Hi there! I’m Sheena, Digital Food Editor for BHG, joining in. The weather here in the Midwest recently took a nosedive to cooler temps and gloomy rain…ergo comfort food! As a registered dietitian, I try to make healthier choices (pay no attention to the bacon macaroni and cheese I ordered for lunch today) so I turned to this Hot Chicken Salad Casserole recipe which has less than 300 calories per serving and is full of veggies.
I knew time would be tight so I started prepping ingredients the night before. I pre-chopped most of the veggies and poached my chicken using this technique. Unfortunately I underestimated how many chicken breasts I needed to cook. I cooked two, but three breasts would have gotten me closer to the three cups called for. No biggie, I have a little less chicken in my dish, but I swapped in Greek yogurt for the plain, non-fat yogurt to help boost the protein back up.
Once I finished the last of the veggie prep all that was left was making the crunchy cornflake and almond topper. I knew I had sliced almonds in my cupboard so I didn’t bother buying more when I went shopping for the rest of the ingredients. Imagine my surprise when I opened my cupboard all I found were whole almonds.
(Thank goodness the California Almond Board had visited our offices recently or I would have been totally out of almonds.) So I gave the whole almonds a coarse chop and called it good.
To crush the cornflakes I used the handy test kitchen technique of putting them in a zip-top baggie and crushing with my seldom-used rolling pin. This is my go-to method to crush ingredients or pound meat because it’s so easy and makes no mess!
A sprinkling of the topper and my casserole is ready for the oven.
Thirty minutes later my house smelled wonderful and the dish was bubbly hot. But I still had to endure the torture of letting it stand for 10 minutes! I managed to distract myself by emptying the dishwasher and opening mail so the casserole got its full 10 minutes of standing time, but not a minute more. I scooped out a serving and settled in to savor this creamy, crunchy, slightly-tangy comfort food. Even with my on-the-fly adjustments it turned out great! Try it for yourself: Hot Chicken Salad Casserole.