Cook Kindly

Adventures in cooking and navigating a gluten-free life.


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Chicken Wild Rice Hot Dish

I’m from Minnesota, so I say hot dish, you might call it a casserole, depending on where you’re from. A hot creamy dish by any other name tastes just as delicious. This recipe is easy to prep ahead of time and have in the fridge, so you can just pop it in the oven after work. We actually had some decent weather the other day, so I asked Ryan to grill up some chicken breasts. We have 3 adult-food eaters in my house (my youngest is only 4 months old – not yet gumming adult-food), naturally I had Ryan grill up 10 chicken breasts (gulp). Throughout the course of the week, we put them to good use – between a grilled chicken dinner, salads for lunches, and this dish. Having grilled, chopped chicken in the fridge helped make this dish a cinch to pull together. The rice cooker made cooking the wild rice a set-it and forget-it breeze. PSA: I love having a rice cooker, we use it a couple of times a week. Perfect rice every time, without having to babysit the pot.

I made 2 cups of wild rice on Sunday, plus the grilled chicken, and kept both in the fridge until I was ready to prep this dish Tuesday evening. In a large bowl, I mixed all of my ingredients (listed below) and spread into a prepped baking dish, topped with tinfoil and put it in the fridge for the next night. It took me about 6 minutes.

The key ingredient in this dish, for my gluten free friends, is Progresso’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Hooray! This isn’t your condensed cream of chicken soup of yesteryear, so if you’re using it in other dishes, take into consideration that you wont need as much liquid. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find GF cream of anything soup. This soup makes it possible to put together a comforting dinner perfect for a mid-winter night.

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This recipe is pretty flexible, you could add or omit various vegetables, or even top it with cheese.

Chicken Wild Rice Hot Dish

2 cups wild rice cooked
3 chicken breasts cooked & diced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (*be sure it’s gluten free)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt OR season salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

combine all ingredients and spread into a sprayed13 x 9 or larger baking dish. (This makes a pretty big recipe.) Bake, covered with tinfoil, at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. This recipe refrigerates well for a couple of days prior to baking, you can also freeze it for later.

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Enchilada Lasagna Style

Since going GF, I’ve come to realize that corn tortillas are not nearly as pliable as their gluten-laced flour counterparts. That and they are so darn small! Making enchiladas with corn tortillas takes a lot of (rolling) work. So, in a pregnant-lady-starving-hunger-need-to-make-dinner-pronto moment of genius, I decided to make an Enchilada Lasagna so to speak.  Instead of filling and rolling those tiny tortillas, why couldn’t I just stack them up? Brilliant. 

 

I already had some cooked shredded chicken on hand (rotisserie chicken would work great, too), which I combined with a can of diced green chilis. I layed out all of my ingredients and set to layering. 

Layer tortillas, refried beans, chicken/chilis

Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a glass pan, I used the green kind. Smear refried beans on tortillas and layer across the bottom of your pan, then sprinkle chicken/chili mixture and shredded cheddar cheese on top. Continue the layering process until you’ve used all of your ingredients (or filled your pan). Before the final top layer of cheese, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top, then layer on the cheese. Cover with tinfoil and bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, remove tinfoil for last few minutes to brown up the cheese. MMMM. 

add a layer of cheese

I made La Preferida Spanish Rice as a side dish, which was delicious…and a somewhat rare find for a gluten free flavored rice! 

La Preferida Spanish Rice

Ingredients:

cooked chicken, shredded

refried beans (you could use black beans too)

diced green chilis

enchilada sauce

shredded cheddar cheese

optional: frozen or canned corn, onions, other veggies/meat, sour cream, tomatoes (fresh or canned), olives, jalapenos…anything else that sounds good to you. 

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Stuffed Peppers

We adapted About.com’s Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef  recipe, to make a scrumptious, heart-warming meal. In the words of my 6-year-old nephew “deee licious, man!” This is just the kind of meal a girl needs as the fall weather settles in with tell-tale signs that the snow is not so far off. Here in Minnesota we’ve been having beautiful 60-70 degree days, with perfect sleeping weather (mid-40 degree) nights. It’s a wonderful, crisp time of year that just begs for a hot, soul-soothing type meal, and this is it. Besides, what’s not to love when the veggies, meat, grains, and dairy are all packed into an edible holder??? Now, if only that meant no dishes.

These stuffed peppers took some time to prep, probably not the most convenient week-night meal, although  you could do some prep-work the night before. We, of course, did not plan ahead very well and ended up eating dinner rather late as a result. Good thing there was football on to keep us distracted.

Per usual, I adjusted the recipe compared to the one we found on About.com.

Ingredients

Stuffed Peppers

4 green bell peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (double-check that it’s gluten free)

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice (I cooked up one cup of dry rice, so however much that ends up being)

shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional

Steps: Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the insides. Chop up the tops from the peppers and add to the chopped onion and celery. Place peppers in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.

Brown the meat in a large skillet, drain meat and set aside. Using same skillet, heat the olive oil until hot, saute onions, peppers, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the ground beef, cooked rice and 1 cup of tomato mixture (in hindsight, I would have added all of the tomato mixture here – *see the note below). Mix well.

Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place into a 3 quart dish (I used our large Dutch Oven). Pour remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, adding cheese on top for the last 5 minutes, if desired.  Bon Appetite.

*The peppers were delicious made with just a cup of sauce mixed into the meat and the rest of the sauce poured over the top. However, the sauce was thick, and not super saucy, both Ryan and I thought the sauce would be better mixed into the meat, then stuff the peppers and pour any remaining meat/sauce over the top, spilling into the dish. I thought the meat mixture could have used a little more sauce too it. I also highly recommend topping these with cheese, it added a gooey level of comfort to this amazing dish.