Chicken and Dumplings (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

Another thing we always did with leftovers was make a stew and then either serve it with dumplings or put it in a pie crust and make a meat pie with it.    And you could easily do it with a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast from the store.  And you can adjust the vegetables to your taste, i.e., add some cooked diced turnip, parsnips or some lima beans, etc.

In an 8-quart dutch oven mix:

  • 2 cups diced chicken
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup cooked green beans
  • 1/2 cup cooked diced onion
  • 1/2 cup cooked diced celery
  • 1/2 cup cooked diced carrots
  • 1 cup cooked diced sweet potato

Add stock until the pot is 2/3 full; this should take 3-4 cups and needs to cover the meat and vegetable mixture.  Mix up your dumplings in your food processor:

  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper

Pulse in:

  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine OR 1/4 cup avocado oil

Once there are pea sized crumbs, add in 3/4 to 1 cup of non-dairy milk depending on if you used the margarine or the oil (I use rice milk but soy would work as well; you want a milk that doesn’t have a strong aftertaste).  Pulse until well mixed and the batter is smooth.  If your like your dumplings more flavorful, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of an herb mixture OR 1/4 cup fresh parsley to the sifted dry ingredients.

Drop by tablespoons into your boiling stew.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes and then cover and cook an additional 10 minutes or until dumplings look dry on top.  Makes about 12 smaller dumplings or 6 large dumplings (the larger ones will take longer to cook so I usually make them smaller for ease of cooking and my husband usually eats 2-3 of them.

Remove the dumplings into a dish and keep warm in the oven while you thicken the stock.  Mix 1/4 cup of brown rice flour into 1/2 cup of cold stock until its smooth without any lumps.  Add to the boiling stew, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens.  If its too thin, make another slurry of brown rice flour and cold stock (a tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the desired thickness.  Be sure the gravy boils before you add more flour slurry since it will thicken more as it boils.  And be sure to stir scraping the bottom of the pot so that the gravy doesn’t burn on the bottom (also reduce the heat; you don’t want to do this on a high heat).

Return the dumplings to the pot and serve.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Clam Chowder (dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free)

Growing up in New England, chowder was part of everyone’s diet.  Fish chowder, seafood chowder, corn chowder, clam chowder, didn’t make any difference.  Several times a month we ate chowder (pronounced chow-dah for those of you not from New England).  This recipe can be altered to make any of these very easily, just substitute corn (and chicken for protein) for the clams; or add some crab and/or lobster and shrimp; or put in some white fish, usually cod.  Recipe makes enough for 4 appetizer servings or 2 entrée servings.

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled, diced and cooked (if you prefer, you can use russet potato instead)
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas (I usually add them to the pot with the sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sautéed until soft
  • 2-3 slices of bacon, cooked and diced (I use uncured turkey bacon but feel free to use whatever bacon your family likes)
  • 1 can of diced or chopped clams (6-8 ounces) OR 1 pound of fresh clams steamed, cleaned and diced (be sure to save 1/4 cup of the steaming liquid to add to the chowder)
  • 2 cups of rice milk (you could use any milk you like but rice is the mildest and in chowder, you don’t want a milk that interferes with the taste of the clams)
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour made into a slurry with 1/2 cup of the rice milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

After you cook the sweet potatoes and peas, drain and put back into the pot.  Add the onion, clams (don’t drain them but add the juice as well as the clams), and the milk to the pot.  Bring to a boil and add the slurry of brown rice flour and stir until the chowder starts to thicken.  We don’t want it really thick, just enough to get a good “mouth feel” when you eat the chowder.  Add the bacon and serve.  You can garnish it with diced scallion or chives if you like.  My mother always served chowder with oyster crackers but those are also optional.  Its so thick and hearty that you really don’t need crackers with this chowder.

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.

Sweet Potato and Tahini Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

I made this with sweet potato but pumpkin or pureed butternut squash would work just as well.  The original recipe also called for 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro but since I really don’t like that herb, I used diced scallions and pomegranate arils instead.  The spice in the recipe is also to taste; I love garum masala but if you don’t, try some ground ginger or grated fresh ginger instead.  The tahini gives this soup a very creamy texture.  Makes 4 servings.

Heat a 2-quart saucepan and add:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 diced small scallion
  • 1 diced garlic clove

Cook for only a minute over medium heat and then add:

  • 2 cups cooked sweet potato
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia OR 1 tablespoon agave or coconut nectar
  • 1 teaspoon garum masala OR 1 teaspoon grated or ground ginger
  • Crushed red pepper to taste (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and reduce heat to low.  Stir in:

  • 1/4 cup tahini (you could also use a nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Puree in blender or with immersion blender.  Garnish with diced scallion and pomegranate arils.

