Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cheeseburger Casserole

Talk about cleaning out the freezer and tossing everything into a quick weeknight dinner casserole.

This casserole is a dish I throw together when Mr. B and I are craving fast food. Burgers. Fries.

But we don't eat fast food, and haven't since March of this year. We've always been "health conscious" when it comes to food, eating everything in moderation with occasional indulgences. We don't bring junk food into the house; it's just something we I don't buy. Now if there's a party and we need chips, I'll throw in a bag or two. If I'm craving ice cream and it's the dead of winter or I don't feel like waiting two days to make my own, I'll head to the store and buy a pint or smaller. Unless it's Christmas or a special occasion, you won't find candy or cookies in my house. Mr. B doesn't eat sweets. I never get dessert when we do eat out; I'd rather make it myself.

And in all honesty, it's not necessarily because we only like healthy food. It's more likely because we're too cheap. I mean, have you seen the cost of a bag of chips or a box of pastries from the bakery lately?  For the quality, I'll just make it myself. And.Mr.B.cannot.stop.eating.when.it.comes.to.chips.

I'm mentioning all of this because we had a downfall and that was running through the BK Lounge when out and about and feeling too lazy to cook. Or through McDonald's for fries. It wasn't all the time, and considering most people, our once a week fast food splurge isn't much. But this past March we made a decision to cut out fast food. Mainly because I finally convinced my husband how bad it was for us. After watching Food, Inc. he made the decision he'd never eat it again. To my surprise, he hasn't. Here it is, almost January, and the only fast food he's consumed since that declaration is a couple Subway sandwiches and an Arby's roast beef. While on vacation we stopped for his traditional Big Breakfast and he didn't even finish it.

I'm so proud. My husband is definitely a burgers and fries guy. And I know he misses the taste, not the particular restaurants. So I created this casserole dinner just for him, as a way to get his fix. This casserole is the perfect dinner for those of us who love burgers and fries. It's a healthier, homemade version to kick that fast food craving.

Cheeseburger Casserole

Serves 4

1 lb ground turkey
S.O.S. mix equivalent to 10.5 oz (prepared)
a decent-sized batch of caramelized onions and mushrooms
22 oz. pkg french fries
1 c grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Toppings: lettuce, tomatoes and pickles (and other condiments optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a skillet, brown the meat, drain off fat if needed. Place meat in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, mix in the caramelized onions and mushrooms, and S.O.S. mix. Stir until combined. Spoon the meat mixture into a greased casserole dish. Next, top with half the grated cheese and the fries. Bake 30 minutes, and then sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake another 15 minutes, or until the fries are done and cheese is melted. Top with chopped tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce. Drizzle with burger condiments, if desired.

With Love and God Bless,

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