Leftovers Casserole (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

This is a great casserole for using up leftovers after a big meal like Thanksgiving or just a family Sunday dinner.  It takes the meat, gravy, stuffing, vegetables, and potatoes and puts them together into one dish that’s easy and my family loves it.  You’ll want a deep casserole dish so that you can get four layers. You could also make this quick and easy using rotisserie chicken or turkey breast.

Grease a 9″ round, 5-7″ deep casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

The first layer consists of:

  • 2 cups of diced meat (chicken, beef, turkey, pork)
  • 2 cups  gravy (see recipe under Sauces)

The second layer consists of:

  • 2-3 cups of stuffing (see recipe under side dishes)

The third layer consists of:

  • 2-3 cups of leftover vegetables (I used my leftover string bean casserole; see recipe under side dishes)

The last layer consists of:

  • 2-3 cups of mashed potatoes, or in my case, mashed celery root and parsnips (see recipe under side dishes)

Bake 30-45 minutes until the gravy starts bubbling to the top and the top is browned.

Gluten-Free Gravy (dairy-free, gluten-free)

In New England, gravy is a necessity with any roasted meat dinner.  Gravy is very easy to make with some boxed meat stock (or vegetable stock).  I’ve been known to make lumpy gravy but that’s easy to fix by putting it through a sieve.

In a small saucepan:

  • 1 1/2 cups of stock (be sure to use stock for the most flavorful gravy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons of brown rice flour mixed into 1/2 cup of cold stock or water (depending on how thick you like your gravy)

Whisk to mix and keep stirring until the gravy comes to a boil and thickens.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Of course, the best gravy is made from the pan drippings.  I often put some stock in the bottom of the pan when I roast a chicken or turkey and then after removing the bird from the roasting pan, I add more stock and bring the pan to a boil.  Once its boiled for a few minutes, scrape the bottom so that you get all those flavorful pan drippings and then you can pour it into a saucepan, let cool slightly and then pour it through your fat separator.  Put it back into your saucepan, measure out 2 cups (or increase the flour in proportion to the amount of liquid), heat the stock and follow above directions.

Tomato Pie (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

Another very easy to make recipe, tomato pie takes some planning and most of the day but the time is spent waiting for the tomatoes to dry and that takes 4-6 hours.  So if you want to try this easy recipe, plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of time available.  Not something you can throw together at the last minute.  It’s one way for me to use all the overabundance of tomatoes I have this time of year.

You’ll need:

  • 5-8 tomatoes depending on size
  • one small onion
  • a gluten-free pie crust, bottom layer only (see my recipe under desserts)
  • 1 to 2 cups of non-dairy mozzarella cheese (depending on how much cheese you like)

Line a large baking tray with 4 or 5 layers of paper towels

Slice:

  • 5-8 tomatoes, depending on the size (you’ll want about 30 slices)
  • one small onion

Let the tomatoes and onion dry on the paper towels, turning every couple of hours, for 4-6 hours.  I also put a couple of layers over the top so that nothing gets into the tomatoes and I can help dry out the slices.  Make sure that its a single layer of tomatoes on the tray.  If you don’t dry your tomatoes thoroughly, you’ll have tomato juice in your soggy pie.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prebake a 9 inch gluten-free pie crust.  Blind baking the bottom crust helps make sure that it doesn’t come out soggy.

When the crust is cool, add about a half cup of cheese and then place the tomato slices into the pie crust trying to cover the entire surface.  Add a layer of onions.  Continue to add tomatoes and onions until you have three rounds and the crust is mostly filled.  Cover the top of the pie with cheese and bake for 45 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.

As a variation, you can add some cooked Italian sausage, either slices or ground,  into the pie as you’re layering the tomatoes and onions.

Roasted Root Vegetables (vegan)

I can only make this dish when I have company coming because if I make it when its just Earl and I, I eat the whole bowl!  These are sooooooo good, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  Feel free to add or subtract vegetables you prefer.  A very easy recipe to make and I’ve never had anyone complain that they didn’t like it.  In fact, my brother doesn’t care for sweet potato but he really love this dish.  You can make your life easier by purchasing already diced root vegetables.  My local Whole Foods store sells a mixture of sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips so all I have to dice is the turnip.  I’ve also used butternut squash.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Into a large bowl add:

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • dried herbs of choice (I use about 1 teaspoon of an herb mix like Mrs. Dash or McCormick)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix thoroughly.  Pour onto a large baking pan making sure that you have only one layer.  If you don’t have a non-stick baking pan, be sure to grease it before adding the vegetables.  Bake for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and bottoms are browned.  If you like, after 15 minutes, you can take them out of the oven and turn the vegetables over so that the other side will also get brown and crunchy.

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

My husband never liked anything but Stove Top Stuffing.  Last year at Thanksgiving, he told me not to bother to make him any stuffing so I made a small batch of my stuffing and then I didn’t get much of it because he ate almost all of it!  So now I make a large dish of this dressing so there’s plenty for leftovers.  Crunchy on the bottom and soft and moist inside, you’ll never miss the gluten or the eggs.  I use this for a Thanksgiving dressing or to stuff chicken breasts or pork chops.

I don’t cut and dry the bread before making the stuffing — the way I figure it, if you have to dry the bread out so that it will absorb all the flavors of the other things you’re adding, your bread isn’t very good.  So I start with my favorite gluten-free bread (I love the DeLand’s Millet and Flax bread or even their millet flatbread), and then don’t add as much chicken or turkey stock (if you want this vegan, don’t use the sausage and use vegetable broth instead of the meat stocks).

