Doctor’s orders: it’s time for us to start cutting carbs. This is fine: I want to do what’s necessary to maintain good health. It does pose a challenge with some of these old recipes, however. Nobody cared about carbs when most of these were written. I’m going to have to find ways to adapt the recipes without sacrificing enjoyment or flavor. The basic truth is that if it’s not tasty, we won’t eat it. Health food shouldn’t make you miserable. Life is too short for that.
Ingredients-wise, today’s recipe is pretty similar to the Chicken and Broccoli Casserole I found earlier. This recipe is in my grandmother’s handwriting, so my guess is that she and my mother created a variation of their own and wrote it down. There are no biscuits on top, and this recipe calls for cream of celery rather than cream of chicken soup. The seasonings are the same, but they differ in proportions. For this casserole, I used leftover shredded chicken from a whole chicken I had cooked previously. We never make it through a whole bird in one evening, so I strip the leftover meat from the carcass and freeze it for just such occasions.
In order to make this recipe low-carb, I replaced the rice with “cauliflower rice”. For those unfamiliar with this substance, it is generated by finely chopping raw cauliflower into tiny chunks, which are texturally similar to rice. I highly recommend using a food processor for this, unless you like spending a great deal of time chopping cauliflower. :) The chopped cauliflower is blanched in boiling water for about 5 minutes, to soften it, and is then served in the place of rice. The flavor is not the same, but the texture is good enough for now – especially in a casserole, where everything gets mixed together anyway.
One key factor to be aware of with cauliflower rice is that it does not behave like rice in the presence of liquid. Rice absorbs liquid and increases in volume as a result; cauliflower rice tends to release liquid in small amounts, and may shrink ever so slightly. Note this carefully, and adjust your own recipes accordingly when using this substitute.
- 3 cups cauliflower rice
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease an 8” x 8” x 2” Pyrex baking dish, and spread the cauliflower rice in the bottom.
Place the chicken on top of the cauliflower rice.
Sprinkle the broccoli on top.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream of celery soup, egg, mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, milk, celery seed, salt, and curry powder.
Pour this sauce over the casserole.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Click here for a print-friendly version.