A Necessary Evil: Feeding the Writer

A Necessary Evil: Feeding the Writer…with a Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

I’m one of those writers who wants to go into the kitchen and ten minutes later be eating a solid meal. Second to that, I’m good with a dish that I can cook and still be eating several days later.

While I’m a decent cook, it’s not my passion. Nor, do I like being in the kitchen every day. Every few days is my preference. Cooking for one makes that easy to do.

Now that I’ve been diagnosed with celiac (can’t eat gluten), with a long list of allergies that includes all dairy products, (No more butter? NO!), finding substitutes for my beloved pre-celiac dishes has been a challenge. Thankfully more companies are producing gluten-free and dairy-free products.

(I highly recommend Country Crock’s Plant Butter made from almonds. It spreads like butter and even better, it tastes like butter!)

One such product that I discovered just before Thanksgiving was Savory Stuffing by Aleia. While I still miss the traditional crouton stuffing, this one tastes pretty good. Aleia has a box of plain stuffing croutons, as well.

I’m now using this savory stuffing, along with traditional stuffing ingredients and chicken to create a one-pan, one-dish meal.

The thing is, this recipe can work for anyone. Just substitute your preferred croutons and butter for mine, plus you can use more or less vegetables as desired. I like lots, so I actually use more than the recommended 1 cup.

My gluten-free, dairy-free recipe:

  • 1 box Aleia Savory Stuffing mix
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery (I’ve discovered I can freeze chopped celery!)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 T Almond Plant butter
  • 1.5 cups of chicken – I use whatever is handy: canned or leftover cooked
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Saute the carrots, celery, and onion until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender.

Mix everything in a large bowl, until the stuffing is moistened and all is thoroughly mixed. Pour into a baking dish.

Bake at 350, covered with foil, for 20 minutes.

If you want a crispy crust, bake for about 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until top is crusty to your preference.

To serve up as leftovers, dish desired amount into a bowl, add some chicken gravy and heat in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes or until hot.

***

I had two bowls of this dish tonight, barely making a dent of the total amont. I now have leftovers for the rest of the week. And, I’m willing to eat this for both lunch and dinner if it means not having to fix anything else for the week, adding a salad here and there, along with eggs for breakfast. 

How about you? Do you have a favorite dish you like to make while you’re writing that allows you to forget about cooking for a few days?

About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
This entry was posted in #amwriting, Writer at Work, writing, Writing Behind the Scenes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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