Browsing Tag:


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping –Gluten Free


There is nothing like a creamy, comforting chicken rice casserole with a butter crunchy cracker topping.  Back when Todd and I were first married, I made a recipe very similar to this one, but it has not made it into our recipe box in years because the ingredients were not what I would have considered healthy.

When I had the opportunity to come up with a healthy, gluten-free recipe for Breton crackers, a crunchy cracker topped casserole is what immediately came to mind.  I decided to do a little makeover on the recipe that I used to make when we were newlyweds and the results were amazing!

We are no longer newlyweds (we are now going on almost 20 years!) but the flavors of this casserole took me back to those sweet days, and it really made me smile that all 3 of my girls heartily approved of this recipe, too, especially since I don’t make creamy comforting casseroles very often around here!


I started by baking some organic chicken breasts.  I just sprinkled them with grill seasoning and throw them in the oven until done.  These were sliced pretty thin so they only took about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


I wanted to keep this recipe gluten-free, as we try to limit gluten around here and I also have several extended family members who eat gluten- free.  I love having a few key recipes on hand that are easy to make and fully gluten- free.

The creamy base of this recipe is sour cream and cream of chicken soup.  I used organic sour cream and used Pacific brand cream of chicken soup as it is gluten- free and also free of ingredients that I would not want to feed my family.  I am pretty picky about pre-made cream soups and this brand make me very happy, and also tasted great!


I used brown rice for the base of the casserole for extra fiber and flavor. I used to make the rice separate from casserole, but not this time.  I loved throwing it all in one dish.


After mixing the shredded chicken, sour cream and cream of chicken soup together, simply spread out on top of the rice layer.


Here is where it gets good.  BRETON GLUTEN-FREE HERB & GARLIC CRACKERS.  I’ve done a lot of tasting of gluten-free crackers, and I have not found one with such tender-crisp texture as Breton crackers.  These crackers are so good,–bursting with herb and garlic flavor. They are made with arrowroot and green lentil flours, which make them quite good for you. They can be eaten alone or topped with delicious toppings for a nutritious snack your family will love.  We like to top them with some organic turkey and cheese for an easy protein-filled snack.

There are several flavors:





For this recipe, I crunched up the herb and garlic crackers and drizzled them with a bit of melted organic butter for the crunchy casserole topping.


I use a ziplock bag to keep mess to  minimum.  I crunched one sleeve of Breton Herb and Garlic crackers all up and then drizzled the butter right into the bag, then sealed and did a bit of a shimmy- shake to distribute it evenly.


The crunchy crackers are the last layer to the casserole.  It really is a breeze to throw together, especially if you have pre-cooked chicken and rice ready to go.


Here is the casserole all baked and ready to eat.  You have the chewiness of the brown rice, the creaminess of the chicken mixture, and the crunch of the cracker topping.  It is GOOD…and for me there is the bonus of being taken back to those newlywed days!



Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping

2 cups chopped cooked seasoned chicken

1 10 oz-12oz  cream of chicken soup (Pacific in a box is gluten-free)

1 8 oz carton sour cream

1 1/2 cups Breton Gluten- Free Garlic & Herb crushed crackers ( I used one sleeve)

1/4 cup butter melted

2 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked


Combine chicken, soup, & sour cream. Put rice in 9×13 pan, add chicken mixture & spread out.  Combine crushed crackers and butter in a large ziplock bag.  Sprinkle over chicken mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Featured/ Meals/ RECIPES

Chicken Fried Rice


This recipe is a new staple at our house.  It tastes better than takeout and is much healthier, too.  You control the amount of oil and it uses brown rice for extra fiber.  It uses ingredients that most would already have on hand, and it is a recipe that the whole family loves and gets excited about.

It is super convenient to have a whole meal in one, as it contains protein from the meat, fiber from the brown rice, and even has your serving of vegetables. The recipe calls for uncooked chicken breast, but if you have leftover, already-cooked chicken, use that and make this meal SUPER easy!

For an extra special meal, try serving this with my Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls.


Chicken Fried Rice

3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (preferable leftover rice)

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 3/4 inch pieces

1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided

1 Tbsp canola oil (or coconut oil) divided

1 1/3 cups frozen peas and carrots blend

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

3 Tbsp low- sodium soy sauce

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper


In a large non-stick wok or skillet, heat 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp of canola/coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add chicken pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper and salute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/12 tsp canola or coconut oil.  Add peas and carrots blend and green onions and salute 1 minute, then add garlic and salute 1 minute longer. Push veggies to edges of pan, add eggs in center and cook and scramble.  Return chicken to skillet along with rice.  Add in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Quick Dinner – Korean Beef Over Rice


A Flavorful Dinner Staple

It is so fun to stumble upon an easy, healthful and delicious dinner that I know will be a weeknight staple around here.  This recipe will be in our rotation because it pleased every single person in our family, which is not an easy thing to do!

The flavor of this dish is very, very similar to Mongolian Beef, it is sweet and salty and just darn good!  Using ground beef makes it quick dinner that you can making in minutes. It is amazing how developed the flavor is in such a short time!


To Substitute Or Not Substitute

It is key to use certain ingredients in this recipe, so be careful with substitutions.  The sesame oil adds a flavor that is impossible to get with anything else.  The green onions and ginger are also ‘must-have’s’ in this recipe. We are not huge onion fans in this family, but when cooked right, in the right dish, they are amazing.

