The perfect comfort food to bring to friends who are moving, recovering from illness, or just need some love!
I made this dish recently for my best friend when she and her family moved into the cutest cottage in town. Being a two-toddler family means both she and her husband are always r-u-n-n-i-n-g. To give you a picture: she once came down with a cold, and even being tissue-ridden and lethargic, she still racked-up over 10,000 steps that day, even though she told me she was moving so slow. Anyway. You’ve got the idea. So needless to say, I was excited to help by bringing them a ready-made meal, with plenty of leftovers to keep cooking chores at a minimum during the move.
This dish is easy, requires minimal culinary skill, and makes a lot of food for only a little bit of money. It also packs in the calories–perfect for toddlers who lack the patience to eat very much. It’s also great for people recuperating from surgeries or sickness, since it has lots of nutrition while being very easy to digest. It’s potatoes!
Here’s what you need for Welcome Home Potatoes:
1-2 lbs Idaho potatoes (or whichever you like, whichever is on sale)
1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
1 can cream of chicken condensed soup
8-10 fresh Brussels sprouts
1 large onion (I like golden for this, but white onions are also yummy)
1 bunch carrots
Olive oil (Just buy a bottle. Olive oil is amazing for our health and you should use it for other things when you’re done with this.)
Garnishes: salt, pepper, any other spices you like
Optional: parsley flakes, or fresh chopped parsley, grated cheese
A rectangular baking dish
A colander big enough to rinse veggies
A sharp knife
Before we get going: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel and rinse the potatoes. Slice into thin slices and place to the side.
- Clean up the Brussels sprouts, removing any imperfect leaves. Cut of any dry ends at the bottom. Cut sprouts in half, and rinse halves again in a colander–this helps make sure any dirt or debris is completely removed.
- Peel and slice carrots. Remove the greens. Did I really need to tell you that part?
- Slice onions. I like long strips for this, but you do what you like, ok?
- Place a little olive oil in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.
- Make a layer of potato slices.
- Follow with a handful of carrots, onions, and Brussels sprouts. Use your non-dominant hand for this: what the heck. We’re not professional chefs, we might as well do clumsy things that are good for the brain.
- Continue these layers of veggies until you’ve used everything up and the pan is full!
- Cover generously with salt and pepper on top. Don’t worry about getting this into the nooks and crannies; the sauce is going to take care of that for us.
For the sauce:
In a separate bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom, the cream of chicken, and the olive oil. If you like things creamier, you can add milk. Add any other spices you like! Some lemon juice also brightens things up. This is your dish to experiment with. I like a little bit of cayenne pepper, but I tend not to use too much if I am preparing this for friends.
- Pour the sauce all over the pan. Notice how this really does help get the salt and pepper into all the nooks and crannies.
- Finish with a little salt and pepper, just for the potatoes on top. Garnish with parsley flakes.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After this time, uncover and continue baking. This is the time to add a sprinkle of grated cheese if you like. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully cooked and are easy to poke with a fork.
This dish is delicious piping hot, warm, or even at room temperature. It freezes well, and refrigerated leftovers also taste great the next day.
Next time you hear of someone moving, recovering, or even feeling the blues, give them the gift of friendship and a full tummy! I promise, it is sure to be received with appreciation and likely even a sigh of relief. And of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to make this for yourself–self care is health care, after all! 😉