Fall Inspired Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Fall Inspired Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Fall weather is officially here and I’m excited because I get to share the fall recipes I’ve been working on. As much as I love summer and warm weather, I also love the comfort food that comes with the season change.chebe-1.jpg

In my opinion, chicken pot pie epitomizes comfort food but can be a bit heavy. I decided to play around with a typical chicken pot pie recipe, lighten it up, and add in some fall flavors.

The filling is full of vegetables and is flavorful without being overly creamy. The crust is slightly more chewy than a typical pie crust, but I enjoy it because it feels more substantial and isn’t super oily.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This recipe is low mess since I made the filling in a large (12 inch) cast iron pan and threw the crust loosely on top before tossing it in the oven. If you don’t own a cast iron pan, you can still make this recipe by transferring ingredients into a pie dish and baking it.

I mentioned in a recent post that I’m working with Chēbē to create a few recipes using their baking mixes. I absolutely love their products because they’re versatile, grain free, and they taste great. I used their all purpose baking mix for the crust in this recipe and it worked wonderfully.

It was easy to work with and didn’t fall apart or crumble like some of the other crusts I’ve tried in the past. I have seen Chēbē products in Whole Food’s or you can order boxes through their website.

If you are looking for the perfect recipe to kick off fall with, give this a try!

Ingredients (Prep Time: 35 min. Total Time: 90 min. Serves: 6)

For the Crust:

  • 1 package Chēbē All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into tiny cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together Chēbē All Purpose Baking mix and baking soda.
  2. Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly and well incorporated.
  3. Add in eggs, milk and water and mix until stretchy and smooth. Form mixture into a ball. If the dough is a bit dry, add in more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  4. Cut two large pieces of parchment paper and lay dough between them. Roll into a 12 inch round and place it in the freezer while you finish the filling portion of the recipe (leave it in between the parchment paper).

For the Filling:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups shredded kale
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I use cup4cup)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onions and sauté until they  start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once softened, add in garlic, sage, carrots, celery, and squash. Sauté until the celery begins to turn translucent, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Add in kale and sauté until it just starts to wilt. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir until combined.
  4. Pour in chicken broth bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir constantly until it  the mixture begins to thicken up, about 5 minutes.
  5. Once thickened, turn off the heat and add shredded chicken.
  6. Remove dough from freezer and peel off parchment paper. Lay dough round over the top of the filling mixture in the skillet.
  7. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  8. Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool for 15 minute before serving. Enjoy!

Not-So-Classic Mac & Cheese

I’ve always considered Mac & Cheese an ultimate comfort foods However, as I got older, I started eating gluten-free and my taste buds evolved a bit and boxed mac and cheese lost its appeal.

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I came up with a healthy gluten-free mac and cheese recipe using Banza noodles made from chickpeas. They are high protein and have a unique texture. I think they taste especially great in this mac & cheese recipe and add something interesting to it.

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A fellow blogger recommended cooking the noodles in chicken broth for extra flavor which was a great idea. I also threw in some broccoli to cut down on the carbs a bit and add some extra veggies. However, that is totally optional and can be omitted. This is a great recipe for a healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese that both kids and adults will enjoy. This recipe will make about 3-4 servings as a side dish or 2-3 servings as a meal.

Ingredients (Total time: 30 min. Serves: 8):

  • 1 box Banza Noodles
  • 2 cubes chicken bullion
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cups shredded parmesan
  • extra salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook noodles in a medium pot according to package directions, but throw 2 cubes of chicken bullion into the boiling water. Once cooked, drain, place back into pot and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli until completely cooked, drain and place in pot with noodles.
    In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring the entire time.
  3. Slowly add milk to flour mixture about ¼ cup at a time whisking the entire time. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the next ¼ cup of milk. Repeat until you have added all the milk and until the sauce is nicely thickened. Continuing to whisk the entire time.
  4. Whisk in paprika and garlic powder. Once incorporated, add in all of the cheese and whisk until totally melted.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and broccoli and mix in cheese sauce.

