Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Casseroles have been my boyfriend and I’s friend these past 2 weeks. They’re really easy to make and the outcome is almost always a pan full of deliciousness.

Last weekend we put soup Sunday’s on a hold & opted for a more comforting dish, like a casserole. At Thanksgiving I had this delicious broccoli casserole topped with Ritz crackers. It was heaven. I searched for a recipe similar to that but with chicken & rice. I wanted a chicken & rice casserole that reminded me of that amazing broccoli casserole with the salty Ritz crackers on top.

I found a recipe for a broccoli, rice & chicken casserole that I decided looked, one, amazing & two, possibly close to what I had at Thanksgiving. I decided to add cauliflower to the recipe because I love broccoli & cauliflower together & because why not?

It’s really quick to get together & cooks in around 45 minutes which makes it a great weeknight meal or any night really!

 

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time:  40-45 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 Chicken Tenderloins, Cubed
  • 2 C Fresh Broccoli, Chopped

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    Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole
  • 1 C Fresh Cauliflower, Chopped
  • 1 C White Rice
  • 2 C Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 C Cream of Broccoli
  • 2 1/2 C Low-Fat Milk
  • Salt/Pepper, Sprinkle of Both
  • 1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers, Smashed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • While oven is preheating, cube chicken tenderloins & place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Chop 2 cups of broccoli & 1 cup of cauliflower into bite sized pieces & add to bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients to bowl with the exception of the crumbled ritz crackers. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour ingredients into a greased 9×13 baking pan & make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  • Top mixture with crumbled ritz crackers & place in the oven.
  • Cook at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until rice & chicken are cooked.
  • Eat immediately & enjoy!
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Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables

Crock-pots are a huge love of mine. I mean, how can you not love your crock-pot!? It works magic while you’re at work or bumming around. It’s one of the best darn inventions ever. This weekend was a lazy one, but needed. Time to unwind and relax, be it all weekend, or for a few hours, is very necessary. It’s time to find yourself again in this busy chaotic world.

Saturday the boy & I decided to sleep-in, hang out & play video games all day. What better time to whip out the crock-pot. We wanted something tasty, but not SUPER terrible for us. Both of us are “trying” to watch what we eat & by trying I mean not really, but we like the idea of it.

We found this recipe on pinterest from Skinny Mom called, Skinny Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken. The fact that it had “Skinny” in the recipe title sold us, although I don’t know how “skinny” it is for you, but hey, why not! We both were SO happy that we made this. It was legit so dang delicious. I had 2 servings which instantly makes it not skinny anymore, but seriously, it was that good! We added a bunch of vegetables into the recipe & I am so happy we did. It gave it a good crunch & change in texture. Loved it.

So if you’re looking for an easy recipe, something creamy, and oh so delicious, this is the recipe for you! Enjoy!


Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables

Prep Time:  15 Min          Cook Time:  4 Hours & 15 Min

Servings: Approximately 6

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 LBS Boneless Chicken Breasts

    Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables
    Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables
  • 1 Packet of Garlic & Herb Dry Dressing Mix, .75 OZ
  • 1 C Water
  • Salt & Pepper, to Taste
  • ½ Sweet Onion
  • 1 ¼ C Fresh Broccoli, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
  • 1 ¼ C Fresh Cauliflower, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
  • 1 C Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Can (10.5 OZ) Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 8 Ounces Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, Cubed

Directions:

  1. Trim any fat off of chicken breasts. Sprinkle a little salt/pepper onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  2. Place into crock-pot.
  3. Combine 1 cup water & garlic & herb dressing mix into a small bowl until dissolved. Pour over chicken in crock-pot.
  4. Dice ½ sweet onion & place in crock-pot with chicken.
  5. Turn crock-pot on high. Allow chicken to cook for approximately 3-4 hours until chicken is tender & shreds easily.
  6. While chicken is cooking, begin prepping broccoli, cauliflower & carrots. Set in fridge until chicken is done.
  7. Once chicken easily shreds, add the cubed cream cheese & condensed cream of chicken soup to crock-pot stirring until combined.
  8. Add cut up vegetables & mix. Allow to cook for an additional 30-40 minutes on high until heated through. ENJOY!
  9. Serve atop a rice mixture or simply enjoy by itself!

Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

I just got back last weekend from an epic 2 week road trip across the US with my fantastic copilot boyfriend. Our main goal was to return to Utah for a friends wedding, but of course we had to make some fun stops along the way. We went South before heading North, and then back East:  Virgina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, UTAH, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois & Pennsylvania (home). It was so fun, but man did I miss cooking. There are only so many gas station sandwiches you can eat before you begin to loose your mind. Road food is fun for a day & then it’s just downright bad. So needless to say, once I was unpacked, laundry was washed & I was starting to get back to my routine, I started scouting out some tasty recipes to try out.

I had around 4,000 frequent flyer miles, sounds like a lot, but of course not nearly enough for a free flight. So what does the airline do with those miles you ask? They offer magazine subscriptions at no cost, simply use my miles for the ones I want. Cool right? Not really, but hey, it’s better than nothing right?!

One of the magazines I subscribed to was Everyday with Rachel Ray. There are a lot of delicious sounding recipes in the magazine, so I’ll take it as a win in the selection book. I have cooked 2 of the recipes in the magazine, adding my little spin on them, of course. That’s where all the fun is, and eating all the food, but that’s a given. In the magazine the recipe is called Cauliflower & Caper Pasta. It’s a really delicious dish. I have been wanting to cook something with capers for a while now. I always loved anything with capers & lemon. The tartness of both just goes so well together with chicken, pasta a lot of things really. So once I saw “caper” in the title, I knew I was going to try it out.

The hardest thing about this recipe is crisping the capers. Now I have never fried anything a day in my life. I’m scared of hot oil, just like I’m scared of the broiler. Dummy me did not have a cover for the frying pan to prevent the oil from going EVERYWHERE once I added the capers to the pan. Learning curve. Needless to say I walked away with only minor oil burns & by minor I mean, just redness for a day and an initial sting. They always say you learn from your mistakes, & yes, yes I did learn from my mistake. So please, if you’re going to make this dish, be EXTRA careful when crisping the capers & the cauliflower. I don’t want anyone else burning their precious hands.


Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

Serves: 5              Total Time: 45 Min.

Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta
Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 5 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 OZ Drained Capers (Patted Dry!)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces (Washed & Patted Dry!)
  • 1 C Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Box of Spaghetti, I use Barilla Protein Plus, but any Spaghetti will work just fine!
  • 1/2 C Warm Water
  • 1 C White w/ Lemon Flavor Cooking Wine
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 C Grated Parmesan

Directions:

  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, cut cauliflower into bite size pieces, wash & pat dry. Drain capers & pat dry.
  • Begin heating up a medium-large frying pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add capers to hot frying pan, BE CAREFUL. If you have a frying pan screen now is the time to use it!
  • Work capers around in pan until crispy, approximately 8 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon & place into a bowl on the side.
  • Begin adding cauliflower florets to frying pan. Work around pan until browned, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, water, white cooking wine w/ lemon flavoring & fresh time. Combine together & add capers & spinach. Once heated through & pasta is cooked & drained, add to large bowl with pasta being sure to cover all of the noodles. Top with parmesan cheese mixing well. Serve immediately & ENJOY!

Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Two posts within 24 hours – you lucky ducks!

This past Sunday was a relaxing day. I spent it with my favorite boy cleaning his apartment, cooking lunch, dinner & even dessert! We went thrifting on Saturday and I scored this cute little cookbook called “101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker” by Janet Eyring & Stephanie Ashcraft for $1.00. Schwing! The recipes are all super simple which I like because it leaves a lot of room for adding my own little spin on them. Plus, who doesn’t love a delicious crock-pot recipe?! Crazy people, that’s who.

The recipe i’m going to share with you all is called Pineapple Chicken – simple enough. It’s delicious with some oriental vegetables & brown rice. I opted for a frozen vegetable mix with water chestnuts, snap peas, green beans, carrots, red peppers & onions. The pineapple chicken alone would probably taste delicious on some Hawaiian bread, or potato bread even – something a little sweeter!


Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Serves: 4-6         Prep Time: 10 Min          Cook Time: 6-7 Hours Low

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 LB Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 1 package of chicken breasts, which had 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 TSP Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • 1/8 TSP Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
  • 1/4 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Pineapple Tidbits (20 OZ), Juice Included
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 3-4 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 TSP Minced Garlic

Directions:

  1. Grease a 3.5 to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Combine spices & sprinkle over chicken breasts. Place chicken into crock-pot, low setting turned on.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the pineapple tidbits, juice from the tidbits, dijon mustard, low sodium soy sauce & garlic. Pour over chicken & cover.
  4. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is easy to shred.

**If you’re cooking with frozen vegetables I added them into the crock-pot for 10 minutes once the chicken was done. Make sure to mix them well so that they all get a little of the liquid on them!