brussels sprouts church casserole
What a week. This is the first Thanksgiving I haven’t hosted since 2012, and it’s the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever spent alone. I stayed here with Beau while my mom took Harry to see my Nanny in Florida. I ordered $50 worth of takeout (veggie Pad Thai, shrimp pho, and Massaman curry with softshell crab, for those of you who are interested) and deep-cleaned my apartment, focusing on my boys’ room.
I made a few trays of my standby Thanksgiving recipe: these sausage-stuffed mushrooms. I made some to bring to work, some to give to my neighbor Shane (we share a love of cooking and eating), and most to take to Nanny’s house. Half the people in my office don’t like either pork or mushrooms, or are gluten free, etc. I made the mushrooms with gluten free breadcrumbs this year, and they didn’t hold up the same.
Between my last-minute decision to stay in Atlanta and my aversion to weird textures, I scraped the Nanny-pan into the garbage disposal. I decided to film it and send it to Ex because it was both mine and his favorite dish at Thanksgiving. He knew I only made them once a year, and we both knew they were amazing. As I write this 4 days later, Ex still hasn’t opened my message. I did some low-level snooping and checked out his Facebook page. He has a girlfriend. Like, I knew he’s been doing what he wants, but his profile picture now isn’t of him and Beau anymore. It’s of him and Tara. I hadn’t considered feeling jealous.
Can’t process anymore right now. I know I’m the one who left, and for good reasons. But now it’s official: he’s not pining after me anymore. It’s Facebook Fucking Official.
After eating nothing but takeout for days (that was so much food), I felt like cooking. First, I prepped some turkey chili (not leftover turkey, thank you!) because I’d been wanting Ryan to come have dinner again soon, and we finally picked an evening to do it. Next I prepped a tandoori twist on these cauliflower tacos for Shane and me. Then, in the back of the crisper drawer, I saw a bag of brussels sprouts I’d bought a week ago, slumped over with some forgotten autumnal intentions.
Aight, let me cook my way out of this…emotional bullshit. I trimmed and sliced the sprouts thinly. I added them to a bowl and threw in my leftover jasmine rice from the curry. You can use whatever cooked leftover starch you have: brown rice, quinoa (though that’s less churchy), or potatoes.
I call this kind of food “church lady food” because when I was a housewife, this was the kind of stuff the church ladies would bring to all our church gatherings. You really can’t beat it. It always starts with an innocent vegetable who is later ravaged by cheese, mayo, and carbs.
Another thing I associate with church lady food is that it’s usually eaten at room temperature. This is because we church ladies (yeah) would bake our casseroles ahead of time and bring them to church. By the time everyone ate, everything was room temp.
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty Level: Easy
1 pound of brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
2 cups of leftover cooked rice
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of fat free Greek yogurt
1 cup of light mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons of dry ranch seasoning
½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the prepped brussels sprouts, rice, parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch seasoning to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.
- Spread the mixture out evenly in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the inside is bubbling, and the crust is golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
*songs on repeat today: Havana by Camila Cabello, American Music and Please Do Not Go by Violent Femmes