Tag Archives: easy-recipes

Chicken Divan for Cheaters. Or, if you’re just not feeling well.

I’m Sick.
And food doesn’t sound that great to me right now. But I just got a call from my Mom who was praising the folks who have been kind enough to bring she and my Dad dinners on a regular basis since she had surgery last week. She hasn’t felt like eating much, but someone brought her Chicken Divan casserole. And that was starting to sound pretty good.

Something to note: My Mom makes the best Chicken Divan on the planet. Everybody’s Mom probably does, but just hearing her say the words made my infirm palette get a little drooly with the memory of her comforting , warm and creamy dish. Without much energy to spare, I decided to try and fudge her recipe a little and cut a few corners. I really want that comfort food, but I don’t really want to spend more than 20 minutes in the kitchen. I rummaged around, found a few things I knew would be OK substitutes (OK, OK, canned soup IS one of the subs and I know I’ve said in the past I’m not a big fan but…) and dinner was in the oven in 10 minutes flat.

Chicken DivanFast Chicken Divan with Rice Pilaf
Serves 6
3 chicken breasts diced and cooked with a little olive oil
1 package (10 ounces) broccoli spears, cooked and drained
1 26oz can (Family Size) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 10oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cooking sherry
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped
salt/pepper to taste (Remember, the soup already has a ton of salt!)

1. Stir the broccoli and cooked chicken into a 8×11″ Casserole dish
2. Whisk soup, lemon juice, sherry, nutmeg and salt and pepper together in a bowl
3. Pour mixture over chicken and broccoli and stir in
4. Top with cheese and bacon
5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and brown
6. Start the Rice Pilaf and it should be done by the time the dish is out of the oven.

Mom’s Chicken Divan Recipe
Serves 6

4 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 package (10 ounces) broccoli spears, cooked and drained

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1. Layer the chicken and broccoli in a casserole dish.
2. Make a roux by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat and stirring in flour until smooth and well blended.
3. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the chicken broth. Place back on heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
4. Simmer for 1 minute then stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove sauce from heat add Parmesan cheese and sherry then stir in the slightly beaten egg yolks and bring to the boiling point again.
5. Pour over chicken and vegetables in the casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

Feel better,
Gal Foodie

Salad So Good, You Need a Steak Knife.

Last night was “clean out the fridge” night, and after a weekend of heavy eating (I’ll be blogging about that shortly), Ben and I were both ready img_2755for a little green in our diets. I whipped up this healthy and hearty steak salad in about 20 minutes. The fun came when Ben and I decided to add our own “flair” by using up stuff we found in the cheese drawer. What resulted was a delicious salad for each, and an emptier fridge.

Gal Foodie’s Steak Knife Salad
Makes 2 servings

1/2 of a 10oz bag of baby spinach
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, quartered
1/4 onion, sliced
6 white mushrooms, sliced (would be delish with Baby Bellos, too!)
1/4 red pepper, sliced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Worcestershire Sauce
1lb London Broil cut, about 1 inch thick (you’ll probably have leftovers, or you can beef up the recipe and make enough for 4)
Cheese of Preference – I chose Buffalo Mozzarella. Ben chose Mango Ginger Stilton from Sawyers Specialties. (decadent!)
Josie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

1. Season steak with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and Montreal Steak Seasoning. In a frying pan (I love to use my cast iron skillet) on high heat, sear steak on both sides (1-2 minutes per side) then reduce heat. Cook until done to your liking. We prefer ours medium rare.

2. While steak is cooking, or if not enough room, remove steak, and add peppers, onions and mushrooms to the pan. Cook 5-8 minutes, or until desired crispiness.

3. In 2 bowls, divide spinach. Slice the London broil thin and layer on top of the greens. Top the steak with grilled veggies. Add tomatoes, cheese, avocado and Josie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette.


Josie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
In equal amounts whisk olive oil together with balsamic and red wine vinegars. Add dashes of salt and pepper, oregano, basil, and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until completely combined. Will keep in the fridge up to one week.

The Easiest Lentil Stew EVER.

img_2752This is for my “sisters” with love. My amazing sister, Gabe and my “I wish she was my sister’ Beverly, both requested this recipe from me last week. This recipe is great because it gives lentils a chance to be more than the image of the bland bean they conjure. And it’s HEALTHY. According to one of my favorite food books, The Healing Foods, a cup of cooked lentils has 16 grams of protein, and is virtually fat free. Can’t say that about a burger.

This recipe is one of my favorites because it takes less than 10 minutes to put together, and is perfect for the time of year. I made this for Beverly and Ben a few weeks ago to eat after a long and chilly hike in Acadia National Park. It disappeared in a matter of minutes, and there was no talking – just slurping. That’s the best review I could ask for as a chef.

Lentil Stew with Love
Makes 4 Servings
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped (if you have it)
1 tsp fresh parsley chopped (if you have it)
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (I buy the 32 ounce boxes of stock at the local grocer)
Juice and pulp of 1 lemon
1 cup lentils (I prefer Goya)
1 can/cup sweet corn kernels
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a soup pot, saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery until onion is translucent (about 5 – 8 minutes)

2. Add chicken stock, lemon juice, corn, lentils and spices and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft (no crunch)


Variations on a Theme
Sometimes I add chicken if have it left over from one I’ve roasted – often, I
make this stew after I have roasted a chicken because I can then use the
chicken stock I make from the leftovers, and I will have delicious seasoned shredded chicken to add.

Tastes sooooo good with crusty bread and butter.

To my “Sisters” with Love,

Gal Foodie

Another Foodie Joins the Blogosphere…

I have been meaning to start a food blog for a long time, and while lots of other “foodies” have done a great job of providing content to the blogosphere, there is still room for another blog about the trials and errors of the test kitchen foodie. A little background on why I may be able to contribute something to this online world of food lovers: I own a restaurant. I have an incredible kitchen in my house where I try all sorts of amazing recipes, new and old. I have a pantry the size of most people’s first floor living space. I have many friends who blame me for gaining pound after pound because they can’t stop eating (or I won’t stop inviting them over to “test” food with me). I am a graphic designer by trade, and have many specialty food clients. I read cookbooks like novels. And basically, I just love great food…and I love to cook it. So begins my journey into blogging about my love, my passion, my food.

So what can you expect beyond this first post? I intend to use this forum to show you what I’m cooking, where I’m shopping, what kitchen gadgets I love, what and where I’m eating, how I’m making things, how I’m screwing them up, and what I’m doing right. Recipes will always be found here, and I plan to share my many pages of notes I take every time I’m in the kitchen. I have many friends in the food biz, and I have asked them all to think about how they would like to contribute to this blog as well.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to sharing all of my culinary experiences with you!