Gluten-Free Chicken Caserole

Recommended by Carol Blair, BS, DiHom, CNC (Original recipe from NOW Foods)165247222

This delicious high-protein dish uses heart-healthy whole grain brown rice and gluten-free brown rice flour.

Cook Review: This tasty recipe is easy to make.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for greasing
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 large carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 small Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Organic Brown Rice Flour
1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Organic Pine Nuts
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 cup frozen peas

1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.    Lightly oil a 9-inch pie dish and set aside.

3.    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

4.    Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

5.    Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

6.    Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

7.    Add broth and milk, stir well and bring to a simmer.

8.    Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.

9.    Meanwhile, combine rice, cheese, pine nuts, paprika, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

10.  Stir peas into chicken mixture, then season with salt and pepper and transfer to prepared dish.

11.  Distribute rice mixture evenly over the top, then arrange dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

12.  Bake until bubbly and crust is crisp, about 30 minutes.

California Chopped Salad Recipe

VeggiesBy Carol Blair, BS, CN, DiHom

Spring is here! Now is the time to start incorporating more delicious salads into your diet. Here is one of my favorites. Next week, I will be sharing another favorite!

Mix with chopped romaine lettuce

1 avocado, diced

¼ to ½ cup chopped Vidalia or mild red onion

1 lime or lemon, juiced

¼ teaspoon cumin

1 Tablespoon dried cilantro

Diced Jalapeno, to taste

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

If desired, add artichokes, red peppers, and cooked mushrooms

Top with cherry tomatoes

Crumbled Greek feta cheese is also good on the top

Medicinal Mushrooms

By Carol B. Blair, BS, CNC, DiHom

It’s a well known fact that mushrooms are excellent immune support. Mushrooms contain beta glucans, complex sugars that are a foundation of multi-cellular immune intelligence.

Beta glucans aid cell-to-cell communication, and they bind to macrophages and activate them against bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, etc. Beta glucans also reduce the side effects of radiation and chemo; they have been used in studies at hospitals such as Sloan-Kettering in New York City.

Since each mushroom has its own properties, they work best in combination.

LifeShield Immunity from New Chapter Organics is a favorite choice for well-being. It contains a variety of mushrooms including Reishi, Shitake, Maitake, Coriolus, Chaga, Cordyceps and a couple of other lesser-known mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, which is excellent for memory. In fact, studies show that this particular mushroom can regenerate brain cells!

The other feature I like about mushrooms is that they are safe for autoimmune disorders and they are non-toxic.

Many people who are prone to illness due to exposure from others who are sick have benefited from medicinal mushrooms.  Taking one veggie capsule after waking and another at bedtime can do wonders for the immune system. Try it. You’ll be surprised.