Go ahead and laugh. Yes, I saw these on TV. Yes, I wanted them. Mr. L., who pays attention to my whims, duly noted it in his "Marla's Whims" notebook (maybe) and lo and behold, there they were, Christmas morning.
Yes, they were as easy as the commercial showed. You gently poke the flour shells into the pans, bake at 400 for ten minutes, and ta-daah! Very crispy. Pictured above are kalua pork tacos -- fat-free refried beans on the bottom, lettuce, kalua pork, tomatoes, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Delicious, and for a lot less than your restaurant or take-out taco salad.
Honestly, I think I have the most fun when I cook if there is a challenge involved. If there are leftovers to be used up, so much the better. I'm inspired by those bits and pieces.
I am also a fan of casseroles, because they are such great comfort food. After a rainy, cold, day, I wanted something hot, bubbly, and cheesy. My refrigerator held lots of leftover possibilities. I chose:
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 cup of cooked brown rice
3 carrot sticks left over from a recent cocktail party
1 lump of low-fat cream cheese (roughly, 2 T.)
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
1/4 bag of spinach
Bechamel sauce (see link)
I started off by cooking the cauliflower and carrots until tender, and then drained.
Then I made a basic Bechamel sauce, and threw in the little lump of cream cheese, because I could. What else would I use it for?
To that sauce, I added the steamed, drained, vegetables and rice. Then, I heard my mother's voice: "This could use a little color." Mom was really big on color. She was right. I tossed in the spinach. That went into my vintage Pyrex, a gift from Mr. L. last Christmas, and I topped that with cheddar cheese and paprika. Mom put paprika on everything white, and she was right. Life needs color.
I baked the casserole at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.