Not every Simply Delicious recipe is a home run. With 9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole, perhaps unsuccessfully, tries to break the mold. By not forming the beef into a patty, meatball, or kebab, this casserole tries to do something different. To cook this recipe, I had to prepare a parsnip, something I’m not accustomed to. I made this dish before a trip out of town and brought it with me to have something homemade to eat.
I cut my vegetables in a manner similar to the photograph, but my substitution of milk for half and half made the sauce come out runny.
It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.
I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.
I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.
I made another “New Orleans” recipe at the same time as this one–you can go back and read 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta for what is essentially a pasta version of this dish. Either one is a hearty and relatively inexpensive meal. Since the two share a lot of ingredients, consider making both–they store and reheat well. 💰
12-14: Brown Rice Casserole doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is very cheap to make and very filling. I made this dish before I took a trip as a meal prep and it really helped me keep my eating in check. ✅
As advertised on the card, this dish is hearty enough to be a meal in itself. I did eat it with a side of pepperoni slices, but the majority of the meal was this casserole. 🌾
12-23: Tortellini with Broccoli is yet another Simply Delicious recipe where their idea of a cream sauce is pouring sour cream on top of something warm and stirring it in. When using lactose free sour cream, the sauce comes out too thick. It’s still chunky on top of the pasta. Maybe I need to cook it longer or stir it more, I will keep experimenting to find out. Onto…the recipe!
It had been a while since I ate tortellini and this recipe gives you an idea of how to make a sauce in a pinch. Simply Delicious has other recipes such as 6-2: Fiery Chicken Casserole where the method to make a quick cream sauce is to dump sour cream into the pot.
It’s the middle of summer right now, so soup’s probably not your first thought. However, I continue to be surprised that how no matter how hot outside it is, people still enjoy soup. So here’s a classic: 3-3: French Onion Soup.
12-18: Mushroom Risotto is another recipe with a loose definition of risotto. This one didn’t even ask you to cook the rice in wine, just broth. I already had some mushroom broth infused white rice on hand, but the recipe called for brown rice.
This ended up being a dish that tastes very similar to the 12-41: Spaghetti with Green Sauce recipe that I cooked recently. Mushrooms and basil give this dish an earthy flavor. 🍄
Cheese soup always seemed hard to justify–it’s essentially the sauce from macaroni and cheese, thinned down and maybe dressed up with some onions or bacon. It just seems so…indulgent. I was on my own to make and eat 3-5: Creamy Cheese Soup, so this one was pretty quick and dirty.
I like a broccoli cheese soup (and make one every few months or so for work), but leek & cheese (which this one is) doesn’t excite me as much. This one was a bit leek-y for me, but maybe I just lack appreciation for the leek.
Here’s a healthier option–some of the last few have been more on the indulgent side. Don’t get me wrong–there’s plenty more indulgence to come. 12-5: Greek Rice is a nice vegetarian option for a party, picnic, or just an everyday meal. I’m not entirely sure what makes it “Greek”, but we’ll go with it.
What else can I say–it’s just not that exciting. The final dish ends up similar to Spanish rice, but with more veggies and a somewhat tangy flavor. If that interests you, read on.
It’s been a while since I’ve covered something out of Group 03: Soups on here–the last one was 3-14: Creamy Corn Chowder back in January. 3-20: Italian Tomato Soup is pretty simple when it comes to ingredients…and flavor. I ended up inadvertently turning my batch into what was essentially Spaghetti-Os, but even that wasn’t terrible.
This soup is pretty basic–Simply Delicious has you add a bit of cream to make it more of a bisque-type tomato soup. If it’s not tomato season, no worries–you can make this with canned tomatoes too. 🍅