Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chicken Divan

Spring is here which means the craziness of baseball and softball season. Specifically it means that this mom is running kids around from practice to practice. All this running around means I need some quick make ahead meals that I can stick into the oven to bake while we are at practice. A lot of times that means some type of casserole but casseroles are hard to make PINK friendly. One of my favorite casseroles to make is Chicken Divan which is a chicken and broccoli casserole covered in a creamy sauce. I know not healthy, especially the sauce made of cream of mushroom soup and a ton of mayonnaise.  I set out to recreate this casserole and PINKify it. As far as the results, my husband came home late and heated up some dinner and without being told what it was, knew what I was trying to recreate and said it was really good. While not as creamy and decadent as the original, it is something we will be eating again.

Chicken Divan
8 ounces cubed chicken
3-4 chopped mushrooms
4 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup plain almond milk
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
dash of salt and pepper
2 tbsp. Almonds (optional, I like to use slivered almonds but I didn't have any so I ended up using some almond meal)

Brown the chicken in a pan misted with olive oil.

While the chicken is browning, chop your mushrooms and broccoli.
When the chicken is brown, remove the chicken from the pan and add in the chopped mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms start to release their liquid then add in the chicken broth and continue to cook the mushrooms until the liquid reduces slightly.
Mix the almond milk, arrowroot powder, garlic and curry in a bowl, stir until combined.
Add in the milk/curry mixture to the mushroom mixture, cook until it thickens slightly.

When thickened, turn off the heat and add in the Greek Yogurt. Stir until the yogurt melts into the sauce. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
Add your chicken and broccoli into a baking dish, pour over sauce over the broccoli/chicken and stir to combine.
Sprinkle almonds over the broccoli and bake at 375 degrees until the broccoli is tender. I baked mine for about 35 minutes, the broccoli was soft but not mushy, just how I like it but if you like softer broccoli, cook for longer.
This would be really good served over brown rice or quinoa!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Apple Crisp

I'll be honest, I was craving something sweet all day long...I knew in the back of my mind that I had frozen sugar cookie in my freezer along with some birthday cake and they were calling my name. I resisted all day long and knew that I wouldn't be able to resist much longer if I didn't do something to crave my desire for something sugary. This apple crisp did the trick and I ate it guilt free. As a rule,  I try to avoid posting to many dessert recipes on this blog because it is so hard to make them fit into the PINK blue print, this is how I fit it into the PINK blue print today. I choose to have a dinner free of slow carbs and instead have a slow fruit (apple) and dessertify it. (Yep, I made that word up.) Sugar cookies and cake in the freezer, you have no power over me!

Apple Crisp (serve 4-6 depending on serving size)
2 large apples
2 medjool dates
1/4 cup water
1 tsp arrowroot powder
2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you really like spice)
Juice of half a lemon

1/2 cup almond flour
1 medjool date
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Start by soaking 2 medjool dates in a little warm water, set aside
Peel, core and cut up your apples, pour the juice of half a lemon over the apples to keep from browning
Pour the water off of the dates and pit the dates, then you are going to add the dates to your blender or food processor along with 1/4 cup of water and puree until a paste is formed. This is going to act as our sweetener for the apples.
Pour the date puree, arrowroot powder and cinnamon on top of your apples and mix to combine. The arrowroot powder will act as a thickener for any juices your apples give off.
Set the apples aside and make your crumble topping.

In your blender add 1 pitted date, the almond flour, coconut oil and cinnamon. Blend until a crumble type topping is formed. Note: You can get almond flour or almond meal at many health food stores. I make my own using the left over almond pulp when I make my own almond milk. If their is any interest in how I make my almond flour, I would be happy to post how I do that. I have already posted how to make your own almond milk, you can find that recipe here.

Pour the date/almond mixture into a bowl and and in your unsweetened coconut, stir to combine.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over your apples.
 Cover and bake at 375 degrees between 30 and 45 minutes depending on how soft you like your apples. To get your topping crispy, uncover your apples about 10 minutes before they are done and the topping should crisp up nicely.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Who doesn't love a big bowl of cheesy broccoli soup? My family loves it but with all that cream and cheese it isn't very healthy. But with a few minor tweaks this soup can easily be made PINK friendly. It makes for a great quick lunch or great side for dinner. 

Creamy Broccoli Soup (makes 2 servings)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1 tsp Bragg's Aminos
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp arrowroot powder
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Dash of Mrs. Dash original or other spice blend
Nutritional yeast, to taste

 Start by steaming the broccoli in the chicken broth and dash of seasoning mix, either Mrs. Dash or whatever your favorite is, until softened.
When the broccoli has softened, put half into your blender (I am using my fake magic bullet but any blender will work)
Blend the broccoli to create a puree
Add the puree back into the pot with the other half of the steamed broccoli and stir to combine
Add in your arrowroot powder, Dijon mustard, Bragg's and garlic, to the almond milk and stir to combine

Add your almond milk mixture to your broccoli and heat until the soup has thickened

When the soup has thickened, you can season with salt and pepper and serve as is or if you want a little bit of a cheesy flavor, add in some nutritional yeast and stir to combine. I used about 2 tbsp. but again this is to taste. 

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