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CHICKEN VEGETABLE CHEDDAR CASSEROLE

The inspiration for this recipe came from a magazine I was reading while waiting for an appointment.  I did not have time to write it down, so have gone with my own, sometimes not always reliable memory.  I do recall the original recipe used a Bechamel sauce, which I did not use here.  This makes enough to feed at least 6 big yummy portions. I also loved the combination of cauliflower and yukon gold mashed potatoes for a topping.  It turned out to be tastier than I thought it would.  The different layers of flavors really came through…a chicken casserole I will make again and again.  You can never have too many chicken casserole dishes right?

I made this in the morning so it was ready to reheat for dinner that night.

4 cups cauliflower, coarsely chopped

2 1/2 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp. plain organic yogurt

1 green onion, finely chopped

generous 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Herbamare Seasoning

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 celery stalk, cut in half and diced

2 carrots diced

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes

22 green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar

3 tsp. fresh minced sage, 1 bay leaf

small handful of minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

3 crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese – divided

salt and fresh cracked pepper

corn starch and chicken stock to make a slurry

Add your chopped cauliflower and potatoes to a pot of salted boiling water.  Cook about 15 minutes or until tender, then drain well.  Add butter, yogurt, parmesan cheese and green onion, mashing well, then set aside.

Heat up a saute pan on medium high heat with a good drizzle of olive oil.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan, and season well with Herbamare seasoning.  Saute about 7 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink, transfer to a bowl and set aside.  To the pan add in the mushrooms sauteing – turn down to medium heat.  Once the mushrooms are a light golden color, add in the celery, carrots, onions and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar scraping up any brown bits.  Then add in the chicken stock, fresh sage, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer lid on slightly cracked for 7 minutes.  Add in the squash and continue to simmer about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Then add the green beans and simmer for 3 more minutes.

Take the lid off, and reduce – about 5 minutes.  Thicken with the cornstarch slurry, and check for seasonings.  Add in the Italian Flat Leaf Parsley and chicken, stirring to combine.  Transfer to a casserole dish.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheddar cheese over top.

Spoon over the cauliflower mashed potatoes, and add remaining cheese on top.  Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour if made in the morning and reheating or bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.

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CREAMY SEAFOOD CHOWDER

Nothing says comfort food better than a delicious bowl of seafood chowder.  Most seafood chowders traditionally use a white fish.  In this dish I used all shell fish.  Many chowders also use a flour to thicken their chowder…here I did not.

In our household if we use cream, I will make SCD cream – Lactose free cream.  You can check out Karen’s post here to find the recipe.

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/4 cups SCD whip cream (unsweetened)

1 1/2 cups small scallops (I used frozen, so thaw out first, drain and pat dry)

1 cup cooked baby shrimp

1 can of baby clams with nectar – 142 grams

2 Tblsp. white wine vinegar or 1/4 cup dry white wine

4 bacon strips, chopped and cooked crisp

2 shallots, diced

2 large garlic cloves, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cups chopped potatoes, about 1/2 inch in size

1 tsp. fresh dill

1 bay leaf

salt and fresh cracked pepper

Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat.  Add the diced bacon, and saute until crisp, then transfer to a bowl.  Drain out half of the renderings.  To the pan add the scallops in batches.  Just saute about 1 minute.

Transfer to a bowl, then refrigerate until the chowder is almost done.  To the pan add in the diced shallot, garlic, celery, carrot, and white wine vinegar scraping up any brown bits in the pan.  Saute about 8 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Next, add in the chicken stock, diced potatoes, clams with nectar, bay leaf and fresh dill, mixing to combine.

Cover with a lid, bring to a simmer, and turn to low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the bay leaf, and add in the cream, stirring well.  Then add in the shrimp and scallops.  Bring back to a light simmer to heat through the scallops and shrimp.

Serve with a sprinkling of bacon bits, and some fresh gluten free french bread….heaven in a bowl!

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ITALIAN SAUSAGE MUSHROOM BASIL LASAGNA

Lasagna is such comfort food.  What I also love about lasagna, is I make it in the morning and refrigerate until ready to cook for dinner, plus I do not cook the lasagna noodles which saves some time and clean up.  I always use the same yogurt cheese/spinach/parmesan cheese in place of cottage or ricotta cheese/spinach in all of my lasagna recipes.  It makes it lactose free – and a very tasty alternative.

