Foods, Uncategorized

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole


Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe



  • 2–3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 cup goat milk
  • 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1½ cup kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup goat cheese, grated
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, create roux by whisking butter and arrowroot starch until it bubbles, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, whisking continuously to thicken for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the mixture is visibly thicker, add goat milk and continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, allowing to thicken a bit more.
  5. Combine all ingredients except for goat cheese in a casserole dish, mixing thoroughly.
  6. Top with goat cheese and bake for 40 minutes.


I think you’ll find that not only is this chicken and rice casserole recipe super tasty and comforting, it’s also energizing, filling and gentle on your stomach.

The week nights can get very busy, and we often find ourselves rushing to make dinner choices that are quick, easy and inexpensive. When you need to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and call it a day, there’s nothing better than slow cooker recipes and casseroles.

Unlike most casserole recipes that are made with refined carbohydrates and other processed ingredients that can be hard on your digestive system, my chicken and rice casserole is made with gluten-free wild rice, chicken thighs, mushrooms, kale and goat cheese. It’s also made with a tasty roux that’s made with arrowroot, one of my go-to gluten-free flours, and goat milk.

The Healthiest Rice Option

When you roam through the rice options at the grocery store, you may be a bit confused about all of the options. There’s white rice, brown rice, black rice, wild rice, jasmine rice — the list goes on. Do you need some help choosing the healthiest rice options for your home cooking? Well, I’ve got you covered.

One of the healthiest rice options out there is wild rice. Did you know that wild rice is actually a grass and not a grain? It’s a semi-aquatic grass that grows naturally in waterways throughout the United States. It’s completely gluten-free and rich in antioxidants.

Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe

Wild rice has a nutty flavor and texture, so it really adds depth to a recipe. Plus, you may notice that after eating a meal with wild rice, you feel energized, which is because of the magnesium content.

Aside from the wild rice in my chicken and rice casserole, some other ingredients that make this a healthy and filling dinner option are the goat milk, chicken broth and arrowroot flour that makes up the roux. You get a creamy texture and rich flavor, but this roux is easy on your digestive system.

Plus, the combination of mushrooms, kale, garlic and shallot gives this chicken and rice casserole a boost of vitamins and minerals that will support your immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Who knew a casserole can do so much for your health?


Remember We Are In This Together!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth


Foods, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Rice

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth





Gone are the days of overcooked cauliflower that smells like sulfur. “Ricing” cauliflower in a food processor by pulsing it until it’s ground to a rice-like consistency gives it a light, delicate structure and a mild taste that pairs well with just about anything. Make this a complete meal by adding a serving of your favorite protein and sautéing any leftover veggies from your fridge.


Makes two servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

3 tbs. ghee or clarified butter

½ onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chicken broth

1 tbs. minced fresh cilantro

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

“Rice” the cauliflower in batches: Place approximately half of the florets into the food processor, being careful not to pack too tightly, and pulse 15 to 20 times until the cauliflower has a rice-like texture. Remove riced cauliflower from the processor and repeat to rice the remaining florets.


In a large skillet, melt the ghee over medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, two to three minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about one minute.


Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet and mix thoroughly with the rest of the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, cover the pan with a lid, and steam until finished, like cooked rice, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The cauliflower should be tender, but not mushy or wet.)


Remove from the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.


Health and Wellness Associates


Dr Jay Jaranson

Dr Gail Gray

312-972-9355 (WELL)


Foods, Uncategorized

Spanish Style Shrimp Paella

Spanish-Style Shrimp Paella

Spanish-Style Shrimp Paella


Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, dating back almost 1,200 years. It carries the tradition of being a social dish that people gather around and share over conversation. As you can imagine, there are many regional variations and a variety of types of fresh seafood, chicken, and sausages can be used.


The proportions of liquid and rice in this recipe are for preparation in a 10-inch skillet. The amount of liquid required can vary, depending on the width of the paella pan and the type of rice. In Spain, paella is made with special short-grain white rice, called Bomba or Calasparra. Our version uses medium-grain rice, which is easier to find in U.S. grocery stores. Serve paella with a tossed salad for a complete, healthy meal.



2 cups reduced-sodium, low-FODMAP chicken broth

½ cup white wine

10 saffron threads

1 ½ teaspoons butter

1 ½ teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil

1 cup uncooked medium grain rice

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¾ pound peeled raw medium shrimp

1 cup diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 thin slices lemon


In a small saucepan, pre-warm the chicken broth and white wine over medium heat. Stir in the saffron.

In a 10-inch skillet with a heavy bottom, heat butter and oil on medium-low heat. Add dry rice to the pan and coat rice in butter and oil, stirring for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Pour in the broth mixture and add the bayleaf, red pepper flakes, salt, and paprika. Cover and bring the rice to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes without stirring.


