Tuesday, April 06, 2010

act two: asparagus and ham casserole

as i mentioned earlier this week, we're concentrating on making new meals with our easter leftovers at cotton top.  tonight's menu included this crazy simply casserole where i used leftover spiral ham and roasted garlic asparagus.  before i put it in the oven, the sauce looked a little watery, but after sticking it the oven for 10 minutes, it came out bubbly and gooey - just the way i like it!  the best part about this dinner - it only clocked in at 250 calories per serving (and each serving size is 1 cup).  you can substitute the ham or asparagus for any proteins or vegetables you have lying around the house.  i'm thinking chicken and peas would be great alternatives.

slightly adapted from cooking light
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 3/4 whole wheat penne pasta
2 1/2 cups cooked asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon dried ground thyme
1 cup whole milk
1 cup fat free, less sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cup diced cooked ham
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 450 degrees. cook pasta according to directions, until al dente.  place flour, thyme and s&p in bowl.  gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until it's not lumpy anymore. melt butter in sauce pan over medium high heat.  add onions and cook for about 4 minutes.  add milk/stock mixture, stirring constantly until sauce comes together and is thick.  in a larger bowl, combine cooked pasta, ham, asparagus and milk/stock mixture.  pour into greased (with pam) casserole dish.  top with panko breadcrumbs and cheese.  cook for 10 minutes until top is brown and golden.

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