Not Your Momma’s Broccoli & Rice Casserole

gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, ten day shred

I’m going to be posting several simple, healthier versions of some of my favorite childhood meals that can be made for under $10.  I’m hosting the next round of the Ten Day Shred that begins on October 24th and want my shredders to have lots of meal ideas!  Healthy doesn’t always have to mean crazy, expensive meals that require trips to Whole Foods and a Monastery in Tibet to retrieve the ingredients.  Baby steps are best when making the switch to a healthier diet.

My Mom used to make the BEST broccoli rice casserole.  Velveeta: check.  Whole milk: check.  White rice: check.  Delicious.

Nothing but fond memories of Velveeta BRC.  However, Mom and I have both evolved in our shopping and cooking….and Velveeta, as delicious as it is, isn’t a pantry staple anymore.

I don’t always use non-dairy cheese.  We do eat dairy, just in moderation.

*if you can store cheese in the pantry, it’s not cheese.


Yes, I’m aware that to make this even healthier one would make her own chicken stock.  However, we’re trying to keep it simple and quick here.  No need to conquer the whole health food world in ten days.  Costco has really good organic, low sodium chicken stock.


Heat chicken stock on medium-high heat and add chicken until cooked all the way through.


I don’t remember who taught me this trick, probably my Mom.  But I am forever grateful.  Easiest way to shred chicken = Kitchen Aid with paddle on high.  So much better than with fork and scorched fingers.


Two minutes later, perfectly shredded chicken and fingers intact.


Add yo rice to the same chicken stock you used to cook the chicken.  Simmer for 15 minutes on med-low.


The inside of a human breast looks exactly like a floret of broccoli.  When a woman has a baby, the florets fill to hold milk.  The likeness between breasts and broccoli is especially cool considering that consuming broccoli reduces risk for developing breast cancer.


Chop it.


Next make a faux roux (I am France) out of GF flour and coconut butter to give your BRC a thick, milky texture without the milk.  Just combine the two in a bowl and mix until smooth.


After rice has simmered, add your broccoli, faux roux, and shredded chicken to the pan.


Simmer mixture for about 5 more minutes.  Then transfer into a baking dish, add some Daiya shreds, mix, and bake.


Just like the old days.  Without the bloat and guilt.


Comfort food for the fam.


Prep & Cook Times: Under an hour while herding children
Yields: Enough for 5 people of various sizes, and 2 lunches for me to take to work.


  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup GF flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter (found at Aldi)
  • 2 cups Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 t finely ground black pepper


  • Bring 6 cups chicken stock to boil on medium-high in a large saucepan.
  • Once stock is boiling, add chicken breasts until cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove chicken breasts, but keep chicken stock on the burner.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the uncooked rice to chicken stock, cover,and simmer for about 15 to minutes.
  • After adding rice to the chicken stock, place chicken breasts in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and shred on high for 2 minutes.
  • Make “faux roux”: Mix GF flour and coconut butter in a small bowl until smooth
  • After rice has simmered for 15 minutes, add the roux, broccoli, and chicken to the rice, mix well, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until broccoli is tender.
  • Remove Broc Rice Chicken mix from heat, transfer to a large baking dish, stir in about 2 cups of Daiya shreds, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Turn oven off.  I literally forget this step every time.  Big John wonders why I can’t remember this but have memory of an elephant when it comes to other stuff.  I honestly don’t know.
  • Let cool and serve.


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Lil Wayne flow be like: she got them healthy recipes call her Paula Lean. Stephanie is a gangsta rap-loving wife and mom of three sweet babies, cardiac cath lab nurse, lactation consultant, fitness junkie, and foodie with a passion for properly citing sources.

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