Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A New Take on an Old Favorite

I'm a little under the weather today. I'm sneezy and congested and miserable. But I managed to cook yesterday.

I got this recipe some twenty-odd years ago at a potluck party where I worked. I hadn't had anything like it before, so I begged for the recipe. It became a staple over the years. It was healthy for its time, too, with yogurt and corn and whatever other vegetables I felt like adding . . .

. . . which tipped a little too much over to the unhealthy side with a stick of butter and a bunch of cheese. As I've been trying to eat more healthily, I've given it up because of those ingredients, at least as an everyday kind of thing.

But as I've been playing around with eating more healthily, it's getting easier to look at a recipe and figure out what kinds of adjustments I might make to create a healthier version. I made a chicken and barley salad (don't ask--it wasn't even worth a picture) that had yogurt in it so I had some left over. I was looking for something that would complement the baked beans I made the day before. I thought of the yogurt, and the corn casserole, and realized that, without the butter and cheese, I had the makings of what could be a pretty tasty dish.

You can't see them, but there's a layer of carrots at the bottom of the skillet. I thought it would look really cool when I turned it out to have the carrots on top, but then I realized that it wasn't a pineapple upside down cake and it wasn't going to come out of the skillet upside down, and I was left with less than the desired result. Next time I'll just mix them in.

It was also a little dry, but I know how to correct that for next time. Instead of a stick of butter (1/2 cup) I used 1/4 cup of oil, which isn't the same equivalent. Next time I'll either use 1/2 cup of oil, or add some other form of liquid to bring the liquid up to 1/2 cup (hmmm . . . milk might work). I also used the whole package of frozen corn (about a cup more than the recipe calls for), which might have been a little too much--the more things you add, the drier it gets.

But I'm very pleased that I've figured out a way to make this more healthy. With the yogurt, the corn, and the cornmeal it already had the makings of something I could eat on a regular basis. With these other adjustments, that's what it's become.


[This took very few changes to make it healthier. I left the original ingredients in brackets in case you want to make it that way. I have to admit, it is really good with the cheese.]

Slice 2 carrots (or any vegetables you want) and saute for approximately 5-10 minutes, until partially cooked.

Puree in Blender:
1 c. corn kernels
1/4 c. oil [or 1 stick melted butter]
1/4 c. milk [omit if using butter]
2 eggs

Pour into bowl and add:

1 c. yogurt
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilis
1/2 c. corn meal
1 c. corn kernels
1-1/4 tsp. salt
[1 c. cubed cheese]
sauteed vegetables

Pour into greased casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

1 comment:

misreall said...

Looks good to me.
Feel better. Poor you.

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