Greens Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup egg beaters*
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 tsp each: thyme, sage, marjoram, crushed red peppers
  • 1 16-oz package frozen chopped greens, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup 1% fat cottage cheese*
  • 3/4 cup grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese*
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs*

* = see notes below

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
  • Spray a 9”x7” glass casserole dish with nonstick spray, then set aside.
  • Combine the egg beaters, flour, and spices in a bowl and whisk until smooth (about 45 seconds).
  • Add the greens, garlic powder, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese to the bowl, and mix well.
  • Transfer the greens mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the greens mixture.
  • Bake the dish for 45 minutes.  Once removed from the oven, let the dish stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Eat while still hot.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 90 calories, 2.5 g fat, 7.5 g carbohydrate, 1.75 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7.5 g protein.

Here's the bowl with the good-tastin' ingredients...

...and here's the addition of the good-for-you item. :)

The casserole just before the breadcrumb topping is added...

...and the finished product.

The first slice.

Serving idea #1: Greens casserole with soy slices, sauteed green beans, and sweet potatoes with butter.

Serving idea #2: Greens casserole chopped up and mixed in with chopped steamed broccoli, soy crumbles, and diced sweet potatoes. (This could have been totally disgusting or totally tasty; I'm delighted to report that it was the latter!) :)

Serving idea #3: Greens casserole chopped up and microwaved with diced tomatoes, diced (cooked) baked potato, and egg beaters. This made a yummy breakfast scramble! (I also made this dish swapping the baked potato for some thawed frozen corn - and that worked well, too.)

My notes:

  • You can use 2 whole eggs in place of the egg beaters if you’d like; however, if you make that substitution, the nutritional values provided will change.
  • You can use all-purpose white flour in place of some (or all) the wheat flour if you want; but why would you want to do that?  ;)
  • You can use 2% or full-fat cottage cheese in place of the 1% fat if you’d like; but if you make a change, the nutritional values provided will change.  I would not recommend using non-fat cottage cheese in this dish; the texture and consistency don’t work very well.
  • You can use whole-fat cheddar cheese in place of the reduced fat if you’d like; but again, if you make a change, the nutritional information will also change.  (And again, I would not recommend using non-fat cheese.)
  • You can use white breadcrumbs in place of some (or all) the whole wheat ones if you want; but I prefer whole wheat over white every time.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Beautifully low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Super-duper low.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): AMAZINGLY low!
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Wonderfully low.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 3.901

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?

Having been ill all last week, I wanted to make a recipe this week that would help bolster my immunity, that was easy to pull together, and that still tasted good.  I’m a fan of greens, and anything tastes amazing with cheese, so I thought this pairing could make for a healthy and tasty casserole.

I was mostly right.  The final dish had a nice texture: the greens were chewy and had a nice ‘bite’ to them, and the cheese added an element of creaminess that was a happy balance.  The greens/cheese combo (aided by the flour) also worked together to allow the casserole to remain ‘pulled together’ during serving.  (I.e., this casserole wasn’t goopy like creamed greens typically are. {That being said, this dish isn’t as cheesy as creamed greens though, either.})

The seasonings in the dish were also nice and balanced.  I could taste the red peppers, the garlic, and the thyme/sage combo – but none was too overwhelming or overpowering.  Each seasoning gave the greens interest, but still allowed the flavor of the greens and the cheese to come through.  However, one seasoning was notably absent – salt.  And this dish needs salt.  That being said, I added a few dashes of coarse sea salt to my individual serving, and that ‘fixed’ the issue reasonably well.

While this casserole has nice seasonings and cheese flavors in the background, this is a dish composed primarily of greens – and the dominant flavor of this casserole can probably best be described as “earthy”, perhaps even a little bitter. (Though the ‘bitter’ factor can change quite substantially depending on the type of green that is used.)  Adults who like greens will probably like this dish; but adults who don’t enjoy vegetables probably won’t think this is very tasty.  (And kids will probably turn their noses up at this based on appearance alone.) You have been warned.

Still, I could see this casserole being a nice (and easy!) side dish for a Thanksgiving meal, or for any fall/winter gathering where a buffet-style meal is involved.  I’m enjoying exploring a variety of ways to serve and eat it.  (See pictures above for two variations; I’m also considering doing a greens/corn/seitan/tomato sauce combo, and a greens/corn/soy crumbles/sour cream combo.  If I do try these, I’ll post additional pictures later in the week.)  I don’t think I’ll rush to make this dish again ay time soon, but I would absolutely serve it as part of a large dinner for family or friends.

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in casserole, cheese, egg beaters, greens, picture step-by-step, postaweek2011, vegetables, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Greens Casserole

  1. carlaat says:

    Looks yummy and I love the variations! Very creative and also delicious-looking! :)

    Like

    • Stef says:

      Thanks! Having many different options for a casserole is always a nice bonus for me. (I can only eat the same thing so many times before I get a little tired of it…)

      Like

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