This page has my casserole recipes, however the format is different from my other recipes due to the number of variants. Each casserole has four ingredients:
1 lb cooked ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef)
8 or 12 cups cooked rice (depending on number of servings desired) - normal rice: NOT minute rice
vegetable (varies) - cooks with rice
seasonings (varies, but always includes salt and pepper - to taste)
The meat and rice and cook simultaneously, which means that any of these dishes can be made in about 1/2 hour (including vegetable preparation time). These are also well-rounded meals in and of themselves. Note that other grains can be substituted for rice - I recommend whole wheat bulgar or pearl barley. You can also mix grains (for instance, half rice and half barley). I recommend cooking the meat on a medium temperature - something that will have it ready about the same time as the rice - to avoid burning it. I add the spices after the rice and meat are done and then let the casserole sit, covered, for a few minutes to let the flavor of the spices mix with the rice.
The preceeding is assumed for all following recipes, which will only vary by vegetable and seasonings.
Basic Vegetable Casserole
1 lb frozen or fresh vegetables (see text for kinds)
2 tsp garlic
For vegetables, use any of the following: cauliflower/broccoli/carrot mix (or similar mix), fresh chopped broccoli, or stir-fry vegetable mix. Cook with rice. When rice is done, stir in cooked meat and spices.
Bell Pepper Casserole
3 or 4 medium-to-large green bell peppers
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbl curry powder
Slice peppers and remove seeds and stem. Cut slices into 1/2" long pieces. Cook with rice. When rice is done, stir in cooked meat and spices.
Alternatives: Chop a medium yellow onion and cook with the meat. By the time the meat is ready, the onion should be too. Stir in meat and onion mixture. Or use red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers with (or without) the green pepper and onions.
1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled
1 medium head cauliflower or 1 lb frozen cauliflower
Cut cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Cook with rice. When rice is done, stir in cooked meat and cheese. I recommend serving a green vegetable or salad along with this dish to provide a well-rounded meal. Note that less salt is needed due to the saltiness of the feta.
Variations: Cheese other than feta can be used, but the taste of the casserole will vary greatly depending upon what cheese is used. I recommend white cheeses only, in order to preserve the all-white coloring of the dish, which can be striking when served with other side dishes.
Green Pea Casserole
1 lb frozen or fresh peas
2 Tbl ground Tumeric
2 tsp garlic powder
Add peas to rice when rice has about 10 minutes left to cook (or 5 minutes left if you like your peas very uncooked). When rice is done, stir in cooked meat and spices. Carefully sprinkle Tumeric as you stir so that the rice obtains an even yellow color.
1 lb frozen corn
Despite the rather bland-sounding name of this casserole, it is actually one of our favorites.
Add corn to rice when rice has about 10 minutes left to cook. When rice is done, stir in cooked meat and seasonings. The "Italian seasonings" can be mixed yourself or, if you are in a hurry, you can use a quality Italian salad dressing (the clear kind, with vinegar and oil). If you wish to make it yourself, mix all of the following ingredients into the casserole when it is done cooking:
1/2 cup cider vinegar (NOT white vinegar)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sage
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp ground parsley
1 tsp ground marjoram
1 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground tarragon
1 tsp ground basil leaves
dash of ground mint
If you find the result too "sweet", exclude the mint, increase the vinegar, or both. Note that the best results are obtained from letting the spice mixture marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Green Bean and Gravy Casserole
1 lb frozen green beans
1 cup milk
2 cups water
2 Tbls flour or 1 1/2 Tbls corn starch
1 tsp garlic powder
Mix flour/starch and garlic with milk and water so that there are no lumps. When the meat is done cooking, stir in milk mixture. Stir constantly until liquid boils. Let boil for 1 minute, while stirring. Stir into cooked rice and beans or serve up rice and pour meat and gravy over each serving.
Alternatives: Chop a medium yellow onion and cook with the meat. By the time the meat is ready, the onion should be too. Stir in meat and onion mixture.
Spanish Rice Casserole
1 can/jar of your favorite salsa (16 to 32 oz)
This is the quickest and easiest of all the casseroles on this page.
Stir cooked meat and salsa into cooked rice. There is no need for additional salt or pepper since the salsa has all the required seasonings.