Pasta Primavera – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

4 Jan

When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to adapt it for my family.  We love pasta in this house and are always looking for new ways to get this.  This is rich and creamy and full of veggies too, but was chalked full of dairy and gluten, so with some tweaking and adjusting we had a creamy, hearty dinner.  How can a girl go wrong?


What I like about this recipe is it is easy to adapt from whatever veggies you have on hand.  And easily make it vegan by omitting the ham and using veggie broth!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pasta Primavera – adapted from Ree Drummond’s recipe

What You Need

butter substitute – I personally like Earth Balance
1 cup chopped carrots (I used heirloom)
1 cup fresh green beans, ends trimmed
4 ounces white mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced cooked ham (I used turkey ham)
1 TBSP dried basil
1 pound gluten free spaghetti, broken in to 3rds and cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (or milk substitute of your choice, plain, unsweetened)
Salt & Black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella rice cheese
What you do ::

Melt 1 – 2 tablespoons butter substitute in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minute, then add the green beans and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add 1 additional tablespoon of butter substitute to the skillet and allow it to melt. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are starting to soften. Remove from the skillet and add to the other vegetables. Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and allow it to warm. Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Pour in the wine and the chicken broth and stir.  Return to a gentle boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing it to reduce by about half. Stir in the milk, bring to a very gentle boil and then add cheese to melt. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Let the sauce thicken for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add all the vegetables to the sauce, then add the frozen peas, diced ham, and basil. Stir to combine and allow the veggies to warm again.

Toss with pasta and serve!




3 Jan

So I fell off the blogging bandwagon.

It wasn’t intentional.  It wasn’t because I dislike blogging.  It was just life.

It went something like this….

The soldier left for training.
Dino-man, the princess, & I started homeschooling.
SW went back to school.

And I was dx’d with CELIAC disease!

And just like that, something had to give.

But I’ve missed it, and as we find our new normal (again) I am feeling the rhythm.  And I’m starting to make things and think “hey, I should blog this!”

So back in the saddle I am!  Only now all the recipes will be dairy free AND gluten free!

Thanks for staying with me on this ride.


Dairy Free, Gluten Free Creamy Chicken and Noodles

13 Aug

The kids and I recently went to our local farmer’s market.  Sadly we do not have a big one like I know some of you enjoy.  Our’s is about a dozen booths, mostly with the same vegetables and a couple of fruits.  But still I like to support local growers, the food we get is great, and the kids love going.  One of the most popular tents at the market is Papardelle’s, freshly made pasta by the pound.  They are local to my state of Colorado and they have just about every kind of pasta you could imagine and many that I couldn’t think up if I tried!

We have tried their fruit flavors in the past and loved a cold salad with them.  But this time I was excited to see they have added Gluten free pasta to their list of yumminess!  We decided to try their Gluten-Free Garlic Chive Rooster Comb, the kids loved the shape and I liked that it was infused with some of my favorite flavors!  They do ship, so check them out!

Papardelle’s is kind enough to provide recipes for all of their pastas but many of them have dairy in them so I opted to do my own.  This is a spin off of my white spaghetti and it turned out so wonderful, the kids loved the creamy texture.

What you need ::

1/2 lb. Papardelle’s Gluten-Free Garlic Chive Rooster Comb

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped in to bite-sized pieces

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 T. Butter Substitute

2 T. Rice Flour

1 1/4  cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup mozzarella cheese substitute plus additional for garnish

Salt and Pepper to taste, oil for cooking

What you do ::

In a pot bring enough water to cook your pasta in to a boil.  While the water is heating up head a separate skillet with a couple turns of oil around the pan.  Add chicken and cook until brown and no pink in the center remains.  Remove from skillet and set aside (you don’t want it to over cook!).

Add onions to skillet and cook until soft.  Add mushrooms and cook until the release their moisture, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and stir for one minute.  Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.

Melt butter substitute in skillet and add rice flour to create a nice roux.  Let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.  Whisk in coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Melt in cheese and add back the chicken and vegetables.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to creamy chicken.  Serve in bowls and garnish with reserved cheese.

August 1st? The shift – the Mommy Files

31 Jul

Tomorrow is August 1st?  Like, for the reals?

I’m not entirely sure where July went.  I have a vague haze memory that there was June.  What is it about summer?

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of summer, I prefer cooler weather to hot weather any day.  I prefer layers of warm clothes and the perfect reason to drink tea all day long.  I like to turn on my oven for hours at a time, cooking and baking, without melting in to my kitchen floor.

But summer is not all bad, I love having my children home, with few, if any, schedules to keep.  We sleep in, we enjoy parks, casual days, fun as it comes to us.  I love that dinner is not rushed by practices, meetings, and expectations.  There isn’t homework to clog up our evenings, and the stress of “have to” almost doesn’t exist.

