The Process of Eating Less Processed

Weaning My Family Off of Processed Foods – While Sneaking in Some Hidden Fruits and Veggies

Leave a comment

Easy One Dish Chicken and Rice – Without Condensed Soup

Nothing says it’s getting cooler outside like the comfort food casseroles, creamy slow cooker meals and creamy chicken dishes made in the oven. But as I was looking for a recipe for chicken and rice, I noticed that nearly all of them require condensed soup – cream of chicken or cream of mushroom specifically. The ingredients on a regular can of cream of mushroom soup include MSG, soy protein concentrate, soy lecitin and my favorite the very vague – “flavors”. Not even natural flavors, which can be bad in their own right, but just “flavors” which gives you absolutely no idea what is really in it. For the “healthier” version of the soup, you can add POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, and DISODIUM INOSINATE.

Obviously, these wouldn’t work for the less processed lifestyle. So this is what I made instead. The sauce is still creamy and delicious, and I can actually tell you what all the ingredients are. I served this with some sauteed green beans and we had a very yummy, very comforting meal.

One Dish Chicken and Rice – Without Condensed Soup
1 TB butter
3 TB flour
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp poultry seasoning of choice (I use a very tasty poultry rub that has rosemary and thyme in it)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I use ground white pepper since my middle son has an aversion to the black specs in regular pepper)
1 cup long grain rice
2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces – I used split breasts
Pre-heat your oven to 350. In the meantime, melt butter in saucepan. Add in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Slowly add in broth and milk while wisking to keep the sauce smooth. Bring to a boil and add rice.

Spread rice and sauce mixture on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Place chicken pieces, skin side up, on top of rice and sauce. Tightly cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Raise temperature to 375. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes or until rice is tender and chicken reaches a temperature of 165.



Turkey and Veggie Tacos – My Latest Success at Tricking My Family Into Eating Veggies

In my quest for easy foods and nutritious non-processed foods that my family will actually eat, tacos are a sure win. Everyone likes them. All 3 boys eat a ton of tacos, as do my husband and I. It is also super easy to make an extra big batch of taco meat, and then freeze the leftovers which can be quickly reheated for a convenient, non-processed meal.

What makes tacos even better is how easy it is to hide healthy stuff in them. I’ve been particularly successful at hiding veggies in our taco meat, and everyone still loves it. For my latest batch, I had to actually make the boys stop eating after all 3 of them had eaten almost as many veggie tacos as my husband and I.

So here is the recipe for my Turkey Veggie Tacos…

1.5 pounds ground turkey (the turkey I buy from Costco comes in 1.5 pound packs)
1/2 small onion (rough chopped)
1/2 medium sweet potato (peeled and rough chopped)
1 stalk celery (rough chopped)
1/2 red bell pepper (seeded and rough chopped)
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 TB ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp salt
(If your family prefers spicier tacos, you can add more chili powder and cumin. For my family my husband and I just add hot sauce to our tacos and let the kids have a milder meat).

Brown ground turkey. While meat is browning, add veggies and olive oil to food processor and process until you get a good puree consistency. Add veggie puree and spices to browned turkey (drained if you have too much fat drippings – the brand I use doesn’t really leave much for drippings so I don’t drain it). Cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally (you don’t want raw veggies in your taco meat, even if they are pureed). Serve with your favorite taco shell or tortilla, shredded cheese, lettuce and hot sauce if desired.

You can also add zucchini or spinach to puree depending on the veggies you have on hand. Give them a try and let me know what you think.