Cowboy Casserole

Here is a recipe that we’ve been testing for our hot lunch program. This is the kids version. I think I would throw in some chopped green chilis!I hope they like it!


Cowboy Casserole

Serves 12

1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion, minced
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs flat leaf parsley
10¾ oz can of tomato soup
15 oz can of corn
3 Tbs dried mustard
32 oz package of tater tots
salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Brown ground beef with the onions – drain. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, tomato soup, corn, dried mustard and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, arrange tater tots in single layer. Cover with 2 cups of cheese. Pour ground beef mixture over top and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Pulled pork sandwiches are high on my list. I love them. This is a “healthier” version. To reduce more of the fat, I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. You can serve these sandwiches on those super thin “buns” to ease the guilt! Also, you can throw it in the crockpot and forget about it!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Serves 8

8 oz can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
3 Tbs cider vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sweet or smoked paprika
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground chipotle chile
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.

Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Make Ahead Tip
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Turkey Meatloaf

One of my clients needs foods for her freezer. I made these mini turkey meatloaves. You can also make them in muffin tins for individual servings or a large loaf pan to feed a family. This is a very simple recipe. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the final product!

Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 5

2 Tbs butter
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ lbs ground turkey
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
¾ cup ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Melt butter in a skillet.

Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.

Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.

Press meatloaf into an 8×4-inch loaf pan.

Spread remaining ketchup on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.) Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Chicken Wings 2 Ways

Traditional chicken wings are pretty spicy. I added a non-spicy version. You can divide the recipe in half and make both to satistfy everyone. The key to crispy chicken wings is boiling them first. These seems counter intuitive, but it works. Make sure you pat them dry before roasting. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness!




Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

Serves 2-4

2 lbs chicken wing pieces
1 Tbs salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat up a big pot of boiling water with the salt.

Boil the chicken wings for 7-8 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack so the excess water can drain off. Let them drip dry a little bit, then dry them well with a paper towel.

Place the chicken wings directly on a sheet pan. Bake the chicken wings for 25-30 minutes on one side, then flip the wings and bake for another 5 minutes on the other side. The wings should have crispy crackly golden skin on the side that was in contact with the sheet pan. The wings are now ready to be bathed in the sauces below.

Spicy Chicken Wings

3 Tbs Frank’s hot sauce
2 Tbs butter
dash of worcestershire sauce
ground cayenne pepper to taste, optional

In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat up the hot sauce, butter, worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper, if using, until melted and combined. Toss the hot wings in the sauce, and serve immediately.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

¼ cup butter, melted
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion salt
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a small glass bowl, whisk the melted butter with the garlic powder, onion salt and pepper.

Arrange hot wings on a serving platter and drizzle with butter mixture.

Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Every Monday, I make Macaroni & Cheese for a school, for 10 years. I can only image how much macaroni I’ve boiled – 10 lbs per week. I guess you could say that I’m fairly good at it. However, this recipe is NOT the school recipe. That one is done on the stove top and this recipe is baked with breadcrumbs. Let’s face it, there is nothing better than mac n’ cheese.



Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 6-8

Kosher salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter
6 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 qt whole milk
1 bay leaf
3 cups grated extra-sharp white Cheddar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
Freshly ground white pepper
1 lb elbow macaroni or other small pasta
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 lightly packed cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 400°F and put a large pot of well-salted water on to boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring, until slightly darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard.Switch to a whisk and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Discard the bay leaf. Add the cheese, stirring until melted, and then add the Worcestershire and Tabasco. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Pour into a colander and shake it a few times to drain really well. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce, and stir until well combined. Generously season to taste with salt and pepper. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread the pasta in the dish.

In a medium bowl, toss the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the pasta.

Bake in the center of the oven until the crumb topping is golden, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.