August is coming though, and quickly our world is flipping back the other way.  Football started this week, multiple practices and weekend games.  SW goes back to school in a week, a week.  I pick up our homeschool curriculum tomorrow, it requires reading and planning, cleaning and preparing.  I must prepare Sis’ preschool program, she is itching to read, it is her nature, time to hit the alphabet hard.  Dino-man still cannot read, it is his nature, we will be hitting reading hard this year.

I’ve begun cleaning stuff out, I am not a spring cleaner, no, for me the new year starts with school.  An old double stroller that they’ve outgrown, Sis’ crib bedding that she hasn’t used in years but I’ve held on to, curriculum we don’t need anymore, the odds and ends that clutter up your life.  Instead a couple of extra dollars in the pocket to start the school year off with.

Calendars are carefully laid out, so that nothing is forgotten.  And my heart breaks, just a little.  Because each new school year means they’re growing up that much more, getting that much older.  More independent, less reliant on mom.

Dairy Free Chicken and Dumplings

30 Jul

I love comfort food.  I love working over a stove, stirring, adding, making it taste just right.  I love how it fills you, leaves you feeling satisfied, full.  It usually simple yet full of flavor.  I think that good comfort food can calm worries, ease anxieties, and give strength.

We have a lot going on right now – as summer comes to a close and school looms around the corner, I wanted to fill the bellies of those I love with something simple yet fulfilling.

What you need ::

1lb chicken – really any will do, I opted for boneless/skinless chicken thighs (I like how dark meat retains moisture)

1 – 2 carrots, diced

3 stalks of celery, diced

1 small white yellow onion, diced

5 cups chicken stock

2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting

2 tablespoons shortening, I prefer all vegetable

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk substitute + a dash

salt, pepper, oil

What you do ::

In your cast iron dutch oven, pour in enough oil to lightly cover and heat to a medium heat.  Cook the chicken until no pink remains, set chicken aside.

Using the pan drippings, cook vegetables until soft, about ten minutes or so.

While your vegetables are softening, chop your chicken.  Once veggies are good to go pour in stock and add chopped chicken.  Generously season with pepper.  (I think the stock makes it salty enough but hey, if you like uber salty then by all means…)  Bring stock to a boil.

While you are waiting for the stock to come to a boil combine flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.   Cut the shortening in to your flour mixture using a fork or one of the pastry cutters.  Mix in milk and stir until a dough forms, I used vanilla almond milk.  Mine was a little dry and I needed to add an extra splash.

Generously flour a working surface and a rolling pin.  Roll out your dough nice and thin.  Cut in to one inch squares, you can use a knife or a pizza cutter.

Gently drop the dumplings, 2 or 3 at a time, in to the your boiling stock, stirring as your work.  Cook for 20 minutes.

To finish this off I dunked a coffee cup in to the boiling stock and stirred in a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch and then mixed it back into the pot.  This helped to thicken it up .

That’s it!  It truly is easy and real comfort food.  My family of five finished off this entire pot, next time I will make a double serving!

Reflecting – the Mommy Files

24 Jul

After a long week and a busy weekend we are moving slowing this morning.  Enjoying the last couple of mornings before school starts again, before we have to be intentional, on-time.  

My children do not know what happened last week.  We do not have tv in the house, we got rid of cable and haven’t been able to afford the converter boxes to let our old tv’s get the public channels.  We pay $8 a month for older shows to be streamed through the internet to us.  There is no local news coming in through our tv.  Our children do not know what happened.  They don’t need to really.  But we do.

Not Colorado.  Not Again.  

My heart is broken.  And I fight with myself.  Do I write about it?  How can I not.  

Sis tells me our kitchen is cowboy country.  The living room is a carnival.  She is rearranging little trinkets on the table.  This one gives you power.  This one gives you strength.  

She is buzzing.  Dino-man is buzzing.  Grammy is taking them to a movie today.  A movie.  

And this is why we do not tell them what happened.  I refuse to let this incident instill fear in my children.  They don’t need that.  They deserve better than that.  

Right now SW is 10.  Someday he will be older.  He will want to go to late night movies with his friends, and why not?  Because he is afraid?  Because I am afraid.  

I wrestle, I pray.  My mom heart aches deep.  

Sis has rearranged the trinkets again.  Now they are tokens to get in to her carnival, to ride the rides.  I bump my tea reaching for one, I’ve forgotten to remove the bag, in the sun it has steeped strong and dark.   The first scalding sip is sweet as honey.  Just what I needed.

How would I explain this tragedy to my children?  I cannot.  I cannot tell them why he did it, why it happened, or that it won’t happen again.  I cannot promise to always keep them safe.  My job and I cannot do it.

But I can tell them not to loose faith, hope.  I can tell them to keep loving on each other.  Fiercely, with all their heart.  Because he may have been one man, but look at how many people it brought together.  How many emergency workers, doctors, nurses saved lives.  How one brother scarified for another.  How a community came together to take care of each other.  

