Chicken and Broccoli Casserole…..gluten free style!

Monica and Daria say:

Everyone has a few meals from their childhood (or from their early motherhood days) that invoke strong feelings of comfort. And while most of the meals for us involve our Italian heritage, there is one chicken dish that brings back many wonderful memories!

That dish was actually shared with me (Monica) by our neighbor and wonderful friend, Carmine. I was talking with her about trying to get the girls to eat more veggies and she remembered that her Aunt Sarah had a casserole that might do the trick!

So, I looked over the recipe and decided to give it a try…..what could I lose?

Well, as luck would have it, we all thought it was a winner and I made it several times over our girls’ growing up. Broccoli became a new favorite and everyone was happy!

Until our diagnosis with celiac disease, that is…we haven’t eaten this casserole for over 14 years!

That is, until now.

We had misplaced the recipe, so we reached out to Carmine recently and asked her if she still had it. It took her a few days to locate it, but lo and behold, she told me she had found it! She was so excited that she even gave me the original recipe, in her aunt’s handwriting, and copied it for herself.

Now to make it gluten-free!

The one ingredient we remembered before seeing the recipe again was Cream of Chicken soup by Campbell’s and we were leery about being able to substitute it with something similar. But we did (even though we don’t normally buy prepared soups) and now we would like to share our version of this 1980s classic casserole.

We have placed the original ingredients in parentheses after our GF ingredients, just for comparison.

Our goal here today was to make it as fresh as possible, rather than rely on shelf-ready food. And of course, it had to taste how we remembered it did!

It was a winner, again….14 years later!

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GF Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

2 fresh organic broccoli crowns (2 10 oz packages of frozen broccoli)

5 large organic carrots, peeled and cut into rounds (2 10 oz packages of frozen carrots)

12-14 organic chicken tenders (3 cups cooked and cubed chicken)

10 oz organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded)

1 large can of Progresso Cream of Mushroom Soup, labeled GF, undiluted (2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted)

½ cup Fage Greek yogurt (½ cup mayonnaise with celery powder)

2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 T lemon juice)

Curry powder

3 T melted butter (same….who can improve on butter??)

1 cup Schaar breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic powder, basil, oregano, Romano cheese (1 cup Italian breadcrumbs)

Directions:

Steam the broccoli and carrots until fork tender but still somewhat firm.

Meanwhile, bake the chicken tenders at 350˚ for about 20 minutes.

Cool the chicken when done and then shred.

Spray a 9” x 13” glass pan with cooking spray.

Spread the chicken on the bottom of the dish and layer the veggies on top.

Combine the undiluted soup with the yogurt, lemon juice and sprinkle of curry powder.

Spread this mixture over the layers of veggies and chicken.

Place the shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Melt the butter in the microwave and mix with the breadcrumbs. Spread on top of the casserole.

Bake at 350˚ for about a half hour or until the top begins to brown nicely.

 

And now, the process via photos!

We are both very visual people and love to include step-by-step pictures!

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Oh how exciting this recipe conversion was…..hope you consider trying this easy and delicious casserole!

And by the way, it can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked the next day!

Happy cooking!

 

© 2017, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk   whisks 

 

Happy New Year! Soup for you!

We hope 2017 is off to a great start!

It seems that every time I turn around, a week or two has passed! Yikes!

Do any of you feel the same?

I have been on a mission to make a more concerted effort to eat as organic as possible and have been busy in the kitchen. Since my Daria continues to bring me wonderful organic food from the Lancaster Co-op, I have been creating recipes to satisfy our appetites and souls.

Here is a creation of a butternut squash soup with apples….all organic and all delicious!

And did I say it was easy?

All you need is a saucepan, a bit of time, a blender, and you are set!

Enjoy!

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 whole butternut squash, peeled, cut and cooked

1 apple, cored, cut and cooked

2 T olive oil

1 small onion, cut

1 peeled garlic clove, minced

10.5 oz veggie stock

¼ tsp thyme

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

NOTE: In order to infuse the flavors, you need to cook the ingredients on the stovetop before blending.

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Add olive oil to large saucepan and when hot, saute onion and garlic until translucent.

Add the squash and apple and cover with the veggie stock.

Add the thyme, cinnamon and salt.

Cook until fork tender.

Now put the squash mixture into your blender and blend until smooth!

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Y*U*M!

Hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!

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whisks © 2017, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Meatless Monday….any day of the week!

Monica says:

I woke up and I was craving risotto!

No kidding….couldn’t  stop thinking about it! Talk about strong Italian roots!

So I decided to scan the web and look for a recipe that included spinach. It was a must-have ingredient for me!

Lo and behold after a short while scanning recipes, I found it!

Woman’s Day never lets me down! LOVE their site and especially the recipes!

Here is what presented itself to me and I ran to the grocery store to fulfill the ingredient list. Such simple ingredients and so wholesome!

You gotta try this simple recipe!

