Chicken and Dumplings

gluten-free ~ dairy free option 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours total

Recipe adapted from: More Than Simply Living blog

I know in some parts of the U.S. it is already summer, and to you, all I can say is I envy you. But please know, that mentally I am following that up with a few savory expletives. Because here in Wisconsin we are still firmly planted in spring. One day I have the windows open and a t-shirt on and the next I have cranked up the heat and dug out my favorite grandpa sweater. So, for those of us still grappling with indecisive weather….this recipe is for you!

This dish is super simple and is an instant comfort on these cold and wet spring days! The prep time for the soup base is less than 20 minutes. And the prep for the dumplings takes 10 minutes. But keep in mind, the dumplings have to cook for an additional hour and a half AFTER the chicken is done, so you need to allow yourself enough time. For this reason, I think this is a great recipe to make on Sunday and then you can use the leftovers to make a pot pie for Monday! This recipe makes ALOT of soup, and my family typically eats all the dumplings the first time around.

To make the leftovers new again I make a quick Gluten Free Pie Crust. I place the soup in a large baking dish, lay the crust over it. Make two or three slits in the crust, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until crust is a golden brown and insides are bubbly! And even if you have a few dumplings left, just leave them in!! It’s an extra yummy surprise!

**If you want to thicken up the soup, make a quick slurry and add it to the soup before laying the pie crust.

 

3lb whole chicken

1.5 cups of chopped carrots

1 cup of chopped celery

1 onion diced

1 cup frozen peas (optional)

salt and pepper; generous sprinkle of both

7 cups of chicken broth

Dumplings

3/4 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of natural cane sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

3 TBS. shortening, butter or butter substitute

1/2 cup almond milk; may need a bit more if batter is stiff

Cover the bottom of a large crock pot with the vegetables.  Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the chicken broth over the chicken.  Cook on low for 5 hours. After 5 hours, turn the crockpot up to HIGH. Cook another 30 minutes, if the chicken is done (165 temp), remove and continue cooking soup another 30 minutes. Leave chicken in if it still needs time. Once done, place the chicken in a large bowl to cool.

For the dumplings, stir together the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the shortening/butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the almond milk and stir until it forms a thick dough.

Drop dough by the tablespoon into the soup.  Cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the dumplings are not doughy. Once the dumplings are in, do not stir the soup. Stirring will cause the dumplings to fall apart.   If dumplings are not fully immersed, use a spoon to gently press down into soup.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred with two forks.  When the dumplings have about a half hour left of cooking time, add the chicken back into the soup and gently stir.

 

Immunity Soup

gluten-free / dairy free / grain free / vegan option

Cold and flu season is in full swing and its a four alarm, all hands on deck situation at my house. I recently had pelvic reconstructive surgery and so for the last 5 weeks I have had to have 24 hour help, to manage not only myself but the kids and our daily schedule. My hubby, who is incredibly supportive and helpful, has an insane travel schedule and so we have been keeping this crazy bus moving with the help of my two incredible nannies, my mama and a slew of supportive friends. But it has not been easy. And it has definitely taken its toll on everyone health wise. So in addition to the constant hand washing and the plethora  of Thieves oil we use, I decided to whip up a batch of this amazing Immunity soup. I had heard about the amazing benefits of a soup like this and then saw a recipe featured in Cooking Light magazine. I took their recipe, made a few adjustments and removed the chicken and subbed in tofu to make it vegetarian. To be honest, we loved the soup without either but I liked the option to add one in and increase the protein and zinc levels.

