Every New Year so many people make the same resolution; this is the year I am going to lose weight! What if you made a different resolution? What if this year you made a resolution to cook better and to eat better? Don’t remove things from your meals, just add more of the good (whatever that is for you) and less of the bad (whatever you want to eat less of). Add more real ingredients to your recipes like I do in my recipe for Chicken with Bean and Barley Casserole. After a while you will get used to eating more of the good stuff and less of the foods you don’t want. Make it a habit to make it a success. And give yourself a little grace. If you mess up, make it better tomorrow, but don’t quit.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a measuring cups and spoons, a knife and cutting board, a heat proof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, a sauce pan with a lid, and the stove.
You can make your casserole vegetarian by using vegetable broth, and replacing your chicken with garbanzo beans or more mushrooms.
If you are not allowed to use a knife, or the stove by yourself, you can ask an adult for help.
ChefElla’s Chicken with Bean and Barley Casserole (6-8 servings)
10-12 oz. Chicken Breast, Cooked, Medium Dice (I used a rotisserie chicken from the store.)
1 Can Great Northern Beans, Drained and Rinsed (15 oz. Can)
1 Cup Quick Barley
(You could use another quick cooking grain to make this recipe gluten free, but you will need to adjust the amount of chicken broth for the grain you use.)
1 Can Tomatoes, Diced (15 oz. Can)
1 Cup Mushrooms, Medium Dice (2-3 large mushrooms)
1 Cup Carrots, Small Dice
1 Cup White Onion, Small Dice (about ½ of a medium onion)
2 Cups Chicken Broth, Low Sodium
2 Cups Spinach, Fresh, Chopped or Julienned (about 4 oz.)
1 Tbl. Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic, Minced
½ tsp Oregano Leaves, Dried or Fresh Chopped
½ tsp Thyme, Dried
1 tsp Salt, Kosher or Sea
¼ tsp Black Pepper, Ground
3. Prepare your chicken and vegetables.
4. Put your pot on the stove on high heat. Add the olive oil and let it heat for a second. Add the carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to the pot and mix well to coat with the oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally to keep the vegetables from burning or sticking.
5. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach, to the pot and mix well.
6. Bring the casserole to a simmer, turn the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. After 15 minutes most if not all of the liquid should be absorbed by the barley. Turn off the heat and add your spinach to the pot and mix well. Cover the casserole and let it sit for 5 minutes. If the mixture is still soupy cover and cook for a few more minutes.
8. Remove the lid and serve your Chicken with Bean and Barley casserole.
Serve your Casserole with toasted bread, roasted vegetables, or your favorite side.
ChefElla’s helpers can help by:
Measuring the ingredients
Adding the ingredients to the pan
Older helpers can help by:
Preparing the vegetables and chicken
Making the whole recipe with a little guidance