When you are a kid in any part of the world it seems like “chicken and rice” is a staple type of food. How those components are dressed is different depending on time of year, climate, and culture but all those aside we can all agree we kinda love the simplicity of this dish. It is fall and I had a few friends show up unexpectedly at my house last night. I literally had NO idea they were coming with their two kids and fairly large German shepherd – coyote mix (Ryder) who is my tiny 9 lb rat terrier – chihuahua mix’s (Lola) best friend (I know it’s odd but adorable. Pics of Lola are posted below). That being said I had to make up food in a snap for an all omnivore crowd with one child that is citrus and citric acid intolerant. That means no tomatoes or lemon or orange or lime. Which, oddly, I use quite a bit. So I figured a nice chicken and rice dish with a pumpkin cream sauce sounded easy enough. I grabbed my steamer and away we went. I steamed Rice Select Royal Blend with Red Quinoa on the brown rice setting of my steamer/rice cooker with water salt and earth balance per the cartons instructions and then went off to make my pumpkin sauce.
The upside? They brought a raw vegan pumpkin pie that was sooo delicious. Thanks guys!
(Lola and Ryder having dinner at Ryder’s house a few months ago)
Chicken with a Creamy Sage Pumpkin Sauce
- 1 Container Beyond Meat Chicken-less Strips (lightly salted)
- 1 can Pumpkin
- 2 tbsp dehydrated onion
- 1-2 tbsp Salt
- 2 pinches Ground Pepper
- 4 tbsp ground sage
- 1-2 tsp Thyme
- 2 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 cup Soy Creamer
- 1/4 cup Pacific Natural Foods Hazelnut Milk
- Place medium to large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add all ingredients to sauce pan except chicken.
- Dice chicken set aside.
- Stir ingredients until mozzarella melts into the sauce.
- Add chicken. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
- Serve over or beside rice.
- Garnish with parsley and unsalted raw chopped pecans.
WW Points for Chicken and Sauce: 4
Food is Love.
The Hippie Gypsy
PHOTO of MY DOG LOLA with my Husband and I:
The leaves have fallen here in Boston and Thanksgiving is seemingly right around the corner. In a month or so we vegans will be all gorging ourselves on root veggies and Tofurky. I love Thanksgiving. It is one of those days that you can remember just by smell. It has its own foods and own seasonings. I relate Sage and Thyme to Thanksgiving. As soon as I smell them I am like “mmmmmm”. It brings my 10-year-old self back to sneaking stuffing and scoops of mashed potatoes before the Turkey cooled. In my family I am in charge of Thanksgiving. Which I love. I love cooking everything (except the Turkey because the husband does that although I do try to help prep it). I make my own stuffing from scratch and then some bagged for extra and to stuff the turkey which I don’t eat obviously. However who doesn’t have leftovers? I only know one family. My aunt and uncle because they have 11 kids over the age of 16 and many have their own kids. So I was informed there are no leftovers and 20lbs of potatoes involved. It gave me flashes of a catering company trying to work out of my own kitchen. Insanity!
So back to leftovers. We usually have stuffing, roasted veggies, and potatoes. Why not make these leftovers into something you can eat later in the week. It doesn’t have to be thanksgiving everyday for the next month. You may (or may not) get sick of it but transforming it is something that will make it that much better. Or heck just make this casserole as a side dish or a meal anytime in teh fall or winter as it is definitely a hearty and yummy one that my husband gladly eats out of a mixing bowl. Here is my adaptation to a Whole Foods Recipe I noted last thanksgiving that I love for a Butternut Squash Macaroni Casserole.
Butternut Squash Pasta Casserole with a Stuffing Topping
- (1) package of dry bagged herb stuffing
- Water or Veggie Broth
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- (1) Can Coconut Milk
- 2lbs of Butternut Squash Diced into Small Cubes (I buy it already cubed, frozen cubes, or use leftover roasted squash)
- 2tbsp Olive Oil
- (1) White or Yellow Onion Diced
- 3/4-1lb of Pasta (do not use noodles like spaghetti or angel hair)
- 1cup toasted Walnuts or Pecans
- Pam or Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a muffin tin with oil and place nuts in it. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Bake for 10-15minutes to toast them.
- Spray a large casserole dish and place to the side for the casserole.
- In a mixing bowl add broth or water to the dry stuffing and salt, pepper, thyme, and sage and a little bit of melted butter or olive oil helps. When welll combined and wet place to the side. This will be your topping.
- Use a large sauce pan to boil salted water for the pasta. Cover and place on high.
- In a smaller sauce pan place 2tbsp olive oil, salt, and peper over medium until warm adding diced onion into it until soft and golden.
- Take onions and puree them with a mixer or blender and dump back in sauce pan.
- Add coconut milk (I use Goya or 365) and squash to onion pan mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook down.
- When water comes to a boil add pasta and cook until al dente.
- Drain pasta. Spray bottom of pasta sauce pan with olive oil so the pasta does not stick.
- Return pasta to pot.
- When the squash is soft and the mixture has thickened add to the pasta and stir until well combined.
- Then add toasted nuts and 1-2 tablespoons of chopped sage.
- Place mixture in oiled casserole dish and press flat. Sprinkle with salt.
- Top with stuffing mixture.
- Bake for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Serves 8.
Food is Love.
The Hippie Gypsy