Orthodontic Friendly Recipes from the AOO

  1. ​Best Baked Spaghetti

  2. ​Corned Beef Casserole

  3. Easy Zucchini Chips Parmesan or Herb

  4. Fruity Heart-Shaped Cut-Outs

Best Baked Spaghetti

The first time I was served this casserole, I unashamedly had three helpings. The merlot makes it rich and mellow, while the oregano contributes fragrance and flavor. You can divide the cheese as you like, to put more throughout or on top – we love the brownedyet-tender topping that it forms. This freezes well, and the leftovers are great, too. 1 lb ground beef 1 medium onion, chopped or 1 Tbl dried onion 1 clove garlic, chopped 3 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce 1/2 c merlot or Burgundy wine (Burgundy gives a deeper flavor but most reds will work) 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried parsley, optional 1 Tbl sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 c grated American cheese, about 4 slices, or 1/2 c grated mild Cheddar cheese 1/2 pound dry thin spaghetti, broken in half Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time 45 minutes. In a large no-stick frying pan or Dutch oven, sauté meat, onion and garlic. Add tomato sauce, wine, oregano, parsley, sugar and salt. Simmer, covered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (It really makes a difference if you can take this amount of time! Otherwise, 20 minutes will serve to heat everything.) Cook spaghetti as usual and drain. Put half the spaghetti in a greased 3-quart casserole, then add half the sauce and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Add the remaining spaghetti and sauce, and stir everything together with a large spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. At this point, the ingredients are all cooked, so it could be eaten as is, but it’s much better if you bake it (covered) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes -- the cheese turns a wonderful brown and the flavor is absorbed throughout. Serves six to eight. ©2013 The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (and Your Orthodontist)

Corned Beef Casserole

For St. Patrick’s Day, tender teeth deserve a tender version of classic corned beef. The ingredients for this casserole mix together quickly & make a very filling dinner on a cool evening. 1 (8-ounce) package of fine or medium egg noodles, uncooked 1 (12-ounce) can corned beef 1 (10 ½- to 14-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted ¾ cup milk (use just ½ cup if using larger soup can) 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion ¼ cup bread crumbs (seasoned or toasted plain) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. In a large saucepan, cook the noodles just until tender; drain. In a large bowl, chop the corned beef into a coarse crumbly texture. Stir in soup, milk and onion. Grease a 2-quart casserole. Add the noodles and the corned beef mixture and stir together well. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 people. Note: Freezes well. For a little extra zip, add 2 Tablespoons water and ½ cup dry red wine when you reheat it on the stove or in the oven. Chef Amee’s Gourmet Touch Before baking the casserole, add 1 cup of finely chopped purple cabbage, ¼ cup diced onion and 2 teaspoons fennel seed or powder for some true Irish flavor. If you’re not keen on Chef Amee’s optional cabbage touch, try serving this dish with petite whole green beans prepared on the stove while the oven does its work. ©2014 Pamela Waterman, Metal Mouth Media

Easy Zucchini Chips

Parmesan or Herb Making tender or crispy zucchini chips in 30 minutes IS possible. No peeling is necessary, and you can make them with any combination of cheese, herbs, and/or garlic. Baking them for 20 minutes total leaves them just a bit tender, while 25 minutes or so in the oven makes them crispier; when they’re this thin, even crispy works as braces-friendly. One 7-to-8-inch zucchini makes one cookie sheet full (about 48 slices). Two step baking: 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down to 200 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes more. Preheat oven for best results. Vegetable oil in spray form (canola or olive are both great) 1 (7-to-8-inch) zucchini (I try to find them about 1 ½-inch diameter, but anything works), unpeeled Your choice: ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese AND/OR 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons ground dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, or Italian herb mix) (Optional): 1 Tablespoon garlic powder 1) Spray a large cookie sheet with the oil. 2) Slice zucchini into 1/8-inch thick slices (I checked and this is the thickness of two nickels!) 3) Lay slices on cookie sheet and spray the tops lightly with oil. 4) Sprinkle slices with your choice of Parmesan cheese and/or herbs and/or garlic powder. 5) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then, leaving cookie sheet in, turn oven down to 200 degrees and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes. (Check them at 5 minutes to see if that’s how you like them; if you want them crispier, go for the full 10 minutes). HINT: A slicing tool called a mandolin is *fabulous* for this kind of recipe; I recently got one as a gift and now ask, where has this been all my life? Otherwise, a sharp chopping knife works, too. ©2014 Pamela Waterman, Metal Mouth Media

Fruity Heart-Shaped Cut-Outs

Fruit snacks, fruit “leather,” gummy bears – whatever your favorite, these smooth and soft fruit shape substitutions will satisfy your craving while keeping braces-hardware safe. Experiment with different fruit flavors to find your own special combination. 1 (6-oz) (8 serving) pkg cherry gelatin (dry) 1 (6-oz) (8 serving) pkg raspberry gelatin (dry) 1 1/2 c water 1 c cranberry-grape juice 1 tsp lemon juice In a large bowl, stir together both packages of dry gelatin powder. In a medium saucepan, stir together the water and juice; bring to a full boil then remove pan from heat. Pour hot juice mixture slowly into bowl, stirring constantly with a large spoon. Keep stirring for two minutes or until all granules have dissolved. Add lemon juice and stir to mix. Pour mixture into a 9”x13” pan and place pan in refrigerator. Chill for at least 3 hours or until firm. Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters of different sizes (dipped in hot water). If pieces are hard to get out, set the entire pan for a minute onto a cookie sheet filled with a quarter-inch of hot water. ©2014 Pamela Waterman, Metal Mouth Media