This weekend we had an important family event. It brought us all together and united us once more. We laughed and we played and forgot our cares. It was joyous to watch the kids as they played games with their Uncle, who is extremely exuberant. He wrestles with all of them and comes up with exciting games to engage their interest and to entertain. In fact, he is so popular that the nieces and nephews fight over him (I don’t blame them. He is a lot of fun).
It is times like these that help me reflect on the necessity and importance of human relationships for our health. We need others. It is vital to form strong family bonds of love. The world can be a cruel place, but inside our homes it can be a wonderful safe haven from the storms of life. My parents learned at a young age the importance of forming lasting family bonds as both of their dads died the exact same year. My father was ten and my mother seven.
Getting together as a family floods my mind with memories and fills my heart with deep gratitude for those that I love dearly. A great way to spend time together is to cook a lot of fabulous tasting food. Here is a recipe that can be doubled, tripled, or increased to the amount that is required to feed a herd. These Hawaiian Haystacks are all natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, and a crowd pleaser. The entire family will rave over it and ask for the recipe!
- Brown Rice
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth or all natural gluten-free chicken broth
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp of sea salt if using all natural broth or 2 tsp sea salt if using homemade broth
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 2 celery ribs
- 2 long carrots
- 4 TBSP cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
In a large pan, combine the broth, milk, pepper, thyme, chicken, and salt. (The shredded chicken can be cooked in a slow cooker or on top of the stove. On top of the stove, cover with water and boil for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and shred.) Grate the carrots and dice the celery. Add them to the mixture. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. While the sauce is simmering cook the brown rice according to package directions. (I cook 1 1/2 cups of rice to feed 7 people. I usually begin cooking the rice when I start this recipe, since it takes 45 minutes as well)
After the sauce has simmered for 45 minutes, combine the cornstarch and water. Mix well to avoid any clumps. Add to the sauce and thicken. If the sauce is not thick enough, make another mix of cornstarch and water. Slowly add to ensure that it does not get too thick. Once the sauce has thickened, pour over rice and enjoy. Add whatever toppings excite your taste buds.