Grease a large, flat casserole dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium heat:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of sausage, I use turkey sausage

Brown and then add:

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced baby bella mushrooms

Cook until the vegetables are soft.

In a medium size bowl, place:

  • 6 cups of diced gluten-free bread
  • 1 tablespoon dry sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • the sausage and vegetable mixture

Mix well and pour into the prepared dish.  Pour over the dressing, 1 cup stock (you can use up to 1 1/2 cups if needed but it may be mushier) being sure to get most of the bread moist.  Cover with aluminum foil, or the cover to the casserole dish if it has one.  Cook for 1/2 hour and then remove cover and let cook for another 15 minutes until top is browned.

String Bean Casserole (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

A Thanksgiving classic, this is a side dish I had to give up years ago because of the milk and gluten.  Here it is revisited and so delicious with the home-made cream of mushroom soup along with the onion and bread crumb topping.  I like to use the mixed string beans — green and yellow.  It takes a few more steps than your old fashioned green bean casserole but it tastes just as good.

Steam 1 pound of green beans.  While they’re cooking, cut half a large sweet Vidalia onion into slices and then cut the slices in half (or use all of a medium size onion).

To a medium skillet, over medium heat, add:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • the onions

Cook until soft and starting to caramelize.  Stir in:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Grease a 5×8″ casserole dish.  Mix the string beans and 2 cups of cream of mushroom soup (see recipe under soups and salads).  Add to the casserole dish and top with the onion mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour and then, if you want it browner, stick it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

One of the most versatile soups, cream of mushroom soup is delicious by itself or in any number of casserole dishes.  Its very easy to make.  This recipe makes two servings.

Add to a medium skillet:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound of diced mushrooms (I usually buy one package of mixed mushrooms and then a small package of baby bella so that it has some variety) [I put mine in the food processor and pulse until they’re diced]
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley

Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add to the pan:

  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour

Mix into the mushrooms and cook over low heat for 2 minutes so that the flour starts to cook.  Whisk in:

  • 1 cup vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 1/2 cups non-dairy milk of choice

Cook it for a few more minutes until it thickens.  I then like to cook it a few more minutes so that the taste develops.   Ready to eat or use in your favorite casserole.

Cranberry Compote (dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan)

Nothing goes better with a roasted chicken or turkey than some cranberry sauce.  Since I can no longer eat the canned kind, I’ve learned to make my own.  And its really quite easy to do.  Increase or decrease the sweetener to your taste.  I like mine a little tart but my husband likes his a little sweeter so I usually break the batch in half and add a little more sweetener to his.  Freezes quite well.

In a medium saucepan:

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), cleaned [remove any cranberries that aren’t perfectly round and intact]
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (OR 1/2 cup honey OR 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder OR 2 teaspoons stevia)
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (I prefer allspice but if you don’t, feel free to use cinnamon, nutmeg, or even ground cloves)

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the berries burst and the compote begins to thicken.  This should take about 15 minutes.  Be sure to remove from the heat as soon as it thickens or you’ll lose the pectin and it won’t gel.  Once its cooled, you can grind it in your food processor or blender for a smooth sauce or leave it whole for a chunkier version.

Chicken and Cranberry Salad with Green Goddess Dressing (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free)

As all my allergies progressed, one of the things that most bothered me was a sensitivity to leafy green vegetables.  No more salad, what was I going to do!  Then I discovered that I could eat red leaf lettuces, what a relief.  Now I have a salad almost daily and here’s one of my favorites.  I really like various textures in my salads so I add crunchy ingredients as well as softer ones.  Green Goddess dressing usually has walnuts in it but since I’m allergic to nuts, I used pumpkin seeds instead.  You could substitute sunflower seeds.

You’ll need for the salad (for 2 entries or 4-6 side salads):

  • 1 head of red Romaine, cleaned and broken into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cucumber sliced
  • 2-3 small tomatoes
  • 2 wedges of jicama, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • several scallions or some red onion diced, optional
  • 8 ounces of cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (I used the kind sweetened with fruit juice and unsulphered)

For the dressing, in a food processor put:

  • 1 ripe avocado, skinned and pitted
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley, or 1/2 cup fresh parsley (you can add more if you like parsley; not one of my favorite herbs so I didn’t use much)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water to get to dressing consistency, 1/4-1 cup (my dressing came out fairly thick and I used 1/2 cup of water)

Blend until creamy and all ingredients are combined.  Here, again, I used some roasted whole coriander seeds that I pulsed in my spice grinder so they were not fully ground and the pumpkin seeds were also only partially ground.  This added some crunchy texture to the dressing.

Figgy Hemp Cream (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

When I lived in western Massachusetts and had to go to the Albany, New York area to give a lecture or do an NPR program, I would always stop at the local co-op and get a pint of goat’s milk black mountain fig ice cream.  So good, creamy, figgy, and not too sweet.  This recipe comes very close to that goodness.  And it is very adaptable; feel free to use the type of fruit you like the best in place of the figs, peaches, applesauce, bananas would all work great.

Add to a blender:

  • 1 medium to large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 2 cups fresh or stewed figs
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 2 scoops protein powder

Blend until well mixed and the dates are incorporated.  Pour into an ice cream freezer or put in individual serving containers, or ice cube trays to freeze.

TIP:  Don’t care for avocado?  Use avocado oil instead, it has little flavor but makes a very creamy dessert.  Use 1/4 cup of oil in place of the avocado pulp.