Layered Casserole Dinner

With grocery prices on the rise, along with everything else it seems, we are all looking for ways to feed our families without breaking our budgets. This menu is a great meal for feeding families economically and yet healthfully. Layered casserole dinner uses ground beef and combines five vegetables and dairy all in one inexpensive dish. Add a fruit gelatin mold and you have a family meal in two dishes.

LAYERED CASSEROLE DINNER

1 lb lean ground beef
4 med red potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
1 med green bell pepper, sliced
1 can (15-16 oz) italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp basil
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Crumble ground beef into large skillet and cook until all pink is removed. Drain well. In a large casserole dish, layer ingredients in order listed above, omiting the cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove lid and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake 5 minutes more.

GELATIN FRUIT MOLD

2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 large box sugar-free strawberry-flavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold pure orange juice mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks, in their own juice; drained
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, pour gelatin powder and add boiling water. Stir at least 3 minutes to be sure all gelatin is thoroughly dissolved. Stir in cold juice/water mixture. Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened enough that a spoon drawn through the gelatin will leave an impression. Stir in fruit and nuts. Spoon into a 6-cup mold that has been sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Unmold.

Note: Do not use fresh pineapple as gelatin will not set.

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About The Author, Linda Carol Wilson
For more of Linda's recipes and diabetic information go to http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com She also has a blog where she shares her vintage recipe collection. Visit the blog at http://grandmasvintagerecipes.blogspot.com