This easy casserole just might become your new family favorite. I’ve been making it for years and everyone loves it. And I love it for two reasons. One: it’s delicious. Two: it’s easy to make. It takes just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour for some good homemade comfort food. By using lean ground beef and reduced fat cheese, I never feel stuffed after my second and third helping.
Much of the flavor comes from the sauce and you can use a homemade marinara but I use store-bought sauce. Two that I like, but can’t always find, are Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara but this time I couldn’t find it so I used Terlato Kitchen Pomodoro, also lower in sodium and it was fantastic. Not all jarred sauces are the same so I encourage everyone to read the label for the least number of ingredients as well as sodium. Even with a low sodium sauce, this recipe doesn’t even need salt or pepper.
And don’t be tempted to use more pasta. It will seem like it’s not enough when you put it together but it’s just the right amount for this easy family casserole. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
If you like lasagna you will love this easy casserole. Baked ziti is a classic Italian dish and my version is light and healthy, made with lean ground sirloin and part skim cheeses. If you’re tempted to buy pre-shredded mozarella for this dish you may be disappointed. Any cheese that is pre-shredded will never melt as well as real cheese that you shred by hand. That’s due to the stabilizers that are added to packaged shredded cheeses. It takes about a minute to shred your own cheese so just do it. You’ll be rewarded with a creamy, melty dish that’s as close to lasagna as I’ve ever had.
Homemade marinara sauce is great if you choose but for this dish, bottled sauce works really well. Ziti is not always available so you can use other shapes of pasta with penne being the closest. The man in my life recently had a birthday and I offered to make him anything he wanted for dinner and for his birthday cake. He could have had anything that I make and guess what he wanted? He asked for baked ziti for dinner and my fresh strawberry cake for dessert. Good call, since I was eating here too. To try my Easy Baked Ziti click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Why do I love my pot roast? 1) It’s easy to make. 2) It all cooks in one pot. 3) It’s a complete meal. 4) It’s comfort food squared!
Old fashioned pot roast is a crowd pleaser and takes very little work. It’s mostly cooking time. Who doesn’t love meat that’s moist and tender with potatoes full of flavor? Okay, maybe your vegetarian friend. But meals like this pot roast are my favorite Sunday suppers. While it’s simmering in the oven, I have time to make a salad and dessert.
If you make pot roast, here are a few tips: Browning the meat is crucial for developing the best flavor. As for the liquid, I have made it with both beef stock and chicken stock (I usually make my own but I’ve also used unsalted store-bought stock). And the cooking time is very flexible. Feel free to cook it even longer depending on the cut of meat and how tender it’s becoming. Finally, adding salt is not always necessary. It depends on your stock and how much sodium it has, so test it near the end of cooking before adding salt. If you add too much, there’s no way to fix it.
Then there’s the leftovers! You can use the leftover meat in soup, a burrito, shepherd’s pie, nachos, Italian beef sandwiches, or just eat more pot roast! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I just posted my 100th recipe and there are still so many more to come. But no one has ever asked me what MY favorite is. So what is my favorite recipe of all one hundred? Up until yesterday, I might have had to think about my answer because if I didn’t love something, I wouldn’t be making it, right? But last night, it became clear. It’s my delicious, yummy, creamy rice pudding.
As comfort foods go, especially when you feel stressed out, rice pudding is hard to beat. It’s creamy, sweet, and when served warm… it could help avoid some expensive psychotherapy! My low fat version is made with the only rice you should ever use for pudding – Arborio. So last night after dinner, I ran out of those peanut butter cookies so I made some rice pudding. It only takes 30 minutes so as soon as it was done, I transferred it to my orange bowl, planning to have a small serving and keep the rest for tomorrow. I failed.
I started by skimming spoonfuls off the top (it was still pretty warm – actually, it may have still been cooking) and before I knew it, there was hardly any left. I transferred it to a smaller container to refrigerate, tasting as I went along. I went to cover the container and realized there wasn’t even one serving left. I decided it wouldn’t be fair to the next person (me) who’d be eating it.
So I ate the whole thing. It’s not something I’m proud of but I feel I need to share. Keeping it a secret was causing me stress and stress makes us crave comfort foods, and well… it’s a vicious cycle, my friends. So I’ve cleared my conscience, just like I cleared out that orange bowl.
The next time you’re craving some comfort, click here for the recipe.