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[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

Posted by janethelm
August 04, 2014
Featured in: Trend Spotlight
[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

by Janet Helm, MS, RD 
Photo Credit: PreventionRD


I grew up on casseroles.

These comforting, one-dish meals were a mainstay on our Midwestern family table.  Sometimes our casseroles involved a creamy condensed can of soup, tator tots or crushed corn flakes for toppings, and always lots of noodles -- tuna noodle casserole, chili cheese beef n' mac, and turkey tettrazini with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

While still in high school, I remember that lasagna was one of the first meals I cooked on my own.  During the holidays, I helped out by making the classic green bean casserole and my mom's infamous hashbrown casserole (which was laden with both sour cream and cream cheese). 

French for the word "saucepan," casserole is the name of the serving vessel and the dish inside.  And, oh, we had quite the collection of casserole vessels -- which were often brought to pot lucks and neighborhood gatherings with our name taped to the bottom of the dish. Casserole recipes seemed to dominate the DIY cookbooks that my mom frequently relied on for inspiration.  You know what I mean -- those church and school fundraising cookbooks that are full of favorite recipes collected from contributors. Casseroles always seemed to fill up the the Main Entree chapter.

Maybe the types of casseroles I grew up with have fallen out of favor.  Today's casseroles are being reimagined with new ingredients.  Instead of noodles, the modern-day casserole is being made with zoodles (zucchini noodles), quinoa, farro, barley and other veggie noodles and whole grains.  You'll still find the same cheesy goodness, although lightened up a bit, and vegetables are now cleverly tucked inside.

Recipes for mac and cheese now contain pureed cauliflower or butternut squash. Italian and Mexican-style casseroles are now studded with vegetables and are often made with poultry in place of ground beef or sausage.  Beans and tofu are showing up in more casseroles.  In fact, some of today's popular casseroles don't even contain meat, which was a rare occurrence in the heyday of casseroles.

You'll find lots of creative casseroles on Healthy Aperture, including the Mushroom and Bacon Barley Casserole shown above by Prevention RD.  Here are some other contemporary casserole recipes from Healthy Aperture bloggers that will make you happy these one-dish wonders are back in style.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

To get the recipe for Quinoa Enchilada Casserole, visit Damn Delicious.

Caprese Chicken Quinoa Bake

[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

For the Caprese Chicken Quinoa Bake recipe, visit Alida's Kitchen.

Baked Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

For the Baked Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe, visit Snixy Kitchen.

Cremini and Chard Stuffed Shells

[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

For the Cremini and Chard Stuffed Shells recipe, visit Oh My Veggies.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

[Trend Spotlight] Casseroles Make a Comeback

To get the recipe for the Chicken Enchilada Casserole made with cauliflower tortillas, visit The Iron You.

Have you been cooking up casseroles lately? 



Janet Helm is the author of the FOOD TRENDS Feature on HealthyAperture and is a registered dietitian who wears multiple hats – as a public relations executive, blogger and nutrition journalist. Currently, she is the Chief Food and Nutrition Strategist in North America for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm. Janet is also the co-founder of Healthy Aperture, founder of Nutrition Blog Network and author of The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook. She blogs at Nutrition Unplugged and for WedMD and is a former media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and nutrition, and a master’s degree in dietetics from Kansas State University. Janet lives in Chicago with her husband and 10-year-old twins.
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