Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cheesy broccoli & chicken casserole for one

While yesterday started out with the promise of 50 degree temperatures, it ended with chilling winds and rain rain rain.  Say what you will about spring being pleasant and warm, but this rain is why I prefer winter :)  After a lovely little afternoon tea party (thanks, B!) I headed home and burst into my apartment like a heat-seeking missile.  Must.find.warm.foods.  Thankfully, this is what was on tap for dinner: cheesy broccoli and chicken casserole for one.

Like I said, literally heat-seeking.  And did this ever do the trick.  Warmed me from my head to my toes, starting with my very happy and satisfied stomach.

Casseroles seem to have a reputation for being able to feed an army of hungry mouths... or one, meal after meal after meal.  Why not just scale back the proportions for one serving?  With a little extra prep on Sunday (steaming the broccoli and cooking chicken breasts), this was an easy one dish meal.

The sauce was rich and creamy and coated the cheesy broccoli and chicken.  Plus, that one cup of bright green broccoli equals two servings of vegetables.  Not too shabby! Healthy and tasty?  Win win!

Especially when one may have spent the day eating every sweet and sugary thing that one encountered: candy, cookies, even a cupcake for which a trek was required.  Not totally out of the ordinary but the quantity consumed was to a) celebrate Fat Tuesday, and b) make sure I got my fill for a while.  That's right, I'm giving up all sweets and desserts on weekdays during Lent.  I just couldn't bring myself to forego them entirely... it's just not realistic being a baker at heart.  But it will certainly be a big sacrifice.  Being Presbyterian, I didn't grow up with the tradition of giving something up for Lent, but every few years I seem motivated to try it.  If you observe Lent, what are you giving up this year? 

Thank goodness I ate a dinner with some nutritional value because I may have followed it with a big bowl if ice cream.  Go big or go home, folks :)  Have a great day, and remember to vote (click on that link!) for the Irish food you'd most like to see me make by Friday.  Thank you much!

One Year Ago: Chocolate cake doughnuts

Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Casserole
-serves 1

A few notes: This is easily adaptable to your tastes and available ingredients.  Use Gruyere in place of cheddar, or crumble crackers over the top rather than bread crumbs.  Finally, while I cubed the chicken, next time I think I'd shred it, so it would soak up more of the creamy sauce.  Still delicious though!

1 cup steamed broccoli, chopped
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a 6-by-9-inch glass dish, combine broccoli, chicken, sour cream, mayo, milk and cheddar cheese until evenly mixed.  With rubber spatula, smooth top of casserole.  Sprinkle bread crumbs and Parmesan over entire dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just turning golden on top.  Serve and enjoy!

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