Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks From Scratch

Does your family like Hawaiian Haystacks? You know rice, topped with creamy chicken sauce, and all kinds of other colorful goodies (veggies, fruits, nuts, crunchy things, etc) that each person gets to choose. They are one of our favorites. My kid's love the fact that they get to pick what to put on their Hawaiian haystack. We've had phases where all they would choose was plain rice, but I think we're moving past that one finally. Phew!

Anyway, I like my sauce creamy and I've traditionally used cream of chicken soup in the recipe. But today I went to the cupboard and it was bare (actually I admit that I haven't bought cream of chicken on purpose to force myself into creating a healthier substitute for it) and guess what? I'll never go back...this recipe only uses a few more ingredients and couple of more minutes of time. But it tastes even better and it much better for you. So without further ado, I present to you my very own recipe for:

Hawaiian Haystacks from Scratch

*Serves 6+

2-1/2 Cups brown rice
4 Cups water
Hawaiian Haystack Sauce (see recipe below)
Hawaiin Haystack Toppings (see options below)

Cook the brown rice. I like to use a pressure cooker because it cooks fast and the rice puffs up soft and yummy. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can use the stove top and use the same water to rice ratio that you normally would. To cook brown rice in the pressure cooker add the 2-1/2 Cups brown rice and the 4 Cups water, close and lock the lid in place. Heat to high pressure and cook for 23 minutes. You can either do natural or quick release to release the steam. While rice is cooking, prepare the sauce using the directions below. Then prepare desired toppings in serving bowls so everyone can assemble their own haystack. There's no right or wrong way to assemble these guys, but here's what I usually do: Rice on the bottom, then sauce, then cheese (so it melts...mmmh!), then other toppings in any order with crushed pineapple and chow mein noodles on the very top!

1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup Flour
1-1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon or better than bouillon soup base
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Cups milk
2 Cups cooked, chopped chicken
3/4 Cups sour cream or plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, bouillon, and pepper, and stir with a whisk to combine. Heat for a few minutes stirring constantly to remove starches from the flour and develop the sauce's flavor. Then add milk and stir to combine. Heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. Add the chopped chicken and stir to combine. Then add the plain yogurt or sour cream and heat until sauce is bubbly, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or keep warm until everything else is ready.

*Here's some ideas for toppings, but let your imagination run wild. Use some or all of the ideas below and be sure to let every person choose their own (remember, that's the beauty of this recipe!)

Shredded cheese
Frozen Peas, heated
Crushed pineapple (or tidbits)
Chow Mein noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped bell peppers (any color - I like red cause it's perty...)
Mandarin Oranges
Chopped spinach leaves
Chopped tomatoes
Slivered almonds (roasted is good!)
Chopped celery
Chopped olives

Love this meal. It's quick, easy, and everybody comes away happy. Those are the best kind, aren't they?

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Barbara Bakes said...

Love that you created a from scratch pressure cooker version of this recipe. I'll have to give it a try.

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