In an ungreased baking dish (8 x 8 or similar size) mix broccoli, soup, cheese, the half cup of milk, choice of protein and onion powder. For a better presentation, with a clean, damp dishcloth, wipe off any excess that has slopped onto the sides of a dish. Gently smooth the top of the vegetable sauce mixture with a spatula.
In a medium bowl, mix Bisquick (or substitute) and the remaining 3/4 cup of milk. Look for a thick but pourable consistency, and add a little extra milk if needed. Pour evenly over the mixture in the pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 27 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes and serve, but be aware that the vegetables keep cooking under the biscuit crust – if leaving for any longer, cut the crust through into serving pieces so the steam can escape.
Note on Frozen Vegetables: Thaw and drain before using or you’ll have a watery dish. The last broccoli I used was a pound, 10 ounces of broccoli and six ounces of water. The Bird’s Eye Steam Fresh I had planned on using here was 12 ounces, five ounces of vegetable, 7 ounces of water. I opted for fresh instead.
Notes on substituting:
To steam fresh vegetables, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the broccoli stems, then the rest of the vegetables. Cover, reduce to a simmer and pan steam several minutes until crisp/tender. about five to six minutes. They will continue to cook as the casserole bakes. Fewer vegetables are needed when using fresh.
To use a cream sauce instead of the canned soup and milk: Omit the soup, 1/2 cup of milk and onion powder. Instead: saute in 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup each of diced onion and celery until just tender. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk for a moment to cook flour. Stirring constantly, blend in 2 1/4 cups of milk, and cook, stirring until thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Use the spoon test: Dip a spoon in the mixture, then run your finger down the back of the spoon. If a distinct line stays, it is ready. Add salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, blend in grated cheese.
To use a homemade Bisquick Substitute, use 1 cup of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cut the butter in, using a knife, food processor or fingers, then combine with the milk. Slightly more milk may need to be added.
Nutrition: Per Serving: 276 Calories; 12g Fat (39.6% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 1086mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Bisquick, Broccoli, Canned Soup, Casserole, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken, Frugal Hausfrau, Ham, leftover Chicken, leftover ham, Leftovers, planned leftovers, Turkey, Turkey Leftovers, White sauce