This soup is chock full of immunity boosters and is delicious!!! The mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins. The garlic contains allicin, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants we know about. The hot stock used, makes your nose run and therefore helps clear out congestion. It also helps to keep you hydrated which is so important when sick! The chickpeas, chicken, and tofu are an amazing source of zinc and the kale is a great source of vitamin C. So when you put these all together you have the ultimate cold fighting weapon. The bonus is that it actually tastes good AND works, unlike the cold medicine or essential oil that my family so dislikes! Enjoy!! nomnom

Ingredients

2 TBS. olive oil

1.5 cups of chopped onion

4 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 large carrots, thinly sliced

1 lb of mushrooms, sliced

12 medium cloves of garlic, minced

8 cups of organic chicken broth

6 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained

1.5 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

8-10 oz of curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken or a batch of Crispy Tofu (optional)*

Directions

*This soup is great vegetarian style but if you want to add chicken or tofu for an added boost of protein, here is what you do!! For the chicken, just follow the instructions below. For the Crispy Tofu, click on the link and just follow the tofu recipe. Then add the tofu to the immunity soup with the kale.

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery; cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook three minutes, stirring frequently
  3. Add in the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves and chickpeas to pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add in salt, red pepper flakes and chicken if using. Cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 25 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from the Dutch oven; cool slightly and shred the chicken with two forks.
  6. Stir kale and chicken or tofu into the soup; cover and simmer until kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Discard thyme and bay leaves.

Spaghetti Pie

gluten-free ~ dairy free ~ vegan option

I am currently basking in the sun in Florida, contemplating all the amazing seafood I could eat at one of the great, local restaurants. I can imagine the cocktail I will have while I wait for my dinner, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the ocean view. And just as my food comes out from the kitchen….I am ripped from my foodie fairytale and am promptly thrown back into reality. I am welcomed by the decibel crushing screeching of my two kids; age five and two. They are passionately screaming at each other over a plastic dragonfly while simultaneously trying to eat each other puffs and chase a deranged crab that has been bizarrely stalking us all morning. My daughter looks like the energizer bunny on steroids and my son is eerily reminiscent of Stewie from Family Guy. And at that exact moment, as my kids begin to meltdown from a full day at the beach, I also realize that I am NEVER going to have that meal.

So, instead of ordering the food I am now making the food. And I know three things. One, I’m sun stupid so I really don’t want to put in a lot of effort. Two, it needs to be “family friendly” aka satisfy the grandparents. And three, it needs to be simple enough to make in my limited kitchen at the condo.

Enter, Spaghetti pie stage left.

I found this recipe via the Cooking Light September issue. I made a few minor changes to make this gluten and dairy free, and added in the minced garlic for a little extra flavor. The original recipe also called for chicken sausage but I was unable to find any at my local grocer that didn’t have cheese in them. This would also be a great meal to make vegan. Simply switch out the sausage for crumbled seitan. Serve this with a simple salad and garlic bread and I promise you will have a happy family and maybe even find the time to have that cocktail (or two) you dreamed about. Enjoy!! nom nom

Ingredients

8 ounces of gluten-free spaghetti, I prefer the  Tinkyada brand pasta

2 large eggs, lightly beaten; or  vegan egg substitute

1 tsp olive oil

6 ounces of mild sausage, chicken sausage or seitan, casings removed if applicable. *30 day substitution below*

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of tomatoes, chopped

1 cup of onion, chopped

1 (9oz) bag of spinach

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 oz shredded cheese or cheese substitute, I used shredded Daiya Cheddar

Cooking spray or oil

*to make this Arbonne 30 day compatible substitute with ground turkey and season with 1/2-1 tsp of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Directions

  1. Place an 8-9 inch cake pan or pie dish in oven. Preheat oven to 500F (leave pan in oven as it preheats).
  2. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to boil over high heat. Add pasta; cook 6-7 minutes or until almost done; drain.
  3. Place eggs in a large bowl. Add hot pasta; toss to coat.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato, onion, and spinach; cook 7 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add sausage mixture to pasta mixture. Stir in pepper, salt and 2 ounces of cheese.
  5. Carefully remove pan from oven; coat pan with cooking spray or oil. Add pasta mixture to pan; sprinkle with remaining 1 ounce of cheese. Bake at 500F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, cut into wedges.

