D.F.D.F. {Dairy-Free Delicious Food} : Chicken Pot Pie

Welcome to the first installment of DFDF!! Dairy Free Delicious Food! Although all my food is dairy-free, I came up with this cool new acronym. I can’t really decide if it’s actually cool, or 5th grade cool. Maybe I secretly know the answer to that…:)

Anyway, today’s tasty recipe is down-home chicken pot pie! Here’s how I make it. Of course if you’re not omitting dairy, tweak the recipe accordingly (as us dairy-free cooks have to do with all those other recipes!)


  •  5-6 small potatoes (cut into dice-sized pieces)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • one onion, chopped
  • couple stalks of celery, chopped
  • some broccoli (I was in a healthy mood), chopped
  • butter/butter substitute
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (not shown)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pre-made pie crust (Pillsbury is dairy-free.)
  • bay leaf
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken (not shown)
  • TB of flour (not shown)

I know, I know… my ingredient lists are starting to look like a fraternity’s yearbook photo with all these “not showns.” I’ll work on it.


So what I do first is wash, chop, and saute all the vegetables in olive oil. Make sure the potatoes are diced in small pieces, so they are thoroughly cooked. I like to get really nice color on them, but not let them be too mushy, as they will cook in the oven as well. (Maybe saute for 10-15 minutes?) Again, test the potatoes and make sure they are slightly soft.

Now you need to get that creamy, pot-pie feeling for the inside. What I do is clear a hole in the pot, melt the butter (TB or so), and then add the flour. I mix up the melted butter and flour so it’s not clumpy.

Just imagine all that blurriness is steam. I’m pretty sure it is, but it might be butter on the lens. Who knows. Now we need to add the liquid – chicken broth and milk. Then you just let it simmer for a bit.

You may need to add a little more liquid. Keep in mind that it will thicken in the oven, so make sure it’s not too dry before you bake it. Then pour it in a pan. Since you apparently have way too much time on your hands and need a 3rd child around, make a cool criss-cross crust. I think it’s actually called “lattice pie crust.”

Hey, stop laughing at my lattices.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges.

Let cool for a really long time before you serve to little ones. They don’t forgive you if they burn their tongues. Enjoy! D.F.D.F., right!


Don’t Be Afraid of a Raw Naked Chicken! {20 uses for a whole chicken}

image: salsachica (stock.xchng)

I can actually remember the first time I bought a “whole roasting chicken” at the grocery store. It only took 28 years of my life to build up the courage. I felt so mature and culinary, scooching the whole thing in a plastic bag in front of everybody. The part I remember, though, happened later in my kitchen while on the phone with my mom. I was staring at it plopped raw in the sink.

me: Do I rinse it off? Do I put it right in the pan? What do I do with the juice? (Couldn’t bring myself to say “blood.” I was going to try to eat this thing later, after all.)

mom: You can rinse if you want. But you’ll have to reach in there and take out the gizzards. Usually they wrap the gizzards up in the cavity.

(long pause)

me: the what? I have to do what?

That was when I was officially a grown-up, the day I fished plastic-sealed gizzards out of a raw chicken. I had arrived. {ps. WHY do they include shrink-wrapped gizzards in chickens??? Raise your hand if you ever in your life plan on using them. Hmmm. That’s what I thought!!!}

But hang on, I’m not doing such a good job selling you on the whole start-buying-a-whole-chicken thing, am I? Let me start over.

While dealing with the “whole roaster” does have about 3.5 minutes of definite grossness, It Is Well Worth It.

It impresses. It makes the house smell incredible. It’s frugal. It is a blank slate for a million dinners and just as many leftover lunches. And, it is super, super easy (minus the gizzard issue, but we’ll get to that.)

You see, if you make the simple Roasted Chicken in the Crockpot, you not only have one delicious meal, you also have:

  1. delicious leftover chicken for another recipe, and…
  2. a chicken carcass. Which you may be tempted to toss in the trash. For the love of everything good, DON’T!!!! A chicken carcass is a goose that lays the golden eggs! (Weird analogy, Jessica. Just odd.) But it is though! It’s the gift that keeps on giving! (?) Because….You can make homemade chicken broth!!

