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This recipe, and another very similar one, come from what I have affectionately call "the most expensive cookbook in the world." Years ago when I was in my militant Weight Watcher exchange phase I subscribed to one of those recipe of month clubs. Actually it wasn't just one recipe, it was probably about a dozen, that were mailed to me for one low fee of $8.95 per month. Ahhh, I waited in anticipation for each month's offering. Nearly 20 years later there are still 15 or 20 recipes that I still make on an ongoing basis.
The thing about the recipes is that they were tweaked to make the ingredients fit into "exchanges." Sometimes awkwardly. Over the years as I've relaxed my food standards and become more familiar with basic cooking techniques, I've revised the recipes to make them more friendly for every day cooking.
The awkwardness of the original recipe for this casserole was there was really no glue holding it altogether. When I think casserole I think cream o' whatever soup. In my streamlined version, I've added a simple white sauce (the real basis for cream o' soups everywhere) which cooks up over the sauteed veggies. Add the remaining ingredients, transfer to a baking dish and heat in the oven for a low fat, delicious dish that is easy to make and good for you.
This is another one of the oldie but goodie Weight Watcher recipes from the "most expensive cookbook on the planet." Built around a cooking technique call sopa seca or "dry soup," vermicelli is cooked right in the pot along with tomatoes and other ingredients. By the time the pasta is cooked, the liquid has been absorbed and the flavors have melded.
Again, the original recipe had some weird portions in it to make it fit in the WW exchanges. I've simplified the recipe which originally called for ground beef. I don't eat of lot of beef but I've very fond of ground turkey and it works great in this recipe. Flats of ground turkey come in 20 oz. portions so half the package is perfect. I've also just used a whole one-pound tube of frozen ground turkey (Jennie O brand) with equal success.
I found these cute little 7 oz bags of cut pasta in the Latin Foods aisle of my local grocery store, too. Open the bag and boom! Done, easy! Now that I'm relaxed about portions I realize an extra ounce of pasta split between four servings is not a big deal.
Be sure to use a big, deep skillet or dutch oven for this recipe. It makes four hearty servings but requires a lot of room to stir.
this is a weight watcher's recipe I have been making for years. The swiss cheese is a great topper.
I pulled this recipe out of a coupon circular. I tried to lighten it up as much as possible.