Tag Archives: rich

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!



Dairy Free Mac-N-Cheese

21 Jun

When I think of good mac-n-cheese I think of ooey, gooey, rich and creamy.  This recipe delivers!

What you need:

1lb macaroni noodles
1 medium butternut squash
8 oz + 4 oz cheddar cheese substitute
32 oz unsweetened milk substitute (I like coconut milk for the recipe)
3 Tablespoons Dry Mustard
3 Tablespoons Flour
your favorite butter substitute
salt and pepper to taste

What you do:
Set your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your butternut squash in half length wise and remove seeds. Place face-up on a cookie sheet and bake for one hour or until fork tender. Once cool enough to handle scrap out the squash and place in food processor with a tablespoon of butter substitute and salt to taste. Blend until you have a nice puree. Set aside.

Cook macaroni al dente – you don’t want it too soft, it will continue to cook in the oven.

In a cast-iron pot or dutch oven melt 3 Tablespoons of butter substitute and add 3 Tablespoons of flour, whisking to combine. Cook for about five minutes to make a nice roux. Slowly add your milk substitute and bring to a soft bubble.

Mix dry mustard in to milk and add 8 oz of cheddar cheese substitute. Cook until cheese has melted. Right now it is going to look really weak but fear not! Mix in your puree and watch the color become dark and rich!  I love this part because my kids are getting a healthy dose of a veggie and the color matches what the box mac-n-cheese tells us it should look like!

Bring your ooey gooey goodness back up to a boil, mix in your macaroni and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes or until you have a nice crust on the top (my kids favorite part!)

Crock Pot Slow Cooker Dairy Free Mac-N-Cheese

15 Jun

Mac-n-cheese is always a favorite in our home.  Layers of gooey cheese and pasta, *swoooooon* seriously I even give some to the kids.  But when Dino-Man was first diagnosed as having issues with dairy we simply steered clear of this dish all together.  I didn’t know how to make it, I’m not a huge fan of nutritional yeast and that flavor, and I just wasn’t sure how to replicate the dish.

But don’t worry – that didn’t last long!  There are two ways we make Mac-N-Cheese in our house, this is the kids’ favorite, next week I’ll post my favorite, so stay tuned!  Updated: Find it here!

What you need:

1 lb elbow macaroni noodles

16 oz cheddar cheese substitute shredded

32 oz unsweetened coconut milk (or the milk substitute of your choice)

8 0z sour cream substitute – we used better than sour cream

3 – 4 Tablespoons ground dry mustard

:: As always, please read all packaged food before adding to your meal.  Food packaging is not consistent over    brands or even by region.  Please ensure that the food you are eating is safe for you and your family, and their needs. ::


Mix the dry elbow noodles, milk substitute, sour cream, dry mustard and about one cup of water in the bottom of your crock pot.  Salt to your taste level, I probably added 3 – 4 teaspoons.  Layer cheese substitute on top of noodle mixture and cook on low for 1.5 hours.

After 1.5 hours mix the cheese in to the noodles and access moisture level.  At this point you may need to add more water, 1/2 – 1 cup.  You’re not going to over water it, you just want to keep it moist!  Replace lid and cook additional 1.5 hours or until the noodles are nice and soft.  Mix again and serve.

This is super creamy and my kids love it.  It is also easy and what busy parent doesn’t need easy?  My biggest tip is just keep an eye on it, if it starts to get dry just add more water, this is just going to vary by region and crock pot.

Dairy Free Lasagna

14 Jun

This may be the first recipe I ever created to be dairy free.  And it is without a doubt one of Dino-Man’s favorite.  All the veggies and rich flavor make this a hearty meal that is sure to please.  The fun thing with this recipe is you can mix it up, if your family prefers spicy, get your sausage and marinara sauce spicy, if you prefer mild, go mild.

What you need:

1lb Italian sausage – read your ingredients, some has dairy in it!

1 medium red onion, diced

8oz sliced, fresh, button mushrooms

4 small or 2 large zucchini, chopped in to bite sized bits

4 garlic cloves minced, diced, or crushed

1/2 cup bold, red wine like Merlot or a Cabernet

4 cups or two jars of marinara sauce – just like the sausage, read your ingredients, some put dairy in it

2 – 8oz bags of mozzarella cheese substitute

1 8oz package oven ready lasagna – I like American Beauty – dairy free and cooks up nicely!

:: As always, please read all packaged food before adding to your meal.  Food packaging is not consistent over brands or even by region.  Please ensure that the food you are eating is safe for you and your family, and their needs. ::


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Heat a large skillet over medium heat a couple of turns of vegetable oil.  Add sausage and brown.  (remove your sausage from casing prior to browning!)

Once your sausage is brown add your diced onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 additional minute.

Now add your mushroom and a dash or two of salt and cook until your mushrooms soften.  Deglaze your pan with your win and let cook until wine reduces by half.

