HEALTHY COMFORT FOOD?!?! YES, PLEASE!!!

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This time of year just screams “Comfort Food!”.  The chilly weather along with the rain makes for a perfect atmosphere to want to indulge in some really yummy food that will warm our bellies and our hearts!  Unfortunately, most comfort food is not very good for you.  I saw this pin on Pinterest for a chicken casserole.

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Oh my goodness, that looks terrific!  The nutrition of it isn’t as great, but this pin inspired me to come up with a dish that truly tasted like comfort food while still being nutritious.  The result?  A dish that I don’t even know what to call other than delicious!  Yum, this stuff is GOOD!  I decided to classify it as a casserole made with veggies, chicken, and cheese.  The goat’s milk mozzarella really pulls this together and you will have a hard time believing this is as good for you as it is!  Yes, healthy comfort food does exist, and it exists in this dish!!!

CHICKEN VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 lb.  chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. goat’s milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pint tomato sauce (I used my homemade tomato sauce – it’s SO good, and great for you!)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • garlic powder

Directions:

1.) If you are making your own tomato sauce, prepare the sauce.  If you are using store bought tomato sauce, skip this step.

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2.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut zucchini and cauliflower in small chunks and cut cherry tomatoes in half. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.  After removing from the oven, reduce heat to 350.

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3.) Heat 1 tbls. of olive oil in a skillet. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook until caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

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4.) Chop your chicken breast into small cubes and sprinkle with garlic powder.  In the same skillet as you cooked the onions, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Add the chopped chicken breasts and cook until cooked through and browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

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5.) Chop your green bell pepper into small pieces.  The same pan you cooked the onions and chicken in should have enough juice/oil left over that you don’t have to add anymore olive oil, but you can add a bit of olive oil if needed. Cook the chopped bell peppers for about 5 minutes. Set aside.  While the bell peppers are cooking shred your cheese.

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6.) In a large bowl, combine the roasted cauliflower, tomatoes and zucchini with the chicken and the bell peppers.

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7.) Now we will assemble our casserole! Place 1/3 of veggie and chicken mixture on bottom of 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish, next top with a 1/3 of the tomato sauce, and then top with 1/3 of the cheese.

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8.) Continue this layering process, but on the third layer, add the caramelized onions before the cheese.  In other words, the third layer will go 1/3 chicken and veggie mix, 1/3 tomato sauce, caramelized onions, 1/3 of the cheese.

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9.) Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.

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10.) Let cool to desired temperature and serve.

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Cozy up and get ready to be comforted!  This stuff will knock your socks off!  It’s SO good!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

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