Risotto with Scallions, Mushrooms, and Spinach

Upon reading the recipe, I did things in a little different sequence and chose to add ½ cup of veggie stock at a time, rather than all at once….the risotto came super creamy! If you have the extra time, in my humble opinion, it’s worth the effort!

Let the cooking begin!

Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they are happy!

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Now sauté the onions and garlic…smells amazing!

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Add the Arborio rice and then the white wine…oh yum!

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Start adding the veggie stock a little at a time and stir often….the consistency will be smooth as silk!

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Don’t these mushrooms look ready to jump in the risotto?

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Incorporate the mushrooms into the risotto…it’s almost done!

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Now let’s wilt the fresh organic baby spinach and pack in the vitamins!

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Looks amazing, huh?

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Plate and add a little Romano cheese…oh dear!

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Oh…forgot to add the scallions that I cut!

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They really add to the flavor profile…bon appetit!

© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

Cream of broccoli soup and Mac ‘n cheese….does it get any better?

Monica and Daria say:

Can you say yum?

Can you say it twice?

Well, that’s what you will be saying when you make these two great dishes!

The first and last soup of our celebration this month is a wonderful recipe shared with us by a great friend, Mike.  We remember tasting it for the first time several years ago and we were hooked!

It’s relatively easy but you’ll need some patience and a good blender.

Since it’s a creamed soup, you will need to purée it when all of the ingredients are done cooking. It’s so worth the extra effort….you’ll see!

First begin gathering your ingredients and then follow this recipe!

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Saute on medium heat:

1 head of celery, chopped

2 large onions, chopped (we used sweet Vidalia onions)

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped

¼ cup olive oil (we used organic coconut oil)

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Add:

½ cup Uncle Ben’s White Rice (We used Jasmine rice and have also used brown rice but it takes a wee bit longer)

½ gal chicken stock (64 oz. OR 8 cups; we use unsalted stock)

Salt and pepper

Heat on medium until soft boil (about 10 minutes)

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Add:

2-3 chopped crowns of broccoli

Heat broccoli until it can be fork-pierced

 

Purée the soup in a blender. We split the batch in two and then added it back into pot!

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This soup can be served with a dollop of sour cream or grated cheddar cheese or plain.

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We love to garnish it with fresh parsley!

© 2005, Mike Hurley

 

And now…for our homemade gluten-free Mac ‘n Cheese to eat alongside the soup!

Gluten-free Mac ‘n Cheese

This recipe fills an 8“ x 8” glass baking dish with oooey, gooey goodness!

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Cook 8 oz of your favorite gf pasta according to package instructions (we love Tinkyada rice pasta and used  half of a bag of elbow macaroni).

Meanwhile, gather your other ingredients!

1 T butter

1 clove minced garlic

1 T arrowroot flour (or gf blend)

¾ cup skim milk

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz shredded Fontina cheese

Pepper and red pepper

Gluten-free bread crumbs

Romano cheese

Directions:

On medium heat, melt the butter and add in the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, add in arrowroot flour and whisk to create a roux.

Now whisk in the milk. Reduce heat to low and add in the cheeses and melt (should melt really quickly!).

Combine the cheese mixture with the pasta. Add a dash of pepper. You may also add some red pepper, if you like.

Place into a small baking dish sprayed with Pam or any cooking spray.

Top with some gluten-free bread crumbs and sprinkle top with Romano cheese.

Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes.

If you want the top of your mac ‘n cheese golden, you can place it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving….just watch it doesn’t burn!!

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© 2016, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk  whisks

 

This is such a satisfying lunch or dinner!

The combo of these two comfort foods is the best!

Hope you try these and if you do, let us know how you like them!

Enjoy!

© 2016, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not your average soup and salad!

Monica says:

Today was the first snowfall of the season where we live!

I must admit, even though I was secretly hoping that we might skip winter weather all together, it did look beautiful while it was falling!

So since we are working on delivering great soup recipes this month, the soup that I chose for this week is a home run!

As I was going through my recipes this Cream of Crab soup popped out and I just knew that I had to make it…crab is a favorite of ours IN anything, ON anything, and WITH anything!

So I had a handwritten piece of paper, torn on one edge, folded and creased….but I was able to track down the original recipe online.

It just so happens that this recipe won the “Grand Prize” in the Soup Division of the Annual National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Maryland, on Labor Day weekend of each year. So since it was the winner in 2000, I just had to replicate it!

Turns out, that the recipe is gluten free!

The only thing that I changed was instead of using cornstarch, I used 1 T of arrowroot starch in ½ cup of  water to thicken the soup.

Yep, that was it!

And let me say, this soup is a full fat dinner or lunch…no skimping here! And surely not for the lactose intolerant, unless Lactaid tabs work for you!

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So here is the recipe, credited to Ms. Char Ann Smith…great job, Ms. Smith!