This lasagna was a nice change as I used Gluten Free Italian Sausages instead of ground beef.  It also made a huge amount of lasagna – so great for a crowd or for leftovers the next day.

10 gluten free Italian Sausages – casing removed

1 pkg. Gluten Free Tinkyada Lasagna noodles plus 3 extra lasagna noodles

1 onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup diced green pepper

4 crimini mushrooms – on the large size – roughly chopped

28 oz can of whole tomatoes (chop with a knife and save liquid)

5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste plus 1 can of water

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 Bay leaf

300 gr. package of frozen spinach

1 cup of yogurt cheese (drip at least 5 hours)

1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese

28 gr. pkg of fresh Basil – chopped

Fresh cracked pepper

grated aged Cheddar cheese and Asiago cheese

Heat up a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Add the sausage meat to the pan and cook through.  With a slotted spoon remove the meat to a bowl, and drain out most of the renderings, leaving some behind to saute the vegetables.

To the pan add in the sliced mushrooms.  Saute until golden, then add in the chopped onion, garlic and green pepper.  Continue to saute for about 4 minutes.

Add in the cooked sausage, sliced tomatoes and juice, tomato paste plus 1 can of water.  Mix well and add in the Italian seasoning and bay leaf.

Turn down the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your spinach, line a colander with a clean kitchen towel and pour in the spinach.  Allow to cool, then wring up tight to remove all of the water.  Add the spinach to a bowl, with the yogurt cheese, parmesan  cheese and fresh cracked pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate.

Once the meat sauce has finished cooking remove from the heat, and add in the chopped fresh basil.

To a lasagna pan, add in some of the meat sauce on the bottom.  Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, and repeat.  Then add the spinach mixture over top spreading out evenly.

Top with another layer of lasagna noodles, meat sauce and a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  Finish with another layer of noodles, and top with sauce.  Add a generous sprinkling of grated cheddar and Asiago, and a lite sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 hr. in a 350 degree oven.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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FRESH WEST COAST SNAPPER

Recently I found a new local fish store that supplies all kinds of fresh fish and shell fish – yeahhh!  Today’s special was fresh West Coast Snapper fillets – they were lovely!  Having found this new store, I hope to have more seafood dishes in the future.

With this recipe I kept it really simple, as [...]

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HOMEMADE SAUSAGE

These sausages will certainly do in a pinch…when you do not have gluten free sausages on hand.   Although these were not your typical sausage in a casing, these were pretty good -  not as excellent as the place where I buy them, but darn close.

Note:  these were even better the next day.  Next time, [...]

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CREAMED SALMON AND LEEKS

It has been a while since I last did a post…we have been away on holidays.  Back to our favorite Salt Spring Island for a 5 day getaway.  DH shot this picture on the ferry over to the Island.  It was a most lovely holiday…good food, lots of rest, great weather, hikes on the beach…I [...]

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HOMEMADE GLUTEN FREE BREAKFAST CEREAL

Oh how I miss oatmeal breakfast cereal.  I was never really big on breakfast cereals, but I sure loved oatmeal.  Even the gluten free oatmeal does not work for me…sigh.  I was also never a big fan of gluten free creamy rice cereal – at least not on it’s own.

There used to be a good [...]

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ROASTED VEGETABLES IN A BLOOD ORANGE THYME SAUCE

It seems people either love brussel sprouts or they hate them.  I love them, my daughter – not so much.  With this dish there was a sweetness to the sauce and roasting the vegetables brought out more sweetness – yes, she did like brussel sprouts in this dish.  However, she also mentioned, this would be [...]

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PORK CHOPS IN A BALSAMIC SAGE MUSHROOM SAUCE

This was a tasty “throw together” meal we had one nite after a long day of work.  Plus it was super easy…got to love that on a busy day.  There has not been a lot of new recipes coming from my kitchen lately…but we still do our best to eat healthy and delicious!  This makes [...]

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THAI COCONUT ROASTED SQUASH SOUP

Our winter weather is now upon us.  We have not had any snow yet, but the nights are frosty, windy and downright freezing!  This flavorful soup warms the soul…with just a touch of “heat”.  If you like lots of heat, increase the amount of Thai curry paste to your liking.

3 1/2 to 4 cups butternut [...]