Remember way back in the olden days of 2013 when I planned to go through the Campus Survival Cookbook and adapt the menus and recipes with healthier alternatives? What happened? After difficulties with a couple recipes (and still not finding the first 42 pages of the cookbook) I got discouraged.I’m stuck on finding a good, easy substitute for McCrystal’s Survival Casserole. It’s a fancy name for what I grew up knowing as goulash, that hodge-podge of hamburger, tomatoes, macaroni and cheese.
Lazy Day Beef Casserole, from the American Heart Association Cookbook (5th edition) was a combination of chuck steak, tomato paste, mushrooms and onions. It sounded pretty good, but I overcooked it. The beef was dry, tough, and not very flavorful. In fact, it was so awful I couldn’t even finish one serving.
Round 2 was Eggplant Zucchini Casserole, from the same AHA cookbook. It includes eggplant, zucchini (duh!), chopped celery, onion, and green pepper, tomato sauce, spaghetti (broken in bits), and mozzarella cheese. It was quite tasty, but was a bitch to prepare: peel and slice the eggplant (peeling eggplant is not as easy as it sounds), slice the zucchini, chop the celery, onion and pepper, and slice the cheese (since I couldn’t find any sliced mozzarella cheese in the dairy section).
Neither of the above two recipes called for ground beef, so I decided to take a different track. I continued searching for a reasonable ground beef-tomato-pasta mash up, and I think I may have found it. I’m preparing it for tonight’s dinner, so look for a review some time next week.
They say third time’s a charm. That’s what I’m hoping. Another good omen? Yesterday I found the first 42 pages of the Campus Survival Cookbook! Hot diggity!