Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Repurpose Food & Mashed Potato Casserole

I am the queen of reusing and repurposing food. Yes, I sound smug saying this but it is only after years and years of success that I brag with such ease. Maybe it harks back to my environmentalist days, but I am not a big fan of waste (food waste, especially). And since it sounds like us Americans seem to waste more food than anyone on the planet, I figure repurposing potatoes into something yummy is my way of helping out.
Last weekend I made a batch of mashed potatoes as a side dish and ended up with WAY more than I could humanly eat. Instead of letting the plastic container sit in my fridge for the allotted week until the contents found its way into the trash, I opted to use my spuds as an example of reusing leftovers. Off the cuff, I made a mashed potato casserole (super easy). With just a couple items from my fridge and cupboard, my once plain potatoes turned into a light and fluffy casserole! This is very much a hodgepodge of whatever is readily available in your kitchen, so let your imagination run wild. And stay tuned for the repurposed mashed potato casserole into potato bacon soup (mmm, good fall eating here). Salute!

Mashed Potato Casserole 
  • 2 cups or so of leftover mashed potatoes (slightly reheadted as it's easier to mix) 
  • 1/2 can of seasoned lima beans
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Rondele spread 
  • 1/2 stalk of a leek, diced 
  • Handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • Shredded cheese (any variety)
  • 2-4 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prep the casserole pan (I didn't really do anything other than take it out of the cabinet).

Saute the leek and mushrooms in a frying pan for a few minutes (until the mushrooms appear mostly cooked and the leek becomes aromatic).

In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, lima beans, heavy cream, cheese spread, leek and mushroom saute, and most of the shredded cheese. Once this looks well incorporated, transfer it to the casserole pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and a few tablespoons of bread crumbs over the top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the dish cool for a few minutes and serve up while still warm.

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