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22 May

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

1 Comment

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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:

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE HERB & GARLIC

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE ORIGINAL WITH FLAX

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE BLACK BEAN WITH ONION AND GARLIC

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE WHITE BEAN WITH SALT AND PEPPER

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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

20 May

A Health Update

19 Comments

Hello & Health Update

I’ve been saying in the last few posts that I have not been feeling well, so I thought I would fill you all in on what’s going on with my health.  It has been a long time since I last did a health update, and honestly I have been digging my heel’s in and just hoping in time I would feel better. Instead, I thought it was time to fill you all in.

I am still in remission–praise God!

We are not sure what is causing my health problems, which includes pretty severe nausea most days, starting in the morning.  I wake up almost every day with a case of the dry heaves.  I never throw up, of which I am most grateful for.  Despite this, the amount of nausea I feel during the day has caused my appetite to become very low.  I am most hungry in the evenings and that is when I try to get as many calories in as I can.  Despite working on getting calories in, I’ve lost about 18 pounds the last few months.  I really hope to not lose anymore!  I am on some anti-nausea meds, but their help is minimal and they make me want to sleep, sleep sleep!  Have you noticed I am not doing as many recipe posts here at New Nostalgia?  I still have to cook for my family, and eat myself, so you will see them occasionally still, just not as often until I start feeling better!

Along with the nausea, I have had digestion issues.  I have always had a strong digestive system, so this is all very new for me.  I say new, but it has been going on since January.

Yes, January.  To be real and honest, it is starting to wear on me.

We are working with my primary care doctor, my Oncologist, & my Psychiatrist to try to figure out what is going on.

We started with getting me off any mood med, knowing that the side effects can cause nausea.  That didn’t go so well and has been a rough road as I tried getting back on my normal mood med and I just was not able to tolerate side effects.  I have found another, but it does not take me to where I really would like to be when it comes to stability, but for now, it will work.  I think all the unknowns of what is going on with my health has really made my anxiety rise and honestly I have felt anxiety like I never have these last couple of months, which really can’t help anything!

I started to feel better last month after detoxing off all mood meds (this was a very long road) and sticking with one.  But then…my monthly injection happened and it sent me on this downward spiral, both physically and emotionally.  I wish I could explain better how it feels. Emotionally it feels like someone put a lid on me and on my joy.  Things I used to find such joy in are now just kinda ‘eh’ and I also have found myself quite restless.  My morning nausea came back in full swing and so did my anxiety. I told myself and my Todd I will never have that shot again, as it seems to me that  it is the cause of all of this misery.

We meet with my Oncologist on Tuesday and I know she will not be too pleased to hear this.  This shot is what shuts down my hormones as my cancer was fed by hormones and protects me from recurrence.  She will probably suggest trying Tamoxifen again (which made me sleep my life away and caused painful ovarian cysts each month) or suggest having my ovaries surgically removed. The monthly injection (called a Zoladex Injection) is a way to chemically shut down my ovaries, so I can see Doc wanting to just remove my ovaries.  Many women in my shoes with my type of cancer get this operation done, and I will probably do so, but I feel very fearful about this surgery as it is permanent and what if I feel just as sick with them being permanently gone, not to mention my moods?   I will not have the luxury of supplementing with hormones, which is what most women who have had this surgery (including Angelina Jolie) do to have stable hormonal health.  If you are a cancer survivor and have had this surgery with no hormone supplementation, would you let me know how you are doing? I would love to hear from anyone who has walked this road.

I also have an appointment with a Gastroenterologist in mid June.  I would have loved to have seen one sooner, and have been on a waiting list, but boy these guys are busy!  I am very curious to know if they find anything wrong with my gut or have any answers for me.  I need reassurance from them that this is not cancer returning to my stomach, as with lobular type cancer, the stomach can be a more common place for cancer to return.

My Primary Care Doctor has already done blood work, a stomach ultrasound, and checked to see if my gall bladder is functioning properly.  All came back normal.  Yay!

So that is it in a nutshell.  It is hard to explain how consuming health can be, especially when one experiences nausea the majority of the day.  I know it could be so much worse, but I also know life has changed drastically for me the last few months.

I find myself fighting and facing fear with all of the unknowns, but I do know God is with me and has been so faithful in the past to show me what path to take.  I feel like I have recently lost my way a bit in just resting in that, but I still know it to be true.

I am seeing a new therapist whom I just adore, and she just keeps leading me to the truth that God has got it all.  I am excited to share with you as I learn and grow and glean from her.  I will also keep you all informed on how I am doing.

You all have always been such a supportive community.  You read and applaud the sponsored posts I do hear at New Nostalgia, which is such a blessing to me and to our budget,  and you read and are with me in these more raw and vulnerable posts, too.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a great community of readers.  Love to you all! <3

 

Prayer Requests If I May:

~emotional stability, especially when it comes to anxiety

~to have peace about doing the surgery if that is the next step

~answers to what is causing nausea and stomach issues.

~that the doctors can all collaborate somehow (Oncologist, Gastroenterologist, Primary Care Physician and Psychologist) and come up with the best solutions for me. Right now I feel like a ping-pong ball going from one to another.

~for peace and joy