Cookin’ it Old School

Back when Carebear was a baby, we struggled financially quite a bit. We had not yet scraped together the money to enroll in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and we were definitely living paycheck to paycheck. I also had not yet come into my own with my cooking. I mean, I used a lot of Rice a Roni, y’all. A LOT.

One of my tried and true recipes that was NOT from a box was Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole. The recipe was from the back of the bag of frozen broccoli, and I seriously made it all the time. Making my grocery list yesterday I was trying to come up with some ways to keep in the budget because we had houseguests for a week earlier this month and, well, I went seriously over budget with my groceries that week. Like squarely $100 over. Oops. And then I had this idea! We haven’t had that broccoli casserole thing in probably 8 years! And it’s pretty cheap! I excitedly showed my husband our menu plan for the week and he managed an agreeable face, but I have the feeling he was thinking we should at least add meat. Or something. But we’re going old school! Living like it’s 2005, baby!!!
I’ve made three changes to the recipe to make it fit us better now that we’re grown-ups and I know a bit more about food. 
1. I used long grain brown rice.
2. I made my own cream of mushroom soup from scratch.
3. I used fresh broccoli.
Now, I attempted to take pictures for y’all as I cooked but for one thing, I’m not used to documenting my culinary adventures so I had a hard time remembering. For another, my stove was kind of a mess so when I did remember to take one, I tried to do it in such a way that you couldn’t see my mess. 😉 Oh and then we scarfed it down before I remembered I should have taken a picture of the finished casserole. Fail. Maybe I’ll post a picture of the leftovers on leftover night. That would be special. Ha!
Here’s what I have to offer your eyes:

Yep. That’s right. Two pictures of my cream of mushroom soup in progress. Sigh.
So, here is the original recipe. It’s probably from HEB because I only buy store brand frozen veggies. 
2 cups Minute Rice
2 cups water
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 bag (16 oz) frozen broccoli florets
1 can (14 ½ oz) condensed Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup
1.    Heat oven to 350.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Combine 2 cups rice and 2 cups water and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2.    In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cheese, soup, and stir to combine.  Add cooked rice and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
If you want to be all Susie Homemaker, make the changes I noted earlier and use this link to learn how to make amazing cream of whatever soup! For this recipe, I just went with mushroom because it was easier than doing mushroom AND chicken. Doing both just seemed like overkill. You will thank me for introducing you to this cream of recipe. It’s beyond awesome. It’s be-awesome. (Name that Disney movie!!) Also, if you go with non-minute rice like I did, don’t be silly and use two cups of rice to two cups of water. That’s for minute rice. Regular rice is however much rice and double the water. I did two cups rice and 4 cups water this time, but I think next time I’ll go for 1.5 cups rice and 3 cups water for a better ratio of ingredients in the final casserole. 
Now stop reading and go cook something yummy! Thanks for stopping in!

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