There is bad in this world, but there is so very much more that is better.  

Dairy Free Greek Meatballs and Tzatziki Sauce – Simply U Simply Me

23 Jul

Dairy Free Greek Meatballs and Tzatkiki Sauce is something kids will like?  You betcha!

It has been a long weekend, the Soldier had his drill this weekend, Sis has been sick, we are gearing up for VBS at church, it is hot out, and I am beat!  I was looking for something simple, refreshing, easy, but good too.  The Soldier will have had MREs all weekend, so he needs something to refuel him too.  And let me tell you, I love Greek food.  Tzatziki, Dolmas, olives, pitas, I love them all!  If I had to eat one style of food to eat for the rest of my life, and only one, it would be mediterranean  for sure!

So I opted to make this simple dinner for tonight.

What you need ::

for the sauce ::

8 or so ounces of dairy free, plain yogurt (I used coconut yogurt)

1 Tbsp dried dill

1/2 cucumber, processed in the food processor

dash of sea salt

4 – 5 fresh mint leaves – optional (I found the coconut yogurt still so sweet that it didn’t need this step, but you may want it)

For the sauce :: Combine all ingredients and let sit in your refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to over night.

for the meatballs ::

1 lb ground turkey meat

1 cup bread crumbs (read your labels or make your own!)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of the following :: sesame seeds, dried oregano, powdered garlic, dried red pepper flakes

For the Meatballs :: combine all the ingredients, roll or use a cookie scoop and make 1 inch balls, place in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cooked all the way through and no pink remains

To Serve ::

Find flat bread, naan, or rolls, slice if necessary and bake in your hot oven until lightly toasted – 5 – 10 minutes.  I spread mine with a little olive oil.

Spread with tzatziki sauce, using the remaining 1/2 of the cucumber, slice thinly and layer on bread, optionally top with thinly sliced red onions.

Serve with cooked meatballs and remaining tzatziki sauce.  Yummmmm…….

Now if I could just master the art of grape leaf rolling…

Tiny Moments – the Mommy Files

19 Jul

Can I be completely honest with you?  There was a time when I would have spend five minutes playing with my child and patted myself on the back for being a good mom, being involved, and gone about my day.  “good job me, you just made a memory”

But as the kids get older, which they are, and the moments become fleeting, which they do, my heart has shattered.  For what is lost.  And rebuilt itself.  Now it beats for something new.  The tiny moments.  The every day.

The days are long, but the years are short…

“mom, remember that one time we were playing checkers and we shared some popcorn and we tossed it in to each other’s mouths…”

They’re making memories while we’re making plans…

I know it is easy to say not right now…

“no, I’m working, cleaning, cooking, washing, planning, facebooking, pinteresting, reading, tv-ing…”

Because we live busy lives.

Or . . . “I can for five minutes, or after I, or, or, or”

But childhood doesn’t wait.  It doesn’t wait for them, and it doesn’t wait for us.

Childhood doesn’t pause for cleaning, cooking, washing, planning, facebooking, pinteresting, reading, tv-ing…

Childhood doesn’t pause.

And I don’t want to look back in 20 years and say “wait, now I have time to build with legos, and make blanket forts, and cook plastic food, and just talk to you”

So I’m learning to find the time now.  To say yes to games, and dress up, and dolls, and dinosaurs.  Yes to them.

Wordless Wednesday

18 Jul

The Mommy Files – Who Writes These Things?

17 Jul

Here is a completely random, in no particular order, probably pretty meaningless, top 10 about the girl writing this blog ::

(that is not the girl writing this blog btw)

10.  I have a clock on my side of the bed that reads the entirely wrong time.  I find it whimsical.

9.  Given the choice between chocolate and dill pickles, dill pickles would win every time.

8.  I homeschool two children, my oldest, SW, goes to a local school.  It can be a little schizophrenic at times.  Please send cupcakes.

7.  I am a reader.  I rarely see movies.

6.  Unless it is the Princess Bride.  If you watch that with me please expect me to quote the entire movie right along with the actors.

5.  My husband knew that about me and married me anyways.  What a guy.

4.  It is pronounced You-Lee, not Yule.  I am not a Christmas treat.

3.  I consider myself a pretty relaxed mom, some day I will do a post all about my kitchen table, not what happens around it, but the table itself.  Someday, and it will be epic, and you will understand.

2.  I will brake for animals, every animal, every time.  Once I braked for an escaped turtle, I kid you not.  And then we found the owners and the mom was so appreciative we didn’t run over her son’s pet.  And I hope that one day, when we finally get chickens and goats, if Omelet, my future chicken, escapes, someone will brake for her too.

1.  And all joking aside, my family is my everything.  That is why I write this blog, it is a testimony to what we do and the fun we have doing it.  I don’t have all the answers but we’re sure going to laugh trying to figure it out.  And have a cupcake, always a cupcake.