Posts Tagged ‘casseroles’


Isn’t this a beauty?  It didn’t only look good – it tasted fabulous!  It’s one of those simple dishes that you might overlook because of its simplicity but trust me, it’s worth checking out.  And no matter how many casserole recipes you have, and have made – I suggest give this one a try anyway.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!  And don’t be deterred by my beautiful aluminum foil pan – this was for a friend that had surgery and needed to be transportable and disposable.

While I was putting this together,  thought about some things Dr. Tae Yun Kim has said that keeps sticking in my mind (and I love that it does.)

“Just as you put energy into your food when you grow it or prepare it, you also fill your environment with your energy.  A room full of people creates an energy field that can be positive or negative, depending on everyone’s intent.”  (The Silent Master, page 76)

Well, I certainly put a lot of love into this dish and to everyone around me!

To recreate it, start with either a nice steak, or if you need to watch your budget, you can use stew beef.

First, in a little oil of your choice, saute your meat of choice briefly, and add ground garlic and cut up onions.  Stir fry until just barely starting to get tender, then add other veggies of your choice.  Here is what I used:


Add a couple of jars good quality tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce, and let it heat up.  Add some hot red pepper, I used some very spicy Korean red pepper powder, and it took this dish over the top!

While you are sauteing the meat, start boiling water for your pasta.  I love small shells, so that is what I used, but you can use maccaroni or whatever pasta you prefer.  If you are gluten-free, like me, make sure you get gluten free pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

Cook pasta until it still has a good “bite” in the middle, drain and rinse briefly.  Preheat oven to 350.

In an oven proof casserole dish, put a layer of the meat-veggie sauce, then add a layer of pasta.  Put some grated cheese on top, or if you prefer, dot with spoonfuls of cream cheese with herbs.  Add the rest of the sauce, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or completely heated through.  Just before done, you can sprinkle more grated cheese on top – serve right after the cheese has melted.  Good luck and Guten Appetit!  Or, with Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s immortal encouraging words, “Dig it in!  Enjoy!”



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Sometimes it’s simplicity that hits the spot like nothing else.  I had an eye opening experience the other day.  I had prepared a bunch of hot dogs with all the trimmings, nice big kosher hot dogs, to keep things healthy, with lots of lettuce, veggies and stuff.

I had also made a very simple casserole, like I grew up with when we were really really poor.  I’ll give you the approximate recipe in a minute.  The amazing thing was, the casserole was gone almost immediately, and my family and guests raved about it.  I had a pile of hot dogs left over.  I was shocked.  I had thought no way was anyone going to eat the casserole and everyone would devour the hot dogs.  But to my utter surprise, there wasn’t so much as a single maccaroni left in that pan, not even one stuck in the corner. 


Whow!  See when I grew up we ate it out of necessity since the meat had to stretch for 4 people.  We couldn’t even have meatloaf because it would have required too much meat!  But those noodle casseroles were it! 

Anyhow, I was thinking about what Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says about food preparation.  I know I might have quoted it already, but with this situation, it just stuck out….

“When you prepare your food, the energy you put into the process will affect the quality of the outcome.  Was your food prepared with love and care and the will to nourish?  Or was it prepared with feelings of anger and resentment, anxiety and hurry?  When you eat food prepared either way, it will have a nourishing quality that corresponds to the energy and intent of the preparer”. (The Silent Master, page 72)

So here is how I make maccaroni/ground beef casserole:

Cook the maccaroni, leaving them quite “al dente”.  You can use any shape noodles, if you want to be traditional use the elbow maccaroni you would use for salad. 

At the same time, boil some water with minced garlic and salt and boil out the ground beef, for about 2 – 3 minutes, until the meat isn’t pink inside anymore.  drain and rinse well

Chop a medium onion, and sautee in olive oil, add chopped garlic, the beef, and mushrooms if you like.  roast until brown, then add tomato sauce to this.  The plainer the sauce, the more traditional it is… smile.  I personally add a little fresh or dried marjoram to the sauce because that is how my mother used to make it, but you can leave that out.

Mix the noodles with the sauce and put into casserol pan.  I would keep the contents of the pan to about 2 – 3″ and not any higher.  Bake at 350 until a slight crust forms at the top, then, if you like, add a little grated cheese.  I personally never do, but some people crave it. 

Then, take out of oven, and step aside, so that you won’t get run over by the stampede that’s going to hit!

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