Butternut “Cheesy” Chicken [Dairy free, Gluten free, Grain free, Sugar free]

 

Casserole and soup weather is definitely upon us!  In attempting this recipe below, I was looking to create a dish with a cheesy effect, without using nutritional yeast as the cheese tasting alternative.  Looking at various recipes I came across a Vegetable noodle with Butternut recipe, that I adapted for this casserole. Following the success of my dairy free, gluten free, grain free and sugar free Chicken Chicken Ala King recipe, this dish falls into the similar amazing category.

 
The completed dish may not have a cheesy taste,(or maybe it does, not having tasted cheese in about 10 months my mind and taste buds are altered? – or it could be the apple cider vinegar that gives it this taste) but it creates that impression with the blend of the coconut cream and butternut, creating a cheesy colour and definitely a creamy-silky smooth texture of melted cheddar or gouda cheese! What I discovered in cooking this dish, is that the ratio of chicken to the butternut should be increased as I used about 2 1/2 cups of mashed butternut.
 
The herbamare seasoning, which is made up of sea salt and dehydrated herbs, adds a fabulous flavour without the inclusion of fresh herbs – which you may opt to use, along with plain Himalayan or Sea salt to season.  A good grinding of black pepper, if you prefer, will add to the taste definition of this casserole.
 
 
Ingredients
 
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (you can use more as you prefer)
1 1/3 cups cooked and mashed butternut 
1/4 cup coconut cream (the topping of a can of coconut milk. Don’t shake the can)
2-4 tblsp ghee or grass-fed butter olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil will impart a stronger coconut taste which you may want to avoid)
1/2 cup fresh celery, or carrots, chopped 
1 tsp. Herbamare seasoning salt or Himalayan / Sea Salt with your favourite dried herbs
1-2 tblsp raw apple cider vinegar
 
Optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut for the topping
Preferred seasoning, spices, vegetable inclusion and accompaniments
 
Here’s How
  • The butternut may be cooked in various ways, steaming, baking in the oven or braising in onion, fresh garlic cumin seeds, black mustard seeds (which add a spicy, aromatic and rustic taste) and if preferred, chilli – which ever way you choose, it’s important to mash the butternut into a creamy smooth consistency – your food processor may come in handy here.

  • Add all the ingredients into a pot and cook over medium heat until the celery has softened (it tastes great with the celery crunch) and the mix is melty and creamy in texture.  If you are cooking the butternut without seasoning or spice, you may opt to sauté half a chopped onion with a pinch of cumin seeds in the ghee or fat of choice, before adding the rest of the ingredients,  to add some depth in flavour to this creamy casserole.  You could add the mix into a casserole dish and cook uncovered in the oven. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.

  • If you prefer, toast the coconut in a non-stick frying pan, on medium heat. Stir until golden and toasty which will take just a few minutes
  • Served with a crisp salad, this makes a meal par excellence!

 
 

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    Prava Singh

    A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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