Things have been a little quiet around my blog for the past few weeks because I am pregnant! Even though I love to cook, I had no energy during the first trimester along with a very picky appetite. Food finally sounds good again and I’m back to cooking!
I know many women say it’s hard to eat gluten-free during pregnancy, because of all the cravings and food aversions. In my day-to-day life non-gluten-free foods don’t tempt me anymore. But during those first few weeks of pregnancy I thought I would die if I couldn’t have an Einstein’s bagel and cream cheese! Knowing what gluten does to my body and how it can even effect the baby during pregnancy prevented me from following through on any cravings. But it was hard!
I will write a separate post about gluten-free pregnancy and how I got through the first trimester. In addition to celiac disease, I also have PCOS. I really think the two are related. We have wanted to have another baby for a few years now and are thrilled I am finally pregnant! Infertility is such a challenge for so many. I am believer that whole, real foods and a clean diet can help.
When I’m pregnant a lot of the food I crave is food I grew up eating. My Grandma was known for her chicken and rice casserole. Unfortunately her recipe relies on cream soups and onion soup mix. When you eat gluten and dairy-free classic casserole dishes can be hard to recreate! Most of them rely on cheeses, white sauces, or cream soups for moisture and flavor.
This casserole is full of flavor and gets its creaminess from cashew cream. If you don’t like cashews don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like them. A combination of mushrooms, shallots, garlic, chicken stock, and a dash of gluten-free soy sauce make this casserole savory and satisfying. It can be made ahead and reheats wonderfully. For crunch, I sprinkle crushed organic corn chips over top of the casserole before baking it!
This casserole can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until dinner. Just wait to add the corn chip topping until just before baking. It also reheats wonderfully. I cook 1 1/2 cups dry brown rice with 3 1/2 cups chicken stock in my rice cooker for this recipe. I also like using leftover rotisserie chicken.
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons ghee, butter, or coconut oil
- 4 shallots, minced
- 4 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons GF flour
- 4 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1-2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos for soy-free)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (preferably cooked in chicken stock/broth)
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (I prefer rotisserie chicken)
- 3 cups broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 2 cups crushed organic corn tortilla chips
- 2 tablespoons melted ghee, butter, or coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the cashews and let sit for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 7-9 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 3 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse the cashews. Place them in a high-speed blender with 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Blend until completely smooth. Add the cashews to the sauce mixture along with the soy sauce and hot sauce. Remove from the heat.
- Stir the brown rice, chicken, and broccoli into the sauce. Taste and season with additional salt if needed and plenty of black pepper. Add up to 1/2 cup additional chicken stock if the mixture looks too thick. Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Combine the corn chips with the ghee and sprinkle evenly over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and golden on top. Enjoy!
Be sure to use coconut oil to keep this completely dairy-free.
Recipe inspired by a casserole from Meals Made Simple