Vegetables and Meatless Main Dishes

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Vegetables are great in terms of price and taste. The come fresh, frozen, dried, and canned. Good buys can be found. With frozen vegetables, you may save money buying the larger packages (4 pounds or more). It does pay to shop around. I like frozen because they are a good tradeoff between convenience, taste, and nutrition. But canned or fresh work fine. Canned need less cooking, fresh need a little more, depending on the recipe. Keep this in mind if substituting canned or fresh vegetables for frozen vegetables in recipes in Better Times. If the kids get whiny about vegetables, hide the veggies in the casseroles and main dishes. They will taste so good they won't even notice they are eating broccoli and green beans. Save lots of money by using these recipes as the centerpiece of your meals, thus avoiding the high price of meat altogether.

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Rice and Broccoli Casserole

½ cup onions, chopped finely -- ½ cup diced celery -- 4 tbsp margarine -- 3 cups frozen broccoli -- 1 can cream of mushroom soup -- 1/3 lb shredded cheese -- 2 eggs -- 2 cups cooked rice -- ½ cup cracker crumbs -- ½ cup peanuts, chopped

Saute onions and celery in margarine. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ignredients (except peanuts and cracker crumbs), mix well, and pour into a greased 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. Melt some margarine and brown the cracker crumbs lightly. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, sprinkle chopped unsallted peanuts on top of casserole (optional).

Broccoli Corn Casserole

3 cups chopped frozen broccoli -- 1 can creamed corn -- ½ cup cracker crumbs -- chopped onion -- 1 cup cheese (optional) -- 1 egg, beaten -- 2 tbsp melted margarine -- salt and pepper

Mix everything together except melted margarine and 1/4 cup cracker crumbs and put in casserole dish. Mix melted margarine and 1/4 cup cracker crumbs, sprinkle on top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Corn Loaf

1 can creamed corn -- 1 can whole kernel corn -- 2 cups biscuit mix -- chopped green chilis -- 2 eggs -- 1/4 cup sugar -- 4 tbsp melted margarine -- 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)

Mix ingredients except cheese. Grease two 9 x 9 inch pans. Divide one half of the mixture between the pans. Sprinkle cheese over the batter. Pour the other half of the batter over the two pans. Bake 30 to 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Note: don't drain the can of whole kernel corn.

Queen Ann Cabbage

Slice a head of cabbage. Cook in water with 2 tbsp of sugar added until tender. Drain (save liquid to make soup with later). Put in baking dish in two layers with bread crumbs, salt and pepper between layers. Pour one cup of white sauce over the casserole and grate cheese (optional) over the top. If you don't top with cheese, top with crumbled crackers mixed with margarine. Bake in 325 degree oven until it is browned well on the top. Non-vegetarian variation: add fried hamburger, sausage, or ham (but not on Friday!).

Vegetable Caserole

2 cups cooked rice -- 1 can mushroom soup -- sliced mushrooms -- 1 small can water chestnuts (optional) -- 1/4 cup diced onion -- 2-3 cups frozen vegetables

Cook vegetables about 4 mintues in a small amount of water or stock. Slice the water chestnuts. Mix ingredients together and pour into greased casserole dish. Cover with crumbs or crumbled crackers mixed with melted margarine. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees. (Water chestnuts are optional, you can substitute sliced celery, and/or chopped peanuts.

Creamed Vegetables

For six servings, add 1-2cups Medium White Sauce to 2-3 cups hot cooked vegetables. Serve on toast or hot biscuits, or with rice and noodles.

Scalloped Vegetables

Place Creamed Vegetables in a greased casserole. Top with ½ cup dry bread crumbs mixed with melted margarine. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minut4es, or until crumbs are browned. Variation: for vegetables au gratin, sprinkle grated cheese on top before placing crumb topping.

Ramen, Rice, and Vegetables

½ cup rice -- 1-2 package ramen-type noodles -- 1 cup frozen vegetables -- chopped onion, garlic, pepper, hot sauce (as desired)

Put a tablespoon of margarine in a pan, add uncooked rice, onion, garlic, frozen vegetables, cook about 2 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups water (or stock), seasoning packet from ramen noodles, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes until rice has aborbed water. While this is cooking, boil water and cook ramen noodles according to packaged directions. Drain noodles, mix together with rice and vegetables, season as desired. Variation: add chopped cooked chicken, turkey or leftover roast.

Golden Carrot Casserole

2 cups cooked rice -- 3 cups shredded carrots -- salt and pepper -- 2 beaten eggs -- ½ cup milk -- chopped onion -- cheese.

Combine rice, carrots, cheese, milk, eggs, onion, and seasonings. Sprinkle top with crushed crackers, corn flakes, or shredded cheese. Bake in oven one hour at 350 degrees. Sprinkle chiopped green onions on top before serving.

Scalloped Carrots

3 cups cooked mashed carrots -- 1 cup cheese sauce -- 1 cup milk -- 1 tbsp chopped onion -- 14 crackers, crushed fine

Mix all these ingredients together and pour into a greased casserole. Bake 35 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Variation: add corn and green chilis.

Corn Casserole

1 can creamed corn -- 1 cup grated cheese (or 1 cup cheese sauce) -- 1/4 cup melted margarine -- 1 cup uncooked macaroni -- chopped onion

Cook and drain macaroni, add the rest of the ingredients and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Casserole

3 cups carrots, sliced and chopped -- 3 cups zucchini (sliced and chopped), 1-1/2 cup milk -- 1 cup shreeded cheese or cheese sauce -- 1 tbsp chopped parsley -- ½ cup broth -- 2 eggs -- 1-1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs -- 1/4 tsp thyme -- salt and pepper to taste

Simmer carrots in broth for 10 minutes. Add diced zucchini and simmer 3 or 4 minutes (add more broth or water if necessary). Stir occasionally. Add seasonings. Beat eggs with milk, add crumbs and cheese, stir in vegetables. Pour into greased casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Corn Tomato Casserole

Combine in 1 quarter baking dish: 2 cups canned corn (drained), 2-1/2 cups tomatoes (chopped), 1/4 cup chopped green pepper, ½ cup cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp melted margarine, 1 tbsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with some grated cheese and more cracker crumbs, dot top with margarine. Bake at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes.

