Whole Foods: “Real” Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Last week I shared a recipe for cabbage rolls (galumpkis) that was passed down through the women on my dad’s side of the family. Today I’m sharing a real food makeover of a recipe that I learned from my mother-in-law. First a little back story. My husband comes from a family of ten. Yes, you read that right – two parents, eight kids, and a lot of commotion. You can only imagine what meals are like when all of the children, spouses, and grandchildren are present! My point is, my mother-in-law sometimes has to cook meals that can be thrown together quickly and satisfy a variety of tastes. So while she is a big advocate of whole food (she actually owns a grain mill and a copy of Nourishing Traditions), she still has to break out the canned soup sometimes.
Before beginning my own whole food journey, I used to make this the “traditional” way – white rice, canned soup, etc. But I have finally perfected the real food version. Yes, it is a few extra steps, but it is still quite easy to assemble. One way I simplify the process is to use leftover chicken and rice. About every two weeks I will roast a whole chicken and make a big pot of rice. I shred and save the leftovers, make broth with the bones to be used in my homemade cream soups, and then make this meal with them later in the week. Of course it will also be simplified if assembled on your big cooking day. But I think what really matters is that I can feed my family one of our favorite meals knowing that it is not only comforting and tasty, but nutrient dense.
What family recipes have you made over for your new real food lifestyle? Please share in the comments for the benefit of our Get Real community!
“Real” Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Kim @ Onceamonthmom.com
- 2.5 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 batch cream of mushroom soup
- 1 batch cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook brown rice according to package instructions on the stove top or in a rice cooker. Meanwhile, in a large pot, steam broccoli florets until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, reserving .5 cup of shredded cheese. Mix well to combine. Divide casserole between two 8 x 8 greased baking pans or one larger pan. Sprinkle each with .25 cups shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Follow directions above and freeze before baking. TO SERVE: Thaw and bake as directed above.
**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann
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