Sunday, February 22, 2015


Olivia found this recipe on www.wellplated. com.  It is a good way to get pretty much every food group into one delicious casserole.  If you are getting really tired  of winter (and we certainly are in this part of the country), this is a great way to make a nourishing meal that will warm you up, fill you up, and not take a great deal of effort.

Olivia and I can our own chicken so we could even use that to speed up the dish instead of using raw chicken.  You could use store-bought canned chicken if you wish to take a slight shortcut.  Either way, combine this delightful casserole with a simple dessert and you have a fairly easy meal on your hands.

The seed catalogs have started to arrive in the mail and the Daytona 500 race has been run so we are hopeful Spring is just around the corner.  Hope you enjoy this yummy dish!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: 1 2-quart casserole
Serving Size: Serves 6
  • 1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk, divided (I used skim)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided (about 6 ounces)
  1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square, deep baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot, then add rice. Return to boil, add broccoli to the top of the pot, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in Dutch oven or large deep pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 6 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside. Being careful not to burn yourself, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add remaining 11/2 cups milk. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until thickened, 7-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in Dijon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Once combined, stir in the Greek yogurt and 1 cup of the shredded cheese until smooth.
  5. Add the rice and broccoli mixture and the reserved chicken to with cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat. Spoon the mixture the prepared dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

Sunday, February 8, 2015



If you have never used sun dried tomatoes, now is the time.  When good, home grown tomatoes are months away, you can still get the intense, rich flavor of tomatoes using sun dried tomatoes.  You will usually find them in a jar, packed in oil.

This recipe combines the rich flavor of sun dried tomatoes with the delightful tang of feta cheese.  Combined they really enhance the flavor of chicken and add something special to what might otherwise be just another chicken dish.

Olivia found this recipe on  Experiment with the choice of herbs if you like.  You might come up with your own, unique combination.




  1. Sauté garlic and red bell pepper, in Olive Oil, for about 3 minutes (just enough to"combine" the flavors).
  2. Put aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, combine Feta cheese, breadcrumbs, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic and red pepper mixture.
  4. Toss until well mixed (this will be your "stuffing").
  5. Lay a flattened piece of chicken breast on a cutting board or your counter.
  6. Put a 1/4 of the above mixture on the flattened chicken breast like you would be making a burrito and roll as tight as you can get it.
  7. Secure it with a toothpick or butcher string.
  8. Place chicken breast "roll" on a baking sheet (I spray it with Pam so it doesn't stick), brush with olive oil (this gives it a nice golden brown texture), and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  10. Cook for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180°F.
  11. I guess you could try it on a grill, but I never attempted it yet!
  12. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve hot.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I picked this recipe for the blog this week because we are deep in the throws of winter here and this savory, inviting, colorful soup is a bright spot in the monochromatic world of winter.  It not only has vibrant color but an explosion of flavors that will blast away the winter blues.  Where we live we are experiencing 10+ inches of snow.  Soups like this one keep us going strong.  Olivia made this last week and it was a big hit with her husband.

If you haven't experimented much with kale you really should.  I think some people think just because it is a leafy, green vegetable and good for you that it couldn't possibly be good.  There are numerous delicious ways to incorporate it into your diet.  If you haven't tried it yet, let this be your first time.  You won't be sorry!


3 slices bacon, chopped
4-5 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary and/or thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 medium bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped (about 10 cups)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped smoked almonds

3 green onions, chopped

Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the potatoes and leek to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring, until the leek is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 4 cups water and bring to a simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes. Add the kale; continue cooking, covered, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.

Thin the sour cream with a splash of water. Working in 3 to 4 batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; reheat if needed. Serve topped with the sour cream, green onions, bacon and almonds.