Doesn’t that just look delicious? It is so easy-cheesy, too. Homemade chicken broth saves you $10+ a month, is lower-sodium, with no-MSG or weird ingredients. Here’s how you make chicken broth.

ingredients. not pictured: chicken carcass. (you’re welcome.)

  • Take all the meat off the whole chicken. Put everything else back in a huge pot. Bones, skin –  everything. Fill the really big pot up with water. Then, add a few carrots, celery, and a large onion, all roughly chopped. Add a bay leaf, a good amount of salt, ground pepper, dried thyme, and some cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. Do you love how my instructions are so incredibly specific?
  • Bring your pot to a boil. Then, lower to a simmer and let it just hang out for 1-2 hours.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let it cool off a while. When it’s warm but not hot, put a strainer on top of a giant bowl and pour your broth over. And ta-da, CHICKEN BROTH! I store mine in containers like these:

I usually end up with about 4 containers of these of broth. Soooo, from just one little chicken, you now have one delicious dinner, leftover chicken meat, chicken broth, and so many possibilities! (super-obvious note: Not saying you can make 20 meals from one chicken. Here are your 20 meal ideas for chicken meat and/or broth! If there is a favorite recipe I use, I linked to it.

  1. Your roasted rotisserie chicken dinner. Of course, you could also cook your whole chicken in the oven, in which case you would want to use this recipe. But the thing is, no matter how wonderful a cook the Barefoot Contessa is, she is not standing in your kitchen with you, and thus, cannot help you determine if the poultry is fully cooked. I will leave it at that, and not tell you about the time I hosted my sister and brother-in-law to serve them roast chicken. I just won’t tell you about that time. So I recommend the crockpot method. It is literally foolproof. As long as you don’t forget to turn the crockpot on in the morning. (Who would do that?? Hmmm.) All you have to do is open the chicken plastic, take out the you-know-whats, plop the chicken in the crockpot, cover with spices, cook for 8 hours. Viola. Rotisserie Chicken. I recommend serving this with some homemade mashed potatoes, apple sauce, and a spinach salad. Or french fries and biscuits. You choose. So now here are 20 more recipes to use up your chicken broth and/or leftover chicken!
  2. chicken enchiladas
  3. white chicken chili
  4. roasted chicken paninis (ask my cousin Molly for a recipe, and I bet she got it from Giada deLaurentis.)
  5. buffalo chicken pizza
  6. Chicken, avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and lime mayonnaise sandwiches (I made that up. Very tricky. Just add all the ingredients I just listed.)
  7. chicken pot pie  – the world’s most perfect comfort food
  8. chicken enchilada soup
  9. chicken mexican casserole (surprisingly really good, even without the cheese)
  10. chicken fried rice (no one in the whole world makes it as good as my sister Julie. Recipe, Julie??)
  11. Baked Chicken Taquitos
  12. Carmelized Onion and Chicken Tostadas
  13. Black Bean soup
  14. Risotto
  15. French Onion soup
  16. Ham and Bean soup
  17. Potato Corn Chowder (thanks to my friend Katie for this suggestion)
  18. Katie’s Mexican Stew (hey, thanks for that one, too, Kate!)
  19. Southwestern Chicken Salad with cilantro vinegarette
  20. Simple, sweet, and spicy chicken wraps

Whew! I am chickened out! You’re welcome!! 🙂

Southwest-topped Sweet Potatoes

I owe my friend Katie for this idea. I’m can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before! I was surprised how completely delicious and satisfying it was! My boys devoured it, and even my husband said he thought it was delicious and asked me to make it again! So there you have it! 🙂


  • sweet potatoes (one for each person)
  • can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • frozen corn (not shown)
  • 1/4 lb of ground turkey or beef (I only used a little meat and it still tasted delicious)
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • toppings: butter, avocado, hot sauce, lime, cheese

Bake the sweet potatoes as you normally would. Scrub them, poke holes, baked completely. In a skillet, heat oil and cook meat. Add generous amounts of spices and salt, and then the rinsed black beans, and finally, the frozen corn. Allow this to cook through so the flavors meld. Slice open the potato and top with butter. Then add a sprinkle of salt and your bean mixture. Top with your choice of toppings. The avocado especially is delish!

