Seafood Casserole Au Gratin

This warm and creamy seafood casserole au gratin is a perfect all-in-one solution for a busy weeknight or buffet table!  Comfort food at its finest!

Seafood Casserole Au Gratin

Seafood Casserole Au Gratin

Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 6
Calories 602 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed (one block)
  • cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz cooked crabmeat, canned or thawed
  • 8 oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ cups cooked rice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½  cup butter-flavored crackers, crushed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • In a large oven-safe skillet, saute the onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms in 2 tbsp butter until soft.  
  • Stir cubed cream cheese and remaining butter into the vegetables until melted and well incorporated.  Mix in heavy cream.
  • Add crabmeat, shrimp, rice, garlic powder, hot sauce, cayenne, and salt to the skillet and combine with vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, combine cheddar cheese and cracker crumbs. 
  • Sprinkle cracker crumb mixture over the top of the seafood mixture.
  • Transfer skillet to oven and bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Serve hot.
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Hack:  Feel free to use your favorite vegetables in this casserole or whatever you have on hand.
  • Hack:  Frozen or dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe.
  • Hack: Canned or jarred mushrooms can be used in this recipe.
  • Hack:  Feel free to use your favorite seafood in this recipe or whatever you have on hand.
  • Hack:  One 12 oz can of evaporated milk can be substituted for the cream.
  • Hack:  Shrimp can be purchased individually from the seafood counter at most grocery stores.  They can be purchased frozen in larger portions if you wish to keep some on hand.  Thaw needed amounts before cooking.  
  • Hack: Seafood can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.  It can be thawed more quickly by placing it in a sealed bag and submerging them in a bath of cold water for about an hour.
Keyword baked, casserole, crab, creamy, hearty, seafood, shellfish, shrimp, stir fry, vegetarian

Did you know?  Shrimp is a healthy addition to your diet.  It provides a high amount of nutrients that aren’t abundant in other foods!

Suggestion:  Serve this dish with some freshly made authentic naan bread!

Fresh Caramel Apple Turnovers

These caramel apple turnovers are a delicious hand pie made with fresh apples and a flaky crust. Serve them warm or cold with ice or whipped cream!

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Snack
Servings 12
Calories 379 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, frozen (2 sticks or 8 oz)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 8 tbsp cold water
  • Additional flour for dusting

Filling

  • 2 pounds apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ upc deluce de leche
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Dusting sugar

Instructions
 

  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.  Set aside.
  • Remove frozen sticks of butter and grate them using the largest holes of a box cheese grater.  Return the butter to the freezer until ready to use.
  • Use a whisk to mix the sour cream and cold water,  Store the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Add butter to the flour mixture and toss until well incorporated.  Pour in the sour cream mixture and stir to combine.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a rough triangle.  Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.  Press it out into a rough triangle again and repeat the folding process.  It’s important to work quickly so that the butter doesn’t get soft.  You should be able to see chunks of butter in the dough.
  • Divide the dough into two portions.  Wrap the portions tightly and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is chilling, peel, core and thinly slice apples.  
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.  Add to apple slices and toss to coat.
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Remove one portion of the dough and roll it into a 10” x 15” rectangle.  Cut it into 6 equal squares.
  • Place ¼ cup of apple filling into the center of each square and top with 1 tbsp deluce de leche. Fold the dough over the top of the apples to create a triangle.  Moisten dough slightly and press to seal.
  • Place turnovers on a cookie sheet.  Brush each one with egg wash and dust with a small amount of sugar.
  • Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  • Bake turnovers for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown.
  • Transfer turnovers to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  • Hack:  Store turnovers at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack:  To freeze cooked or uncooked turnovers, lay in a single layer on a cookie and allow to freeze.  Wrap each tightly and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.  Add an extra 3-5 minutes to the baking time for frozen turnovers.
Keyword afternoon tea, apple turnover, apples, breakfast, brunch, caramel, cooking video, dessert, Dulce de Leche, flaky, fruit, instructional video, kid friendly, kids recipe, Kindergarten Cook, Lily Rose, Lily Rose Kindergarten Cook, pastry, turnover, vegetarian

While it’s impossible to say exactly where or when the turnover was invented, rumor has it that the first apple turnover was made in 1630 in St. Calais, France!

Suggestion:  Leftover apples?  Make some homemade applesauce!

Easy Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

This Greek yogurt granola cup is made from homemade granola and Greek yogurt with a hint of honey, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s healthy, low sugar and delicious!

Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

Greek Yogurt Granola Cup

Course Breakfast, lunch, Snack
Servings 1
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup fruit nut granola

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix yogurt, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in granola just before serving.
  • Hack: Stir in some chopped fruit or berries for an exciting twist!
Keyword breakfast, fast and easy, granola, greek yogurt, healthy, low calorie, lunch, make ahead, oatmeal, oats, parfait, quick and easy, snack, vegetarian

Did you know?   Oats are a great way to start your day.  They’re packed with nutrition that combats heart disease and diabetes while helping control your weight and digestive health.  Check out the facts here!

