Using the items from this year’s Holiday Meal Box from Northern Illinois Food Bank, these creative uses of holiday staples are sure to be a hit with family and friends! Your menu includes:
Serving size: 1/12 of casserole
3 small russet potatoes (about 1 pound)
½ stick (4 Tablespoons) butter
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
2.5 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 0.87 ounce package of turkey gravy mix
1 15-ounce can of corn, drained
1 14.5-ounce can French style green beans, drained
12 ounce package of herbed stuffing
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 or 2.5 Quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Poke the potatoes with a fork and microwave them for 5 minutes.
3. Add the butter to a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the celery and onion until the onion is clear.
4. Remove the potatoes from the microwave, dice them and add to the sautéed vegetables. Set aside to slightly cool.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, soup and gravy mix. Add the corn, green beans and cooled celery, onion and potato mix and combine.
6. Stir the stuffing mix into the vegetable mixture and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
7. Pour the stuffing mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
8. Spray the top of the casserole with cooking spray and lightly cover with foil.
9. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. The cheese on top should be golden brown.
Note: You can keep the casserole in a warming drawer, covered until service. You can also prepare this the day before and keep in the refrigerator unbaked. Leave the cheese off until you are ready to bake it and take it out of the fridge an hour before baking to come to room temp.
Serving size: 1/12 of soufflé
3 pounds whole sweet potatoes (washed and dried)
½ cup brown sugar, divided
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
¼ cup freshly orange juice
6 eggs, separated into whites and yolks (be careful not to get any yolk mixed in with the whites)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup old fashioned oats
½ cup shelled walnut pieces, finely chopped
¼ cup butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a deep 8-inch round or square casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the washed and dried, whole sweet potatoes (with the skins on) on the sheet and coat generously with cooking spray. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until tender (check if they are tender by spearing the largest one with a paring knife or fork).
3. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and let cool to the touch. Peel the skin and in a large bowl, whisk (or blend with a mixer) the roasted sweet potatoes with 1/4 cup of the Brown Sugar, orange zest, orange juice, egg yolks and salt.
4. In a small bowl, combine the oats, nuts and melted butter. Set aside.
5. Add the egg whites to a large glass or metal bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed or with stand mixer using the whisk attachment until egg whites form soft peaks with tips that curl over when the beaters are lifted.
6. Working in batches, incorporate one third of the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture using a large flat rubber spatula and gently folding them in until combined. Repeat that process two more times until all of the egg whites are incorporated into the sweet potatoes.
7. Pour sweet potato soufflé mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with the walnut mixture.
8. Place the soufflé into the oven and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake for 15 more minutes. Serve hot.
Note: The soufflé may deflate a little bit after baking so it’s best served immediately but is still okay to hold in a warming oven for service.
Serving size: 1 parfait
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pkg. (2.83 oz.) Royal Delights Strawberry Crème Pie Filling Mix
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Graham cracker sheets
12 strawberries, sliced
1. Prepare a double boiler by adding an inch of water to a small sauce pan over medium heat. Top it with a glass or metal bowl. Be sure to keep the water at a simmer so as not to overheat the chocolate.
2. Add chocolate chips, 1 cup of heavy cream, Hot Cocoa Mix and salt to the bowl over the double boiler. Stir constantly until chocolate chips start to melt. Remove from the double boiler and continue to stir until smooth. Keep slightly warm. You can always melt over the double boiler again if the mixture starts to firm up.
3. Make the strawberry crème pie filling mix according to the package directions. Set aside.
4. In a parfait glass or wine glass, crush half of one of the graham cracker sheets into the bottom of the glass. Top with 2 Tablespoons of the warm chocolate mixture. Lay all but three of the strawberry slices on top of the chocolate then top with ¼ cup of the strawberry crème pie filling. Crush the remaining graham cracker half on top of the strawberry crème pie layer, then top that with another ¼ cup of the strawberry crème pie filling. Top the last layer with 2 Tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and garnish with the remaining sliced strawberries.
5. Repeat to make 5 more parfaits (for a total of 6). Or you can make this in a small glass trifle bowl or deep glass pie dish to make one large serving.
Serving size: 1/6 of Gelatin Mold, or 1 individual Gelatin Mold
2 (1.55 ounce) packages of flavored gelatin (recommend Very Berry flavor)
3 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
2 cups chopped canned fruit, drained of liquid (recommend pears and apricots)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1. Combine the gelatin mix with 3 cups boiling water and stir gently until dissolved.
2. Stir in the cold water and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until the mix is cold and starting to thicken slightly.
3. Stir in the fruit and nuts and pour into a gelatin mold.
4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.
5. Unmold onto a plate to serve.