How to incorporate quick and easy casseroles in your meal planning
In this week’s challenge, we will focus on clean eating casseroles including over 10 tips that save you time and money. I will also share an easy clean eating casserole recipe with you.
Top 10 Casserole Tips (and reasons why easy casserole recipes are so popular)
A fireproof pan, some yummy ingredients, a hot oven – such a casserole dish comes in countless variations. You can make it as complicated or as simple as you like. But, of course, we will opt for the lean and simple approach. The popularity of clean eating casseroles is deserved and unbroken for many reasons:
Casseroles are popular not only for those with a full-time job, but they are loved by all who don’t want to spend countless hours in the kitchen. You can prepare a clean eating casserole completely in advance, cover it and store it in the fridge. Your oven is doing the real work for you once you heat it.
2) Wonderful comfort food
Casseroles combine textures and flavors into very satisfying dishes. The slow oven cooking lets the aromas meld and mingle. There’s something delicious about having the rice or noodles pick up and soak up the smack of the liquid – which you don’t achieve when you put sauce on top of it.
3) An all time family favorite
Kids love one-pot meals. A practical aspect with clean eating casseroles is that you can bring healthy vegetable portions on your kid’s plates without having them move veggies aside immediately.
Carrots, tomatoes or cauliflower are especially mild and kid-friendly types of vegetable. Together with an exciting shaped whole grain pasta, your dish can also look appealing.
4) Perfect for leftovers
A casserole recipe is an ideal choice to use up your vegetable and meat leftovers. Personally, I use my two day leftovers from potatoes in the skin and combine them for a quick and easy casserole dish. More about my favorite recipe later.
5) Great for parties
Casserole recipe quantities can be easily doubled or tripled if you need them for a party. You can also put large quantities on baking sheets instead of casserole forming dishes.
On a side note: The German flag style casserole you see in the picture collage above I made the day when Germany won the soccer world cup in Brasil in July 2014. For the dark color I used an eggplant.
6) Clean eating casseroles can be lean
How light your clean eating casserole is depends on the ingredients. Too much cheese crust or a heavy cream top and a real calorie bomb is waiting for you.
But by following a few simple steps, you can make sure that your dish is low fat and lean. A healthy, low fat casserole contains a lot of fresh vegetables but only little cheese. I replace or stretch fatty cream often with yoghurt or low fat milk. Peppers, zucchini, spinach, broccoli or mushrooms are other perfect ingredients for a clean eating casserole.
I’m a big fan of easy potato casserole recipes prepared with fresh ingredients like zucchini or broccoli. Instead of heavy cream, I use a combination of sour cream and low fat milk. Combined with a crisp salad, you have a healthy, complete clean eating meal. The remaining casserole tips I will share in a minute but first let me introduce to you an easy casserole recipe.
Here comes my clean eating zucchini casserole with garlic for you, my daughter helped me with cutting and layering the vegetables…
- 4 small zucchinis
- 8 medium potatoes
- 400 ml sour cream
- 4 tablespoon grated low fat cheese (e.g. Gouda)
- 4 small garlic cloves
- salt, cayenne pepper
- Cook potatoes in the skin and peel them. (I speed up cooking time with my a pressure cooker)
- Wash zucchini and remove shaft and flower.
- Now cut potatoes and zucchini in 1/2 cm slices, layer them in a casserole form, alternately imbricate.
- Season the vegetables with some salt and cayenne pepper.
- Pour sour cream in a small bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Peel the garlic cloves, force them through a garlic press and mix the crushed garlic with the liquid.
- Now pour the sauce over your vegetables.
- At last sprinkle the grinded cheese on the top.
- Bake the zucchini potato casserole in a preheated oven at 190°C /374°F approx. 30 minutes.
- When ready, the cheese should look golden yellow.
- Tip: To save on fat, I use only 200 ml sour cream and replace the other 200ml with low fat milk.
You want to make eating a clean eating casserole a once a week a habit.
Step 1: Use your weekly meal plan as a trigger.
Step 2: Include a clean eating casserole dish in your meal plan once per week.
Step 3: You may print out my clean eating potato zucchini casserole recipe above, if you like it, or research other quick and easy casserole recipes on the web.
Some clean eating casserole inspirations
- How about an Italian style casserole with pasta, fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella?
- Or why not try an easy chicken casserole recipe with lean chicken breasts, pineapples and curry?
- For vegetarians, a quinoa casserole with tomatoes, eggplant and garlic gratinated with low fat cheese is delicious.
- For vegans I highly recommend a delicious baked cauliflower casserole.
- Or how about an easy cabbage casserole recipe in the winter time?
Additional tips for quick and easy clean eating casseroles
Tip 1: Did you know that you can put your ceramic casserole dish even in the freezer? To protect the form, do not put it an oven that’s preheated instead, heat it up slowly.
Tip 2: A great dish to prepare ahead of time is a vegetarian Lasagna. Mix sufficient pureed vegetables in the tomato sauce and cover each lasagna layer with it. Store the prepared dish in your fridge over night. The next day, the lasagna plates are soaked with sauce and your dish will take only half of the usual baking time.
Do you know any quick and easy casserole recipes?
I’m curious about your favorite clean eating casserole recipe. Maybe it’s something you make each week, or something that someone in your family has made forever. Share it below in the comment section.