My family would always give me a hard time for trying to sneak turkey or chicken into a “beef” dish and seeing if they’d notice or not. ☺️
I always told myself I wasn’t deceiving them, technically I was trying to make something they loved even healthier!
Healthy can mean a lot of different things to different people. In our house-healthy means whole food, unprocessed, free of chemical additives, and rich in nutrients.
I love to experiment with healthy alternatives in some of my favorite meals.
I think most of us can agree on the fact that every now and again a warm, easy, filling casserole is the perfect meal on a cooler day.
A go-to casserole that I have always loved is Chicken and Rice casserole.
When some friends of ours eventually had their precious new baby girl, I really wanted to take them some food to help out with the transition at home. Trust me, trying to cook with a 9 month old around is hard enough-help a friend out that just had a baby and take them an easy, healthy meal! Babygates=lifesavers.
So I started to get to work on adapting a simple, carb loaded casserole by switching out the rice with a healthier version.
Banza pasta is my go-to for switching out pasta in a recipe, but when I found out they made RICE-I had to try it out. It‘s chick-pea based, and you’d never even know it! It almost tastes identical
to Orzo pasta in my opinion, which is delicious in my books.
The second thing I looked at in this recipe was using healthier cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups.
Of course you can make your own, which is preferably the way to go (that will be another blog 😉). If you’re crunched on time, many stores now carry an organic carton of these cream based soups.
There are so many unnecessary ingredients added in the mainstream version of these cream based soups.
Pay that extra $2 for something whole and unprocessed!!! The other thing I added were some vegetables.
Sure, I can live off of chicken and rice all day long, but it is nice to throw in some extra vitamins and nutrients when I can. I’ve used kale, spinach, peas-even left over carrots and broccoli chopped up and added in!
Another time saver is buying a rotisserie chicken and shredding the meat off of it. If I ever
make a chicken dish, I usually buy extra chicken and slow cook/shred it in plans to use it in another dish during the week. Cuts back on time and it’s already done!
All things considered, this is a super simple recipe to throw together, comforting AND a healthy alternative.
So for that new neighbor of yours, a friend that‘s had an illness or maybe just a thank you-pass along something good and wholesome for them.
Click picture below for a printable recipe!