Happy New Year! Well, almost. As I get prepared for tonight's New Year's Eve party with old friends, I am busy getting the last issue of the Diner News for the year of 2015 sent out to you. This month, we will sharpen our planning skills and improve our efficiency. I have more "Triple Play" recipes for you. For those of you with either of my e-books, you know that involves meal planning that involves cooking once and eating three times. But not just leftovers, no. Too many picky family members balk at the exact same dish being repeated. Our recipes use a quality entree changed up to be totally different taste profiles. Easy with the addition of a few simple ingredients.
In fact, the recipes I am featuring this month may make even more than two additional meals. When you bake up a large pork loin, warehouse package of ground beef or bulk package of chicken breasts, you can feed many mouths, many times. That reminds me of the time I took Mandarin language classes. The Chinese symbol for family members (people) was the sign of a mouth--as in mouths to feed. It has always made sense to me. I loved feeding my little mouths. That doesn't mean I want to be a slave in the kitchen all the time. Life is too full for that. Planned leftovers just makes sense.
The recipe I am sharing today is for a delicious casserole made from pre-cooked shredded chicken. It is comfort food at its best, yet it is a skinny version. All in line with the lighter foods I always prefer after our holiday indulgences. I make far too many sweets for the holidays. And cheeses. I always find myself buying specialty cheeses for celebrations, and I eat it all!
This casserole is lighter on the cheese, but still tastes very creamy. I used glucomannan to help with that. It makes a nice gooey cheese sauce. Instead of rice, I used Miracle Rice. Normally, I am not a huge fan of konjac / shirataki noodles. The texture is not always the best. But I really like the rice substitutes. The elastic texture is not as much of a problem as it is with the longer noodles. Admittedly, I am probably swallowing them whole, but still, I like them. I ordered them on sale a while back from Vitacost. Not just like rice, more like a pasta texture to me. Good either way in this casserole. They are filling with a huge lower calorie and carb advantage.
Skinny Cheesy Chicken and "Rice" Casserole
12 oz shredded cooked chicken breast
2 tbsp diced onion
2 ribs celery, diced
6 baby carrots, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
7.5 oz package Miracle Rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 oz cream cheese
5 tbsp Parmesan (divided use)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp glucomannan
Place chicken in the base of a 2 quart casserole dish. In a non-stick skillet, sauté onion, celery and baby carrots in olive oil. Drain and rinse Miracle Rice, then stir into the vegetable mixture. Prepare sauce. In a saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Grate cheese into broth. Stir in cream cheese, 2 tbsp of the Parmesan, garlic and onion powder. Remove from heat. Sprinkle glucomannan over the top of the sauce. Use an immersion blender to process mixture into a smooth, thick sauce. (alternately, you may use a traditional blender) Pour the sauce into the rice mixture and stir well. Spoon over the chicken in the baking dish. Top with the remaining 3 tbsp Parmesan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Serves 4: 229 calories 5 net g carb
Did you see that calorie count? It tastes much richer than that! Add a big crisp salad and you have a wonderful meal. Since the chicken is pre-cooked, and the rice noodles don't need to be cooked, this goes together in no time. Great for busy days when you just don't feel like cooking. You can even skip the baking step if you are in a rush.
All the recipes in this month's Diner News will save you precious time. You will still love the variety and taste, though. Here is a sneak peak at what is inside the January issue. The newsletter format has undergone a face lift for the new year too. It is a time for fresh starts.
|Chinese Red Barbecue Pork|
|Chinese Noodle Soup|
|Quick Cheeseburger Pie|
|Beefy Mushroom Soup|
|Lonely Cowboy Comfort|
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Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles, A Table for Two here.