Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall food!

I don't know what it is about casseroles. I feel the same way about them as I feel about pizza and sandwiches...too many food groups going on all mixed together. It's weird. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I'm one of those that tends to eat one thing at a time...salad, then veggie, then main course. Even if they're all served at once-especially if all on one plate. I realize that's a bit OCD, but it'll all be mixed up soon enough, and I don't feel like I need to hurry that process any.

But. It finally feels like fall. The weather dropped 20 degrees between Monday and yesterday, so I decided to celebrate with warm, messy comfort food. My favorite of all comfort foods, to be exact, which just so happens to be one of the two casseroles in my repertoire.

Crunchy Chicken Casserole makes the casserole cut, frankly, cause it is full of awesomeness. I like things that crunch. As the creepy female judge on the original Japanese Iron Chef would say, I like the way it feels in my mouth. Water chestnuts, almonds, celery...awesome. I also never get to eat Pringles, and this is an excuse to eat them while I cook. Plus it reminds me of my mom, who made this when I was little, and whose version is likely a few more calories per serving than mine. Though I think mine tastes just as good.

Like my chicken enchilada casserole, this one is also generally a hit with the dudes. When I dropped a ready-to-bake crunchy casserole at a just-home-with-new-baby girlfriend's house, her husband called me less than an hour later to thank me and ask me to give his wife the recipe. (Here you go!) Not a text, not a facebook message...he called me. Sweet. I was beyond giddy about it.

At least, til my husband got home and gave me the guilt trip.

Husband: Oooooh, weren't you going to make the crunchy chicken thing?
Pammy: I did.
Husband: Where is it?
Pammy:...I told you I was making it for the new parents.
Husband:...but...I didn't think you were SERIOUS. (pout)

So, honey, I'm sorry to make you wait so long for a new just-for-us batch. And...sorry I scraped the casserole dish clean with my fork before you had to wash it. But it was gooood. I left you plenty of leftovers!

Crunchy Chicken Casserole
About 16oz chicken, cooked and cut into cubes
1/2 cup white rice, cooked (about 1.5c cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (lower sodium works fine)
About 2/3 cups chicken broth
2-3 stalks celery, medium chop
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped (I get rid of two of the yolks before chopping)
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about a tbsp)
Salt and pepper
1.5 serving low-fat plain pringles, crushed

Preheat over to 375.
Mix rice, chicken, soup and broth in large bowl. Add celery, eggs, onion, almonds, water chestnuts, lemon juice and salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each or to taste)

Coat large baking dish with cooking spray, and spread mixture into dish. Sprinkle chips evenly across the top.

Cook at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Makes 6 servings.
About 310 calories, 10g fat, 3g fiber, 25g carbs, 12g protein

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