Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Primal Broccoli-Chicken-Cheddar Casserole

I get home from work around 6:30pm.  I have a quick skype session with my lovely fiance... and then I realize that I'm starving.  Sometimes that ends with me continuing to skype, and forgetting about dinner (not a good idea - I usually get grumpy), sometimes, it's whatever leftovers I have in the house... but other nights, like Tuesday night, inspiration strikes.

One of my favourite non-primal go-to meals was Campbell's Chicken Broccoli Divan casserole - but these days, something like that is strictly OFF the menu (I don't even keep canned soup in the house anymore!).  I wanted to make something similar, but using ingredients that were nutrient-rich and REAL.  
I based the primal version of this recipe off of This post at  It was a great starting point, but I found that recipe difficult to follow because of the lack of measurements, plus there were a few ingredients that I did not want to include in my version, and she used what seemed like a million pots and pans.

So here it is - my Primal Broccoli-Chicken-Cheddar Casserole!

Broccoli-Chicken-Cheese Casserole

Serves 2 (Or one for dinner + leftovers for lunch tomorrow!)

1 chicken breast (cubed)
2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets
1/4 cup red onion
approx 3 tbsp butter
approx 2 tbsp arrowroot
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp kefir
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
garlic powder
onion flakes
chilli powder
honey dijon mustard
salt & pepper

The Ingredients1. Preheat oven to 350, and then start by cooking your main ingredients.  I steamed my broccoli in one pot, and then sauteed my onions (with about 1tbsp olive oil) in a frying pan.  When the onions were softened, I added my cubed chicken and cooked it through completely.

2. Drain the broccoli and add to a large bowl.  Set aside.  Remove the steamer, empty the water and give the pot a quick rinse/wash.  Use this pot to create your sauce.  Start by melting the butter.  Once melted add your arrowroot (because there were no measurements on the initial recipe, I started with about 1.5 tbsp arrowroot, and then added more to thicken it up a bit more.  Keep an eye on it, and adjust to suit.  Add the chicken stock.  Adjust the heat to low, and begin adding your kefir & yogurt slowly.  Whisk constantly.  Add in your cheese & continue to stir (if desired, reserve some of your cheese for topping later).  Cook until the sauce is thick & creamy.  

Broccoli + Chicken3.  Add your chicken to the broccoli in the large bowl.  Sprinkle with your spices (I did equal shakes of each - probably about 1.5 tsp), squeeze in your honey dijon mustard (adjust based on how much you like mustard!), and add a few shakes of salt & pepper.  Add your cream sauce to the bowl & mix together well.

4. Place the mixture in an oven-safe baking dish (I used a 9-inch foil pan).  Top with shredded cheese (bacon would probably also taste good here - but I was too lazy to fry some up just for this dish).  Bake for about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted & the chicken & broccoli are warmed... Serve & Enjoy!

I can definitely say that I will be making this one again!! This was pretty quick - about an hour from start to finish, AND, I was able to clean my kitchen & do my dishes while I was waiting for it to be done baking.  Perfect for an after-work dinner!

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