Sunday, March 11, 2012

Poblano Chicken Bake

Why do casseroles on TV always have pasta in them?  The commercials show a smiling mom opening the oven door (with gleeful children onlooking) and pulling out a steaming dish... that is 80% pasta, 20% meat, lightly tossed in "tomato" sauce and covered in breadcrumbs.  Just watching this makes my insulin spike.  Thankfully, the next commercial is usually for some sort of diabetes medication.  Paula Deen would approve.  Based on the use of sweet potatoes and bacon grease, she might even approve of the recipe I have below.

It wasn't all that long ago when pasta casseroles were a regular feature in my kitchen.  Easy to put together... and from what the USDA was telling me, healthy!  What's wrong with a big serving of whole grain pasta?  Well... it's hard to tell what a food does to/inside your body when it is part of a regular (often chaotic) routine.  Your body's responses to the food are part of that same routine and don't exactly stand out.  But, if you eliminate something from your diet for 3-4 weeks and then slowly add it back in, you might hear something in the silence.  Listen to your body. 

We're all wired differently.  Some of us can process things that others can't... but none of us need grains.  Not for the nutrient profile, not for the energy, and certainly not for the "heart healthy fiber."  Anyways, this is what a casserole looks like in my kitchen now...

Poblano Chicken Bake
Makes 6-8 servings

What you'll need:

An oven preheated to 375
Box grater or food processor (with shredding blade)
Large pan for sauteing
Large mixing bowl
13" x 9" casserole dish


2 lbs sweet potatoes, shredded
1 lb frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
1 large onion, cut into thin strips
3 poblano peppers, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
Bacon grease (or fat of your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste

Shred your sweet potatoes in a food processor with a shredding blade (or by hand with a box grater).  Thaw your frozen spinach and wring out the excess liquid in a clean kitchen towel (or some heavy duty paper towels).  Cut your onion and poblano pepper into thin (less that 1/4 inch) strips.  In a pan with a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease (or your fat of choice), saute the onion strips until they start to become translucent.  Add the poblano strips and cook until they start to soften, only a minute or so.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded sweet potatoes, spinach, onions, poblano peppers, and chicken.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  It's a big bowl with a lot of stuff in it... I recommend using your hands to combine all of these ingredients.

Using a paper towel, grease the edges of the casserole dish with a little more bacon grease (... or your FoC).  Pour the contents of the mixing bowl into your casserole dish and spread it around evenly.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.  If you want a dark crispy top, switch your oven over to broiler for an additional 5 minutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, the poblano chicken bake.

1 comment:

  1. So the only things yo pre-cook are the onions and peppers? The meat goes in raw and the casserole cooks in only 35 minutes?
    I need to try thi!