Everyone knows there are a lot of chicken and rice recipes out there. It seems to be one of those “go to” recipes. You should keep rice and cream of mushroom soup in your pantry as staples. Also if you are opting to eat a little on the healthier side, choose brown rice and there are soups out there that are lower in sodium.
Broccoli is a plant that is part of the cabbage family. It has virtually no fat, low in sodium, high in potassium. It also has a good amount of vitamin C. While it is usually cooked, broccoli can also be eaten raw. Pair the raw broccoli with ranch dip, and you’ve got something scrumptious. But that’s a recipe for another day. Broccoli may be boiled, but steaming it keeps it’s bright color, and retains the vitamins. When boiled, it will usually turn kind of gray, and all the vitamins and minerals will be cooked out of it. When steaming your broccoli, make sure to steam only till crisp tender. Remove it from the steamer and “shock” it in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Food continues to cook even when its removed from the heat source. So by immersing the broccoli in an ice bath, you immediately stop the cooking process, there by retaining the crisp tender texture.
Chicken is also one of those things a lot of people should keep in the freezer for those “go to” meals. Chicken is full of protein, and while the dark meat may seem to be a little tastier, the skinless, white meat is lower in fat and cholesterol. There is a myriad of chicken recipes. This chicken and rice with broccoli recipe is just one among many, many chicken recipes. Chicken can be used in so many ways. By using it in casseroles, you can really stretch your budget. In today’s world, stretching a buck and still feeding your family good tasting, nutritional food, is in itself a task.
Of course topping it all with cheese is a little on the “unhealthier” side, but opt for the cheeses out there that are made with 2% milk, and use a little less than you normally would. This will help keep it on the little healthier side.
The following is a family favorite. Hope it becomes one of yours too!
Chicken and rice with broccoli
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 cups cooked rice (measurements for this is two to one, (ex: one cup rice to two cups water)
2 chicken breasts, sautéed, and cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup (preferably low sodium)
1 cup steamed broccoli florets
Salt and pepper to taste (opt for using sea salt)
½ cup shredded cheese
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs (optional)
Combine the cooked rice, cooked and cubed chicken breasts, cream of mushroom soup, broccoli florets. Mix well. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into baking dish (9 x 13), and top with the cheese. If desired top with whole wheat bread crumbs.
Cover and place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Uncover and turn oven to broil. Cook until bread crumbs are browned.
Serve and enjoy.