Healthy Casserole

It’s no secret: I love casseroles. What cook from Western PA doesn’t? They usually involve delicious things like cheese and carbohydrates. However, AJ and I just joined a gym and we are trying to steer our meals in a healthier direction so we don’t undermine our progress/pain. My big concern was balancing “better for you” with “still fun to cook and eat.”

Worry not, dear friends. I’ve got just the recipe that brings honor to the beloved casserole.

I had the day off with leftover cooked chicken and broccoli that needed some attention. Normally, I would have gone straight to amped up baked mac and cheese (always a winner), but as I was stuck inside with no cheese in the house, I needed an alternative. I googled a few recipes to get an idea of what needed to happen, and I’m happy to report the end result was A Big Fat Winner. (Well, a skinny winner. No canned soup or frozen veggies for this casserole, no siree. No cheese, even. And still good!)

While I’d love to claim this recipe as my own, I stole a lot from this guy. I certainly followed the process in the recipe above, but as always, made some changed to suit our tastes. Starting, of course, with my new favorite vegetable trick.

I don’t like mushrooms, and didn’t have green peppers, so I added roasted broccoli to the original recipe.

The chicken was already cooked – double leftovers from last night’s AMAZING crock pot “fried” chicken and a piece I had made and frozen last week in my traditional style (sprinkle Old Bay on both sides and bake.) So, the only thing left to do was make the roux glue – no canned soup here! – and cook some rice.

I had a brilliant idea, blatantly stolen from a recent tweet suggestion from Jacob, and cooked the (brown) rice in chicken stock that I had made from my original roast chicken. Honorable mentions go to Thinking Ahead and Extra Freezer In The Basement.

To recap, this dish has:
– no cheese
– no cream
– only a small amount of butter
– fresh veggies
– lean meat
– protein
– healthier carbs
– A TON OF FLAVOR

You’re looking at a very welcome addition to our lunch and/or dinner repertoire.

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