Casseroles are my family’s feel-good food and I serve them all the time. In just minutes, I can put one together and have it baking in the oven, and it’s a super easy way to make sure we get some quality protein in our diet.
For instance, this Chicken Taco Casserole with Orzo uses a can of premium chunk white chicken. Yep, quality protein is in the can!
The latest dietary guidelines recommend that protein make up about one-quarter of the diet and should include lean cuts of meats and poultry, most types of seafood, and plant sources such as beans, nuts and legumes.
Most of us have favorite family recipes using canned proteins. Since canned goods are so casserole-friendly, I have a cantry full of them at all times.
Protein aids with muscle and tissue health, but some research suggests it may play a role in satiety, weight management and even energy. I’m definitely one of the nine in 10 Americans who feel fuller and satisfied longer with a meal containing protein.
So crack open some cans and get cooking!
You could be having this for dinner!
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 pkg taco seasoning mix (I like spicy)
- 1 cup dried orzo
- 1 12.5 oz can premium chunk white chicken
- ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In medium saucepan, add chicken broth, tomatoes (undrained), taco seasoning mix and orzo and bring to a boil. Stir in chicken.
- Pour into a 2½ quart casserole dish. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cover until serving.
It’s an easy-to-make nutritious dinner the entire family will love right out of the Cantry.
Here are a few tips from Cans Get You Cooking to inspire you on the way to other healthy homemade meals:
Get creative! All you need for an easy, healthy home-cooked meal is a can opener, a strainer and some imagination. A salad becomes a meal with some canned chicken or salmon; pasta paired with canned crushed tomatoes and some spices make a savory entrée or side dish.
Use MyPlate as your meal planning guide Strive to comprise each meal with about one-quarter protein, one-quarter grains (preferably whole grains), and half fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables are all excellent choices, since the nutrition, freshness and flavor are locked in at the peak of harvest. Canned chicken, tuna, salmon and clams are also excellent lean proteins – pre-cooked and ready to go. Don’t forget that canned beans count as a protein or a vegetable!
Have some go-to recipes. A well-stocked Cantry can offer a treasure trove of creative and nutritious meals to keep you cooking throughout the week. Keep a handful of tried-and-true, easy recipes using Cantry essentials on hand when time is tight. Visit CansGetYouCooking.com or the Cans Get You Cooking Pinterest page for ideas.
Surrender (some) authority to children Take meal preparation one step further by having children plan healthy meals and snacks for the family. Rotate among family members – kids included – in choosing what the family will eat on certain nights, or ask the children for input into healthy snacks to keep on hand.
What’s your family’s favorite recipe using items from your Cantry?