Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ground Chicken Mexican Casserole

I really love to cook. 

Cooking is like therapy for me, it is a way I show love and it is a creative outlet. Sometimes preparing meals after a really long day is just not what I want to do. (I believe we all could agree the feeling is mutual) So lately my home cooked meals have been really blah. Not eating fast food anymore, while better for my health and wallet, is not better on days I am tired. So I will simply cook some Quinoa and throw in veggies. Once or twice a week this is fine. However, multiple nights in a row it becomes really boring.

I couldn't take another round of boring last night so I put my thinking cap on, went to the grocery store and when I got home I proceeded with making a meal I am proud to call my own. (Although it really is many different recipes all in one and has been done before by others) But still…my own.

Ground Chicken Mexican Casserole

1 pound lean ground chicken (no antibiotics, hormones, grass fed, organic)
1 cup Lundberg’s Wild Blend Rice (gluten free-whole grain-vegan-non gmo)
2 cups(or less) + ¼ cup Homemade Enchilada Sauce (recipe below)
1-2 gluten free tortilla shell(s)
¼ cup non-dairy cheese or any cheese of your choice

In a pan cook ground chicken until brown and no longer pink. Meanwhile, cook Wild Blend Rice according to package directions. In an 8x8 casserole dish, spread ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom and place the tortilla shell on top. Once rice has cooked, transfer the ground chicken into the bowl with the rice and increase the temperature to high heat. Pour the remaining sauce into the same pan and let it boil rapidly for 3-5 minutes being cautious not to burn the rice…stir occasionally.

Turn off the heat and transfer the Chicken and Rice to your casserole dish. Top with an additional tortilla shell if you would like and shredded cheese and place in a 425° pre-heated oven until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Let cool and enjoy.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1 tbs. dairy-free butter or regular butter
1 ½ tbs. grapeseed oil
1 ½ tbs. Quinoa flour (or brown rice)
1 tbs. non-GMO cornstarch
1 ½ cups chicken broth (free-range low sodium)
6 ounce can tomato paste
6 ounces water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried ground cumin
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. salt
(feel free to add 2 tbs. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic…I just can’t consume either of these)

In a bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch and set aside.

Set the chicken broth beside the saucepan you will be using

In your saucepan, heat the butter and oil together over medium heat. When butter is melted and the oil has a slight boil, whisk the flour/cornstarch mixture slowly into the pan.

Immediately pour the chicken broth into your pan, but slowly and continue to stir. Increase the heat to medium-high.

Consistently whisk the mixture for about 2-4 minutes or until thickened.

Add tomato paste, water, and seasonings and whisk until combined. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

All in all this took about an hour to prepare and cook. You can very easily make this process quicker by using a quick cook rice of your choice, two cans of enchilada sauce and even faster with pre-cooked shredded chicken. Just combine it all together and throw it in a casserole dish with your tortilla and cheese.

Just remember, I prefer if you do this in a more organic way ;)


Update: Just had leftovers...better the second time around!

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