Stir in the shrimp and fire-roasted tomatoes. Cover and cook on low-medium heat until shrimp are cooked through and water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Saffron tends to be expensive. If it is out of your budget or unavailable, use a little turmeric to create a golden color instead. Start with 1/8 of a teaspoon of turmeric and add more as needed.


To add more smokiness to the recipe, add pancetta, bacon, or sausage. Pan-fry the meat and stir into the paella pan with the shrimp.


Raw mussels, clams or scallops can be substituted for an equal amount of shrimp.


Cooking and Serving Tips

Note that low-FODMAP broth is one without garlic and onions.


Most shrimp on the market today has sodium phosphate added. Not only does excess sodium phosphate negatively affect the taste, in can also result in very high sodium and phosphate levels in the shrimp.


Read labels and buy the shrimp which contains the least sodium per serving. Even shrimp sold at the fish counter has usually been processed with sodium phosphates, so ask to see those labels, too.


Health and Wellness Associates


312-972-9355 ( Well)




Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa, Yellow Rice and Spicy Black Beans


Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo ChileSalsa,

Yellow Rice and Spicy Black Beans


  • Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white

    onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole

  • 4 garlic


  • 2


  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup

    chopped cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Enchiladas:
  • Extra-virgin

    olive oil

  • 1/2

    medium onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves,


  • 1 1/2

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock,


  • Chopped

    cilantro leaves

  • 1 deli

    roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded

  • Salt
  • Freshly

    ground black pepper

  • 10 large

    flour tortillas

  • 1/2

    pound Monterey Jack cheese,


  • 2 cups

    sour cream

  • Chopped tomatoes and

    cilantro leaves, for garnish

  • Spicy

    Black Beans, recipe follows

  • Yellow

    Rice, recipe follows

  • Guacamole,


  • Spicy Black Beans:
  • 2 cups

    (about 1 pound) dried black beans,

    picked over, soaked overnight

  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2

    medium onion, diced

  • 1 jalapeno pepper,


  • 2 cloves

    garlic, chopped

  • 1 bay


  • Kosher


  • freshly

    ground black pepper

  • Yellow Rice:
  • 2 cups

    long-grain rice

  • 4 cups


  • 2 cloves garlic,


  • 1

    tablespoon turmeric

  • 1

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 bay




Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and

jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices

on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add

the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still



Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion

and cook until soft and caramelized – this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the

garlic and cumin then cook for a

further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn’t burn

then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over

a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat,

add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped

cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and


Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the

dish. Take a large baking dish and smear

the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour

tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly

under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each

tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded

chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the

shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to

enclose it. Using a spatula place the

tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the

tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining

shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked

on top. Garnish, cilantro and


Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo

salsa, sour cream and

fresh guacamole, if


Spicy Black Beans:

In a large pot, soak beans overnight covered in water by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic,

and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the

heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the

beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season

with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a

boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over

low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove

from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Health and Wellness Associates


Foods, Health and Disease

Things You Need to Know about Arsenic in Rice


Things You Need to Know About Arsenic in Rice

Now that millions of Americans are avoiding gluten in wheat products, they are increasingly turning to rice products, which are free of protein that causes digestive stress in some people. What they may not now is that rice contains shocking amounts of one of the worlds most insidious toxins: ARSENIC.

We have written about this several times before, but it is important enough to write about it again.

  1. White basmati and sushi rice contain the least arsenic. They contain only about half as much arsenic per serving as most other types of rice. If these were the only rice products consumed in a household, an adult could safely eat up to 4 ½ servings per week while a child could safely eat up to 2 ¾ servings per week. White basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan at the healthiest choices.
  1. Beware of basmati rice from the U.S. that is not from California.

Texmati rice from the southern states is very high in arsenic. These are rices from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

  1. Brown rice contains the most Arsenic!

It contains 80% more arsenic than the white basmati rice has. Arsenic accumulates in the grains brown outer layer. This is frustrating when you are trying to eat so healthy. Remember, it is only the marketing skills of television and radio who have said brown rice is healthy.

  1. Some rice products are washed in arsenic.

One serving of hot rice cereal ( ¼ c uncooked) and one serving of rice pasta ( 2 ounces) are loaded with arsenic. Just a single serving of either food accounts for about half of the recommended weekly maximum amount of rice for adults.

  1. Other grains contain only minimal amounts of arsenic.

Other grains have only minimal amounts of arsenic, such as quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, barley, faro or bulgar.

  1. Cook rice like pasta to reduce arsenic.

You can remove 30 – 50 percent of the arsenic in rice by cooking it like pasta. Thoroughly rinse raw rice before cooking it, boil it in a mixture of six cups of water to every one cup of rice and then drain the excess water. Brown rice does hold up to this method better than white rice, but you have to remove more arsenic. Some people are soaking their rice in water for several hours before cooking it.