I used to be willing (and able) to put a lot of time and effort into cooking. I truly love to eat good food, and the only way to eat the kind of food I wanted to eat was to make it myself. So I did. And it was fun. I didn’t have a “real” job–being a volunteer baker by morning and an artist by night–and we didn’t have any kids yet. And even when the babies started joining us, I was still able to spend a good bit of time cooking.

I think it was after the birth of the Pickle, our third baby, when I realized that the dinner plans that had been working for us, were no longer working. I remember saying to myself, “I need something that I can just mix up in a bowl, pour into a dish and put in the oven for an hour or two,” and then realized that I had just defined…a casserole.

Friends, I am not naturally a casserole kind of cook. But with our joyful, bustling house of four kids and all that it brings (Legos in the garbage disposal, crayons in the toilet, a constant stream of runny noses, dirty diapers and broken toy detritus) I have learned to value The Casserole in the same way that I value my dishwasher–as an efficient, labor-saving means of getting a job done. In time, I even learned to enjoy The Casserole.

After only a few months of an allergen-free diet and a steady stream of “meat and three” meals, I found myself really longing for a casserole. Typically, casserole recipes rely on lots of dairy products to make them creamy and keep them from drying out in the oven. Add to that the eggs usually used for binding a bunch of ingredients together, and the gluten in the form of noodles or bread and it’s pretty much a train wreck for someone with diet restrictions.

So I was truly delighted to find this recipe in a gem of a cookbook by Silvana Nardone called Cooking for Isaiah. This book isn’t allergen-free, but it is gluten- and dairy-free, which gets you pretty far. This tasty recipe is so simple, but truly delightful–comforting enough for a chill winter evening, but also light enough to be savored in the summer.

Plan to Eat users, click on the recipe title below to access the pre-formatted recipe.

Chicken Rice Tetrazzini with Mushroom Gravy

Source:  Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice cereal crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 oz button mushroomssliced
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour mix
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk substitute
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups packed,chopped organic chicken

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the cereal crumbs, mustard and parsley.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add mushrooms and cook, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir for one minute. Stir in the wine (or broth) and milk substitute and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the water, the reamaining parsley, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  3. Spread the uncooked rice in the bottom of the baking dish, top with the chicken, pour the mushroom gravy on top. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly, about 30 min. Remove and sprinkle the mustard crumbs on top and drizzle with oil. Bake 5 minutes more until lightly browned and bubbly.

 

 

 

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