Coconut Fried Chicken Nuggets

gluten free ~ dairy free ~ grain free

Kids. They are the most wonderful beings and at the same time can make you want to run for the hills and hide. The last scenario being most appropriate (at least in my house) during the dreaded “dinner hour.” It can be unbelievably tricky to make a dinner that both hits the kids criteria; i.e. dairy, carbs or ideally both followed by a plate of cookies AND that doesn’t make the adults eating feel like they just time warped back to their childhood.

I won’t lie, I LOVE chicken tenders but am not always a fan of the excessive amount of breading that is used on the frozen variety and I always prefer to make things from scratch if I can. This recipe is from the amazing Jamie Oliver and was first introduced by him as an alternative to the “pink slime” chicken nuggets that were being served at McDonald’s. These are super simple to whip up and are the perfect topper for a big green (ADULT) salad and will make any carb crazy, chicken tender loving child very happy. Enjoy!!! nom nom

 

3-4 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 free range eggs

1 cup of almond meal/flour. Or use coconut flour if there are allergies

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion dried

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

8 TBS coconut oil

  1.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside
  2. Mix in a large bag all of the ingredients except for the chicken and egg and set aside.
  3. Now beat the egg and mix it with the chicken.
  4. Add the chicken and egg mixture to the plastic bag and shake until the chicken is completely covered.  Make sure to hold on to the top so it doesn’t open up.
  5.  Heat a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add 2 tbsp coconut oil and add chicken in.
  6. Continuously stir until the chicken starts to brown.  As it cooks, the coconut oil will be soaked up by the chicken so add another 2 tbsp when the pan starts to get dry.  **Add more oil if needed, but be careful you don’t add so much oil the nuggets get soggy, and vice versa; not too little where they can’t fry up nicely.
  7. Allow to cool and serve with your kids (or your) favorite dipping sauce or as a protein with a big salad. 

 

 

Chicken Meatball and Escarole Soup

gluten-free / dairy free option

It is officially soup time!!!!! Ok…its been soup time for almost two months, but what can I say???? It’s been a bit crazy (ok, bat shit crazy) at my house and we just arrived to the party.

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love the feel of the crisp, clean air as I walk my daughter to school in the morning and I love going to pick apples and pumpkins at Barthel Fruit Farm with my family. But by far, my most favorite thing about fall is the food!!! I know, I know….. no surprise there as I am obviously a bit of a food junkie. Though. I feel like I would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t feel the same way. I mean, just think about it!!! Apples crisps, pumpkin pie squares, pumpkin bread, and soups coming at you from all sides. It is frickin’ glorious my friends!!!! But truthfully, there is nothing better than a hearty warm soup served with a nice crusty loaf of garlic bread.  It warms your soul after a long day and is the perfect way to come together as a family. And pretty much anything I can make in one pot is a winner in my book.

This chicken meatball soup is an absolute staple in my house. The kids love anything that comes in the form of a meatball and is served with buttery toast. And I love that is healthy and creates a “no whining” environment at the table. Kid tip…I make sure to chop up the escarole a little smaller so that the meatball conveniently “covers” the escarole on the spoon! I serve this with a loaf of gluten-free garlic bread and dinner my friends is served. Enjoy!! nom nom

6 TBS plain gluten-free breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan-reggiano cheese or Vegan parmesan cheese

4 TBS chopped  fresh parsley or 2 TBS dried parsley

1 lb ground chicken

2 large eggs

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion; finely diced

3 small carrots; finely diced

2 celery stalks; fnely diced

1.5 qt of chicken broth

2 1/2 tsp salt; divided

1 tsp fresh ground pepper

1 sprig of rosemary

5 cups escarole, thinly sliced

  1. Put breadcrumbs in bowl, moisten with 1 TBS water. Mix in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken and eggs and mix until just combined. Scoop out 1 TBS of meatball  mixture and roll into golf ball sized meatballs. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in 5 qt pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots  and 1 tsp salt; cook until tender 4-5 minutes. Add broth and rosemary. Bring to a boil.
  3. Gently add meatballs, reduce heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer, cook for 10 minutes
  4. Add escarole and continue to simmer until meatballs are cooked and escarole is wilted, about 5 additional minutes.
  5. Discard the rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional grated cheese if desired.

