Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm not sure what's Greek about this

(Makeover) Greek Spaghetti
The Ugly Binder, Taste of Home’s Light and Tasty Magazine May 2006

1 package (16-ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces I used Dreamfields
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) reduced-fat, reduced sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green pepper
I chopped the veggies quite finely with the chopper attachment of my stick blender
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
½ teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning I substituted pepper and a bit of lemon juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup soft bread crumbs I used crumbs made from the Whole Wheat Bread I made last week
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Return spaghetti to saucepan. Stir in the chicken, spinach, soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, celery, onion, green pepper, pimientos and lemon-pepper. In a small saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in bouillon. Pour over spaghetti mixture and mix well.

Transfer to a 13x9x2-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray (dish will be full). Top with mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 10 servings. Per serving (1 1/3 cups): 442 calories, 13 g fat, 67 mg chol, 565 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 31 g protein.

I usually try to resist cooking magazines but sometimes I'm weak. I have an older copy of Taste of Home's Light and Tasty Magazine that has many good recipes in it so it was hard to resist when I saw the current edition on the stands. I can fit a few more magazines in my Ugly Binder but not many so I need to control myself.

One thing this magazine has changed is that they don't give the original recipes in the makeover section anymore. I think that's a smart idea, since comparing the full-fat recipe to the makeover recipe was sometimes kind of of depressing and I usually was tempted to make the full-fat version. This was a makeover recipe but I wasn't familiar with the original recipe. I did a little research and I think the original recipe had two cans of soup, and a full cup each of regular mayo and sour cream and it was topped with Montery Jack. Damn, I bet that's wonderful stuff. But this lighter version was quite good too and I didn't have to feel guilty after eating it.

I didn't realize this called for chopped spinach and I bought the leaf spinach which clumped up a bit in the recipe. I didn't mind it but I think it frightened my husband. I chopped the other vegetables quite finely since the casserole is only baked for about 30 minutes and I didn't want crunchy chunks of veggies.

This recipe is huge! I don't know what I was thinking making the entire recipe. I should have cut it in half and just used the soup, or just the white sauce (although I think the soup would be more flavorful). I used my baking dish that's a little larger than 9x13-inch. It might be 11x15-inch. This would really fill a 9x13-inch dish to the top, as they warn you. Oh well, this reheats well and it should freeze well enough for quick emergency meals.

Question of the Day: Were casseroles popular in your house while you were growing up? Do you make many of them now?


The Cookbook Junkie said...

Surprisingly, we didn't eat a lot of casseroles when I was growing up. I remember a ham and potato casserole that I loved. Tuna 'casserole' was actually just served from the stove top - it wasn't baked off in the oven.

I make a lot of casseroles now.

Anonymous said...

Rarely ever, but I sure love them now.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the south,girl we know mom always made an asparagus casserole that is still among my favorite foods.

Jennifer said...

I grew up in Utah and went to MANY 10 cent a scoop potluck dinner at the church (not a Mormon but my parents knew where to find a cheap meal).
I've had more casseroles than I can shake a stick at but my all time favorite was ground beef with green beans covered with mashed potatoes. I know everyone says this is a shepards pie but there was some kind of seasoning in it that I have never been able to replicate.
I love a good casserole, current favorite is Chicken Spaghetti, recipe from my friends mom. It's full of cheese and milk and I LOVE it, it's a heart attack waiting to happen! YUMMY!

Randi said...

We didnt eat casseroles while I was growing up either. I don't make a lot of them now, I'm not that crazy about canned soups, but every once in a while I will. I need more dreamfields pasta, I'm out and it hasnt been on sale in forever

ThursdayNext said...

I never had casseroles growing up, but during the winter I love making tuna noodle casserole, a recipe I got from my friend's mother. I love making Turkey Tetrazzini as well; that is a delicious casserole.

Wanda said...

I don't really remember having casseroles at home, growing up. I remember pot roasts, salmon croquettes, fried chicken, fried steak, liver and onions, Swiss steak, enchaladas a few times, beef stew... If my anonymous sister comes back by here, she can shed some more light on what we had for meals. She reads her regularly.

I LOVE casseroles now, although I am much more of a 'throw a chunk of meat in the pan and get on with something more interesting' type of woman these days.

I was actually in the mood to cook tonight, though, and made a really delicious meal. I think this site is slowly inspiring me. Thanks! You can read all about it (with recipes) on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Wanda, your sister is back! In fact, I just left a comment and forgot to sign my name. You remember more than I do about what was cooked, and I don't remember Mother making casseroles, or our grandmothers either.
I love casseroles, eating and making them. So, I try to push one on hubby as often as I can. I guess my favorites are the chicken and broccoli one and King Ranch Chicken. - Jan

LeeJaye21 said...

I began my cooking career with a Tuna Casserole from the Betty Crocker Kid's cookbook my grandmother bought for me when I was around 12. It's a simple, 5 ingredient recipe that uses crushed potato chips in place of the noodles and for the topping, and is baked. My mother hated it, but my grandparents and I loved it--so did my brother. Poppy even ate it cold the next day as a sandwich! 31 years later both of my kids absolutely love it, as do I.