Award Winning Maryland Cream of Crab Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 pint whole milk

1 quart half-and-half

2 pints heavy whipping cream

1 lb jumbo lump crab meat (only from Maryland will do!)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1⁄4 cup butter

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

cornstarch

water

dry sherry, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring milk, half and half, and heavy whipping cream to a boil. Add crab meat, fresh parsley, Old Bay Seasoning, butter, salt and pepper. When it starts to boil, make a paste of cornstarch and water and add to thicken soup.

To serve, sprinkle each serving with a bit of Old Bay and chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers and a small cream pitcher of sherry on the side for diners to add to taste.

That’s how we do it in Maryland!

© Char Ann Smith of Bishopville, MD

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To go along with the cream of crab soup, I decided to make a salad with some great ingredients that I had in my fridge.

I wanted it to be fresh and have a lot of texture.

Here’s what I came up with!

Roasted Squash with Beets, Spinach, and Feta

INGREDIENTS

2 acorn squashes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (you can use any squash you choose)

4 organic beets, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces

Bed of organic baby spinach (or greens of your choice)

1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Pomegranate seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Feta cheese crumbles for garnish

Dressing:

¼ cup orange juice (from the carton or freshly squeezed)

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400˚ and when ready, roast acorn squash with olive oil, a sprinkle of Autumn Harvest spice blend from Calicutts (or pumpkin pie spice), salt and pepper for approximately 40 minutes or until tender. Turn halfway during roasting.

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Whisk the dressing for the salad and set aside.

When the squash is done, cool slightly and then begin assembling the salad.

Place a bed of organic baby spinach in the bottom of a bowl, top with roasted squash (it smells amazing), organic beets, pomegranate seeds, salt (not too much, since the feta cheese is salty), and pepper.

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Drizzle with orange/oil dressing.

Garnish with feta cheese.

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© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk whisks

Oh, so delightful!

So soup and salad definitely warmed up our night!

 

How about you? Soup and salad?

Enjoy!

© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yummy spicy soup!

Monica says:

It’s Christmas week and I have a million and one things to yet accomplish!

And I woke up with a head cold!

I need some nutritional intervention….maybe some soup!

I head off to the grocery store and wander aimlessly around the produce section.

What can I do with a giant head of cauliflower?

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Make some soup!

I found this lovely veggie at Weis Market and I just had to find a great recipe to do it justice.

So, as soon as I got home, I cruised Pinterest and lo, and behold, there it was!

Creamy Spiced Cauliflower Soup on a lovely food site called, Produce on Parade!

This was one time that I didn’t need to “reinvent the wheel” so to speak….I didn’t have to change a thing….

the recipe is both gluten-free and vegan!

And did I mention that it is so delicious?

Well, it is!

The recipe is very straightforward and can be made in a relatively short amount of time!

Here are some of my soup pictures.

I can’t even tell you how wonderful my house smelled when the aromatics were sautéing!

Cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom, oh my!

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Look at these healthy ingredients getting all happy in the pot!

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Using a blender makes this soup so incredibly smooth and the only thing I forgot to buy at the store was fresh dill,

so I added a wee bit of dried dill to the soup right before eating!

It was Lewie’s idea to add a dollop of sour cream and that was an added flavor, too!

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You really need to try this soup!

So yummy!

Thanks, Katie…you have a few new followers!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

It’s squash time!

Monica and Daria say:

We love autumn!

The amazing and changing colors of the leaves, wearing sweaters, eating soup…oh we can go on, and on, and on!

Anyway, another delicious thing about fall is eating winter squash!

You know…acorn, butternut, delicata, pumpkin, and more. You can roast, puree, and sauté each of these in so many different recipes.

Squashes are considered a superfood by nutritionists and with good reason. They are loaded with antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, are rich in vitamins (particularly folate), are loaded with beta-carotene (a super skin food), and are full of fiber.

Eating them is a no-brainer….you just need some great recipes!

Since the butternut squash is one of OUR favorites, we decided to combine it with some pasta to make yet another dish for “Meatless Monday!”

We shy away from veggies that are already cut in the supermarket and like to tackle the cutting ourselves for a fresher taste.

Butternut squash is not the easiest squash to cut due to its hard outside. So we found a neat link to help you cut it.

Now that you are ready to make a “Meatless Monday” dinner, let’s go!

This recipe is versatile as you can switch out the butternut squash for pumpkin, and you can switch out Feta cheese with maybe Goat cheese or another soft favorite cheese!

Happy cooking!

Enjoy!

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GF Pasta with Butternut Squash and Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

4 pounds butternut squash (or fresh pumpkin)

4 ounces sweet onion, peeled and chopped

3 T extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh sage leaves, torn

Salt and pepper

12 ounces gluten free pasta of your choice

2 T butter

5 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel, clean, and cut squash into 1 or 2 inch cubes.

Toss squash, onion, olive oil, sage, salt and pepper together in a bowl and then arrange on a Pam®-coated sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your gluten free pasta al dente, according to package instructions. Strain the pasta and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.

Return pasta, cooking water, roasted squash, onion, butter, and Feta cheese to pot. GENTLY fold to combine.

Serves 6.

YUM!

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© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk           whisks