Zucchini Patties

gluten free / dairy free option / vegan option

There are two words I would use to describe zucchini. The first is Prolific.. The other would be Huge. I assume you see where this is going and that it goes without saying…. I have a ton of zucchini in my house. Between my mom’s garden and a few friends I find myself staring at the zuchinni wondering how many different recipes I can create or find with zuchinni as the main ingredient. And since zuchinni bread is the poster child of Zucchiniville, and I like to walk off the beaten path whenever possible…. I decided to start off with a savory dish like the patties you see above.

These zucchini patties are crazy good!! And minus the shredding which can be a bit annoying, they are a breeze to make. Both my kids devour them and will even eat them multiple times in a week!!! I mean…that NEVER happens in my house…. not unless its chicken tenders or dessert. And they are super versatile. My hubby and I make BLT  or BELT stacks with them…..ridiculously good. We take one patty and give it a swipe of Veganaisse, top that with mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes and an occasional fried egg and you would give up sex for a month to get another one. I promise. They are also superb topped with a slow cooked pulled pork and creamy slaw or make them mini and use them as a base for your own version of salmon latkes.

I ALWAYS double the recipe so I can make one batch with regular cheese and one with vegan cheese….I live in a divided household when it comes to cheese. For true vegans….I have never made these completely vegan and removed the egg, But I assume a flax-seed egg or other egg alternative would work just fine.

Enjoy!! nom nom

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini**

1 small onion shredded (grated)**

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, I use Daiya shredded cheese

1 egg or flaxseed egg

1/2 cup gluten-free bisquick (or regular bisquick if you are GF friendly)

salt and pepper to taste

**The quickest and easiest way to shred the zucchini and onion is with a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Make sure you scoop out the seeds from the zuchinni before shredding. Once they are shredded, squeeze all the excess water from both the zucchini and the onion.

Instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until completely mixed together
  2. Heat enough oil to coat your skillet (I use grapeseed or canola) to medium heat.
  3. Drop mixture by the spoonful to make approximately 6 patties
  4. Let them cook on each side until brown, appx 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil

 

Would love to hear of any awesome zucchini patty concoctions you come up with!

Raspberry Chocolate Tart

gluten free / vegan / paleo friendly

This dessert took me 12 MINUTES to make and required NO baking!!  Ok, now that I have your attention……let’s get excited about the summer desserts’ that are coming our way!!! Here in Wisconsin we are all in avid anticipation of the strawberries that will be arriving any day now. A few of my favorite recipes I can’t wait to share with you are strawberry scones, strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry bread. Follow that up with blueberry and peach season where we will discover the beautiful and simple nuances of the fruit with just a buttery pie crust holding it together. And how amazing a simple muffin can be when it’s jammed full of Michigan blueberries. And last but certainly not least are raspberries! They have a longer season than most berries, ranging from mid July to October in places like Michigan. So you can look forward to raspberry sorbet, jams and my personal favorite, anything chocolate with raspberries! And so we come full circle, to the whole point of this post. The Raspberry Chocolate Tart. I cannot take credit for this particular recipe as I found it via the blog bakerita. so…kudos to her because this tart is phenomenal!! It is not only ridiculously rich and satisfying but it is also…..gluten free, vegan and paleo friendly!!! It is also the PERFECT summer dessert. Easy to make, requires no oven and will impress even the toughest dessert critic! Enjoy!! nom nom

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 TBS pure maple syrup or agave nectar
  • pinch of coarse sea salt

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
  • 6oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves (100% fruit)
  • 1 pint of raspberries

 

  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with coconut oil
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crust and stir together. Press evenly into the prepared tart pan; set aside
  3. Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk just to a boil. Pout hot coconut milk over chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth and creamy. Stir in raspberry preserves. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  4. Garnish the top with raspberries
  5. Place tart in the refrigerator to set and cool completely, about 1-2 hours. Slice and serve.
  6. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.