Hearty Meals…Good for your Soul!

My cuddle buddy Luci

January is turning out to be a very chilly month! All I want to do lately is move from the bed to the couch and stay under my blanket with Luci cuddled up next to me!  (Luci is my child, aka, my little terrier mix that I rescued when she was 6 weeks old.) Although she only weighs 5 lbs, she does put off some heat!

Another thing I like to do when its cold is eat warm, hearty meals. This does not coincide well with most New Years resolutions, I suppose.  Many of my co-workers and friends are on some sort of diet, whether its the HCG or WW, so I do look for ways to make recipes healthier – whether you are watching your waistline or you’re just a healthy eater in general.

Ramsey Wayne Sellers...such a cutie!

This week I made two casseroles for my friends who just had a sweet little baby boy. (I actually went ahead and made myself smaller casseroles to have in the freezer for later as well.) I have no children and am not accustomed to the traditions that come with having them. But, I am learning that you no longer have much time to cook, nor do you want to. By cooking these meals ahead of time, they can be popped into the freezer, thawed the morning of, and baked with no hassle!

King Ranch Casserole

By: Jana Lowry

1 doz. tortillas (can use less to cut back on carbs)

1 can rotel (drain juice, I used hot to make my dish spicy)

1 c. tomatoes (drained)

1 T. Chili powder

3 C. ground beef (drained, I used 1 lb of extra lean beef)

1 onion (chopped)

1 can cream of celery soup

1 C. chicken soup

3/4 lb. shredded cheese

Layer all ingredients and bake for 35 minutes @ 350.

Since I made the casseroles to be cooked later, this is the finished product before cooking

Chicken Almond Rice Artichoke Casserole

By: Nikki Pratt

8 chicken breast, skinned and boned

(I used a bag of boneless or you could use a pre cooked rotisserie chicken from the bakery)

1 1/4 C. minute rice

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 pkg. of slivered almonds (toasted)

1/2 c grated parm. cheese (or if you are like me and you have the parmesan made to sprinkle on pizza that works too)

1/4 c cooking sherry

1 can artichokes (drained- I left these out since I’m not a huge fan and I figured the 2 year old wouldn’t be either)

1 can sliced mushrooms (drained)

Combine soups, rice, cooking sherry, artichokes, and mushrooms into large bowl. Layer 1/2 of a 1-3 qt. casserole dish with mixture. Then layer chicken pieces. Layer remaining rice mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and almonds. Cover with heavy foil and bake 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. If in a hurry, cook for 1 hour @ 400 degrees.

Casserole covered with parmesan cheese and almonds

Happy New Year & Happy Cooking!




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