Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Busy week....

It's been a busy week. My aunt has been battling liver cancer the past couple years and has not been well lately. After many days in the hospital and lots of prayers she passed away last week and it has been a hard time for my family.
I made a hot dish, as we here in Minnesota like to call it, for my uncle and his family this weekend and made some extra for my household to enjoy. It was nice to assemble this in the morning and have an easy dinner all ready for later, plus one to drop off at my uncle's house. This is a simple dish, and can be adapted to be vegetarian, too! I, of course, forgot to take any pictures, but I'm sure I will make this again as it was delish! I will be sure to photograph it then. If I remember.

This is a recipe that I would normally pass by in a cookbook (Seriously, where's the cream? Where's the pasta? Where's the cheese?), but I thought it sounded like a great, healthy dish and so thought I'd give it a try. I'm really glad I did because it's totally yumm-o! I even omitted the cashews and the cheese!
This recipe can be doubled easily - and instead of baking the rice at the beginning you could just use leftover rice or cook it on the stove and then put it in the dish before adding the veggies and chicken. Alternately, if you're trying to loose a few pounds like I am, you can halve the amount of rice and add a few more veggies.
This can also be a gluten-free dish if you use gluten-free soy sauce!

Chicken and Brown Rice Hot Dish
8-10 servings

3-3.5 C chicken or veggie broth
1.5 C uncooked brown rice
2 C chopped onion, divided
3 T soy sauce
2 T melted butter or olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 C cauliflower
4 C broccoli florets
2 medium bell peppers, julienned
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1 C salted cashews, optional

Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a greased 3 qt. baking dish (a 13x9 pan works great!) combine the broth, rice, 1 C onion, soy sauce, butter or oil and thyme. Cover and bake at 350F for 65-70 minutes or until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute the chicken in some olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, garlic and remaining onion until crisp-tender (this will cook more in the oven). Spoon over rice mixture.
At this point you can cover this dish with foil and stick it in your fridge (or bring it over to a friend that needs it!) and then bake it later (but bake for 30-40 min to heat through if you do this).

If you are baking immediately, cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cashews and cheese if desired and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted.


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