Recipe this for thats

I made a couple ingredient substitutions for Thanksgiving. They were intentional and not driven by an absence in my pantry.

Broccoli Spinach Rice Cheese Bake

Instead of broccoli I used spinach in this dish that we love but it gives my guts the grippers. We love spinach so it seemed like a good substitute. I also halved it since there was only two for dinner and we don’t like that many leftovers. Here’s the recipe:

  1. Melt 1/2 stick of margarine and saute chopped onion. I used half of a large sweet onion.
  2. 8-12 oz of Cheez Whiz (the original recipe calls for a large jar but the new large jar is too big so I used half.
  3. Add 1 large bag of frozen chopped leaf spinach (replaces broccoli)
  4. Add 1 cup of instant rice
  5. 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  6. bread crumbs for top

Mix together after sauteing onion then put into baking dish. I used my 2 quart glass casserole. Bake for 40 minutes at 325°.

End result was okay. I think it needed more moisture so I’d probably add 1/2 can of milk to the soup. I also think it could have used more rice, and I’ll use 2 cups of regular long grain cooked rice next time. I’ve never been a fan of instant rice but that’s what the original called for. As we were eating I thought about adding peppers to the onion saute. Sweet red, green, yellow peppers would be colorful and tasty.  All in all it was good and less gut stressful than the broccoli. By the way, I love broccoli. I just got to the age it doesn’t love me.

Pumpkin Bars

This is a quick recipe that makes a 13×9 pan so serves a lot more than a pie. The substitute here was buttermilk for the milk/evaporated milk (which I never really knew which it should be). I’ve tried both and it turns out no matter. The recipe was written down from a radio show I used to listen to after we were married. I think it originated out of Dubuque Iowa.

Crust layer:

  1. 1 package of yellow cake mix poured into a medium bowl, remove 1 cup to a smaller bowl, set aside for topping.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of melted margarine
  3. Add 1 beaten egg

Mix together then spread and press into the bottom of a 13×9 pan.

Pumpkin layer: In a large bowl whisk together:

  1. 1 can of Pumpkin Pie Mix (30 oz)
  2. 2/3 cup of buttermilk
  3. 2 beaten eggs

Pour over cake mix pressed layer, evenly spread.

Topping layer: Assemble the topping mixture:

  1. 1 cup of reserved cake mix
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup margarine
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon

Use a fork to cut together so it’s crumbly. I used a special cinnamon maple blend this time, which was very tasty. Then sprinkle evenly over the top of the pumpkin layer.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Serve with whipped topping. 

End result: The pumpkin seemed lighter and fluffier. I’d use buttermilk again! I think it’s pretty foolproof. Also delicious and a nice change from the usual pumpkin pie.

 We had a nice Thankgiving, just the two of us, very quiet, just what we needed.


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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