Are you on the hunt for healthier homemade alternatives to store-bought foods? You are not alone. Of course, the meal or side dish has to be low in fat and sodium, too. Oh, and uncomplicated ingredients along with a quick prep time is essential. Can I interest you in a shamefully simple chicken pot pie or delicious yellow rice and orzo side dish?
The rice dish is low in sodium, and utilizes turmeric, which is much less expensive than saffron. You can make either of these recipes for your family in a jiff.
No More Store-Bought Chicken Pot Pie
One of my favorite meals is chicken pot pie. It is a great comfort food as well. Many moons ago, I actually bought chicken pot pie at the grocery store. That was before I became a voracious label reader. Not only was the pot pie I liked over-the-top high in sodium and fat, the price kept rising ridiculously. Time to find a healthful alternative I could live with.
After experimenting and tweaking a variety of family recipes, many of which were overly complicated for my busy schedule, I finally made a healthier pot pie I loved. It is inexpensive to make, and you can change up the veggies if you get bored.
Try not to use canned vegetables if you can help it. The sodium is ultra high in canned veggies and honestly defeats the purpose of the recipe. I like to use leftover chicken in my pot pie. Feel free to use up leftover vegetables you have on hand, too.
Jiffy Chicken Pot Pie
What You Will Need – Makes 6 servings
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or leftover veggies)
1 cup cooked chicken (cubed or chunks)
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup (sodium/fat free)
1 cup Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of fresh-ground pepper
Glass pie plate (ungreased)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the pie plate, combine the soup, chicken, and pepper. Mix until blended. In a separate bowl, stir the milk, egg, and Bisquick® together. Cover the soup, vegetables and chicken evenly with the Bisquick® mixture. Bake about 30 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.
Note: You can make individual pot pies in mini pie tins. As well, for a fun treat, serve up individual kid-sized pot pies made in mini ramekins.
Simple Low Sodium Yellow Rice
What You Will Need – Makes 6 Servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
1/4 cup red bell pepper (finely chopped)
1/4 cup green bell pepper (finely chopped)
1/2 cup orzo pasta)
1 cup Minute® Rice (brown or white)
3 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
In a saucepan on medium high heat, sauté onions and peppers in the oil until tender. Add the orzo and rice. Sauté the mixture for another 2 minutes. Orzo should be golden brown. Add the water. Lower the heat, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Sometimes, if the water is not completely absorbing, you have to remove the cover during the last 5 to 7 minutes of simmering. Almost any meat pairs up with yellow rice. Shrimp is a super choice.
Leftover Yellow Rice Ideas
While making this yellow rice, you can plan for another meal. Double up the recipe, and use some of it as a great stuffing for peppers. You can also throw a half cup of the yellow rice in the chicken pot pie recipe above. In addition, this yummy rice and orzo mix makes a fabulous addition to homemade soup.