Whole 30 Compliant Curry Chicken Salad

I am currently about 1/3 of the way through my first Whole 30. At the end of the month, I am going to post a bunch of tips as well as more about my experience with the challenge. For now, I have a recipe that I came up with last week for a curry chicken salad.

Chicken Salad

I made a big batch of it last Sunday and had it multiple times during the week. It was a nice break from some of the more plain meals I have been making and was very flavorful and filling.

This recipe makes about 8 hearty servings and is completely compliant. Just make sure you check the labels on all of your ingredients. If you prefer, you can easily swap the almonds for cashews or pecans. This would also be delicious with fresh grapes instead of raisins I just didn’t have the patience to cut a bunch of grapes in half.

If you’re not doing Whole 30 this is still a great dinner idea, you just don’t need to be as worried with the mayo that you use.

Ingredients (Serves: 8):

  • 2.5 lbs chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup compliant mayo (either primal kitchen or homemade)
  • 3 Tbsp. mild curry powder
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 2/3 cup diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 ½ medium apples chopped (I used gala)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, depending on thickness, for 12 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool off.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine mayo and curry powder. Add in raisins, celery, carrots, red onion, apples, and almonds.
  3. Once chicken has cooled off, either shred or cut into small cubes. Mix in with vegetables and mayo until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Refrigerate at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  5. Serve with lettuce cups of either romaine or butter lettuce to make wraps.

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 
There is nothing quite like a piece of buttery, delicious quiche. However, it’s generally a more heavy dish and I’ve found making a gluten-free pie crust to be fairly difficult. I fixed that by making a naturally gluten-free crust made of sweet potatoes.
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It turned out wonderfully and the sweet potatoes were a great substitute for a regular pie-crust. I am sure that you could experiment with this and try using potatoes as a crust instead of sweet potatoes. You can also be flexible as far as what you want to add to the egg mixture. Just try to keep the veggie ratios somewhat similar. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did!

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Ingredients: (Prep Time: 30 min. Total time: 90 Min. Serves: 8):

  • 1.5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oi
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (I used reduced fat)
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a pie dish with ½ tbsp olive oil.

2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Then cut them into very thin slices, around 1/8 in. thick and layer them in the pie dish so that the bottom and the sides are covered. Place in the oven for 15 min until the sweet potatoes have softened slightly.

3. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

4. Then add the kale, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan. Sauté them very briefly (about 1 min), remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool to about room temperature.

5. Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

6. Add cooled vegetables to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the pie dish with sweet potatoes.

7. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until the middle of the quiche does not jiggle.

8. Remove from oven, allow it to cool slightly before serving (about 15 min). Enjoy!

Spicy Veggie Soup

Spicy Veggie Soup

Veggie soup is always such an easy, flexible meal to throw together and it’s especially nice because you can basically make it with any veggies you have in the fridge. I really nailed it with this combination of vegetables and spices but you can easily swap out anything I used for another veggie you may have laying around.

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This recipe makes a ton of soup so I would anticipate to have a lot of leftovers if you make it. The good news is, it keeps really well in the fridge and re-heats nicely because I didn’t add any noodles or rice directly into the soup when cooking. I would highly recommend making noodles, rice or quinoa on the side and adding them in when you reheat the soup. That way, they won’t get all soggy and break down in the fridge.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI made this last Sunday and we had it for lunches and dinners throughout the week. It’s a very hearty soup and isn’t super brothy, which I prefer because it’s more filling. It was amazing with a bit of pesto and vegan cheese or nutritional yeast on top.

