Late yesterday at work, I realized that I had no plans for dinner, didn't want to take the kids out, and couldn't bear the thought of another home-cooked meal snubbed by my children.
After thinking things over, I decided to stick with a tried and true kids' favorite, the casserole. Now, I know this might be surprising to those of you who consider me a food snob, but sometimes we all crave comfort food, and sometimes we all need a dish that is easy to prep and leaves very few dishes in its wake.
The other day on eGullet, someone linked to the top 100 recipes piece on the Food Network site. Number six was this casserole, and something about it hit home for me. It just seemed like it would be so comforting and easy. It totally was, and both kids ate it. (Cue applause.)
I made a bunch of changes, so feel free to do so yourself. I used frozen Trader Joe's french green beans (broken up) instead of canned. I added frozen peas. I omitted the water chestnuts and pimentos. I used a touch less mayo. I used dehydrated minced onion instead of a fresh one sauteed. I used organic cream of celery soup. Oh, and I used Jasmine rice instead of a wild rice blend. To add to the ease of preparation, the rice I used was the precooked kind from the Trader Joe's freezer section - it cooked in 3 minutes. For the chicken, I didn't have any cooked chicken on hand, so based on a past recommendation from City Mama herself, I used the ultra premium canned chicken from Trader Joe's. And, it was perfectly good.