Suggestion: This strawberry banana yogurt smoothie is another super quick and easy way to serve up a healthy breakfast!

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Spicy red beans and rice puts a delicious spin on a classic meal eaten the world over. Using a rice cooker and a slow cooker makes preparing them a snap!

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Slow cooker Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 344 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 2 cups water
  • cups vegetable broth
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, hot

Instructions
 

  • Cover beans with 2 cups of water and allow to soak for 6 - 12 hours.  Drain and rinse.
  • (NOTE:  The above step can be done ahead.  Drain beans and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
  • Put beans and broth into a saucepan on the stovetop and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer beans and broth to a slow cooker.
  • Add peppers, tomato and spices to the crockpot.
  • Turn heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender.
  • Remove bay leaf and discard it.
  • Serve with brown rice.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
Keyword beans and rice, brown rice, cajun, convenient, crockpot, dried beans, easy, low calorie, low fat, make ahead, red beans, slow cooker, spicy, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  Red beans are a member of the legume family.  Legumes come in many options, are inexpensive and they’re packed with nutrition!!

Suggestion:  Use this vegan spicy brown rice to pair with the red beans!

Healthy Vegan Spicy Brown Rice

This spicy brown rice is sure to give your meal a kick-start!  It pairs nicely with beans, beef or any other hearty meal!

Spicy Brown Rice

Spicy Brown Rice

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 162 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups brown rice
  • cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ tsp  turmeric
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker and cook on the “brown rice” setting.  
  • If you prefer to cook this on the stovetop, combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.  
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to 12 months.
Keyword brown rice, healthy, high fiber, rice cooker, rice dish, side dish, spicy, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  While brown and white rice contains about the same number of carbs, brown rice offsets that number with a good dose of fiber and many other nutritional benefits!

Suggestion:  Serve this rice with Red Bean Casserole!

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

This banana strawberry oatmeal bread is for those who enjoy a “less sweet” quick bread option.  It tastes great with peanut butter or jam!

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 12
Calories 224 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1⅓ cup  whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cubed strawberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Coat two 9”x5” bread pans with cooking spray.
  • Mix together flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  • Put bananas, eggs, maple syrup, butter and extracts into a blender and process until smooth. 
  • Pour banana mixture into the flour mixture and blend with a spoon just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add strawberries to the bread mixture and gently fold until they are incorporated into the batter.
  • Divide batter equally into the bread pans.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center clean or the internal temperature is 205℉. 
  • Allow to rest in the pans for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze tightly wrapped loaves or slices for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Try experimenting by using different kinds of fruit and/or berries in this recipe.  Let me know it turns out in the comments section!
  • Hack:  Take advantage of the wide variety of fruits and berries that can be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store.  If the pieces are too large for your purpose, simply let a few thaw so you can mash them or puree the desired amount in a blender.
Keyword afternoon tea, baked, banana, berries, bread, cake, dessert, easy, fruit, leftover, loaf, oatmeal, over-ripe, ripe, snack, strawberry, vegetarian

Did you know?  A family of four wastes about $1,600 per year on produce that “goes over” before it gets eaten.  While my favorite way to use (almost) too ripe fruit is to bake something delicious, this article offers other solutions to avoid waste!

I have lots of recipes for using up fruit and berries, including fruit leatherbanana pudding, and pork chops with apples and onions, to just name a few!

Oven Roasted Orange Glazed Carrots

Orange glazed carrots are a wonderful recipe that the whole family will enjoy. It’s fast and easy to prepare, low calorie, healthy and delicious!

Orange Glazed Carrots

Orange Glazed Carrots

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 166 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.  Line a 10”x13” baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Scrub carrots and peel, if desired.  Cut into ¼“ rounds.  Lay over the top of the parchment paper, and drizzle with olive oi., Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat and spread evenly.
  • Using a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, orange juice, honey and ginger. Heat in the microwave until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour glaze mixture over carrots and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are browned and cooked to the desired softness.  Recover the pan if the carrots begin to get too brown.  
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: Frozen carrots can be used in this recipe.
Keyword carrots, easy, fast and easy, healthy, low calorie, low carb, orange juice, oven roasted, quick and easy, side dish, vegetable, vegetarian

Did you know? Carrots are rich in nutrients that promote your health!

Suggestion:  Serve these with teriyaki marinated pork chops for a super fast and easy meal!

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Asian coleslaw with ramen noodles is a fresh and easy take on a classic picnic dish.  It’s low in calories and fat as well as being a handy “make-ahead” salad!

