I Must Love Me Too

If you have neglected yourself,
make a sincere apology to thee.
Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life
and start counting "I-must-love-me-too".
In no time at all you have
a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Marsala and Dairy Free Pasta Alfredo

First thing first. “Alfredo” is probably not the right word for this sauce, at least not in a technical sense because it lacks one of the most important components of a true Alfredo sauce…Parmesan cheese (shhh…it also lacks the butter and heavy cream, but I won’t tell if you won’t tell). ;-)

This is a relatively quick and easy meal to prepare, assuming you have some cashew cream cheese already made up (or you can easily use Tofutti cream cheese if soy is not on your “no” list). The first time I made the dairy-free Alfredo pasta (above photo), I kept it plain and simple. I have since been adding various steamed or roasted veggies, grilled chicken and have even tossed in some smoked salmon. My once again super picky 3 year old will eat the smoked salmon but throw the chicken on the floor for our dogs, go figure. :shock:

Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce (adapted from this highly rated recipe I found on AllRecipes.com)

1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter Spread (Ghee might also be a good choice for those who are on a casein-free diet)

8-oz. Cashew Cream Cheese (see below)

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese in the Vitamix

1 1/2 cups Raw Cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 – 3/4 cup Water (I used 3/4 cup of water, but I will try using 1/2 cup next time so I can compare the two)

3 Tbs. Hummus Hummus
Originally by Saad Fayed, Tweaked by Clara

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil + extra
Optional: Cumin, Coriander, Chili Powder

Drain chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid from can.

Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor.

Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas.

Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Place in serving bowl.

Create a shallow well in the center of the hummus and pour in some more olive oil, sprinkle paprika (and any other spices) all over.

This recipe is highly adaptable. Add more of the chickpea juice if you like liquidier hummus, leave some out if you like thicker - add more/less lemon juice or garlic depending on your tastes. Also, experiment with different additions for lots of different flavors! After everything is good and creamy, I like to add in a small can of black olives (drained) and blend it just until they are all in tiny pieces. If I have roasted garlic on-hand, I replace the raw clove with an entire head of roasted garlic (SO good). I've also seen others throw in a roasted red pepper or cheese and even sesame seeds.

1 Tbs. Oil (I used Sunflower Oil)

2 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 – 2 tsp. Fine Sea Salt (this is based on your personal taste preferences. I used 1/2 tsp. because I am sensitive to salt, my hubby thought 1 tsp. would be perfect).

2 tsp. Garlic Powder

2 cups So Delicious Original Coconut Milk

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.
  • Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in pepper.
  • Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.
  • Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long.
  • Toss with hot pasta to serve.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chicken Marsala (adapted from another highly rated recipe on AllRecipes.com)

1/4 cup of your favorite Gluten-Free Flour, for coating (I used Better Batter All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. ground Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. dried Oregano

4 skinless, boneless Chicken Breast Halves

4 Tbs. Earth Balance (if you cannot have corn, just use oil instead)

4 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 cup sliced Mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas)

1/2 cup Marsala wine

1/4 cup Dry Sherry

  • In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter replacement in oil over medium heat (or just heat all oil, I love to use Sunflower and/or Grapeseed oil).
  • Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown on both sides, remove from pan, place on a plate and set aside.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms to the hot pan, cook through
  • Return cooked chicken to the pan (make sure the pan is still very hot, if not, turn the heat back to medium-high).
  • Add the Marsala wine and dry sherry to the hot pan to deglaze and pick up all the yummy stuff stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear (I like to use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165° F.).