Spoodles (sweet potato noodles) with vegetables (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan)

Here’s another recipe to help us use up all those fresh vegetables we have during these summer months.  And again, its one you can adapt to your vegetable overload.  The only thing you may want to get from the store are the spoodles or coodles (carrot noodles). Either work great in this recipe.  I like it plain but you could easily add a curry sauce or if you can use soy, a hoisin-based sauce.  Makes 4 serving.

Dice:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, medium sized
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup pea pods or 1 cup green peas, or 1 cup green beans

Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and when the oil is hot, add the diced vegetables.  If you are planning to add a sauce, use less oil.  Saute over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Add the pea pods, peas or green beans and 1 pound of spoodles or coodles.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes for sweet potato and 20 minutes for carrot noodles.

Simple curry-sauce:

In a small sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil then add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of curry, depending on your taste and cook for approximately 30 seconds until you can smell the curry.  Add 2 tablespoons of all purpose gluten-free flour.  Whisk and cook for several minutes.  Whisk in 1/2 to 1 cup (the amount of milk depends on how thick you want your sauce) of your favorite milk (coconut milk works great here but rice, hemp, almond also work fine).

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Patties

I love sweet potatoes any way I can get them.  For a long time, I was content with just baking them and serving them with margarine and cinnamon or dicing and steaming them and then whipping them with margarine and spices.  This recipe goes a step further producing a silky, smooth interior with a crunchy fried exterior.  So yummy and so easy to do.  The hardest part is probably putting enough oil in the pan so that the patties don’t touch the bottom of the pan and burn.  Sweet potato will burn very quickly so be sure to add at least a half inch of olive oil to your pan and get it good and hot before you add the patties.  Fry over medium heat once the oil gets hot.

Mix:

  • 1 cup mashed cauliflower (I love the purple variety but any will do; 1 small cauliflower will make right around 1 cup of mash)
  • 3/4 cup of baked sweet potato (one medium sweet potato will yield just about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons of sweet potato flour (or all purpose gluten free flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed (or you could use a mixture of flax, chia and hemp seeds ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of spice (I used cinnamon but allspice, ground cloves, ground ginger or nutmeg will work as well depending on your taste)
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper)

With a hand mixer on low speed, mix the cauliflower and sweet potato until well blended and the cauliflower is broken down.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Heat the oil (I used my 12 inch fry pan and cooked all 4 patties at once) and oil your hands.  Make four patties using your hands (each should be about 1/2 cup of mixture and you may need to put a  little more oil on your hands after the second patty).

Fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to paper towels to remove any excess oil and then transfer to plates.  These are very soft, not firm like meat patties so treat them with care.

TIP:  These would also be great with a little maple syrup over the top.

Easy Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes (dairy free)

I’m a real lover of curry.  My mother grew up in Jamaica and introduced us to English curry very early on (Jamaica was still a British territory when she lived there).  That’s made quite differently from the Indian and Asian curries I’ve now come to love.  Here’s a quick, easy recipe that serves two but can easily be doubled, etc.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 to 1 pound diced chicken, depending on your appetite
  • 1 medium or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small to medium onion (I used red but it doesn’t matter), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1-3 teaspoons Madras curry powder [if you want a mild curry flavor, use 1 teaspoon; for a full flavored, slightly hot curry, add 3 teaspoons]; if you use the pre-bottled stuff from the grocery store, you’ll need to add more because those are very bland. Some Whole Foods stores, and probably now some grocery stores, have it in bins where you can purchase the amounts you want.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock or, if you can use it coconut milk

Heat a medium to large skillet over high heat and add the oil when hot.  When the oil gets hot, turn the heat down to medium, add the curry powder and toast until very fragrant but be careful not to burn it, this should take less than a minute.  Add the diced chicken, onion, garlic and celery.  Cover and cook until veggies are soft and chicken is cooked, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the sweet potato and chicken stock, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 7-10 , minutes.  At this point, you have several choices.  You can remove the cover and let the liquid boil off OR you can add 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch or gluten free flour (all purpose works fine) that you’ve dissolved in 1/4 cup of stock or milk.  That will thicken the sauce.

Plate and garnish with chopped scallions, dried cranberries or raisins along with a quarter of lime.  Curry loves citrus and sweet things so feel free to add cranberries, raisins or coconut, along with nuts (the oilier nuts work best here rather than almonds or macadamias; my mother always added walnuts) for a crunch or put them on the side so they can be added to taste.