Tuesday, July 21, 2009
An Almost Vegetarian Easy Summer Casserole..
I am preparing for the State of Michigan's largest KCBS sanctioned BB-Q cook-off. The night before the four main meat categories, there is a contest involving what they call the four side dishes- potato, veggie, baked beans, and dessert. Over the years, our team(The Buffalo Brothers!) has placed:
1. Potatoes- two first place, one second place, and in the top ten a lot!
2. Veggie- One first place, top ten a few times..
3. Beans- Fifth once!
4. Dessert- Third a couple of times, and a few top tens..
With that being said, we tend to play around with new recipes before the contest, to see what might work. I bought an eggplant, and a couple of zucchinis, to see what they could do for us... We decided to go with our "zucchini boat", which took 1st once, so what I had bought sat for a few days in the fridge going nowhere! I checked the Internet for recipes that used both these veggies, but found nothing I liked. Both zucchini and eggplant work well in Italian dishes, so I came up with this...
1. One medium sized eggplant, skinned and diced into 1/2" cubes.
2. Two zucchinis, cut length-wise, then sliced into 1/4" thick pieces.
3. One can(12oz) of diced tomatoes, undrained.
4. One lb. of seasoned loose ground beef, browned with one cup of diced onions. Seasonings used: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, marjoram. Drain before adding to casserole.
5. 8oz. of dried rigatoni, uncooked (This was my leap of faith!)
6. 2oz. of grated Parmesan cheese
7. 4oz of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Combine all above ingredients, except the Mozzarella cheese, in large casserole dish, cover and bake for one hour at 350F. Uncover and bake for another 15min or so, to make sure all liquid has been absorbed by the pasta, but still moist.
Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese over casserole, bake until melted(approx 10 min.)
This is really easy, and comes out tasty! By omitting the ground beef and substituting the cheeses, vegetarians might enjoy this too!
The picture isn't the best, but we were hungry!
The two other photos- we went up North for the week-end, and while driving the back road my wife pointed to a just harvested field and said; "We should take a picture of that", so I pulled off and did! The last photo is just a bowl of fresh steamed green beans, with bacon added.. The produce we see in Michigan this time of year is great!