Comfort Foods

Today’s Training: Yesterday and today are 4 milers- slow and steady wins the race…  These are my last runs before the marathon- as these are my last couple of posts along this little journey:)  So why not share another recipe?!

With the colder weather comes the cravings for warm comfort food- bring on the casseroles.  It’s dark earlier, it’s colder, and we’re inside more- so why not cook?  I’m not saying don’t splurge now and then on a nice hearty meal- even I love my creamy tuna noodle casserole.  But I looked around for some recipes that are still a “comfort food,” minus a lot of the fattier stuff- still delicious, I promise!   Ok, the veggie one is a stretch, but it’s a casserole, so go with it!

One thing I REALLY love is spaghetti squash.  I boil it, and tear out the insides.  It comes out just like- spoiler alert– spaghetti!  Then I add tomato sauce and enjoy (or alfredo or pesto- why not?).  Veggies instead of pasta tonight…yes please!  Or enjoy the following three little goodies…

Tuna Mushroom Casserole

2 (12-oz) cans evaporated 2 percent milk
2 (5-oz) cans solid white tuna
8 oz wide noodles, cooked
1 slice whole-wheat bread
1 Tbsp parsley
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
5 scallions, sliced
¼ cup celery, chopped
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. In a food processor, pulse bread. Transfer to a baking sheet; bake 6 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp parsley.

2. In a saucepan, sauté mushrooms, scallions, and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup flour; cook 1 minute.

3. Whisk in evaporated milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thick.

4. Stir in tuna; noodles salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish; top with crumbs.

5. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.

Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping

For Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 lb cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
  • 1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups)
  • 1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Topping

  • 7 oz firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauté vegetables:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add cabbage, kale, carrots, water, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Make topping:
Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

And then for dessert or a pre-workout snack…

Cinnamin Quinoa Bake


2 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with lightly greased parchment.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, soy milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add maple syrup (if using) and whisk.

3. Add egg mixture to cooked and cooled quinoa. Stir with a large spoon to combine. Pour into the parchment-lined baking dish and spread it around to ensure that it’s even.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden.

5. Using parchment, remove bake from pan as soon as possible so that it doesn’t steam.

6. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of nut butter.

Happy Cooking!!  Now time to go chase around this energetic feeling much better little boy!!


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