Did you know that the tongue can pick up on five basic tastes? Four of them might be easy to come up with off the top of your head (sweet, sour, bitter and salty), but the fifth is a bit more obscure: It's called umami, a Japanese word that translates to "pleasant, savory taste." This hearty dish will surely satisfy your umami taste craving! The mushrooms and asparagus stretch the half-pound of ground beef so well that you won't even miss the other half!
Pro tip: The asparagus lattice pattern isn't necessary; it just adds visual appeal. You can just cut all of it up in pieces to be added to the casserole if you prefer.
Recipe: Beef, Mushroom, and Asparagus Bake
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: ⅙ of casserole
1 can reduced-fat crescent rolls
½ pound lean ground beef
½ small onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8-ounce) container Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, reserving 6 uncut spears
¾ cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Unroll the crescent rolls in the bottom of the baking dish, and pinch the seams together. Pre-bake the crust for 8 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms about 12-15 minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are very soft. Use a wooden spoon to break the beef up as it cooks. Drain any excess fat and return the beef to the skillet over low heat.
Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces, and spears for 4-6 minutes, or until tender crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve in a bowl of ice water.
Drain the asparagus and add to the beef and mushroom mixture. Stir in the salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and mushroom soup.
Pour the beef mixture on top of the prebaked crust, and top with the mozzarella cheese. Lay the spears in a lattice pattern on top. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Per Serving: (⅙ of casserole)
Calories from fat: 101
Saturated Fat: 5g