So I’ve decided to start including some of my own recipes on the blog. I’ve been wanting to for a while, but this recipe was requested by a friend so I thought… why not?
They are all going to be gluten free, but also lactose free, as I’m both. It’s tough sometimes, but I’m honestly so grateful for the foodstuff in the shops, I’m grateful for the health food shop ten minutes walk away that stocks gluten free flour and all the relevant ingredients I’ll ever need. I’m also grateful for my own creativity, the love I have for baking, and even cooking, which I like less than baking, but still enjoy.
The reason I’m gluten and dairy free (or at least lactose free), is because I suffer from an auto-immune disease called psoriasis, which is a skin condition caused by a leaky gut. It started about three years ago, and I should have noticed something was up six months prior, when I found I was always exhausted. When I discovered psoriasis patches on my elbows I freaked out and researched like crazy. I knew I was lactose intolerant, but I hadn’t been very good at cutting out dairy, and realising that going gluten free would help too, I set to, cutting out both from my diet.
Nowadays, I don’t have it that bad. From going from large patches on my elbows and knee to only a small patch on my ear, a little on my nose that you wouldn’t even notice, and a tiny patch on my knee, I completely believe the disappearing patches is because I went gluten and lactose free. It’s helped my gut, which has in turn helped my mental health. Especially as I no longer feel exhausted during the day. I know I should go sugar free as much as possible, too, because this affects me just as much as going dairy and lactose free, but I’m just not there yet.
In any case, if you eat healthy, I absolutely believe that’s the first step in getting to being mentally healthy.
Now I love comfort foods. Lasagna, pie and chips, burgers, stews, tagines… the list goes on. But one of my staple comfort foods is a pasta bake, and I sorta just threw this one together one evening, and it turned out great. I love the flavours, and because I’m a big fan of pasta this was a win.
You can throw whatever you want into the bake. I’ve done courgette and pea before today, and that worked out really well too. But I love mushrooms, broccoli, and chicken, and because my sister is vegetarian, I decided to use some fake chicken in the pasta bake. The product I used is called ‘This Isn’t Chicken, and you can check out the product and other similar vegan products here at ‘This’.
Here’s the full recipe for you.
Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Chicken-Free Creamy Pasta Bake with Broccoli and Mushrooms
Time: 1hr 20min
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, either diced or crushed
1 bag/500g macaroni pasta (gluten free)
1 head of broccoli, diced into small florets
2 packs of ‘This Isn’t Chicken’
8 decent sized mushrooms, sliced
2 cartons of soya cream
¼ – ½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
100-150g Lactose-free cheese, grated (or you can use dairy-free grated cheese to make it completely vegan)
1 large pan for cooking the pasta
1 large frying pan for the sauce
1 large oven dish for the bake
- First, chop up everything that needs chopping, ready to use – the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli.
- Boil a kettle of water, enough for both pasta and broccoli (broccoli to add later on), and pour into a saucepan with the macaroni pasta, adding some oil and salt to the water. Bring the water to the boil, then simmer for 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the macaroni doesn’t stick to one other – a note: this does happen with gluten-free pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Fry up the diced onion and garlic in some olive oil (or any other oil) until the onion goes soft, then throw in the two packs of ‘This Isn’t Chicken’ and the sliced mushrooms. Fry until the mushrooms are suitably cooked.
- Pour in the soya cream into the frying pan with the onion, garlic, chicken, and mushrooms, and stir in the nutmeg and herbs, finishing with a good amount of salt and pepper. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, while the pasta is cooking. Taste test after a few minutes just to check the right amount of herbs and spice have been used, and add more if necessary.
- After the pasta has cooked for 8-9 minutes, toss in the broccoli florets into the pan for a further 3 minutes.
- Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain, and pour in the chicken and mushroom sauce into the pan, stirring to combine.
- Once combined, pour the creamy pasta into a large glass oven dish and sprinkle over the top with the lactose-free cheese, making sure the pasta is completely covered in cheese.
- Pop the bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200 degrees celsius, gas mark 5.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x