Better Than Lasagna Casserole

For about 6 years of my life, I worked for domestic violence agencies. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing women who are life long friends. I was also blessed to meet so many amazing survivors. I was lucky enough that they allowed me to help them share their stories with other to help people better understand the issue of domestic violence. For about a year of my life, I also volunteered with women who were domestic violence survivors that were incarcerated. You may not know that 89% of women who are incarcerated for substance abuse issues have also experienced domestic violence. I still think about these women – especially in times like this. As we are all quarantined at home, how many women (and yes, some men) and children are scared for their lives? May you continue to support your local domestic violence shelters as your budgets allow. Their critical services will be used significantly in the weeks and months ahead.

IMG_1004Although I didn’t have the opportunity to work with SAFEHOME Chef Sarah, I have had the pleasure of working with many incredible chefs at SAFEHOME and Hope House. Trust me, their work is so much harder that it seems. They have to prepare two meals everyday, plus also help prepare food ahead for the weekend staff to heat up between answering the hotline and assisting shelter residents. Our chef was out for a while once and some of us offered to take turns cooking. Just making a casserole, salad, and dessert for 39 people was quite the undertaking.

SAFEHOME shared this recipe on their Instagram page recently. It doesn’t feed 39 people but it does make one hearty dish. May you enjoy this easier than lasagna recipe.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Kansas City metro-wide crisis hotline at 816-HOTLINE. The phone number is answered 24 hours a day by trained professionals who can help you safety plan and access resources to help keep you safe.

Better Than Lasagna Casserole by SAFEHOME Chef Sarah
IMG_10054 c. cooked egg noddles (8 oz. dry)
1/3 c. minced onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. diced green pepper (optional)
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano, dry
1 c. cottage cheese
1 tsp. basil, dry
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp/ garlic, granulated
8 oz. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook noddles. Cook onion and ground beef. Mix together tomato sauce, ground beef mixture, garlic, basil, and oregano. Mix together cheeses. Spray a 2 quart baking dish. Put half the noodles on bottom. Top with cheese mixture. Place remaining noddles in dish. Top with meat mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Notes:

  • I did not use the peppers.
  • I did not refrigerate it before baking.
  • You can use any kind of pasta – broken spaghetti, rotini, or elbow macaroni. 
  • I would have liked a little more sauce. I think maybe using a 24 oz. would have allowed me to put a little on the bottom of the dish or over the cheese.
  • I added fresh basil and oregano to this recipe from my indoor herb garden. 

Turkey Tacos

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipes. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Turkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

Carli’s Chili

A few months ago, we did a soup fundraiser at our Komen office for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My boss made this yummy chili recipe. I think the trick to the success of this recipe is beer, coffee, and brown sugar.

Komen staffChili by Carli Good
2 T. vegetable oil
2 onion, chopped
3 cloved garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound beef sirloin cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can of dark beer
1 c. strong brewed coffee
2 cans (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can beef broth
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 1/2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin seeds
1 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. salt
4 cans kidney beans
4 fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped

Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Cook onion, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes. Mix in diced tomatoes with juice, beer, coffee, tomato paste, broth. Add seasonings, 2 cans of beans, and hot chile peppers. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in 2 remaining cans of beans and simmer for another 30 minutes. (Copyright Allrecipes.com)

Notes: When I made it for myself, I replaced beef sirloin with ground beef. I added water in place of beer. I didn’t have any peppers so I omited them. I also used three cans of beans. I thought it still tasted good.