The cooler weather this week gives me a feeling of pure delight. I love fall and all that’s associated with it, and the meals are no exception. At the end of the workday yesterday, as I sat in my office, cozy in my cardigan sweater (which may have been overkill; I think the temperature reached 80 yesterday, but that’s no matter ;-)), I brainstormed dinner and decided what sounded best was a soul-warming chicken casserole.
I’ve heard rave reviews about casseroles using just chicken, rice, vegetables, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Unfortunately, we can’t do dairy, so I had to get creative. I came up with a pretty excellent dairy-free, gluten-free (and probably healthier) alternative to the classic casserole. If you don’t want to make it DF and GF, but don’t want to use condensed soup, you could easily make this using milk and regular flour!
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
1 1/4 lb chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 c broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 c brown rice
2 c soy milk
1/4 c DF butter substitute
1/4 c GF flour
2 c water
1. Preheat oven to 375. 2. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add mushrooms, and cook until browned. 3. Add remaining butter to skillet, then milk, spices, and flour, and whisk to combine. 4. Stir regularly until the mixture thickens. 5. In a large glass baking dish, combine chicken, rice, broccoli, skillet mixture, and water. 6. Stir well, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven for 45 min-1 hour.
I took it out of the oven and stirred a few times during the cooking process
because I love to stir things and couldn’t help myself to prevent it from burning on the walls of the dish. For some reason the rice took a lot longer to cook than I anticipated, despite using the quick-cook variety. Also, as usual, I eyeballed the spices. You can always add more at the end if it needs more flavor!
The end result was de-licious, and I doubt anyone would know it’s dairy-free! We made it even better by eating it with baked apples straight out of the oven. 😀
The apples were a late addition to the meal–they came to mind while the rice was taking forever to cook, so I knew I had time to get them in the oven. All I did was: slice two apples, put them in a small glass baking dish with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon; cover with foil, put in oven for 5 minutes, remove foil, stir, and put back in oven for another 10 minutes or so (stirring periodically, again, because I can’t help myself. :-D)
It was an awesome, feel-good, fall meal.
And I even let Andrew eat some after he said, “What, are you my grandma?” when I told him I was making casserole. Punk. 😉
What are you favorite cooler weather meals?
Any tips for taking good food photos, especially as it’s getting darker earlier? I know my pictures are not good, but I have no skills!