinnamon and apples that happens in a Brown Betty! Apples always make me think of fall...and I always miss my time in Maine when I think of fall. One perfectly crisp fall day I even went to an apple orchard and picked baskets and baskets of Empire apples. They were so sweet and crunchy that they made my taste buds sing and we cooked up some delicious treats from the glowing red baskets of apples! Fall in Maine is a dream...and I so miss the cold bite of fall air on my checks as the weather turns. As summer comes to an end I have found myself wishing that it were fall more and more! I lasted until about 11:30am until I fully gave in to my pinings for fall and whipped up some delicious individual dessert treats!

Individual Apple Brown Betty
Serves 8

1/2 c. butter, at room temp
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

8 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1/2 grated nutmeg (as in 1/2 of one of the whole nutmegs!)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8 small ramekin with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a small bowl cream together butter, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in oatmeal. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl toss prepared apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice.
4. Spoon apples into prepared ramekins. Top each with oatmeal mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until apples are soft and topping is crunchy. Serve with whipped cream if you'd like but I just ate mine as is!

Here's to a little August!