Squash Casserole

4 cups cooked squash -- 2 medium carrots, grated -- 1 medium onion, chopped -- 1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup -- 1 cup sour cream -- cornbread dressing

Mash squash and mix with carrots, onions, soup, and sour cream. Spread layer of cornbread dressing in 13 x 9 inch casserole. Alternate layers with squash mixture, ending up with a thick layer of dressing on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can use any kind of squash, including zucchini, for this dish. If you are watching calories or pennies, you can replace the sour cream with any white sauce.

Bob's Vegetarian Italian Sauce

shredded yellow squash and zucchini -- minced onion and garlic -- shredded carrot -- spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce and Italian spices)

Saute shredded zucchini, carrot, squash, chopped onion, garlic, until onions are clear. Add tomato sauce, simmer for at least a half hour, longer is better. Serve over pasta or rice.

Veggie Burritos

Cooked beans -- shredded zucchini/yellow squash -- chopped jalapenos -- corn or flour tortillas -- canned chilis and tomatoes -- shelled peanuts (1/4 to ½ cup) -- 2 cups cheese sauce -- chopped onion and garlic -- spices to taste (chili powder, cayenne, cumin) -- tomato sauce or tomato soup

Saute shredded zucchini/yellow squash with onions, garlic, add peanuts. Add cooked beans, tomato sauce or soup, spices. Roll in tortillas and place in pan. Mix cheese sauce and canned chilis/tomatoes and pour over burritos. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until it is hot throughout and bubbling. Variation: add shredded carrots.)

Potatoes SEVENTEEN Ways!

Boiled. Wash potatoes, leave skins on, leave whole or cut in large pieces. Boil in water in covered pot: whole, 30 to 40 minutes; cut up, 20 to 25 minutes.

Parsleyed. Mix chopped boiled potatoes with 1/4 cup melted margarine and 1/4 cup minced parsley.

Creamed. Combine thin or medium white sauce with boiled potatoes. Allow at least 1 cup sauce for four medium potatoes.

Au Gratin. Follow recipe for creamed potatoes, but use cheese sauce instead of white sauce.

Broiled. Cut cooked potatoes lengthwise in slices about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with melted margarine, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until golden brown on both sides.

Cottage fries. Slice boiled potatoes. Heap slices into skillet coated generously withshortening. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown slowly until crisp, turning as necessary.

Lyonnaise. Follows recipe for cottage fries, except add sauteed onion slices to the potatoes before frying.

Potatoes Anna. Melt 2 tbsp margarine in heavy skillet. Arrange thinly sliced or grated raw potatoes in 2 or 3 layers. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper, dot with butter. Cover, cover over low heat 15 minutes. Uncover, cook until tender and crispy brown on theb ottom.

French Fried. Cut potatoes into long strips. Let stand in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Drain and dry completely. Drop into hot melted shortening, deep enough so the fries float. Do not crowd pan, fry until tender and golden brown.

Country Fried. Cut potatoes in half, then cut each alf into two pieces. Slice thinly, deep fry. This particular kind of fried potato is particularly good inthe recipe for breakfast tacos.

Baked Fried. Arrange thin strips of raw potato in single layer in shallow baking pan which has been greased with margarine or shortening. Drizzle with more melted margarine. Bake in 400 degree oven 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Turn occasionally.

Potato Puffs. To four cups mashed potatoes, add 2 beaten egg yolks, stir, then add 2 beaten egg whites, stir, add ½ cup milk, 2 tbsp margarine. Spoon into 1-1/2 quart baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until puffed and brown.

Puffed Potatoes in the Half Shell. Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato, whip until fluffy with margarine, milk, seasoning, bits of cooked ham, minced onion, and then mound back into shells. Bake in 400 degree oven until tops are golden brown.

Scalloped. Arrange layers of thinly sliced potato in greased baking dish. Sprinkle each layer with salt, pepper, minced onion, dot with margarine. Pour hot milk over the potatoes, so it is within ½ inch of the top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Mashed. Boil potatoes, drain water, break into chunks, add margarine and milk, beat/mash/whip until smooth, add salt and pepper to taste.

Golden Parmesan. Slice six large potatoes into small pieces. Mix 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, in a paper bag. Put potatoes in bag and shake until coated. Melt margarine in large pan. Lay potatoes in one layer in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Turn two or three times while baking so all sides are browned. Sprinkle with parsley when nearly done.

Potato Deutscher

7 Potatoes -- 6 slices stale bread -- 2 eggs 1 tsp salt, pepper to taste -- 2 cups milk -- 1 cup sour cream

Grate the potatoes, rinse in cold water, and press dry. Soak bread in milk, beat in eggs and seasonings, and then stir in the potatoes. Pour into a greased dish, top with sour cream, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Olive Tiles

10 slices day old bread 1 cup chopped black olives

1 egg 1/4 cup chopped onion

2-1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese tabasco sauce to taste

1/3 cup oil (olive oil or melted better are best)

Beat the egg lightly and stir in the oil, onion, cheese, tabasco, and olives. Lay the slices of bread on a lightly oiled baking pan and spread with the topping. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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