My kids love Hawaiian Haystacks. They love being able to pick and choose from a variety of foods to put on their dinner plate. In the picture above we have: pineapple tidbits, sliced green onions, cooked chicken, cream of chicken soup(home-made, and vegan is an option), diced tomatoes, grated cheese, sliced almonds. Most of the kids each have a few of these toppings they really like and will stick with those. I like them all, and the green onions in particular because they keep it from being bland.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make your brown rice according to package directions. I always make extra so that I have leftovers and some to freeze for the next time I need rice. I freeze it in ziploc bags or tupperware and when I need it, I pull it out of the freezer that morning and allow it to thaw on my counter to use that evening.
I make my own cream of chicken soup because the canned stuff is pretty nasty and most brands from stores contain MSG(mono sodium glutamate) which is a flavor enhancer and which has been known to cause adverse side effects on the body, like headaches amongst many other things. To make this soup, you’re going to need white bean flour. If you have a wheat grinder, you can grind the uncooked white beans in that on the coarse setting, or you can grind them in a high power blender. You only need 5 TBSP of flour for this recipe. I usually grind about 1/3 c of great northern beans and use the left over flour for next time, storing it in a small tupperware or plastic bag. You’ll put the bean flour, vegetable broth(or water and a bouillon cube or better than bouillon), and minced garlic in a saucepan and bring it all to a boil, stirring with your whisk.
You’ll boil it for a couple of minutes and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for a couple more minutes. This will cause it to thicken up.
Set your soup aside. Cut your green onion into thin slices (after you cut off and throw away the root end). Dice your tomato, grate the cheese, and get out whatever toppings you like and put them all in separate bowls. Once you’ve got everything out, you can put your plates together, starting with rice on the bottom (I put a little less than a cup on the adults plates and maybe a quarter cup on the kids plates) and then adding your toppings. I like to add the soup right after I put my rice on my plate so that it soaks into the rice and makes it more flavorful and moist.
Cream of Chicken soup substitute– makes about 2c
1 ¾ cup cool water (or use vegetable broth instead of water and bouillon)
5 TBS white bean flour (small white beans ground in wheat grinder- on coarse setting)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Better than Bouillon (can also use 1 cube vegetable bouillon)
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring all ingredients to a boil. Stir with whisk. Mixture will be thick in 2 minutes. Reduce heat and cook over medium heat for 2 more minutes- stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and it’s ready to use.
This mixture can be refrigerated up to 1 week and used in place of canned soup.
Hawaiian Haystacks- serves 6
4 c cooked brown rice (cook according to package directions; usually 1 c rice to 2 c water, cook for 50 minutes. Can prepare this ahead of time)
Chicken Soup Substitute (the whole recipe from above; about 2 c)
Several of these toppings(amounts may vary depending on people’s preferences): 2 diced tomatoes, 3 sliced green onions, 2 c cooked shredded chicken, crunchy chinese noodles, 1 can pineapple tidbits or 1 c fresh pineapple cut in chunks, 1 can manderin oranges, 1 diced green pepper, 1 c grated cheddar cheese, 2 stalks sliced celery, 1/2 c sliced almonds, oranges
Cook brown rice according to package directions. Follow recipe for chicken soup substitute. Cut up any toppings you like and have them in separate bowls with spoons for easy serving. To serve add rice to plate and then any other toppings.
**After posting, I found another variation of the homemade gravy that I love; both are great. Here is that recipe:
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
5 Tbsp whole white wheat flour
2 c water or chicken/vegetable broth
1 c almond milk (or other milk)
2 tsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and saute 1 minute. Add flour and stir. Whisk in water/broth and milk. Stir on medium heat for a few minutes until thickened. Add dried onion and salt.