Chicken “a la king” with leeks and peas (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free)

My mother didn’t make chicken a la king very often but it was a favorite of everyone in my family.  Here’s my updated version with the addition of peas, mushrooms and leeks instead of onion.  Very tasty with a variety of starches like gluten-free toast, baking powder biscuits, rice, or quinoa.   I make it now to use up leftovers from rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  Makes 4 servings.

You’ll need:

  • 6 inches of leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and sliced on the bias
  • 8-10 mushrooms such as baby bellas, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup cooked diced chicken
  • 1 small jar of pimentos (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, anything but soymilk
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried herb blend like Mrs. Dash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

In a 7-9″ skillet, heat the olive oil and add the leek, celery, and mushrooms.  Saute until softened (feel free to lower the heat to low and cover them), about 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the brown rice flour and let simmer for a few minutes to cook the flour (about 3 minutes).  Add the chicken, pimentos, peas and seasonings.  Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Stir in the non-dairy milk and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Serve with your choice of side such as gluten-free toast.

Celery Root and Parsnip Mash

Celery root has a very strong flavor and if  you love the taste of celery, that’s a good thing.  However, if you’re wanting a mash to compete with mashed potatoes, strong celery taste isn’t the best thing.  I love parsnips and thought they would go very well with the celery root and I was right; if you like parsnips, you’ll love this side dish as much as I do.  The parsnips really compliment the celery root well, modifying the strong celery taste with the sweetness of the parsnip.

In a large pot (I used my 4 quart pan), add a steamer and water to just cover the bottom of the steamer.  This makes 6 servings.  Add:

  • 1 peeled and diced medium celery root
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced and halved (I used a red onion and the mash almost looked like red skin potatoes when I was done) OR 1 leek cleaned and sliced OR 2 shallots diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled

Steam until very tender.  Drain off the water.  I then moved the root and parsnips to a larger pot (you want a fairly deep one because these bounce when you whip them).  Using a masher, mash as much as you can by hand.

Add milk (I started with 1/4 cup of hemp milk) and 1/4 cup of avocado oil.  I then used my hand mixer to puree but you could also use your food processor or an immersion blender.  Add more milk if necessary to  get the consistency your family likes.  Be sure to add salt and pepper to taste.

TIP:  Just like mashed potatoes, feel free to “fancy” this up with some bacon bits, chives, non-dairy sour cream, or additional garlic.

Quick Celery Root and Leek Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free)

This is a quick and easy soup that tastes wonderful; creamy and rich even without dairy or thickening.  Provides 2 large bowls or 4 smaller ones if you’re using it as an appetizer.

You’ll need:

  • 2 good sized leeks, white and green parts only, cut in half and washed then sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves depending on how much you like garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite herb mixture
  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and diced (like potatoes, the smaller you dice the root, the quicker it will cook)
  • 3 cups of  light vegetable broth (or if you prefer chicken stock or broth)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized pot, heat oil and add the leeks and lightly salt them; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the garlic (you don’t need to slice it, just peel it) as well as the herbs.  Add the stock or broth along with the diced celery root, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until celery root is tender. Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.