One of the biggest struggles I’ve had in my own health transformation has been learning how to eat healthy and properly nourish my body. I was used to making convenient, quick meals with little to no nutritional value. (Hamburger Helper, anyone?)
I must confess: I don’t have mad cooking skills, and frankly, I don’t know my way around the kitchen very well. I knew how good my mama’s food was when I was growing up, but I was too busy playing outside to even think to pay attention to what she was doing in the kitchen.
However, despite my lack of interest in kitchen related activities in my youth, I desperately wanted to learn how and what to eat in order to feel good….and well, looking good wasn’t so bad either! #winkwink
The task was daunting initially, so I broke it down into bite-size steps. (Forgive the silly pun. I couldn’t resist!) I first learned things I should stay away from and what I really needed to be eating. The thing is, it’s really easy to know it, but it’s a little harder to DO IT…consistently.
Growing up in the South, casseroles are our THANG! And honestly, I missed them. Plus, when we have all 5 of our boys, it’s a GREAT way to feed our family because they like it as well. They aren’t as adjusted as parents are to our healthy eating ways.
So I began playing around with recipes, learning how to make casseroles using healthy substitutes. After much experimentation in the kitchen, this chicken casserole has quickly become one of our favorites and I was reminded of it while having all my boys home for Christmas.
What’s not to love about this creamy, crunchy, buttery casserole right? Paired with organic, white basmati rice and a steamed California vegetable medley (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots), you have a healthy meal that your family is sure to love! (Ok, I’ll admit, not ALL of the boys eat the veggies, but a couple do. #youwinsomeyoulosesome)
I put together the original ingredient list below along with a list of the substitutes and the directions for putting it all together.
1) Put the whole chicken in a pot with Himalayan salt, pepper, a handful of chopped onion and celery, and a couple sprinkles of Mrs. Dash’s garlic and herb seasoning (add the seasoning to your liking). Put enough water in the pot to cover the chicken and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about an hour or until the chicken is tender.
2) Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. Once it’s cooled down enough to handle, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and cut the meat into bite size pieces. (Reserve broth to use as the liquid for the rice for added flavor)
3) Sauté a cup of fresh chopped onion and celery (puree if desired — I do for my kids) and combine with the chicken meat, canned soup, butter (melted) and Greek yogurt. Stir well.
4) Place ½ of the crushed crackers in a lightly greased casserole dish. Spoon the chicken mixture over the crackers. Top with the remaining crushed crackers and drizzle with butter.
5) Bake at 325 degrees for 35 min. or until lightly browned. Serve over rice, over veggies or by itself and enjoy!!
Have you transformed one of your favorite recipes to make it organic or healthier? I’d love for you to share it with us!