Friday, February 8, 2008

Runner's Casseroles: "One Dish Wonders"

(Erin made her's for recipe club with rice, chicken, salsa, broccoli, and shredded cheese.)
A runner's casserole should have four standard components: a quality protein, a complex carbohydrate, vegetables, and a sauce. A topping is optional, but can add nutritional value. If you start with cooked ingredients, such as leftover cooked brown rice, the cooking time will be about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncooked ingredients, such as pasta, will need more moisture (water or vegetable stock) and can take up to 90 minutes to bake. Use a glass baking dish spritzed with canola or olive oil cooking spray and cover with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking.
Create your own healthy casserole by picking one food from each category below (amounts are approximated for an eight-inch by 12-inch casserole dish).
Quality Protein
12 ounces canned salmon or tuna
2 cups cooked chicken, turkey, or lean cubed ham
1 pound ground and browned lean beef
4 soy burgers crumbled
Carb Choices
2 to 3 cups cooked wild or brown rice
2 to 3 cups cooked whole-grain pasta or mashed potatoes
1 tube polenta cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 1/2 cups steamed sweet potatoes
Veggie Options
1 1/2 to 2 cups of precut, slightly thawed frozen:
green beans
stir-fry combination
1 10-ounce can of condensed, reduced-fat cream of mushroom, celery, broccoli, or potato soup
Stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat), part-skim mozzarella, or Parmesan
1/3 cup wheat germ or chopped nuts
1/2 cup whole-wheat seasoned bread crumbs

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