Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not Your Grandma's Casserole

Happy Thursday! I hope your week has treated you well!

While the topic of this post is obvious, I should give a small preface. I hate the word casserole. It seems to bring up nasty feelings in me and for some reason I cannot remember ever saying, "Mmm, dinner was great last night. We had casserole!". I mean really, they are typically filled with unhealthy, heavily processed things like cream of mushroom soup (barf!), cheap meat and canned vegetables. Not to offend, but I have never been fond of any of those things. It just doesn't suit my personal taste. Which brings me to my fascination that I was even remotely inclined to make what I did for dinner last night. But it should come as no surprise that the recipe came from none other than Clean Eating! Now, let's get down to the good stuff, shall we!

Healthy Squash and Chicken Casserole
10 slices whole wheat bread
Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 cup shredded low-fat mozzerella cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Cut bread into cubes, then spread out onto a cookie sheet and let air-dry overnight. (You can also toast instead in an oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Add onion. Saute for about 8 minutes or until carmelized. Add squash and garlic. Add more olive oil if neccessary, and saute until cooked, about 5 more minutes. Remove vegetables from pan. Add more olive oil and cook chicken until browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine vegetables, chicken and bread cubes. Mix in mozzerella, seasoning, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into an 8-cup casserole dish and bake for 15minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is lightly browned on top.

*This recipe serves 8 so I halved it since it was only the two of us. I also added some shredded cheese on top for a little extra cheesiness!

Now I can actually say there is a casserole I enjoy and to boot, I don't feel guilty afterwards because I know everything in the meal is wholesome and delicious!

And because calories taste so much better in dessert, I made chocolate chip cookies last night (from scratch, of course)! Delicious and the perfect treat while watching Julie and Julia! (Sigh) Isn't life grand!


Lael said...

I feel exactly the same way about the word casserole, as I'm sure you know. There are a few things that are borderline "casserole" that my mom made growing up and even in their improved, healthy state, I still hesitate to associate them with that word. Anyway, I think this recipe sounds yummy! And isn't Julie & Julia a great movie!

Kate said...

Oh Lael, you are one of few who understand and I love that! And yes, Julie and Julia is a movie of brilliance!

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