Chicken Wild Rice Vegetable Casserole & Candied Sweet Potatoes & Carrots

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My boys are picky. I am trying to not let them be picky. HA! (Right?!) Anyways. I want them to try things. I want them to eat well…….It is the never-ending battle with young kids. Two of them are always saying “I don’t like it…..” AS they are walking to the table. Humph.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, they all stared at this dish. Starting to say that they didn’t like it. I gave them each their  small  scoop and asked them to eat it. They all did and a few even asked for more! That is a successful dish, in this house.

I wonder if this would be good with different veggies ~ I think broccoli would be good.

Wild Rice with Chicken and Vegetables 

1/2 c. diced onion
1 c. peeled diced carrots
3/4 c. diced celery
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 TB. olive oil
2 c. cooked shredded chicken
6 oz. box of “Uncle Ben’s” Long Grain and Wild Rice

Cheese Sauce ~
4 TB. butter
1/4 c. flour
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 c. water
1 c. milk
2 c. cheddar cheese
1 c. cheddar cheese (opt. ~ use for topping)

Prepare the long grain and wild rice, according to the pkg. directions. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil, add  the veggies and the garlic powder. Saute’ till softened, and maybe a BIT browned.  Add a touch of salt & pepper if you want too.

Combine the prepared rice, chicken and vegetable mixture. Mix well.

Prepare the cheese sauce. First melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, chicken bouillon granules and salt & pepper. Stir till smooth, cook for just a few seconds. Slowly whisk in the water and milk. Whisk till smooth. Cook a few minutes till thickened. Add the 2 c. cheddar cheese and whisk till melted (over low heat).

Add the cheese sauce to the chicken mixture. Stir. Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and top with remaining 1 c. of cheddar cheese.

Bake @ 350° for 30 minutes (if baking right away) and closer to 45-60 minutes if your casserole is chilled.

Serve. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Picky Palate.

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My kids looked at these, unsure, at first. They are picky (have I mentioned this??) Well, the moment I said they are called “Candied Sweet Potatoes” ~ they tried them, most of them liked it!

Be sure to stir these a few times, so the brown-sugary yumminess gets all spread well. Now, resist the temptation to sample STRAIGHT out of the pan. Trust me. Your mouth, tongue, cheek and chin WILL thank you! That sugar/butter mix is like 1000°. No joke.

Candied Sweet Potatoes & Carrots      

3 sweet potatoes
2 large carrots
4 TB. butter
5 TB. brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4″ – 1″ cubes. Peel the carrots and cut into 3/4″ – 1″ pieces. Put into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Melt the butter and add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Toss.

Bake @ 400° for about 45 minutes. Stir a few times. Transfer to  a serving platter. ENJOY!

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About Bobbi

I am a wife to my wonderful husband. I am a mom to 5 wonderful/busy/crazy/noisey/happy snappy boys. My hobby is cooking and baking, I love to read recipes and organize the recipes I have. I enjoy making food for people and sharing recipes. My husband is not picky and will eat almost anything, my kids are not quite as easy, they can be picky eaters, which has lead me to try to make more “favorite family foods”. I am hoping that through this blog some of my friends and family, or anyone for that matter, will share their favorite recipes too!!! Feel free to email me at favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com if you have any questions, suggestions or recipes you would like to share. I look forward to hearing from you! Bobbi

12 responses »

  1. These look so good to me, I can’t wait to try them. They both remind me of comfort foods, something I want to try on chilly day before spring actually gets here. I hope my family likes as much as yours does. I also like that almost all the stuff I have on hand too. Yeah!

  2. My boys are picky eaters too. I know exactly what you mean. It’s always “take 5 more bites” or “just take one bite and try it” and sometimes they eat more and often they don’t want to eat any more. But some day they’ll be eating us out of house and home (or so I hear) so I guess it’s nice now not to have such a large grocery bill because they eat so much at meal times. Thanks for these recipes. I definitely need to try them.

    • Glad to know other kids are picky too! A good dish is one they finish without TOO much of a fight and a dish that my husband and I both enjoy. Yep, aren’t we constantly warned about the “teenage years” when the little boys grow up and HOW much they will eat?!!!! Funny. Should be interesting! (Good thing I REALLY like to bake!) 🙂 Feel free to add or take away veggies according to YOUR families taste!

  3. Do you think I could sub regular rice for the uncle bens? Or would it not have enough flavor? I was at the store and all the box mixes of rice seemed to contain gluten so I was just going to try using plain rice but I thought maybe it would be too bland. Any thoughts?

    • Yes, I think it would be fine! I was thinking about using brown rice next time, just to see how it goes. I would add some salt & pepper, maybe some chicken bouillon granuales (though not sure IF that is gluten free) for flavor, for sure some parsley…..maybe a touch of garlic. Just season the rice up JUST a bit. I think it should be fine. (Let me know how it goes! IF you try it!)

  4. I made this last night and it was very good! I subbed regular brown rice for the uncle ben’s and then jazzed it up like you said, you could not tell the difference. My only problem was the carrots were a little hard yet despite that I had sauted them for a long time. Next time I would shred the carrots instead of dicing them so they would get done faster. All in all everyone liked, and I agree, it would be great to put broccoli instead of the carrots.

    • Yay! Glad you guys liked it! Sounds like brown rice worked! Yeah, the carrots do have a bit of a “bite” to them. Good call about shredding them, or I guess you can partially cook them 1st if you want to!

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