Tag Archives: joyskitchen

Sunday Supper Spinach & Parmesan Risotto


The cooler weather is here and that means comfort foods!  My 7 year son requested his absolute fave  – risotto!  Although its a little labour intensive,  the end result is  definitely worth it.  This is my basic recipe for risotto – we really like parmesan risotto and I wanted to use up some spinach I had in the fridge so I added that.  Feel free to play with flavors and different tastes – mushrooms are another one of my faves for this dish.

Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Risotto

  • risotto4 cups homemade or organic chicken stock/broth
  • 1/4 c salted butter
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 -2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1  1/2 cup arborio rice (scant)
  • a few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 3TB butter  – cup up into chunks
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth/stock to a boil, turn down heat and allow to simmer.  Meanwhile, in a a deep dished fry pan, melt 1/4 c butter.  Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 min or until onion is soft.   Add garlic and stir for 1 min.  Add rice and stir for about 2 minutes.  Add the first 1.5 cup of hot stock (keep the stock hot throughout the process). The stock/rice will be boiling – adjust heat if you need to – to keep it at that temp..  Stir every couple of minutes until liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir and add liquid 1/2 c at a time until all stock is used up and rice is soft – this will take about 25 minutes.  At the 15 min or so mark, throw in the torn up spinach.  Keep stirring! When all of the liquid is absorbed, add 3 TB butter and stir to mix.  Remove from heat,  add parmesan cheese & salt and pepper to taste (taste it before adding salt).   Cover and allow to sit for 3 or 4 minutes.  Serve. EnJoy.
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No Noodles about it – this Chicken & Noodle Casserole is Gluten Free


I love casseroles, I love comfort food, I don’t love gluten (or rather it doesn’t love me). Here’s my gluten free cheesy chicken & noodle casserole recipe.  I have to admit that I started off making this as a tuna casserole – which I love but the rest of my family does not  – I was on my own for supper so I thought I would take advantage of it.  Unfortunately, once I started boiling the noodles and making the white sauce, I realized I had no tuna – so to fridge for the remaining roast chicken left overs it was!  It turned out awesome and as a bonus – I got to clear the fridge of misc leftovers too!

chicken and noddle casserole individual serving

Cheesy, Chicken & Noodle Casserole

  •   1/2 bag of Gluten Free (Rice) Noodles (I used mini shells)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced orange peppers
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chicken (leftovers work great!)

chicken and noddle casserole cooked

  •   about 2 cup white sauce (recipe below) * you can also use a can of undiluted cream of chicken soup – but read the ingredients if you are looking for gluten free – there is wheat in most of them.
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 tomato – chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • ** any other veggie you want to throw in! (use up leftovers here too! Broccoli  is great)
  • 1/4 cup GF bread crumbs (I use a multi-grain that I get from The Gluten Free Cookery, (available at select gourmet and butcher shops)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

White Sauce

  • 2-3TB margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose Gluten Free Flour (mine is a rice blend)
  • 1c- 1.5c milk
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper (to taste)
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 – 1 1/5 tsp Dijon Mustard (I go heavy on the Dijon because I really like it) or use 1 tsp dry mustard

White Sauce:  Heat saucepan over med high heat, melt butter/margarine, add flour and stir to form “paste” , add Dijon mustard, add pepper & salt, add milk slowly a little at a time stirring constantly until you get a thickened mixture.   You can add the shredded cheddar here – and keep stirring but I like to add the cheddar to the mixture after – this is the same way you’d made a cheese sauce for broccoli or scalloped potatoes…..

Casserole:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees C. Cook pasta according to instructions, when done, drain & rinse with cold water (this stops them from cooking any more and getting mushy and gross).  While pasta is cooking, place peppers and onions in a bowl covered in plastic wrap and microwave for 2 min (or saute).  Assemble all ingredients except bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese, in a bowl, mix.  Add noodles & white sauce.  Mix, pour into a greased casserole dish top with bread crumbs, then mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered  for 20 minutes (10-15 min longer if you have assembled this ahead of time and everything has cooled down – you want it to be hot (a min of 74 degree C).   enJoy.

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What am I all about?


Well I think its high time, since I’ve had this blank blog for almost a month now to create something profound and important and share with you all …. wait – I don’t really have anything profound to blog about – important?  well I guess that all depends on who’s reading!  Welcome to my blog – I write about the things that are important to me – nutrition, and well living whilst dabbling in a bit of humor and story telling (all true!!) wanna come along for the ride?  Fasten your seat belt here we go!

An intro might be in order – as much as I’d love to say I was fun, fit, and fabulous  – I’d be fibbing (see that literary skill with alteration pretty impressive eh?) so I will go with a definite fun and fabulous and striving to be fit.   O ya – I happen to be Canadian too (just in case you didn’t catch the “eh” at the end of my last sentence).  Of course I do have 2 young children, a husband and am starting a business,  so sometimes I’m just having a fit, or fit to be tied or not “fitting” into an outfit … But then I digress…. so besides being a typical time crunched mom I also used to be a commuter – used to be is the key there – ahhh there’s something to be missed about sitting in traffic breathing in environmental toxins and elevating your blood pressure for 3 hours a day isn’t there? – (Ya like you miss having a root canal).

When I decided to leave my corporate job and go out on my own I thought hmmm, what interests me?  What am I good at?  Well I love cooking so I started there.  I looked at my past situation – that being no time to do anything let alone nutrition – I mean I know its important but who the heck has time to whip something up after work before taking the kids to swimming, dancing, gymnastics or whatever else maybe on the agenda?  So I looked around – and hey wow there were lots of people just like me! I started doing some market research and found out some interesting stuff I mean facts.   Like – how about the fact of the 100 ish families  I surveyed 47% of them eat take out, or hit the drive thru 1-2 times a week for dinner 19% go thru 3-4 times a week.  Wow!  Then those same people stated that they check the nutritional breakdowns in the food they buy and are concerned about sodium, fats, and cholesterol and overall nutrition. Whaaaa?  Does anyone else see a contradiction here?   Everyone knows its bad but save from making things yourself, there just aren’t a lot of options out there.   This spoke to me – actually jumped up – slapped me in the face, wiggled its butt and shouted to me – WOOOOO – Girl I think you are on to something here … and thats how my story begins….

Once upon a time there was a girl named Joy that loved to cook, and be healthy, and live well and wanted her cake and to eat it too (‘cos everyone knows there are no calories in cake)  and so I bring you Joy In Your Kitchen.  – I’m not here to tout the virtues of my business – you can visit my web site for that  – I want to share with you my passion for living well (mentally, emotionally and physically) and along the way share some of my more humorous stories, trials and tribulations  – cos everyone knows that laughter is the BEST medicine and there’s just nothing better sometimes then a good ‘ol belly laugh ….

Welcome to my blog.