This recipe is one of my favorites. Not only do I get to use up my leftover chicken and raw vegetables from meals I made earlier in the week, I can also sneak in yogurt and brown rice, two super healthy foods that I want to encourage the kids to eat. This creamy casserole recipe is frugal, it is good for you and just plain yummy. Use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand, red or yellow peppers, mushrooms, broccoli or cherry tomatoes are just as delicious as the green pepper I usually use. If you are vegetarian, use black or red kidney beans instead of the chicken. If you have leftover ham, by all means, throw it in! Happy cooking.
2 cups low fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped cooking onion
1 heaping teaspoon chopped garlic in oil
1 cup of cooked shredded or cubed chicken, ham, or beans
3 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano or 1 tbsp fresh finely chopped oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup bread crumbs (I use the stale slices of bread if there are any left from my homemade whole wheat bread)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a large bowl and combine yogurt, green pepper or other vegetable, chicken, ketchup, oregano and pepper, then carefully stir in brown rice. Use a large spoon to put half this mixture in the bottom of a 6 cup (1.5L) greased casserole. Cover with ricotta cheese. Spoon the remaining rice/meat mixture over the top. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and butter, and sprinkle over the casserole. Shake dried parsley or snips of fresh parsley over the top. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
Serve this with a dark green leafy salad and fresh fruit for dessert for a well-rounded family meal.
This recipe makes four generous servings. Each serving has 430 calories, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 44 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fat, and 31 grams of protein when made with green pepper and chicken.