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Asian Coleslaw With Ramen Noodles

Course Salad
Servings 4
Calories 192 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ head cabbage, shredded (4 cups)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 block of ramen noodles, uncooked (2 oz)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)*
  • Toasted sunflower seeds (optional)*

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp ground ginger
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine ingredients for the dressing and mix until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • Place cabbage, carrot and green onions in a gallon-sized zippered storage bag.  Add dressing to the bag and shake the bag to incorporate ingredients.  
  • Seal the bag tightly and store the coleslaw in the bag for at least 24 hours.  
  • Several hours before serving, coarsely crush ramen noodles and toss them into coleslaw.  This can be done up to 6 hours in advance for soft noodles or 1 -2 hours in advance if you want the noodles to retain some crunch.  
  • Sprinkle with sesame and/or sunflower seeds before serving, if desired.
  • *To toast seeds: lay them in a single layer      
    On a baking sheet.  Bake at 350℉ for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.      
    *or*       
    In a glass pie pan.  Microwave at 1-minute intervals until lightly browned.   
    *or*     
    In a skillet on the stovetop.  Cook over medium-low heat for 4-6 minutes.     
    –For all methods, shake or stir several times for even browning.
  • Hack:  Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need.  They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.
Keyword Asian cuisine, Asian food, Asian side dish, buffet, cabbage, cold side dish, cole slaw, coleslaw, make ahead, picnic food, salad, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  Cabbage is part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables that are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.

Please check out my article for more health benefits of cabbage as well as some great recipe ideas.

Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

This super easy simple homemade marinara sauce can be made in advance and frozen to have on hand for dipping goodies at your next get-together or game night!

Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 168 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 dried Thai pepper, optional
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp)
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp sugar or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and dried Thai pepper..
  • As soon as garlic sizzles (don’t let it brown) pour in tomatoes and water.  Add salt, basil and sugar.  
  • Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 1½ ro 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens.  Use a fork to break up tomatoes during cooking.
  • Remove Thai pepper and discard.
  • Use a blender or immersion blender to smooth the sauce if desired. Press sauce through a mesh colander to remove the seeds if desired.
  • Total yield: 2 cups sauce.
  • Hack:  2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes can be substituted for fresh tomatoes.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 6 months.
  • Hack:  If you have leftover tomatoes that are becoming over-ripe and don't have time to cook, simply puree them in the blender and freeze the fresh puree in sealed freezer bags or containers to use in recipes at a later date.  No need to core, peel or seed ‘em...just toss ‘em right in.  Run the puree through a mesh colander if you want to remove the seeds.
Keyword appetizer, easy, homemade sauce, hors d'oeuvres, keto, low calorie, low carb, marinara, marinara sauce, simple, tomato sauce, vegan, vegetarian

Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse while being low in calories and carbs!  Check out the facts here!

Suggestion:  Serve this with easy cheesy sausage balls or Italian meatballs!

Shrimp and Rice Noodle Stir Fry

Shrimp and rice noodle stir fry is another authentic recipe from Yuhong’s Country Kitchen! Make sure to subscribe so you won’t miss any of her great recipes!

Shrimp and Rice Noodle Stir Fry

Shrimp and Rice Noodle Stir Fry

(Courtesy: Yuhong Sun
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • 5 green onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 bok choy
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 oz ginger root (4” knob)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp crushed chili pepper
  • ½ lb raw shrimp
  • 1 ib rice noodles*
  • 2 eggs

Cooking sauce:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup water plus more if needed
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Dash of salt

Instructions
 

  • Cut the white portion of the green onion, carrot and bok choy into 2” julienne slices.  Thinly slice the garlic and cut ginger into 1” julienne slices.  Slice the green tops of the onions into rounds.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the cooking sauce.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed chili pepper.
  • When oil is hot, add ginger and garlic.  Cook for one minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. 
  • Add carrot, cook for one minute and then add bok choy.  Stir fry for an additional minute.  
  • Place shrimp in the pan and cover the pan.  When the shrimp is cooked, add noodles** and cooking sauce.  Pour in a little more water if the stir fry seems too dry.
  • Push stir fry to one side of the pan and add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil.  
  • Crack eggs directly into the pan and use the spatula to scramble them.  Mix into stir fry ingredients and continue to cook until the eggs are set.
  • Sprinkle with green onion rounds before serving.
  • *You can use any type of long noodle (spaghetti, linguine, etc) in this recipe.
  • **If using dried rice noodles, cover with lukewarm water, soak for 30 minutes and drain.  If using dried spaghetti, cook al dente according to package directions and drain.  Fresh noodles do not need any preparation and can be added to the pan as is.
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized portions for up to 2 months.
  • Hack:  Shrimp can be purchased individually from the seafood counter at most grocery stores.  They can be purchased frozen in large portions if you wish to keep some on hand.  Thaw needed amounts before cooking. 
  • Hack:  Seafood can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.  It can be thawed more quickly by placing it in a sealed bag and submerging them in a bath of cold water for about an hour.
Keyword asian cooking video, Asian cuisine, Asian food, Chinese cooking video, Chinese cuisine, Chinese food, cooking video, instructional video, rice noodles, shrimp, stir fry, vegetarian

Did you know?  Shrimp is a healthy addition to your diet.  It provides a high amount of nutrients that aren’t abundant in other foods!

If you love spicy Asian-themed shrimp dishes, try this spicy Szechuan shrimp recipe or Thai peanut shrimp rice bowl!

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