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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

comfort food makeover

the season for comfort food is quickly coming to a close. we were at 80 degrees yesterday!

while that is wonderful i find myself a little sad this year, not having made as much comfort food as i would have liked with hubby eating dinner at work most of the winter.

so we're trying to squeeze a few more in.

i love that creamy casserole thing with chicken and broccoli and lots of cheese. i recently figured out it's called broccoli chicken divan.

the problem with it is the problem with most comfort food - the veggies are an afterthought and the main show is the butter and cheese. same with this dish - it's mostly cheese and butter, negating all the good of the broccoli and chicken.

so i fixed it. lots more broccoli. lots less cheese and butter. delicious result and much better for you. just ask my little monsters who both pounded through their huge servings of it last night. :) (for those of you who know my little guy - don't tell him there was cheese in it! ahhh! bad mom award!)

and it uses my new favorite seasoning - kirkland's no salt seasoning, available at costco. it's a little pricey so ask for it for easter or something! :) it's great on everything i've put it on.

healthier broccoli chicken divan
6 main dish servings

3-4+ cups steamed broccoli florets (i filled 1/2 of my 13x9 with broccoli, adjust on if your family is iffy on broccoli; less if they are, more if they aren't)
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt, pepper, no salt seasoning
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (adjust to your liking)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon coriander (adjust to your liking)
2 cups (approximately) grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 heaping cup crushed reduced fat ritz crackers
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. cook chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and no salt seasoning. set aside.
2. combine soup, milk, garlic powder, coriander and a few dashes of no salt seasoning. stir well.
3. place broccoli into a 13x9 glass baking dish. top with chicken. pour soup mixture evenly over the top. top with cheddar cheese to your liking.
4. combine crushed crackers and melted butter in a bowl. sprinkle evenly over casserole in baking dish.
5. bake at 350 for 12 minutes, the turn up oven to 450 and continue baking until browned on top to your liking. watch it carefully so you don't burn the crackers!
6. serve over brown rice or mashed potatoes, or eat it plain and let the crackers on top be your carb for the meal! (i ate mine plain and it was awesome.)

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!