Spicy Veggie Soup (Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 30 Min. Serves: 8)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced or one can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 4 small yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups, kale cut up, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked noodles, rice or quinoa (optional)
  • Pesto sauce, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, head olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for a few minutes until they start to sweat and soften a bit. About five minutes.
  2. Add in garlic, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and sauté two or three minutes until tomatoes cook down a bit.
  3. Add red and green peppers, and leek and sauté one or two more minutes.
  4. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes, asparagus, and both cans of beans.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft. About fifteen minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in kale and basil.
  7. Pour over cooked rice, quinoa or bullion and top with pesto, nutritional yeast or cheese. Enjoy!

For broth I use vegan bullion and dilute it according to the package’s instructions, it tends to be much cheaper.*

My Favorite Marinara Sauce

This weekend, Josh and I did a belated Valentines day dinner. Last year for Valentine’s day I made us a a non-vegan Italian dinner but since we switched to a plant-based diet this year, that was no longer an option. Pasta 1.JPGI did some digging around and found The Minimalist Baker’s Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups. They are filled with a tofu based, vegan ricotta and nestled in marinara sauce. I cannot recommend her recipe enough, and if you are looking to make a delicious, date-night meal I would highly suggest trying it. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly but I served the roll-ups with pasta and a salad I did make my own marinara sauce.

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Marinara is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients but, for it to taste best, it does need to simmer for a while. The longer you cook it down, the more the flavors come together. If I have time, I will even make the sauce the night before I need it and put it in the fridge overnight. It’s honestly surprising how much more flavorful it gets as you let it sit.

It is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been making it for years. Every time I make Italian food, this is my go-to sauce and I am really excited to share the recipe.

Ingredients (Prep Time: 10 min. Total time: 40 Min. Serves: 5):

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (coconut sugar or agave would work also)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add in garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant and garlic softens.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir and let simmer for at least 25 minutes (up to an hour if you have time)* stirring every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Stir in chopped basil and parsley and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Put this sauce on whatever your heart desires, dip bread in it, have it plain with pasta, or use it for a fancy schmancy date night meal.

*The longer you can let the sauce simmer the better. If I have time, I will let it simmer for an hour. It lets the sauce thicken and the flavor develop.

 

Thai Curry Soup

Thai Curry Soup

Thai Curry is one of my favorite foods. I love how rich it is and how all of the spices give it a great depth of flavor. It’s my go-to every time I go out for Thai Food and I especially love it in the winter.

Last week, Chicago got hit with a ridiculous amount of snow. It gave me a good excuse to hang around the house and have a lazy weekend. It was also perfect Curry weather so I decided to trudge over to the grocery store and try to perfect a recipe I have been working on for a while. Good news is, hauling 3 huge bags of groceries (I got a bit carried away at the store) home in an unshoveled mess was worth it because I absolutely nailed this recipe! I am really excited to share it since it is so delicious.

Nutritionally, this soup is also slightly more balanced meal than traditional Curry. Adding broth stretches out the coconut milk and lightens things up a bit. Coconut milk is full of healthy plant-based fats, but I think everything is best in moderation. There are also tons of vegetables in here and rice noodles add some carbs to the meal. If you want to add a bit of protein to it you could totally throw some baked tofu in as well or add it on top at the end.

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Thai Curry Soup (Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 30 Min. Serves: 6)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 2 inch chunk ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce (gluten-free if you have an allergy)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 6 cups vegetable broth*
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 baby bok choy bunches, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, julienned
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thin (save a bit as garnish)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (8 oz) package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, blend together curry paste, ginger and garlic until combined.
  2. In a large pot, over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Once melted, add in curry paste mixture and sauté until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and lime juice. Stir until combined and then add in vegetable broth and coconut milk and allow it to come to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add in sweet potato, onion and green pepper, cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in baby bok choy, and mushrooms and simmer for another 2 minutes until they are slightly softened.
  6. Add in uncooked noodles and boil according to package instructions (usually 2 or 3 minutes) and stir in cilantro and basil.
  7. Top with extra basil, cilantro, red onions or green onions and enjoy!!

For broth I use vegan bullion and dilute it according to the package’s instructions, it tends to be much cheaper.*