Before you say anything, I know it’s spring, going on summer. Which isn’t exactly the best time to share a casserole recipe. This time of year I love eating light: salads, smoothies, sandwiches. Anything quick and fresh.
But, the past week or so, I’ve been craving my mom’s Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole. I ate it all the time growing up. Problem is, her casserole is made with dairy (cream of mushroom soup), white rice, and Velveeta. Anyone else eat that growing up? One of my favorite memories is making nacho dip from salsa and Veleeta. So tasty.
Now that I can’t do dairy or white rice on the 30 Day Challenge, and because there is no amount of money that could get me to eat Velveeta again, I began thinking of a way to make this a casserole I could actually eat.
The main ingredients are safe for me: chicken, rice, broccoli and mushrooms. Since we can’t do white rice, I easily subbed brown, which I already had made. My mind went straight to canned coconut milk as a substitute for cream of mushroom soup. It’s thick and creamy, and would add a slight touch of sweetness.
Figuring out what to use for the cheese was a little tough, but then I remembered I had some nutritional yeast in the pantry. I paired that with a bit of roasted red pepper hummus (The Workout Bud’s FAVORITE) and it rounded out the dish perfectly, offering that cheezy flavor.
This is an easy, stress free and healthier take on one of my favorite comfort food dishes growing up. You’ll have enough for leftovers, if you don’t eat it all the first night!
I actually had the rice and chicken already prepped a few days before. So, it was super simple to just stir-up the liquid, slice the mushrooms and add everything to the pan. If you have sliced mushrooms on hand, prep would go even quicker!
Disclaimer: smelly food alert. I made this early in the evening. When I went to bed (around 11:00p), The Workout Bud had opened the fridge to get some water and we smelled the broccoli! My mom always jokes about healthy food smelling, and this is just one of those times. I blame it on the broccoli. Just be warned and prepared!
Just thinking of this dish makes me happy. Sometimes you just need comfort food, in the middle of spring, right? Best part is that this is perfect for the 30 Day Healthy Living and Beyond Challenge. The Boy and I are starting our fourth and final week today! Wish us luck!
What is your favorite comfort food dish?
Have you tried to make a healthier version?