Like Paula Deen, But Better

This afternoon went by pretty quickly, considering the amount of work I had to do! I was fairly busy after lunch, but I did take time to have a snack.


I made myself a quick apple crisp!


I diced a medium sized apple and microwaved it with a pinch of salt + cinnamon for 2 minutes.

While that was “cooking”, I got out my toppings.

  • 1 Tbsp craisins
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tsp graham cracker crumbs

It was such a good snack, and helped warm me up :) I was really cold in the house, so I just couldn’t bring myself to eat yogurt + fruit.

After seeing how good dinner turned out, this Monday wasn’t so bad ;)


I used this Mushroom Casserole recipe as my inspiration, but I amped it up quite a bit.


Ham, Mushroom, and Broccoli Casserole

  • 1.5 cups quick cooking barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz. chopped frozen broccoli (thawed OR cooked prior to mixing into dish)
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 8 oz. diced lean ham
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Add barley to 3 cups of boiling water. Lower the heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until the barley is cooked.
  2. While the barley is simmering, saute the mushrooms in 1 tsp of olive oil until browned.
  3. Add chopped onion and garlic to the mushrooms and let soften.
  4. Mix ham, barley, and mushroom mixture in a large bowl.
  5. Beat eggs with sour cream, cottage cheese, and Parmesan.
  6. Add egg mixture to barley/veggie mixture and pour into baking dish.
  7. Bake at 350 (covered) for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more or until the casserole is browned along the edges.


With a slice of homemade sourdough bread  and a smear of Kerrygold butter, it was the perfect comfort meal.

And with the ham, mushrooms, and broccoli, it was a one-pot wonder! A meal in itself.

This casserole was SO delicious. It totally reminded me of the broccoli and cheese casserole that is always at church potlucks and a staple of Paula Deen ;) The only difference here? More veggies, less cheese, and just healthier!

We loved it. I can’t wait to have leftovers of this meal.


HIMYM is about to start!


Do you have a favorite casserole?


  1. I haven’t had ham in SO LONG. That sounds fantastic

  2. casseroles kind of scare me for some reason so i don’t have a favorite or anything. but that looks good, maybe it’s just the way my mom and gma prepare theirs ahaha

  3. Thanks for linking to that mushroom casserole! Casseroles are such comfort food to me. Love the quick apple crisp!

  4. Hmmm, I love casseroles! Especially when it’s cold outside. But I also love them because you only have to clean one pot. And, they make great leftovers. In my opinion, they taste better the day after. Your casserole looks so tasty; the ham was a great addition!

  5. Your apple crisp sounds GREAT!!
    I love casseroles! So comforting… my favorite.. pineapple unhealthy but so darn good!

  6. I love most casseroles. One time I baked penne pasta, spinach, and a ton of pesto with cheese on top and it was kind of the best thing ever.

  7. I’m definitely not a casserole fan, but my Mom makes a mean Mexican casserole every once in a while. It’s terrible for you, but it tastes amazing!!!!
    Your actually sounds quite delish!

  8. we make pot pies with a biscuit crust that are basically a casserole- i think it’s the only casserole i ever ate growing up (baby brother, a few months ago, asked me what a casserole was. and he was dead serious.)

  9. Brandi, butter goes well with everything! The more the better! Tee hee! I was so inspired by this show Paula did once, when she just ate butter STRAIGHT up! lol!

    Your casserole looks annoyingly pretty. My casseroles always turn out looking like curd! Hee hee!

    Have a great week, girl! :-)

  10. Everytime I see your bread I want to try a sourdough starter…! I am so intimidated though!

    I think I can…I think I can…

  11. The casserole sounds great. I love casseroles, so comforting and easy to make!

  12. My aunt makes the best green bean casserole during the holidays. Does that count?

  13. YUM! I am so making this TONIGHT! Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration! :-)

  14. I love using Paula Deen’s recipes as inspiration, but I always get rid of most of the butter–this look so comforting and I love that it’s still healthy. Super job! :-)

  15. casseroles are the best! you can just throw things together and they almost always work!

    and i LOVE LOVE LOVE that apple crisp snack. must. recreate. asap.

    have a great day lady :)

  16. this sounds interesting delicious! I love the idea of a whole meal in one dish :) esp with mushrooms which I love!!

  17. That casserole looks so different and delicious :-)

  18. Oooh, I haven’t made a quickie apple crisp in a while! Thanks for reminding me ;)
    Have a great Tuesday!

  19. I’m not sure if I have a favorite casserole, but one I tried recently that I LOVED was the Tempeh Shepardess Pie from Veganomicon. I like grain casseroles a lot too.

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