Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sandie's Pizza Potatoes

A long time ago, on a VegSource far, far away, Sandie posted her original recipe for a casserole named Pizza Potatoes. The McDougall forums no longer exist over there and the original post from 2003 is long gone, but Sandie also posted the recipe on her Geocities recipe site. That's gone now, too. Luckily someone else had remembered it and asked about it on the current McDougall forums back in 2006, and Sandie, luckily, is also a member of those forums and answered, so now it's a permanent part of that site.

The original recipe, as written:

Pizza Potatoes

4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (I used Yukon Gold, my
favorite), divided.
2 - 3 cups favorite pizza toppings:
* sliced zucchini
* sliced onion
* sliced mushrooms
* sliced artichoke hearts
* diced red and/or green peppers
* sliced tomatoes
* sliced black olives
* fresh spinach
* any other sliced veggies you desire!
pizza sauce (see recipe below or use canned)
1 - 2 cups water (DO NOT ADD IF MAKING IN THE
Place 2 cups potatoes in a large, non-stick or pan
sprayed baking dish. Layer pizza toppings on top of
potatoes. Cover with half the pizza sauce. Layer on
the rest of the potatoes and the sauce. Pour the water
into the corners of the baking dish. Press down
mixture to allow liquid to cover surface of
ingredients. Cover and bake in a preheated 325 degree
(F) oven for approximately 60 - 90 minutes, uncover
and bake an additional 20 - 30 minutes (until potatoes
are tender) and top is crisp.
Approximately 6 - 8 servings
NOTE: This recipe may also be made in the crockpot.
Layer ingredients in crockpot as described above. DO
NOT ADD THE WATER. Cook on low for 6 - 10 hours.

My changes:
Instead of slicing potatoes I used a bag and a half of frozen hash browns.

The toppings I used were onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, frozen pepper strips, and green olives.

Although Sandie also posted a recipe for spaghetti sauce, I used a jarred oil-free low sodium marinara sauce. I did not add any water to the recipe. I figured with the veggies it'll have enough liquid.

I also gave a very generous sprinkling of Penzey Spice's Italian Herb mix over the top of the last layer of tomato sauce. 

I placed a layer of sauce, a layer of tomatoes, a thin layer of potatoes, a thick layer of dry-fried chunked onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms, and covered that with a bit more sauce. I then laid another layer of potatoes and a handful of spinach and about a quarter cup of the olives, then covered that with some sauce. Then came the last layer of potatoes and tomato sauce, plenty of herb mix, then covered with first parchment, then aluminum foil, and into the oven it went.
All that time and the exposed taters aren't even browned

I cooked it for almost 90 minutes, removed the covering, and cooked for another half hour, all at 350ยบ F. When I finally took it out of the oven, the sauce was bubbling nicely around the outer edges but the center was warm but still a bit cool to touch. By now hubby was home and starving, waiting to eat.

We ate it anyway. He wanted some cheese on his so I tossed some Daiya mozzarella in his bowl. The leftovers were packed into 2, 3-cup Pyrex containers and popped into the fridge for a decent reheating for weekend lunches. 

Next time I make this I'll be sure to start a whole lot earlier and let it cook for at least another half hour without the foil so it gets not only warmer but a bit crispy around the edges. It probably took so long because I started with frozen potatoes and more than the recipe called for. Actually, the next time I make this will probably be during the warm summer months so I most likely will dump it all into a Crockpot to cook. I refuse to light the oven once the outside temp reaches 65 or so, because that means our apartment on the top floor here will already be in the 80's, especially the kitchen, the only room besides the bathroom without air conditioning.

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