This One’s for You, Mom

No name casserole, does that sound familiar to anyone? This is a recipe I grew up with and always enjoyed, despite how undesirable and drab looking it is (very brown/gray). My mom usually made it with ground beef, but I recall her making it several years ago when I was still vegetarian and living in Michigan. Since I didn’t eat meat, she made it with Boca crumbles (soy “meat”) instead of meat. Goodness … I’m appalled to say I ever ate that stuff (obviously, I didn’t know any better at the time). I’m grateful my mom doesn’t buy it for herself or my dad anymore. If any of you readers out there eat it, please reconsider and take a serious look at the ingredients. It’s low-quality, overly processed, and not to mention, has the texture of a sponge. Why not just eat real, high-quality meat? If you are vegetarian/vegan, at least go with some soaked, sprouted beans or organic tempeh. It’s the best option with what you have available. Anyway, I digress.

In looking through my recipe book, I stumbled upon a recipe card my mom gave me for this casserole. Yes, ‘No Name Casserole’ is seriously the name and technically it does have a name, and that’s it. I remember liking the flavors of this dish growing up and decided to reinvent it, Paleo style. Below you’ll see the original recipe, followed by my recipe. I didn’t bother with the directions for the original. Sorry mom, but my way is healthier in more ways than one! No hard feelings, just love!

Original No Name Casserole:

  • 1 lb Boca crumbles (or ground beef, which is how my mom made it before I was was a vegetarian)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 C celery, chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom or celery soup
  • 1-1/4 C vegetable broth
  • 1/1/2 C water
  • 2/3 C uncooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 can chow mein noodles

No Name Casserole my way:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast (or grass-fed ground beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 C celery, chopped
  • 1 C crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 C low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • dash of celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Saute onion, celery and mushrooms in olive oil or ghee until soft.
  2. While onion and celery cook, rice the cauliflower in food processor and set aside.
  3. Add ground turkey to the onion mixture and let brown about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in coconut milk, broth, pepper, sea salt and celery salt. Let simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Add cauliflower rice to the mixture and stir together. Add coconut flour and let simmer for a few minutes more. Meanwhile, set oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Pour mixture into greased 2-quart casserole dish and top with sliced almonds.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

The casserole is not the prettiest looking thing, but it is delicious. Its flavors did resemble that of the original, but in my humble opinion, it tasted even better! I served it with fresh steamed green beans, as pictured above.

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5 thoughts on “This One’s for You, Mom

  1. mommab June 11, 2012 / 8:49 am

    Thanks Alisa, I am honored you used one of my recipes!! I am anxious to try yours!

  2. paleoinportland June 11, 2012 / 9:12 am

    Glad to hear it, Mom! If you do decide to make it and have any questions, feel free to give me a call. I’m happy to help 🙂

  3. tessadomesticdiva February 24, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    I had to do a double take on the first recipe…i thought it was OUR recipe! Phew! Looks tasty!

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