Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken and Rice Casserole
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Do you know how hard it is to save money on your grocery bill when you not only have food allergies, but you are also feeding a teenager whose food sensitivities are worse?
How am I going to save money to live the life of my dreams if I’m constantly buying food?
I don’t believe that my daughter has Celiac disease but she has issues with gluten as do I. It has taken years of experimenting with what is tolerable and what is not. As a mom, it has been hard watching my child suffer as she has for so many years.
Undiagnosed stomach aches have plagued her since she was little. I took her to the pediatrician, a family practice doctor, a gastrointestinal specialist, and even a holistic medicine doctor. The best advice I got was from the naturopath who told her to get rid of corn because it is in the top 8 of most allergic foods.
So, we eliminated corn.
That was not enough. Finally, after taking out Gluten, Dairy, Soy, and Corn, we came to the conclusion that sugar was also an issue.
If my daughter eats one little plain M&M, she will begin to have asthma-like symptoms. One cookie will give her a stomach ache. One piece of cake will throw her into a depressive episode before she can even wash her plate.
And so here I stand, in front of the refrigerator, wondering how to stretch my grocery budget and still feed my child. Earlier in the week, I cooked a whole chicken in the multi-cooker. Out of that, I got homemade broth and leftover chicken.
In the past, I would have taken the leftover chicken and brown rice, opened a can of cream of mushroom soup and made a casserole. That dish is NOT gluten free dairy free chicken and rice casserole.
Everything must be made from scratch.
And so, taking it one meal at a time, I am saving money today by fixing leftovers and using a little imagination.
I’ll add leftover chicken (I chopped up) and brown rice to a bowl. Sweating some chopped onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil will add flavor to the bland casserole. Next, I must make a roux with a heaping tablespoon of GF flour and somehow turn that into a tasty gravy substance that will bind the chicken and rice together.
Once the roux is thick I stirred the onions, garlic, and mushrooms around in it, added the chicken broth and waited until it got a little bubbly and started to thicken. The sauce thickened faster than I wanted so I just added more broth.
Finally, I added the dairy-free cheese. To use what I had, I mixed three different styles of Daiya cheese. Stir until it is all mixed in. DF cheese doesn’t melt very well but don’t worry, it’s not a big deal if it doesn’t completely incorporate.
Salt and pepper to taste and boom – Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken and Rice Casserole – a hearty, allergy-friendly supper.
The best thing about using your imagination is that you don’t have to measure and the ingredients don’t have to be perfect. I like the Food Network as much as the next home cook, but I don’t care if my knife cuts are perfect. You can make substitutions if you need to. I add what the kid likes, and feel good inside because I provided a nice meal for my daughter that won’t make her sick and didn’t cost me any more money.
RECIPE (sort of) for Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Leftover chicken
- Homemade chicken broth
- Leftover Brown rice
- DF Cheese
- Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour
- One onion chopped
- A handful of chopped fresh mushrooms
- Two cloves of garlic (chopped with a knife)
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Chop the chicken and place in a large bowl with the leftover brown rice
Chop the onion and sweat on medium in a cast iron skillet with olive oil
After about 5 minutes add the chopped garlic and chopped mushrooms to the onion
Cook the onions, mushrooms, and garlic until the onions start to brown – sprinkle with salt and pepper
Add the mixture to the chicken and rice bowl
Stir it all together, taste to see if you want more salt and pepper.
Place that into a casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes or until it is all hot and bubbly.
Serve with whatever you want.
If you like hot cooked veggies – you can add broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini. I prefer my veggies cold so I will make a veggie smoothie in the Ninja blender.