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Baked Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Casserole
On our recent shopping trip to the local buy-in-bulk store my husband decided to thrown in our cart an abundant amount of asparagus. Seriously!? What am I supposed to do with all of this? He said “What? I like asparagus.” Well, I guess I can’t complain. Usually he is trying to throw in junk food when I’m not looking. This most often times consists of some genetically modified and high fructose corn syrup laden garbage. But, seriously? What am I supposed to do with all this asparagus
Asparagus is a delicious and healthy spring vegetable. California is usually the first state to harvest the prized veggie as early as February. Generally though, asparagus is picked from April to May and even up through July in the east and mid-west. There are about 300 varieties of asparagus, but only 20 are actually edible. Green isn’t the only color asparagus comes in. You may have seen that it also comes in white and even purple.
If you want to add a super food to your diet asparagus is a great choice. It’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. Asparagus is rich in fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium and glutathione. Glutathione is detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and rids your body of free radicals; making asparagus a cancer fighting shoot. Chromium is a trace mineral that helps your body process insulin by transporting glucose from your bloodstream into cells. This makes asparagus great for people with type 2 diabetes.
Asparagus is also great for digestion because it contains a valuable amount of inulin. Inulin is a unique type of carbohydrate that doesn’t get digested until it reaches your large intestine. Once it arrives at your large intestine, it becomes a food source for good bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Having a healthy amount of friendly bacteria in your intestines have been associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergies and a lower risk of colon cancer.
Preparing and Cooking
Asparagus is actually a flower belonging to the lily family and should be stored in your refrigerator in a glass jar with a small amount of water in the bottom. When choosing asparagus the thinner it is the more tender it will be. Larger asparagus can require peeling and can be quite tough and stringy.
Before cooking, you want to wash your asparagus in cold water to remove any dirt. Once washed, you will then need to trim the woody ends of the stalks. The easiest way to trim asparagus is to simply take the ends between your thumb and forefinger and bend it until it breaks. Snapping off the ends in this manner is the best way to insure that you don’t trim off too much.
Casseroles can be one of the best comfort foods, they are warm and hearty. I love to cook all kinds of dishes but, I have noticed that many casserole recipes come from a featured brand name often laden with additives such as MSG and preservatives. Not in my house! You won’t find any questionable ingredients in my recipe. Here are some of the brands I used to avoid additives and gluten.
Pacific Foods Organic Cream of Chicken Soup. Gluten and Corn Free
Raw Gouda Cheese
Nancy’s Organic Cultured Sour Cream
Often times people assume that cooking healthy has to be bland and boring or taste like so-called diet food. Although, this recipe is not low in calories it is natural in its ingredients . I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the delicious creamy goodness you will taste from my recipe. I hope you will try it and enjoy it!
Baked Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Casserole
A rich and creamy gluten free casserole. Made with natural ingredients. This is sure to be a quick and easy week-night meal!
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- 2 Cups Shredded Gouda Cheese
- 1 12 ounce Container of Cream of Chicken Soup
- 4 ounces Sour Cream
- 1 3/4 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/3 Cup Mined Onion
- 1 Cup Rice
- 30-50 Asparagus Spears Washed and Trimmed (Depending On Size)
- 6-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread rice into a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
- In a bowl, combine chicken stock, soup, parsley, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning, garlic, onion and sour cream. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of the shredded gouda to bowl and stir to combine.
- Place the asparagus over atop of the rice lengthwise, then lay the chicken thighs on top.
- Pour soup mixture over everything.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Uncover and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded gouda on top. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- For this recipe I used a low sodium chicken stock so, you may want to adjust the salt according to your own preference. You can also use any cheese you like such as Monterey Jack if you don't have gouda on hand, it will bring a milder flavor to the dish.