Chicken chili—an easy, gluten-free, one-pot dinner idea

This recipe was borne out of the need for an easy, fast dinner that also packed nutrition and flavor. I’ve been down with terrible allergy symptoms since planting my garden last weekend and needed something requiring minimal work and even less cleanup, but it also needed to be warm and satisfying. I’ve made many different chicken chili variations before, but this one is by far the easiest. You literally put everything into a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pan and throw it in the oven. The only other step is slicing the chicken and placing it back in the pan at the end. We were so hungry when this came out of the oven that I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final product!

Ingredients (makes 4 large servings):

  • Three medium sized chicken breasts, thawed (they can still be partially frozen if you are pressed for time)
  • One 4 oz can of green chilis
  • One 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (click here for the ones I love)
  • One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked pimenton (paprika)
  • A handful of your favorite chopped herbs (I used a spicy oregano and cilantro from my garden)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Place the chicken breasts in the pan. Pour all other ingredients on top. Stir slightly, just to mix. Cover pan and bake for one hour. Pull the pan out and take the chicken breasts out with tongs. Place them on a cutting board, and, when cool enough to handle, dice them. Put the chicken back in the pot and stir gently. Place the pot back into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite tortilla (I like this kind, which are gluten-free and paleo).

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Chicken chili—an easy, one-pot dinner idea

This recipe was borne out of the need for an easy, fast dinner that also packed nutrition and flavor. I’ve been down with terrible allergy symptoms since planting my garden last weekend and needed something requiring minimal work and even less cleanup, but it also needed to be warm and satisfying. I’ve made many different chicken chili variations before, but this one is by far the easiest. You literally put everything into a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pan and throw it in the oven. The only other step is slicing the chicken and placing it back in the pan at the end. We were so hungry when this came out of the oven that I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final product!

Ingredients (makes 4 large servings):

  • Three medium sized chicken breasts, thawed (they can still be partially frozen if you are pressed for time)
  • One 4 oz can of green chilis
  • One 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (click here for the ones I love)
  • One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked pimenton (paprika)
  • A handful of your favorite chopped herbs (I used a spicy oregano and cilantro from my garden)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Place the chicken breasts in the pan. Pour all other ingredients on top. Stir slightly, just to mix. Cover pan and bake for one hour. Pull the pan out and take the chicken breasts out with tongs. Place them on a cutting board, and, when cool enough to handle, dice them. Put the chicken back in the pot and stir gently. Place the pot back into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite tortilla (I like this kind, which are gluten-free and paleo).

Tuscan peasant soup made gluten-free

My sister in law got me a copy of Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” for my birthday, and I’ve spent the last week reading it cover to cover. It’s an amazing cookbook, especially if you are a cookbook fangirl like I am. One recipe stuck out to me last week — the Tuscan Peasant Soup With Cabbage and Beans, or, Aquacotta. It’s the perfect anti-thanksgiving meal for when you’re tired of those leftovers and the perfect cold-weather stew. It also happens that I had mountains of the main ingredient—Savoy cabbage— in the garden just ready to harvest, along with a few other items that were ready to be picked and used. I altered this recipe pretty heavily as I didn’t have some of the ingredients available, I didn’t have three hours to simmer, and I wanted to make it gluten free (Marcella’s version is poured over a layer of bread). I also wanted to add some meat to make it a little more hearty. It turned out to be one of our favorite meals and a rare highlight of 2020. Even my husband said it’s “a real winner,” which is high praise from him!

Here is my version of this classic dish:

Ingredients (roughly six servings):

  • One onion, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 c. Avocado oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Several cups finely chopped kale
  • Four to five cups finely chopped cabbage (the more the better)
  • One large can of Italian whole, peeled tomatoes, diced and with the juice
  • About a cup of chicken bone broth (enough to cover the veggies)
  • One lb Italian-style turkey sausage
  • About a half cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
  • One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Eggs, as many as the people you are serving. The original recipe called for six, I used two because I was only serving two people and keeping the rest for leftovers.
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • About a half cup of chopped fresh basil
  • Other herbs, to taste (I chopped some fresh parsley and oregano for garnish)
  • Other veggies, to taste (I added a handful of snap peas that were ready to be harvested from the garden)

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, sauté the onion in the oil until it starts to wilt. Add the turkey sausage and break it up into tiny pieces. Add some salt, then the kale and cabbage. Stir until wilted, then add the tomatoes and the basil. Simmer for an hour on low, covered.

At the end of the simmering hour, in another saucepan, bring the lemon juice along with an inch to two inches of water to a boil. Add the eggs (poach them) when it comes to a boil. Let them poach for about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the beans to the veggie mixture. Stir and correct for salt. Add some cracked pepper, to taste. Sprinkle about half the cheese on top of this, and leave simmering on low.

When the eggs are poached and still runny, scoop them from the sauce pan in a slotted spoon and place them on top of the vegetable and sausage dish. Add the rest of the cheese, and let them simmer another minute or so. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs (parsley and oregano worked well).

Serve each person a helping with an egg on top, preferably with a good glass of red wine.

“Breakfast for dinner” gluten-free egg casserole with lamb

This dish is something that has evolved in my house over the years. It’s our “kitchen sink” dish — the dish you make when you need to use up some potatoes or the last couple of eggs, or if there is leftover taco meat in the fridge. A friend of ours used to make a Puerto Rican dish called Piñon, and this iteration is about 10 recipes removed from that one — though it still tastes similar. This version has a bit of Moroccan flavor thanks to the ras el hanout spice mix I found on a Whole Foods trip this weekend, and a bit of luxurious holiday flavor since I used ground lamb and sweet potatoes. This dish is gluten free, and could be converted easily to paleo if you omit the cheese.

Not the most photogenic dish, but delicious.

Recipe:

  • Three to four large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into the thinnest rounds you can make
  • One onion, finely diced
  • Three large cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • One pound of ground lamb
  • One 12 oz can of diced or stewed tomatoes
  • One 7 oz can of peeled and diced green chilis
  • One tablespoon ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp pimenton
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • One 8 oz package of shredded goats milk cheddar (sub regular white cheddar if you can’t find it, but the mild goats milk flavor really does make a difference)
  • One 5 oz package of goat cheese crumbles
  • 6 eggs lightly whisked with a pinch of sea salt

Prep a 13×9 inch Pyrex baking dish with some cooking spray. Place one layer of the peeled and sliced sweet potatoes on the bottom of the dish.

Sauté the onion and garlic together in a skillet. Add the lamb and break up into small pieces. This tool is amazing for that. Just before the meat is completely cooked, after about five minutes of sautéing, add the spices. Add the tomatoes, and turn down to a simmer. Taste it and add spices if necessary. Allow to simmer on low for up to 20 minutes.

Once it’s cooked, add about half of the meat mixture in a layer on top of the first layer of potatoes. Then add a handful of the goats milk cheddar, spread evenly. Add another layer of the sweet potatoes, another layer of the meat mixture (this will be all of it), another layer of cheese. Then finally, the last layer of sweet potatoes on top. Take the bowl of salted, whisked eggs and pour over the casserole. Add the remaining cheese and the crumbles on top.

Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned. When you remove it, all of the egg will be cooked but it will need to sit and rest for at least 5 to ten minutes before serving.

Enjoy! I served this with some Brussels sprouts cooked with bacon, and it paired well.