Basil Veggie Casserole and the Art of Repurposing

I have a confession– I have a really wasteful habit when it comes to groceries. What usually happens is I purchase things with lots of ambition and I have all these ideas of dishes I will make with the grains, vegetables, fruit and herbs I buy. In reality, I usually made 2 big meals and the rest of the time I default to salads and smoothies. I know this about myself. With what is left, I feel bored and uninspired. Some things spoil, and others sit around in my pantry till they call to me again.

 

Can you relate, or am I alone on this?

 

This past Sunday I was looking online ta my grocery list to have them delivered, and realized, there was nothing I had to have– I just wanted new food. Instead if clicking purchase and having my groceries delivered, I challenged myself. What was already in my fridge that I could make and enjoy? I needed to find a way to repurpose what I had and turn it into an all new meal to keep my attention.

 

I needed something with protein, fiber and a good balance of color and variety. I remembered I had veggies leftover from a stir fry I made, half a bag of noodles, an opened jar of tomato sauce, a can of kidney beans and yogurt cheese.

 

I grabbed an oven safe container and got to work on what turned out to be an effortlessly delicious meal. I’ll buy groceries later when I’ve actually run low on food. In the long run this will save me loads of money and help me be more disciplined about my consumption.

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The recipe:

  • 1.5 cups dry pasta
  • 1.5  cups cooked veggies. I used lightly steamed broccoli and frozen peas
  • 1/2 can or 8 oz of cooked beans (use more if you like)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil ribbons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt to taste if desired
  1. Set pasta to boil and cook to al dente. Noodles should be firm.
  2. Mix cooked pasta with veggies, beans tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and 1/2 cup cheese
  3. Add casserole mixture to baking dish and cover with 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes till cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

 

If you liked this recipe, then you’ll love my recipe of how to make a pizza omelette! Check it out here.

Fall is for Roasting

In addition to getting some relief from the heat, Fall brings into season some very delicious veggies and fruits. I look forward to all of the soups, roasted foods and yummy delicacies such as baked apples. We could make them all year long, but who wants to heat up the house? Roasted veggies can be used in a variety of dishes such as a pureed based for soups, a dinner side, a salad topping and more.

(Click each photo to enlarge)

Plain roasted veggies.

Roasted veggie bowl. Top with lettuce & tzatziki

Added to pasta & topped with goat feta.

2 Fennel bulbs
½ medium yellow onion
2 cups steamed or thawed artichokes

16 oz can of chickpeas

1 tsp Sea salt

1 tsp Salt free seasoning

¼ tsp Crushed red pepper

1 tbsp Grapeseed oil (or other high heat cooking oil)

1 tbsp Sesame oil

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

  1. Rough chop fennel, onion, and artichokes into 1” pieces.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add veggies and chickpeas. Toss with dry seasoning and oils.
  3. Spread out the mixture on a non-stick baking sheet and cook on the top rack for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Veggies will be crisp and golden brown when complete.