Rate a Recipe

I actually get bored easily by food. So, although all the research says that weight loss happens more effectively when you have LESS variety in your diet, I'm all about MORE variety. I mean really, why else would I buy not one, but TWO cooking magazines and never leave a bookstore without spending at least 30 minutes in the cookbooks section. So, I'm always looking for new ways to cook staple foods - like chicken breast. For the most part, I really like Clean Eating Magazine. I like some of the sections, and I really like the weekly meal plans. But their recipes are hit and miss. So, I thought it would be fun if we did a "rate a recipe" every once in a while. We could share what we liked/disliked about the recipe and whether or not we had tips or tricks for it!

My first recipe rating comes from the August issue of Cooking Light Magazine (and next time I'll remember to take a photo)! Chicken and Rice Casserole (less than 350 calories per serving, and just about 9.5 g of fat - and I'm pretty sure that my substitutions reduced all that a bit too).
First - the substitutions to make it clean:
1. Use brown rice instead of the long grain white
2. Use whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose
3. Use 1 T olive oil instead of the 1T butter
4. Use skim milk instead of the 2%

The benefits of this recipe are that it's a one dish meal with all the necessary requirements - good lean protein (chicken breast), a good serving of veggies (zucchini and yellow squash), and a health starch option with the brown rice substitution.

The flavors were great too, mostly coming from a single teaspoon of chopped FRESH rosemary. And once finished, this meal was both filling and tasty.

The cons here are that it is not a "quickie." The rice takes time (though you could pre-cook it) and all the steps take time too. There's both stove-top cooking AND oven cooking AND broiler cooking. But the yummy flavors are worth those troubles. The only thing is that I'd likely save this for later in the fall when having the stove and oven running heating up the house isn't such a bad thing.

Also, I did write in "make rice first" at the top of the directions because I realized (almost too late) that I needed "cooked rice" from the ingredients list.

I'm giving the recipe 3.5 (out of 5) stars for great flavor and super healthy benefits. But it is a little boring looking because the sauce and rice are all so neutral looking. It also takes a lot of steps and I like faster meals. However, as I said, they were worth it and I will make this again!

You can find the recipe here: Chicken and Rice Casserole