|Cheesy baked deliciousness!|
I made a "Kitchen Sink" Chicken and Rice casserole for tonight using some of the vegetables that I have had in the frig for a week or so. I used this recipe from Food Network for inspiration, but of course, I didn't follow it EXACTLY! But we got our new box of fruits and vegies today, and I still had some stuff in the frig that I didn't want to bury any deeper. I had trimmed up some carrots and celery in sticks for snacking on last week and put them in little baggies in the frig. After a while they sort of look old and unappetizing, although they have not gone bad or anything...so I used them in my casserole. A little butter and sauce will make them just perfectly flavored and rich. For this casserole, I diced some carrots, celery, white onion and green bell pepper, all items from my last week's SLO Veg delivery. I saute those with some olive oil and butter and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I took out 3 chicken tenders that I had in the freezer and diced those and sauteed them in the same pan.
Food Network's casserole link:
I had previously frozen some brown rice and broccoli when I made too much for dinner one night, knowing it would make a great base for a casserole at a later time. I put the ziplock bag into the microwave for a few minutes to defrost it, then mixed together two cups of vegetable broth and one cup of sour cream with a little bit of fresh thyme from the little plant I had received in the SLO Veg a few weeks ago. I love fresh herbs, and I figure even if my plant only lives for a month or two, I am way ahead of buying a container of fresh herbs from the grocery store, because cost-wise, the plant is about the same as a package and lasts longer. I have been buying basil plants for that purpose, as well. It's $2.99 for a whole plant versus a small package from the produce bins.
All the ingredients went into a mixing bowl: rice, vegetables, chicken bits, sauce mixture and two cups of shredded Mexican cheese blend. When I had it all mixed together, I spooned the casserole mixture into ramekins so that I could bake mine now and take it to work. I sprinkled a little bit more cheese on top to make it look more cheesier...because more is better than less! Later, my husband and son could heat their dinner up and it would be bubbly and warm and fresher tasting!