Beef and Vegetable Cheese Casserole
- 1 spray(s) cooking spray
- 2 medium fresh tomato(es), sliced
- 2 medium uncooked zucchini, sliced
- 12 oz uncooked lean ground beef
- 1 large uncooked onion(s), finely chopped
- 2 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
- 1 cup(s) canned tomato sauce
- 2 cup(s) fat free cottage cheese
- 1 large uncooked egg yolk(s)
- 1/2 cup(s) low fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, oregano or rosemary, chopped
- 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 500ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread tomatoes and zucchini over sheet. Roast vegetables for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanhwile, in a large, nonstick skillet, sauté beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Spread beef mixture in a large, shallow baking dish (3 quart or 9 X 13-inches) and top with roasted vegetables. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
- Whisk together cottage cheese, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon over roasted vegetables and smooth with a rubber spatula.
- Bake until very hot and bubbling around edges, about 35 minutes. Cut into six equal pieces and serve immediately. (Note: If preparing casserole in advance and freezing it, make sure to thaw it completely in the refrigerator before baking it. Increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.)
To give this dish an Italian accent, substitute fat-free ricotta cheese for cottage cheese and use 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in place of the cheddar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil just before serving.