dinner

BHG Guest Blogger

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Greetings! I am Julia from Julia’s Album – a blog dedicated to creating easy-to-make weeknight (and weekend) dinner recipes, as well as an occasional dessert. I love savory dishes (dinners, soups, salads) – and you’ll find lots of those over at Julia’s Album. I started following a gluten free diet last year, and the majority of savory recipes on my site are gluten free or include a gluten-free option. My blog is a great resource for busy people (that’s all of us, right?!) who want to eat well without spending a ton of time on cooking.

I love making traditional comfort food recipes, which is why this wonderful Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole on BHG.com immediately got my attention.

The original recipe calls for a can of cream of chicken or a can of condensed chicken soup, both of which usually have gluten. To make this recipe gluten free, I instead combined chicken broth with gluten free flour, then added the sour cream which provided just the right amount of creaminess!  This combination is a perfect substitution for those canned soups.  What I really love about recipes like this one is that it will appeal not only to gluten-free people but to everybody who loves comfort food made with real, whole ingredients – you know exactly what goes into your meal!

What also attracted me to this BHG.com recipe is wild rice, which I love! It’s intensely flavorful, savory, and keeps its great texture really well in a casserole dish. And, I can’t resist those colors:

Click here to get the list of ingredients and directions for this Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

And, here are the changes I made:

  • I used 100% wild rice in the recipe instead of wild & white rice mix. I used 1 cup of wild rice (the recipe calls for 6 oz, which equals 1 cup of rice). I cooked 1 cup of wild rice in 1 and ¾ cups of water. Wild rice takes a while to cook (30 to 45 minutes) – make sure to plan ahead.
  • I used 2 cups of gluten-free chicken broth instead of two liquid ingredients (to sub for 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1/3 cup dry white wine – exclude both of those in the gluten free version).
  • I used 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of multi-purpose gluten-free flour to thicken the chicken broth above. This is how I did it: I whisked together gluten-free flour and 1/2 cup of gluten-free chicken broth in a small bowl until it was all smooth and there were no lumps. In step 3 of the recipe I added the remaining 1 and ½ cups of chicken broth to the skillet with cooked onions and celery, brought the mixture to boil, and at that point added my ½ cup of chicken broth blended with gluten-free flour. I simmered the mixture for a couple of minutes until it thickened nicely and was bubbly. The mixture then is further thickened with added sour cream, cooked chicken, and rice.
  • The recipe calls for ½ cup of sour cream. I found that this amount works just fine but you can add a couple of extra tablespoons if you like!
  • Before you transfer your casserole from a large skillet into a baking dish, make sure to season it well with salt and pepper while it’s still in a skillet! Since we’re not using the canned soups (which would’ve provided the needed amount of salt) and instead we’re using chicken broth thickened with flour and sour cream, our dish will need some extra salt and pepper!

I liked this dish so much, I actually made it twice! Second time, I doubled the recipe and used a 3-quart (2.8 liter) baking dish. The original BHG recipe makes 4 servings, so if you want any leftovers, make sure to double the recipe and double my gluten-free substitutions too.

And here is a step-by-step photo collage to help you visualize how to make this simple dish:

To see the full recipe click here and use my substitutions above to make it gluten free!


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: I Wash You Dry // Chili-Pasta Skillet

Hey guys! I’m Shawn from I Wash You Dry, where I blog about simple recipes with easy clean up. With school back in session, I’m all about no fuss dinners and the least amount of dishes as possible.

Who wants to spend more time than we need to in the kitchen?

Not this gal!

That’s why I love making one-skillet dinners like this cheesy One Skillet Baked Ziti and these mouthwatering Macho Nachos. When Better Homes and Gardens asked me to find a recipe on their site and recreate it, it was a no-brainer. This Chili-Pasta Skillet practically jumped right out at me and begged me to recreate it.

Chili-Pasta Skillet

There wasn’t much that I altered from the recipe’s original state, just a couple things here and there to give it my own personal flare.

The recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, but I pumped up the flavor by using a can of fire roasted tomatoes, which added a little more depth to this saucy dish. I also used my family’s favorite – black beans, instead of the pinto beans.

