{She Cooks} Cheesy Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Casserole.

Please excuse the Instragram quality photo.

 

Ingredients:

2 bags steam fresh brown rice

1-2 bag steam fresh broccoli {depends how much broccoli you want}

2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken

3 tbsp margarine

salt

pepper

garlic powder

Cheese Sauce:

4 tbsp margarine

1/4 cup flour

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup {ish} Italian cheese mix

2 cup {ish} Mild cheddar cheese {reserve some to top the casserole}

salt

pepper

garlic powder

The nitty gritty:

Preheat the oven to 350.

I took the easy way out with this meal and got the steam fresh bags. They’re easy. I threw each bag into the microwave and let it do it’s thing. Once finished, I put the rice in a bowl with 2 tbsp’s of margarine, garlic, salt, and pepper and mixed it up. This gave the rice some flavor of it’s own. I then did the same thing with the broccoli. Meanwhile I put the chicken in a pot of water and let it boil away until it was cooked through. I then shredded it with a  fork.

Once those three guys were ready I sprayed a 9×13 glass dish with cooking spray and then layered the rice, then chicken, then broccoli in the dish.

I set this aside and made the cheese sauce.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat melt the 4 tbsp’s of margarine then slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Once the margarine and flour are combined, slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Keep whisking until it’s just about to bubble and becomes thick – lower the heat to medium-low to be sure the bottom of the sauce doesn’t scorch  Then whisk in the cheeses and seasoning – whisk until the cheese is completely melted through and the sauce is very thick and creamy.

Then pour the cheese sauce over the rice, chicken, and broccoli. I then lightly stirred the mixture to make sure the sauce was all the way through. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese then throw it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

I kind of made this recipe up through a combination of different recipes I had pinned on pinterest. I love the creativity in cooking. It makes me happy. 😉

Happy hump day, lovelies!

 

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She cooks. {Lasagna Soup}

I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest this week… and I thought that it sounded delicious, easy, and had the opportunity to be relatively healthy. To me, those things are all I need to convince me to try something. I love to cook, it’s relaxing… however, the dishes and mess it makes are another story…

When I cook I tend to not use recipes… I get the basic idea and just kind of run with it. That’s the fun part – being creative. {Yes, I try to use creativity in everything I do.} In my recipe I used no salt beef broth to bring out the flavor of the ground beef {and to lower the sodium} I also added tomato paste as a thickening agent. And instead of breaking up lasagna noodles I used  campanelle pasta… they’re like mini lasagna noodles – with the curly edge. {Real technical terms here}. And instead of just topping with parmasan cheese I made a cheese mixture and used that to top it… It was like lasagna in a bowl… so, I think I accomplished what I set out to. I had two taste testers and they both were quite pleased. A+ for Jac!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef {mine was fresh from Shull farms}

1/2 white onion {diced}

1 tbsp fresh garlic

1 can {14.5 oz} diced tomatoes w/juice

1 can {14.5 oz} tomato sauce

1 small can {30 ml} tomato paste

2 cups no salt/low sodium beef broth

8 oz Campanella pasta {or whatever pasta floats your boat}

1 tbsp sugar {this is completely up to your taste – I like a hint of sweetness in any tomato sauce I make – so it’s give or take}

Seasoning {I used more garlic, sea salt, different italian seasonings – just season to your taste preference}

Cheese Mixture:

1 small container lowfat ricotta cheese

1 container gorgonzola cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

{again, cheese is up to you – pick and choose as you wish}

Okay guys… this is where it gets real tough… pay close attention…

In a large saucepan saute the onion and garlic in a little EVOO {what? You don’t watch Rachel Ray??? Extra Virgin Olive Oil} until fragrant. Throw in the beef, brown it. Because mine wasn’t very fatty I didn’t need to drain it. Turn the heat to medium, pour in the beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and season to taste. Let cook for about ten minutes {or an hour, if you have the time – I didn’t – so I went with 10 minutes}. Crank up the heat a bit to get a boil… once boiling, throw in your pasta. Let cook until al dente. {the pasta will continue to soak up the broth – and no one likes mushy noodles} Serve into bowls, spoon some cheese mixture on top and it’s ready to be gobbled up!

Oh yes, the cheese mixture… mix the cheeses together {I always season it with garlic and italian spices as well} and you’re done!

This meal was easy peezy lemon squeezy… and hardly even made a mess. I think the best part of this meal is that it makes plenty to have leftovers for the week… hello, lunch tomorrow!

And like a good little girl I calculated the calorie content {with the exact ingredients so it’s pretty accurate} and it came in at 353 w/cheese 208 w/out cheese. I’ll take that for a nice, hearty bowl of comfort food anyday.

{Also, I recommend a glass of your favorite wine to go with this bowl of yumminess. You deserve it.}

What’s your favorite thing to cook?

Happy Hump Day, my little pumpkins!

p.s. I’m not a recipe writer or follower so I apologize if it doesn’t make sense. 😉

p.p.s. I wasn’t planning on blogging this which is why I only had one, awful cell phone picture of it.