Stone Chargers (similar) | Pink Napkins | Low Bowls | Candlesticks | Taper Candles | Dining Table
This was the first meal I ever made for Julia. I made this for her on our first date, more than 15 years ago. She has dietary restrictions now that prevent her from eating gluten, dairy and grains, but when she requested it again this year my mind immediately went to figuring out how to take that dish filled with dairy and wheat and turn it to something she could not only have, but would love.
Fluted Taper Candles | Candlesticks
Spoiler, we figured it out. And really the key is knowing your products. None of the products in this post are sponsored, but the reason I say using the right products matters is because not all vegan cheese behaves the same. To bring the creaminess to this sauce, we use Miyokos brand Italian-style mozzarella which melts into sauces beautifully.
I’m also a big fan of Banza pasta noodles. Very high in protein, and they tend to hold together a lot better than other grain-free pastas. And with such a flavorful sauce, they taste just like a classic pasta noodle.
Serving Bowl (similar)
Something that I’m better at now than I was in college is using fresh herbs. The fresh basil, added right at the end of cooking for maximum flavor, not only took this dish where it needed to be, but far beyond that initial version I made all those years ago. Truly an improvement over the original.
Cutting Board | Knife
The vegetables I use for this are a play on the classic “Holy Trinity” of southern cooking, which is celery, peppers, and onions. We use leeks in place of onions, roasted red peppers instead of fresh, and a small amount of celery seed to get that flavor with making the texture stringy.
All Clad Pan
I first learned to make cajun chicken pasta while living in Louisiana as a young, 20 year old kid. I fell in love with the mix of flavors and, even though much of it is not friendly to dairy/gluten/grain intolerances, I’ve had a fun time coming up with dishes that bring a lot of that flavor without making our family sick.
So what’s your dish? That dish you remember making for that special someone? Do you still have it the same way you always have, or are there some changes you’ve made over the years? I’d love to hear about it and, if you give this one a try, would love to know how you liked it. Truly, the flavor is out of this world.
Cajun Chicken Pasta (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
A classic restaurant dish, reworked to be more friendly to a few food allergies. A little spicy, super creamy, and full of flavor.
- 4 servings Grain-Free Pasta Noodles Cooked per instructions – Banza brand is my preferred
- 2 strips bacon diced
- 3 medium chicken breasts
- cajun seasoning Tony Chachere’s is my preferred
- 2 leeks washed, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic smashed, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups mushrooms chopped, any variety
- 1 cup roasted red peppers roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1 wheel vegan mozzarella cheese Miyokos brand, Italian-style mozzarella
- 4 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 handful fresh basil
- olive oil
Heat a medium pan with high sides over medium heat on the stove top. Add the bacon and cook until rendered and crisp. Remove from the pan onto paper towel to drain.
Season the chicken breast with enough cajun seasoning to coat. Add to the rendered bacon fat in the pan and cook on medium low for 5-7 minutes on each side, until browning occurs. Chicken does not need to be fully cooked through – it’ll finish in the sauce.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms and sauté 3-4 minutes (add more olive oil if needed). Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are fully softened.
To a blender, add the cooked vegetables, roasted red peppers, and celery seed and blend at medium speed until smooth. Pour the mix back into the pan over medium low heat.
Add the wheel of Miyokos vegan mozzarella and break it apart. Cook, stirring constantly, until fully combined. Slice the chicken into thin slices and add to the sauce, cooking for at least 2-3 minutes, but minimally until all the chicken is cooked through fully.
Turn off the heat, add the bacon, sundried tomatoes, and basil and stir to combine. Add the noodles and toss to coat evenly. Season with more cajun seasoning, or salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.