Known fact – my three year old daughter could put away a whole can of black beans if I let her. Which I won’t, but still, that girl loves her beans!

Chili-Pasta Skillet

The original recipe calls for elbow macaroni, but I used these fun swirly and twisted macaroni instead. Our family also loves the flavor of a good marbled cheddar over our chili, so instead of the monterey jack cheese it called for in the recipe, we used the marbled cheddar.

We also topped it off with some diced green onions and other chili toppings like diced tomato, avocado and of course, some sour cream!

Chili Pasta Skillet

My favorite part about this hearty, complete dinner?

One pan!

Oh yes, ladies and gents, even the pasta gets cooked in the same pan! Which makes for one happy Mama. And when Mama is happy, the whole family is happy. Make sure you check out the full recipe HERE, and don’t be afraid to make it your own!

Be sure to stop by my BLOG and say hi! See you there!


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Curly Kale and Curly Pasta Salad

I love making pasta salads when entertaining because it’s easy to make a lot, not too pricey, filling, and they are great at room temperature. This pasta salad recipe is nicely balanced with beans and greens, and a store-bought pesto makes it so easy! I adapted BHG’s Italian Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by adding kale and pecans.

I pull the kale off the stalks and shred them into pieces by hand. After boiling the pasta, I throw the kale in that same pot, with a bit of olive oil, and saute´ briefly until wilted and bright green. I then toss the hot pasta with the greens, canned beans and pesto.

Chopped green scallions and toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top before serving, or mixed in, for an extra crunchy kick.

This dish is great served warm or at room temperature, and is easily made ahead.

For the full recipe, click here. I simply substituted kale and pecans for the suggested arugula and pine nuts. The dish could also be made vegan by leaving out the cheese and using a dairy-free pesto. It could easily be made with gluten-free pasta as well. Enjoy!

Recipe adaptation and photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods. 


Kelly Senyei

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

Skip the forks in favor of skewers with this quick and easy recipe for Five-Spice Beef Kabobs that can be cooked on the grill or on the stove. 

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

Nothing says “it’s almost summer” quite like food on a stick, from fruit-filled popsicles by the pool to crispy corndogs at the State Fair. And with May right around the corner, I could think of no better way to usher in warmer weather than with grilled Five-Spice Beef Kabobs.

This finger-friendly appetizer or main dish stars marinated flank steak that’s seared and then served hot with a tangy yogurt dipping sauce. I’ve added a few twists of my own to the original recipe, so read on for step-by-step instructions, plus tips for how to skip the grill in favor of a grill pan.

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

I’m a big fan of bold steak marinades, so I’d recommend kicking up the original marinade recipe with my simple updates and additions:

  • Increase the soy sauce to 1/4 cup
  • Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Add 2 teaspoons honey

I opted to marinate the skewers for two hours, which guarantees a bigger flavor contribution from the soy sauce and garlic.

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

The secret to extra-tender beef skewers is to lightly flatten the steak with a meat tenderizer. This added step ensures the skewers will cook evenly and at the same rate. And rather than grill the skewers on an outdoor grill, I opted to use a grill pan right atop my stove. Simply sear the kabobs for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they reach your desired degree of doneness.

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

A beef kabob just wouldn’t be a beef kabob without a dipping sauce to match. Cool off the heat from the skewers with this simple yogurt dip, and up the crunch factor by stirring in 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers for a refreshing bite.

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

Ready to dip and dunk? Celebrate spring with this quick and easy recipe for Five-Spice Beef Kabobs.

- Kelly Senyei, Just a Taste


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Two Tomato Carrot Ribbon Pasta

There’s something so satisfying (yet a bit indulgent) about a big plate of pasta, right? But what if you could make it just a little lighter and shave off a little of that guilt? Starting with this recipe, I replaced half the noodles with carrot ribbons, and guess what…JUST as satisfying! It’s a great flavor combo, too- sun dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, parsley and fresh mozzarella balls. Perfect when entertaining, or for a weeknight dinner.