Recipe review: Roasted Chicken in the Crock Pot

Here is my review: This is AMAZING. It tastes like a rotisserie chicken, truly! So easy, too!

( recipe)

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. black pepper

pinch chili powder

whole chicken

4 peeled garlic cloves

onion, quartered


  1.  Stir together spices in a small bowl.


  1.  Skin chicken and rub with spice mixture.


  1.  Place chicken breast-side down with garlic and onion inside cavity, in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8.

Carmelized Onion and Chicken Tostadas

Unlike my sister Julie, I don’t invent recipes. I copy, I adapt, I follow recipes. So when I DO invent a recipe, I am so. stinkin. proud. Add to it that tonight I put this together in 30 minutes. And it was delicious!! So good! I guess this is just another testiment to the vast amount of things that can be accomplished when your husband is home.


  • 8 corn or flour tortillas – 6 inch
  • can of black beans
  • 1/2 lb. meat of your choice. (I usually hate when recipes say this, because it reminds me of the “choose your adventure” books and how good could a recipe be if something like meat is not specific? However, honestly – lots of things would be so yummy here. Leftover pork tenderloin, rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef.)
  • one onion
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • cilantro
  • mexican spice mix (if you don’t have something along these lines available a splash of Tabasco would work)


  • Toast tostadas: Brush each side with olive oil. Put under the broiler for 3 minutes, watching closely. When they are browned, flip sides. Set them aside.
  • Caramelize onion: Slice onion vertically. Put in a pan with steaming olive oil on medium heat. Cook for a while until they are brown in color. I add 1/2 t of sugar about halfway through.
  • Prepare meat: saute ground beef or grill chicken breast and slice. Set aside.
  • Dice avocado and tomato and wash and chop cilantro.
  • Layer tostadas: tortilla, onion, meat, beans. If you are like me and like your food very HOT to taste, stick these layered tortillas back under the broiler at this point. Then add avocado, tomato, and cilantro.
  • Serves 4.


dairy-free spaghetti and meatballs

I loved making this meal on my dairy-free diet because I always felt so satisfied after eating it. It is delicious! To make it more allergy-friendly, you could substitute rice pasta. Even better, spaghetti squash.

Meatballs: I can’t take credit for my meatballs. I use the meatballs recipe here at Speedbump Kitchen. If you are wheat-free, omit the bread crumbs. Make sure you use lots of oil when you saute the onion.

Spaghetti Sauce:


– I use a basic jarred pasta sauce as my base.

– onion

– red or green pepper

– 4 shredded carrots

– garlic

– crushed red pepper


– olive oil


Saute chopped onion in olive oil. Add chopped peppers after a minute or two. Saute until soft. Add salt and pepper generously along with a few cloves of pressed garlic. Add shredded carrot and cook just until it turns a bright orange color. Add jarred spaghetti sauce and a spoonful of sugar, simmer for 20 minutes, and then season to taste. Add meatballs and spoon over your pasta or spaghetti sauce. Serve with a balsamic-dressed salad!

– meatballs (see above)

recipe review: Rachel Ray’s Fall Pork Chops with Cider

This allergy-friendly recipe was DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, pork chops are my nemesis. All I will say is to make sure you cook them for MORE than this recipe says and make sure they are done :) . I will leave it at that. But truly, this was such a wonderful recipe and perfect for fall.  Way to go, Rachel. Oh, and I’ll also add this. It’s probably better for a night you will have an extra hand with kids, if you have kids. It is a little time-intesive just at the very end. But very worth it!


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1-inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, yellow or red, thinly sliced
  • 2 Gala or Golden Delicious apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter (dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 rounded tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Directions

    In a medium pot add sweet potatoes and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until fork tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

    Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork 5 minutes on the first side until deeply golden, turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes more with a loose foil tent over the pan. Remove cooked chops to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add another turn of the pan of olive oil, add the onions and apples. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and cook until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Douse with juice of a lemon and remove onions and apples to a bowl; keep warm.

    Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet, melt then whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in cider and 1 cup of stock. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Thicken 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

    Drain cooked sweet potatoes and return pan to stove. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and combine with marmalade and 1 cup stock. Add potatoes and mash, season with salt and pepper.

    Serve chop covered with apples and onions, gravy poured down, and sweet potatoes aside.