Beef Chow Mein Hot Dish

Serves 10.

Serve immediately; if held in the oven the noodles will get gluey. From "Hot Dish Heaven."

• 11/2lb. regular or lean ground beef

• 1 to 2 large onions, diced (11/2to 3 c.)

• 1 (16-oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas and green beans)

• 1 c. chopped celery

1/2to3/4c. cashews, optional

• 2 (103/4-oz.) cans condensed chicken with rice soup

• 1 (4-oz.) can mushrooms

• 2 (103/4-oz.) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

• 1 (8-oz.) pkg. chow mein noodles

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and diced onions in large skillet until meat loses its red color. Add the mixed vegetables, celery, cashews, chicken with rice soup, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup and most of the noodles. Mix well and spread into a 9- by 12-inch baking dish. Top with rest of the noodles. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until bubbling.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 328 Fat 18 g Sodium 624 mg

Carbohydrates 25 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 68 mg

Protein 15 g Trans fat 40 g Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 1½ medium-fat meat, 2 fat.

Cedric Adams Hot dish

Serves 4 to 6.

Cedric Adams was a well-known WCCO personality years ago. Think of this as a variation on stuffed cabbage leaves. From "Hot Dish Heaven."

• 1 medium onion, chopped (1 c.)

• 2 tbsp. butter, margarine, or olive or vegetable oil

• 1 lb. lean ground beef

3/4tsp. salt

1/8tsp. ground black pepper

• 6 c. coarsely shredded cabbage (packaged cole slaw works well), divided

• 1 (101/2-oz.) can condensed tomato soup, stirred to liquefy

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish or spray with vegetable oil spray. In large skillet, stir-fry onion in butter. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, heating meat through and breaking it up with a spoon, but not browning it. Spread 3 cups cabbage in bottom of baking dish. Cover with meat mixture. Top with remaining cabbage. Over the whole business, pour the can of tomato soup.

Cover and bake 50 to 60 minutes or until cabbage is tender. When using freshly shredded cabbage, take off the cover after 30 minutes of baking or the dish will be soupy.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 225 Fat 13 g Sodium 680 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 62 mg

Protein 14 g Trans fat 52 g Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1½ medium-fat meat, 1 fat.

Take Your Choice Strata

Serves 3 to 4.

Note: You also can make this in a round casserole by slicing the buttered bread into quarters or cubes, then making two or three layers according to the depth of your dish. The strata bakes up lighter and fluffier if you can refrigerate it for a time before baking, but it's not necessary. From "Hot Dish Heaven."

• 4 slices bread, buttered one side and cut in half, divided

• 1 to 11/2c. grated or shredded cheese, divided

• 3 /4 to 1 c. chopped vegetables, fresh or frozen, optional

1/2to 1 c. diced meat (leftover roast beef, pork, chicken or canned meat or fish), optional

• 2 eggs, well beaten

• 11/2c. milk (use part half-and-half for a richer dish)

1/2tsp. dry mustard

Directions

Arrange 4 half slices of bread to fill bottom of buttered 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle bread with half the cheese. Top cheese with a vegetable or two (such as frozen chopped broccoli, cut green beans, cut asparagus, chopped spinach, or mixed vegetables -- or shredded carrot, finely chopped celery or a tablespoon or two of minced onion). Atop vegetables, add leftover cooked meat or a canned meat or fish. (Other protein sources: tuna, salmon, shrimp; diced sandwich meats such as honey ham; leftover roast beef, pork or chicken).

Cover all with the remaining 4 buttered half slices of bread. Distribute remaining cheese evenly over bread. Beat together eggs, milk and dry mustard; pour over layers. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until puffed and golden and you can smell the cheese.

Variations

• Loaf-pan strata: Use whole bread slices; fit them closely into buttered 9-inch loaf pan.

• Big-batch strata: Use a 9- by 13-inch pan and double all ingredients.

• After-Easter strata: Use 1 to 11/2cups diced baked ham and 1 to 11/2cups cut cooked asparagus or broccoli.