glutenfreebymarriage

January 23, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Stew

Filed under: chicken, dinner, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:27

chicken and mushroom stew over white rice

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Chicken and Mushroom Stew (Prevention Guide Slow Cooker Recipes 2006, p.9)

ingredients:

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Additions:

  • 2 cups uncooked brown or white rice

Changes:

1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water: The only gf cream of mushroom soup that I can find locally is Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup.  The Progresso is a much larger can, 18 oz, and is not condensed so I just used the soup and skipped the additional 1/2 can of water.

Note: Progresso’s Creamy Mushroom soup is not a great substitute when you need a thick condensed cream of mushroom soup but does work in this recipe because the directions call for half a can of water to dilute.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves:  I probably would have spent the extra money on boneless, skinless chicken breasts if they were going to be served as chicken breasts, but I’m too cheap poor to spend $3.99 a pound for something that is going to be chopped up.  I used about 1 3/4 pounds of boneless thighs and didn’t bother to cut them into bite size pieces.  (They fell apart into smaller pieces during the cooking process.)

1 cup baby carrots: Really?  Yes, baby carrots are cute on an appetizer tray, but I can’t rationalize the extra cost just so it looks cute in a stew.  I used the carrots I had on hand and chopped them into three inch pieces.  I would much rather spend the extra money on organic carrots.  There is a noticeable enough taste difference between organic and non-organic carrots that it’s worth the extra money.  (It also makes me wonder what other veg taste like when they are not covered in pesticides, etc…)

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary and sage to the pot.

Directions:

  1. Combine soup and water in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Place in slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic powder.  Stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours.
  5. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  6. Serve chicken stew over cooked rice.

This isn’t the prettiest looking meal I’ve ever put on the table, but most things that come out of a slow cooker aren’t.   It was easy, convenient and tasted pretty good.  The only change I would make would be to add a little more salt next time.

Thoughts on Creamy Condensed Soups

One of the problems with trying to cook gluten free is that many of the fast & easy casseroles rely on condensed soup for structure (glue) and moisture and there are no gluten free condensed soups.

There are quite a few excellent recipes online for making a homemade condensed soup base that you can whip out to make your own gluten free condensed soup, but they are mostly dairy based and as Mr. GF is also Mr. Lactose Intolerant it’s not really a great improvement.  I could substitute soy powder for the powdered milk called for in most of the recipes, but Mr. GF’s grandmother died of breast cancer and I am leery of putting too much soy in his diet.

Since condensed soups seem to be more about consistency than taste (a salty gelatinous flour and water paste) I’m thinking that mashed potatoes or cauliflower with a smidgeon of broth might do the trick.  It could always be thickened with potato or corn starch.    Even better, I’m wondering if I could make a mix from mashed potato flakes, powdered bouillon and potato starch.   What do you think?

I’m thinking that it sounds really easy and that I should probably give it a try.

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May 29, 2012

Easy Gluten Free Stir Fry (chicken, pork, beef or vegetarian)

Filed under: dinner, gluten-free, lunch, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:58

We love stir fry!

Have an extra chicken leg or spare pork chop?  Make stir fry!  Did you buy the family pack of steaks?  That tiny one that nobody eats makes a great addition to stir fry.  Did you go crazy at the farmer’s market?  Don’t let all that fresh veg go to waste, make stir fry!

In case you can’t tell, we love stir fry!  It’s fast, is a great way to use leftovers and is easy to stretch for a week of gluten-free lunches.   The only caveat is that you have to be really careful and read your labels.   Sauces and stocks are favorite hiding places for gluten, and just because a company didn’t list wheat on the label the last time you bought it doesn’t mean that they haven’t changed the formula.  (Ask me how I know…)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked rice (brown or white)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • *1 cup meat (chicken/pork/beef), cubed
  • 3 – 4 small carrots, julienned
  • 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of pea pods
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (substitute beef broth for beef)
  •  **ginger, garlic, onion powder to taste

*A few thoughts on meat: Meat is an optional ingredient, if you prefer vegetarian, then omit the meat.  (You’ll want to use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth as well.)  Also, meat can be previously cooked, as in leftovers, or raw.

**Fresh ginger and garlic add a wonderful, robust flavor to this dish but can easily be substituted with powdered versions.  If you have fresh ginger and garlic on hand simply add them to the pan with the onions, otherwise, wait until the end to shake over the cooked veg.

Directions:

  1. Add water, rice and a pinch of salt to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover with  tight-fitting lid and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat large fry pan, wok or dutch oven and add oil.
  3. If using previously cooked meat proceed to step 4, otherwise saute meat until no longer pink.
  4. Add carrots, onions, red and green peppers to pan, continue cooking on medium heat until onions are softened.  If you are using fresh ginger or garlic add to pan now.
  5. Stir in pea pods, mushrooms, soy sauce, chicken broth and remaining spices.  Add meat if using leftovers and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  6. Spread cooked rice on a serving platter and top with meat/veg mixture.  You can also just add the rice to veg mixture in the pan.  It’s not as pretty, but if you are using it for lunches it will be easier to measure out into daily servings if the meat/veg/rice is already mixed.

Note: Total cook time is about 30 minutes.

Substitutes: You can substitute any veg in season or on hand.   (Broccoli works great but is messy!)  Rice noodles also make a great alternative to plain rice.

 

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