Posted in Dinner, Food, lunch box, Main Dish, Soup

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Rice

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During the fall and winter months, I am always looking for creative ways to fill lunch boxes with nutritious, mid-day meals. On Sunday evenings, I try to prepare lots of options for the kids to enjoy during the school week. M loves to bring a thermos full of soup to school as she often feels that her classrooms are cold and drafty. She usually requests some kind of vegetable soup to carry in her lunchbox. Currently, her favorite selection is my Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe. Adding rice or noodles makes it a bit more hearty and filling. After making the soup on Sunday, I divide it up into small plastic containers and pop it in the fridge. Every morning, before the kids head to school, I heat up individual servings then pour the piping hot soup in the thermos. (Below, I’ve included my secret to keeping rice balls for a week’s worth of soup.) There’s nothing like a bowl of good old fashioned comfort food to fill the tummy at lunchtime.

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Rice

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
3/4 cup water
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion or 2 tsp. onion flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
2 cups Velveeta Shredded Cheese (melts really well)

In a medium sauce pan, mix water and broccoli; bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for several minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Continue to cook on medium heat until bubbly. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add broccoli (with water) Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until completely melted.

To make rice balls:

This is the kind of rice we buy. It’s called sushi rice.

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Cook rice according to package directions. After rice has cooled a bit, use a small ice cream scoop to make 2 inch balls of rice. Wrap each ball individually in small pieces of plastic wrap.

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Place wrapped rice balls in a freezer safe bag and store in freezer until ready to use.

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Unwrap rice balls and heat in the microwave before placing them in soup dish.

Posted in Food, side dishes

Noodle and Rice Casserole

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This week, our high school swim team celebrated “Senior Night” where all of the Senior students were recognized for their years of hard work and dedication to the team. Parents were asked to contribute a side dish for the occasion. I made a noodle and rice casserole. This dish is actually my mother – in – law’s recipe. When I was first dating my husband, his mother made us this weeknight dish. She placed a layer of chicken breasts under the casserole fixings to make a full meal in a 13X9” pan. It was quite delicious and I have been making it for my family ever since.

Noodle and Rice Casserole

2 sticks of margarine
2 cans of French onion soup
8 oz. pkg. fine noodles, uncooked
2 cups instant rice, brown or white
2 cans chicken broth
2 tsp. soy sauce

Brown noodles and rice in margarine in a large skillet until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients to the skillet; mix well. Pour into a 13X9” baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.