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Beef, Cheese and Noodle Casserole - The Epitome of Comfort Food

In case it isn't blatantly apparent, I love to cook. I love to cook, I love good food and I love experiementing and trying new things. But even for me there are some things I consider 'comfort food'. One of those things is Beef, Cheese and Noodle Casserole, especially since it's surprisingly low in fat, sodium and cholesterol.

When I make this dish for someone for the first time, they usually don't seem particularly excited. A casserole is just a casserole after all, right? Wrong! Back in March, one of my sister cousins, (cousin who is more like a sister than a cousin), and her husband were visiting with us, and I made this casserole for supper. When I told them I was going to make Beef, Cheese and Noodle Casserole, they simply said, 'Ok by us'. But when I started to expand on the nutritional virtues of the dish, their enthusiasm almost seemed to wane.! After all, how could something low fat/low sodium taste good?

What if they didn't like it? Would their impression of me as a good cook forever be tarnished? Would they look at my next Facebook post about what I was cooking for supper that night and think, 'Meh...she's not that good of a cook.'. The pressure was on! I had to deliver! My culimary reputation was on the line!

With nervous anticipation, I placed the plates of steaming casserole in front of them and I sat there, quietly nibbling on my own portion, acutely aware of their facial expressions and sounds. I convinced myself if no difference in facial expression was evident that meant they didn't hate it which was way better than hating it! Please don't let them hate it!

My brother cousin in law ate two forkfuls and then looked at me and asked, 'What did you say this was called again? Can I have the recipe? This would be perfect for when I have to cook for the family.' Before I could utter a response, my sister cousin said, 'I think even dad would eat this, don't you think Clayton?'. Yay!!! They liked it! They really, really liked it!!

Not too long after they had returned home, my brother cousin in law sent me a little note on Facebook saying that he had made the casserole for the entire family, from ages 18 months to 80, for supper and they all loved it. It gives me such a sense of pride and happiness to make people smile and feel loved by what I cook and that feeling only amplifies when I know that someone was able to replicate one of my dishes using my recipe with equal success.

Beef, Cheese and Noodle Casserole is easy to make, takes less than an hour from prep to table, and it's delicious. Here's what you'll need:

1 x 340 g pk. of No Yolk Egg Noodles

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 c. fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 x 12 oz. can no salt added Peaches and Cream Corn Kernels (Compliments or Blue Menu)

1 x 10oz. can low salt/low fat cream of mushroom soup

10oz. can of 0.5% milk (skim milk is even lower than fat, but whatever milk you prefer)

1 tsp. dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

8 slices Fat Free Cheese Slices (ie. Black Diamond, Kraft, Compliments)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add package of No Yolks Egg Noodles and cook until al denté, or still slightly firm.

In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and sauté onion just until soft then add ground beef and brown, stirring occasionally. Season ground beef with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil, green pepper, mushrooms and minced garlic and cook over medium heat until mushrooms are done. Add can corn and stir to combine.

Add can cream of mushroom soup, stir to incorporate. Fill mushroom soup can with milk and add to skillet, stirring to incorporate. When mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer until you're ready to put everything into a casserole dish.

When noodles are done, drain and using a slotted spoon, place half of noodles in large, slightly greased casserole dish. Top with 1/2 the meat mixture. Take half of the cheese slices, fold into triangles and cover meat mixture. Repeat with noodles, then remaining sauce and remaining cheese slices.

Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool before serving.

Whether it's a weeknight dinner for your family, cooking for a crowd, or perhaps you need something to take to a Pot Luck at work, this casserole is sure to please. Not only that but it tastes even better warmed up the next day for lunch! Everyone I have ever made this casserole for has asked for the recipe and I'm confident you and your family are going to love it too!

#beef #casseroles

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