The substitutions I might make the next time I make this dish is brown rice for white rice, and maple syrup instead of brown sugar — just to make it a bit more healthy.


Fresh Ingredients

You just can’t go wrong with a recipe that has such great, fresh ingredients like garlic, onion and ginger.  Yum!  They are not only full of flavor, but also full of amazing nutrients for the body.



Grass Fed & Organic Please!

I highly recommend using grass-fed beef from a farmer you trust.  I cannot tell you the difference in flavor when I buy ground beef from my local co-op, where I know exactly what farm the cow came from.  My family can even tell when I substitute cheaper ground beef for organic, grass-fed beef.  It is worth every penny of the extra cost.  Flavor and peace-of-mind is priceless.


My Favorite Rice Maker

I use and love a handy-dandy rice maker.  This is the model I have.  It never fails to produce the perfect texture of rice.




Korean Beef Over Rice

1 cup uncooked brown or white rice

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (or maple syrup)

1/4 cup soy sauce ( I used tamari)

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1/2-1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 pound ground beef

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, thinly sliced



1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. Mix together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, & ginger in a small bowl.  Set Aside.

3. Brown ground beef in a skillet, set over medium-high heat.  Once cooked, drain off an excuse fat.  Add garlic to skillet and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Stir in sauce and half of green onions.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes until well coated and heated through. Garnish with remaining green onions.  Serve over rice.



What About You?

What is a dinner staple in your house?

What do you think of the sound of this recipe?


A Super Easy & Delicious Lunch-Vegetable Masala Rice Medley with Corn-A No Recipe, Recipe


When I get tired of big salads for lunch, I search my freezer and can always find some fun convenience foods from Trader Joes.

Even if you don’t live near a Trader Joes, this idea can still work using different convenience foods.


These Vegetable Masala burgers from Trader Joes make me very, very happy.  They are Vegan and Soy Free.

They have a great Indian flavor and a bit of a spicy bite, but not too strong.  They do not scream masala.

They are full of chunks of potatoes, corn, carrot and peas.  They remind me of a potato pancake with added spices and vegetables.

I often eat them between pieces of naan bread as a sandwich.

I also love browning them on both sides then crumbling them up to top salads or rice. They come fully cooked, so just heat and serve.

I like for them to have a crunch to them which is why I brown them first.  It takes just minutes.

On this particular day, I had Trader Joes Rice Medley on hand in the freezer.

This is another super great convenience food that I love having around.  This medley is nice and chewy, full of fiber and grains that are so good for you.

My kids love this one because of the chewiness.  Just heat and serve!

If you prefer plain rice, Trader Joes have organic brown rice in packets in the freezer section.  Or, you could just make your own and freeze it!


I had some leftover corn in my refrigerator from dinner the night before that I added.  I like the texture and color that it gives.

This may seem like it needs flavor or a sauce, but really it doesn’t.  The Vegetable Masala burgers have enough flavor to make this a very hearty and satisfying lunch.

My kids ate the leftovers as an afternoon snack, they loved it.  They commented on the slight spice, but still gobbled it up!

This Garlic Naan is also from Trader Joes.  I do not eat it often since it is not dairy free, but boy is it GOOD!  They also have plain and whole wheat.

Vegetable Masala Rice Medley with Corn & Naan no recipe, recipe!




Bean & Corn Salsa With Rice, Cheese & Chips To Dip

My friend, Traci, came to visit a few weeks ago.  She didn’t want me to have to make lunch, so she brought along an awesome lunch of brown rice, homemade bean and corn salsa, some cheese and tortilla dipping chips.  It was the most delicious, filling and simple lunch!  I loved it.  I knew after my first bite that I would want to share it with you all, so I grabbed my camera and took the picture above.
The salsa has amazing flavor.  I am not a cilantro fan, so I was excited to see that this recipe used parsley instead.  The lime juice and sweet onion were key ingredients for me.  
We have been trying to eat less red meat around here, adding at least one non-meat meal a week.  This recipe is the perfect way to get some fiber, veggies, and protein from the cheese and beans.  If you wanted more protein, a side of grilled chicken would be perfect, you could serve it on a bed of rice with the salsa on top–pretty! I’ve been thinking about this recipe ever since I tried it and can’t wait to make it for my family!
Bean & Corn Salsa
3c. chopped seeded tomato  (4-5 Roma)
1/2c. chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/2c. chopped tomatillos (about 2 med.)
1/4c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained (I like 1/2c.)
1/4c. fresh corn kernels (I just throw frozen kernels straight in – I like 1/2c.)
2T. finely chopped fresh parsley
2T. fresh lime juice (1 med. lime)
1/2t. salt
1/2t. pepper
1/2t. hot sauce

Combine; cover and chill for at least 2 hours. I usually make the night before. Of course, I like mine put over Rice with a little cheese heated up in the microwave and then served with tortilla chips! 

If you have never cooked with a tomatillo, what you need to look for at the store are tomatillos with green (not brown) papery skin, and firm flesh–no soft spots.  The paper skin peels right off,(lil’ cutie shows you how in the first video below) and you can eat them raw or you can roast them, then blend them up into a green salsa (second video below).  When eaten raw, they are firm and have a bit of a tart taste, which is perfect for the Bean & Corn Salsa recipe above.  Roasting makes them smokey and soft.