Our holiday schedules are behind us.

The extra chaos of planning, baking and visiting has subsided. I hope you all enjoyed your chaos though, we did! I always look forward to congregating, eating, and socializing, but also enjoy some much needed down time. After a busy Christmas Eve and day we headed to our son and daughter-in-law’s house in Antigonish to have our holiday with them. We enjoyed a feast of homemade Chinese food and a marathon of The Office television show. We go to hang out with the farm animals, which included an extra snuggly barn cat and I even go to bottle feed the baby calves. It was very relaxing and rejuvenating.

I know we are in the month renewals, rejuvenation, and the “new you” but I am not going to share with you an “extra healthy” recipe, although it is relatively healthy. I am going share a recipe that can help you with your mental health by alleviating the stress of a multiple course meal. Even though the stress of the holidays is gone, we all have busy lives and everyone appreciates a “one pot” meal just like one stop shopping and two-in-one shampoo.

To make this even more stress free, use whatever you have in the house – this is how this recipe transpired, a lot of the ingredients I bought at our local farmers market and some were in my freezer needing to be used up. You can use any creamed soup you like or make a homemade version if you have one you like better.

One pot chicken and rice casserole

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, combine the following:

  • 2 cubed chicken breasts, uncooked
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 cup diced buttercup squash
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 small red pepper diced
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup sliced celery
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme and parsley

Mix together and pour into baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about one hour until rice is tender. Check for doneness as oven temperatures vary.

Using bagged frozen vegetables or prepping fresh ones and freezing ahead of time is a nice time saver. Use any kind of meat and veggie combo or make it vegetarian. Whip this up, put in the oven, and relax for a bit…and enjoy the leftovers…it makes great leftovers! Enjoy!