Fast and hearty meals for the field
With everyone hitting the fields this week, there’s no time for fooling around with fussy stuff, so here’s a few quick-to-make meals, including two “farm tested,” plus a great one-dish “bake-and-take” dessert and my own favourite cookie recipe. Work safe, everyone!
Scrawny Ronnie’s Killer Casserole
This recipe comes from Ron and Merna Burr in Lethbridge, Alberta and is found in the CWB’s 70th anniversary cookbook Pasta from the Prairies. The name of this recipe caught my eye first, but I chose it for ease in preparation and easily sourced ingredients. You won’t stay scrawny eating like this!
- 2 lbs. extra-lean ground beef1 large, sweet onion, chopped1 sweet red bell pepper, diced1 jar (24 oz.) pasta sauce2 tsp. garlic, minced1 can (14 oz.) chili-style red kidney beans1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce4 c. rotini pasta, uncooked1 c. old cheddar cheese, shredded1 small pkg. back bacon (optional)
Quick Beef and Pasta Bake
This one also comes from Pasta from the Prairies submitted by Ida Donovan from Milestone, Saskatchewan. It is quick to make and doubles well, Ida notes. Serve it with a salad and whole wheat buns.
- 1 lb. ground beef1 c. elbow pasta, cooked and drained1/2 c. each chopped onions, green peppers, celery,mushrooms or whatever combo your family likes1 can (10 oz.) tomato soup1 to 2 tbsp. soy sauce1/4 tsp. pepperMozzarella cheese, grated
Brown ground beef with vegetable combination. Add tomato soup, soy sauce and pepper. Stir in pasta and heat to boiling. Pour into casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 F.
Egg and Vegetable Macaroni Bake
I recently made this hearty casserole from Manitoba Egg Producers and loved it. It takes about 15 minutes to pull together plus another 30 to bake.
- Crust:1-1/2 c. cooked macaroni, drained3 eggs, lightly beaten1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Filling:1 tbsp. vegetable oil1 each small onion and seeded tomato, chopped4 c. frozen mixed vegetables*1 tsp. each garlic powder, dried basil and dried oregano
- Topping:4 eggs3/4 c. milk1/4 tsp. each salt, pepper and dry mustard1 c. shredded cheddar and mozzarella blend
- *Or use your favourite coarsely chopped fresh vegetables.
To make crust: Combine macaroni, eggs and cheese. Spread over bottom of greased 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside.
To make filling: In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Stir-fry onion, seeded tomato and mixed vegetables until tender-crisp. Season with garlic powder, basil and oregano. Pour over macaroni crust.
To make topping: In medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Stir in cheese. Pour over vegetable mixture. Bake in 350 F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Suggestion for complete meal: Serve with a slice of whole grain bread, fruit and a glass of milk.
Mix-and-Bake Apple Streusel
You can prepare this one-dish dessert in no time, plus it goes into a cold oven and bakes in 30 minutes. What could be simpler!
- Batter:Mazola Simplicity™ Canola or Olive Oil Cooking Spray1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour2 envelopes Fleischmann’s Quick-Rise Yeast1/4 c. sugar1/2 tsp. salt1/4 c. butter OR margarine, melted1/2 c. very warm milk (120 to 130 F)1 egg1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Apple Filling:1 can (570 g) apple pie filling
- Streusel Topping:1/3 c. brown sugar1/3 c. quick-cooking oats1/4 c. all-purpose flour1/4 c. chopped pecans3 tbsp. butter OR margarine, softened1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Mix batter ingredients together in pre-sprayed 8×8-inch baking dish. Let rest for 10 minutes. Top batter with apple filling. Combine streusel topping ingredients in small bowl mixing with fork until uniform; sprinkle over apple filling. Bake by placing in a cold oven; set temperature to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.
Prep Time: 20 min. Bake Time: 30 min. Serves: 9.
Old-Fashioned SoftMolasses Cookies
This is my favourite recipe for a no-fail, large and chewy cookie and this recipe also makes a lot! — Lorraine
- 1 c. fancy molasses1 c. sugar1 c. melted shortening1 tsp. ginger1 tsp. nutmeg1 tsp. cinnamon1/2 tsp. salt1 tsp. baking soda2 eggs, beaten1-1/2 c. raisins1 c. sour milk3 c. flour3 tsp. baking powder