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Experiment In Cooking Becomes Family Favorite

By Merri Lou Dobler Correspondent

Sometimes you make do with what you’ve got. And when you’re in the kitchen, that can mean putting together creations with the food that’s available.

Laura Cunanan of Spokane recently opened her cupboards and found lots of canned foods. She decided to experiment for dinner. Maybe I should try this, she thought to herself as she pulled out a can of corn and another of tomato soup.

Next she gathered a package of bowtie pasta, some spices, lean ground beef from the refrigerator and some lowfat sour cream and cilantro.

“It was an experiment I stumbled upon,” says Cunanan, who was looking for something satisfactory to feed her husband and her children, Emily, Jordan and Olivia.

The experiment worked. In fact, it went over so well that the recipe became a family favorite.

Kids will go for everything except the cilantro, says Cunanan. “I haven’t met a kid who likes cilantro,” she says.

Cunanan, who moved from the San Bernardino, Calif., area three years ago and lives in Veradale, says her specialty is Italian food. Her grandparents, who came from Italy, have passed on all their recipes.

“Between the two, I have a huge, incredible file of Italian recipes,” says Cunanan. Her grandmother’s spaghetti recipe, she says, is to die for.

Cunanan also cooks Filipino foods, to honor her husband’s heritage. She enjoys making chicken adobo, but is careful to limit the vinegar so her children will enjoy it.

Your family will not leave any seconds when you serve Cunanan’s improvised Mexican casserole. Who knows, maybe it will become a favorite at your house, too.

Stove Top Mexican Casserole

From Laura Cunanan, Veradale.

8 ounces bowtie pasta

1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef

1/2 can condensed tomato soup plus 1/2 can water

1 (8-ounce) can whole corn

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

1/4 cup lowfat sour cream

1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, brown meat in frying pan and drain fat. Add tomato soup, water, corn, chili powder, cumin and salt. Simmer 3-4 minutes, until bubbling.

Add drained pasta and stir until pasta is coated with meat mixture. Remove from heat. Add sour cream and mix well. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 4-5 servings.

, DataTimes MEMO: The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

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