Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day #275 - "Healthy" Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Casserole is one of those fall/winter comfort foods that my mom would make for us growing up.  I wanted to find a way to make a lighter version of it.  And this is what I came up with...

I started by chopping two large chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks, and browning them in a large skillet.   I then chopped up a large head of broccoli (discarding the main stem/stalk), and added it to the skillet

For the sauce, I whisked together 1/2 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup skim milk, and 3/4 cup chicken stock. 

Once the broccoli had begun to tenderize, I poured in the sauce, seasoned with crushed black pepper and a little salt, and cooked, covered, over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.   I then stirred in 2 cups of leftover brown rice (I made a huge portion of it last night, and kept the leftovers in the fridge), a generous handful of shredded cheddar cheese, and cooked over low heat for another 5-10 minutes, until the rice was fully reheated and the cheese had melted.

The casserole turned out as well as I had hoped.  The combination of ricotta and cheddar cheeses helped mask some of  the pumpkin flavor.   It was cheesy and creamy and comforting!

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