Add chopped zucchini and 1 jar (or 2 cups) of marinara sauce, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

In a 9×13 pan spread 1/3 of the remaining jar of marinara sauce along the bottom of the pan to cover.  Place 3 pieces of uncooked pasta crosswise over the sauce.

Sprinkle 4oz of mozzarella cheese substitute evenly over pasta.  Spread 1/2 of the meat/veggie/marinara mix evenly over cheese covering pasta completely.

Again – Place 3 pieces of uncooked pasta crosswise over the sauce.  Sprinkle 4oz of mozzarella cheese substitute evenly over pasta.  Spread 1/2 of the meat/veggie/marinara mix evenly over cheese covering pasta completely.

Cover with 3 more pieces of uncooked pasta, evenly spread the remaining marinara from jar over the pasta and top with 8oz of a mozzarella cheese substitute.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.


**Certainly this dish could be made with traditional lasagna noodles.  I appreciate the ease of not having to boil the noodles beforehand.

***This dish is very hearty and does not need the cheese substitute to be delish!

Dairy-Free White Spaghetti

4 Jun

I absolutely love this recipe.  It is creamy and rich, full of flavor, and full of love.  I created and recreated this recipe until it got just the “right” flavor, so yummy!

What you’ll need:

6 – skin on, bone-in chicken thighs

1 – medium yellow onion, chopped

1 lb chopped fresh button mushroom

Butter Substitute (I love Earth’s Balance)

couple of Tablespoons flour

4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (Or your favorite non-dairy milk – just make sure it’s not vanilla!)

salt and pepper

2 cups mozzarella flavored cheese substitute, shredded (I love Rice Shreds)

1lb spaghetti noodles, broken into pieces (I recently found a package of these, already broken, they worked perfectly! but regular length broken by you works well too!)

preferably a cast iron dutch oven that you can place directly in to the oven

:: As always, please read all packaged food before adding to your meal.  Food packaging is not consistent over brands or even by region.  Please ensure that the food you are eating is safe for you and your family, and their needs. ::

How to make it:

Heat your cast iron dutch over over medium heat and melt a couple tablespoons of butter substitute, salt and pepper the skin of your chicken and place in to the yummy melted butter, skin side down, and cover.  I usually reduce the heat slightly and let cook until your meat is done.  Look at that yummy, crispy skin!

Remove the chicken from the dutch oven, cover with towel, and set aside to cool.  While the chicken is cooling add the mushrooms and onions to the dutch oven (and the yummy pan drippings!) and cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms have released their juices.

Now I usually remove the onions and mushrooms from the dutch oven because I think it is easier to make a roux without them in there, but if you’re more talented than me it is entirely up to you!

Melt a couple more tablespoons of butter and incorporate a couple of tablespoons of flour with a whisk to make your roux.  Let your roux cook for a couple of minutes to brown up and then pour in your entire container of coconut milk, whisking to combine.

Bring to a boil and add back in the mushrooms and onions, also pull and chop the chicken meant from the bone and add to your sauce.  Also throw in and melt a handful of your cheese substitute.

While all of this is happen bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your spaghetti.  Drain and combine with your sauce in the cast iron dutch oven.  Cover with the remaining cheese.  Transfer to a 350 degree oven and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

This is seriously soul food.  It is hearty, it is creamy, and it just fills you up.

How This All Got Started

8 May

Six years ago we welcomed Dino-Man in to our family. It had been a difficult pregnancy and we were told many times that he would not make it. But defying all odds, and relying heavily on the power of prayer and God’s mercy and grace, he joined our family.

Within a couple of weeks of being born Dino-Man turned in to a non-stop crying fool. He would cry and cry and cry and all I could was rock his sweet self until the Soldier would get home from work and then he would rock him until bedtime.

We soon realized that much of the food I was eating was transferring through the milk he was consuming and making him terribly sick. For a year I then lived on the blandest diet possible, mostly chicken and rice.

In his first year of life we fought endless ear infections, by the second year it was regular asthma attacks. He then got so sick that we spent a Christmas in hospital as he cried in pain from his abdomen despite the morphine they were pumping in to him. We finally realized the poor guy is allergic to dairy, all forms of dairy, and removing that completely from his diet has alleviated both the abdominal pain as well as the asthma symptoms. Last fall he developed psoriasis, a condition often reserved for much older individuals, and we have had to once again evaluate what is going in to his body.

And through this a shift has started. Dino-man cannot eat like other children, most children’s menus have items that contain milk in one form or another. Most pre-packaged foods and dinner has dairy in them as well. Dairy hides in a lot of places my friend.

So I had one option, to become extremely diligent about everything he eats, and to start making most of his food. This had meant a return to the basics, simple vegetables, lean meats, and a little creativity. It means that some days I have to cook for two or three hours to make a dish that he can eat, and that we can all enjoy.

So here are the recipes that I have created, that I have found that are still creamy and delicious, kid-friendly and healthy.  Each one I have tried and re-tried until it tasted just right.  And the fun that we have between meals.