Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

My mom made a version of this when I was a kid and my sister and I recently reminisced about it. I requested the recipe from mom and was surprised at how easy it was to make. I was less surprised at how much Miss A loved it. She loves just about anything with rice.

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Toddler Approved: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

My opinion:
Next time I’ll add onions and garlic and use two blocks of cheese, one mixed in and one to make a bechamel sauce (similar to this one). I’m just not a fan of cheddar cheese soup and broccoli cheese soup.

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Yum

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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup

Spicy Chicken Soup

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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup
As the weather cools, we start eating more and more soups. I would never have tried this without the urging of J. It doesn't sound delicious.  Plus when he told me it was a Bon Appétit recipe, I thought it would be way too complicated and complex. Turns out, it's super simple and  does taste delicious. It's definitely a new favorite. We've used leftover turkey and rotisserie chicken and both have been wonderful. The recipe says it serves four, but it can stretched to serve more, or cooked down longer to serve less.
Courses Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Courses Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pick meat from chicken, shred, and place in a small bowl (you should have about 4 cups); discard skin and bones.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 8–10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add shredded chicken, broth and cayenne and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn heat to low.
  7. Add spinach and divide soup among bowls.
  8. Top with scallions and serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
That's it, really. It takes a total of between 15 and 20 minutes to prep everything and about 40 minutes to cook per the recipe.  This recipe is easy enough to be a weeknight dinner. If you let it cook down longer or reheat it for lunch the next day, the flavors intensify and meld together even more. If I am planning to eat it the next day, I leave the spinach out and add it in right before eating.  I adore this dish!

Jeb’s Chili

 

One of J’s favorite dishes is his father’s chili. It makes more than enough for three meals and a few lunches for us. Like most of our favorite meals, this one gets better the longer it simmers. It looks complicated, but I promise it’s easy and worth it.

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Jeb's Chili
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Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Servings
Ingredients
Base Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Brown the meat.
  2. Add the chopped bell peppers and onions and cook until desired caramelization.
  3. In a separate pot make the sauce by adding the first 11 ingredients and simmering for about 45 minutes until smooth.
  4. Then add the tomatoes and meat and peppers and onions. Simmer one to two hours.
  5. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons massa flour to thicken if needed (most of the time we leave this step out).

 

My opinion: This is delicious with shredded Monterrey jack cheese, lime juice and tortilla chips. J prefers his with corn bread. It’s perfect for a cold winter’s night.

Pumpkin Soup (Round 2) and Gruyère Toast

We wound up with a couple of cans of left over pumpkin and in the quest for the perfect pumpkin soup, wanted to try a different version. This one is modified from the Mayo Clinic.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
5 green onion, green top only, chopped

Directions:
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with white pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.

My opinion:
The happy medium lies in the combination of the last recipe and this one. This was a bit too pumpkin pie in soup form for me.

Now for the best part. The Gruyère Toast. I could eat just this for dinner on a regular basis. Yum!

Ingredients:
french bread loaf, cut into about 3/4 inch slices
Olive oil
Your favorite Gruyère (we like the apple wood smoked), sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees or 450 degrees. brush bread with olive oil. Put in oven until just starting to brown on the top. Take out of oven, flip and add Gruyère. Put back in oven until Gruyère is melted and bread is fully toasted. (Hint: the toasting will take much less time on this side. Try to keep it from burning.)

My opinion:
Like I stated above, I love this toast. It’s great with tomato soup, chicken noodle and just by itself. It will be one of our go to dishes this winter!

Green Chili Stew


One thing I miss about Texas is the abundance of Hatch green chilies at HEB. And the green chili enchiladas at Chuys. We’ve tried a few recipes from scratch to match the sauce and a stew without luck. Until we found Cookwell & Company’s Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix. With a few modifications, it was the closest we’ve had since leaving Texas.

Ingredients:
Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix
2 chicken breasts (Shredded or diced)
rice or barley (to help thicken the stew)
corn (we omitted this time, but will add in the future)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth (if needed)
Mexican blend shredded cheese

Directions:
Heat stew over medium heat until simmering, turn down to low. Sautee chicken in oil until cooked through. Add to the stew. Add rice or barley. Cook for 10-15 minutes simmering until stew is cooked down, by about a third. Add the corn. If the stew has reduced too much, add the chicken broth. Add the corn and simmer for about 2 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, cook another five minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

My opinion:
Perfect for a late fall evening. Just enough spice and flavor to not need any additions. I cannot wait to try this in the crock pot later this winter!