Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tasty dish for 1, please

Another confession: I despise the word casserole. It always makes me think of multiple gross ingredients baked into a pan and topped with cheese - to trick you into thinking it's good.

Due to above confession, I commonly call this type of meal a "baked chicken dish," which it is. I'm a big fan of that classic meal - made with chicken strips, rice, broccoli, cream of celery soup and topped with cheese - baked in the oven. It is indeed a tasty and easy dinner to make, but when wanting to limit my meat intake to about once a week, I don't want a couple days worth of leftovers (remember, I'm cooking for one). I would, however, like some extra rice and broccoli, so I opted for the following version.

I bought three stalks of broccoli, then washed and steamed them all. I also steamed an entire (dry) cup of brown rice. This gave me plenty of broccoli and rice to use in my dinner and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow (which I'll eat with a little soy sauce drizzled on top). Then I browned two chicken breast strips, cut into smaller pieces.

In a Pyrex dish I layered the rice, the chicken and the broccoli, then topped with shredded Mexican blend cheese. I placed it on the bottom rack of the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. One thing I also despise is the taste of meat warmed in the microwave - it seems to lose flavor and texture. In the end I had a dish perfectly portioned for one person, which had all the healthy components of a well-balanced meal.

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