Click HERE for the BHG recipe that I have adapted. Use any type of pasta you’d like (wheat, gluten-free, etc…they type I used with the curly edges is called Riccia). To lighten things up, substitute about half of the pasta serving per person with carrot ribbons. I have found this to be about 1-2 carrots per serving, depending on how big the carrots are. When boiling the pasta, I just throw the carrot ribbons in the water for the last 1 minute the pasta is cooking, then strain it all together. But be sure not to leave the carrots in too long- they are so thin that they will fall apart quickly when over cooked. One minute or less should do it, just until they start to wilt.

You can also use carrot ribbons to replace all the pasta if you like! For this version, instead of boiling the carrots, try just quickly sauteeing the ribbons over medium heat in a non-stick pan with a bit of olive oil until they wilt (about 3 minutes).

For the Two-Tomato Pasta recipe, click here. For my version substitute carrot ribbons for half (or all!) of the pasta. Enjoy!

Photos and illustration by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a blog and cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.

 


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Half Baked Harvest

Hi Guys! I’m Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest and I’m beyond excited to be posting over here on the BHG blog, Delish Dish! Better Homes and Gardens has been one of my very favorite magazines since I was thirteen. I know, I was an odd thirteen year old, but I loved paging through the magazine and looking over all the fun recipes and gorgeous kitchens/homes. I love all things design and food, so obviously Better Homes and Gardens is perfect for me.

I am currently renovating an old barn and converting it into my very own house. The room I am most excited for is the kitchen. I spend almost all day in my kitchen recipe testing, photographing and generally just making one giant mess.  I have been looking to Better Homes and Gardens for inspiration and I am currently loving all their spring colors. I am all about simple and clean with pops of color here and there!  I feel that my cooking reflects that. Right now I am craving colorful fresh foods. I love any fruit and veggie there is and I am obsessed with avocados!

 

When I was looking through the BHG site I had the hardest time choosing a recipe to make. I mean, there are so many beautiful and delicious recipes! Choosing just one took forever.

I narrowed down my recipes from about twenty, to a handful and then finally went with these Baja Fish Tacos.

I just fell in love with their fresh Mexican flavors and pretty colors!

If you happen to read my blog than you know I live in a very snowy Colorado Mountain town. I am twenty minutes from Breckenridge and ten minutes from Keystone. If you know anything about this area then you know it snows through May (sometimes June). Yup, it does, and like clockwork every single year by mid January I am ready for a tropical and or Mexican vacation that lasts until summer.

Well, I am almost positive that is never going to happen, so instead I make food that feels tropical, looks pretty and still has some pops of winter flavors and produce.

For these fish tacos instead of making a traditional tomato based salsa I went with a super quick and delicious grapefruit-pomegranate salsa that is so good I could eat it with a spoon. Oh wait, I did.

Fruit salsas are one of my favorite things to make. I make them all year round using the fruits that are in season at the time. Currently I am head over heals in love with grapefruit and pomegranates and I thought the citrus flavors would go really well with the fish in these tacos.

To balance out the sweet salsa I made a quick chipotle Greek yogurt crema that just ties everything together.

We love a little sweet and spicy over here!

To make these tacos start by mixing up the chipotle crema.

Chipotle Crema:

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (may use all mayo or half mayo, half Greek yogurt)

1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

 

In a small mixing bowl combine the Greek yogurt, buttermilk, minced chipotle chile and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. Mix well, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Next make the Grapefruit Salsa.

Grapefruit Salsa:

1 grapefruit

The arils from half a pomegranate

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

3 green onions, chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cut off the peel and the white pith from all around the grapefruit. Working over a small bowl, use the knife to cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl. Remove the grapefruit segments from the bowl and cut into bite size pieces; return to the bowl. Add the pomegranate arils, jalapeno, green onions, cilantro and lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Now make this BHG recipe for Baja Fish Tacos.

Top the tacos with the grapefruit salsa and then drizzle with the chipotle crema. Oh, and make sure not to forget to crumble on some Cotija cheese or Queso Fresco! So good!

This is definitely one of my new favorite recipes. I just love these flavors, and come on, who does not love tacos? They are so fun!

Be sure to head over and get this recipe for the Baja Fish Tacos here.