Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Recipe: Easy Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie


Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner? Perhaps you’re the cook in the family, and you’re getting your menu ready. Or maybe, like me, you’ll take a small cooler when you visit family over the holiday, ready to bring back tasty leftovers.

Whatever your plans, this recipe is sure to make you happy! That’s because there’s nothing more comforting than a homemade pot pie on a cool night. Make it traditional with chicken, or use that Thanksgiving turkey. You can even make it gluten free! You just can’t go wrong with this one.



1 rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 deep dish pie crusts, frozen
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3 Tbsp condensed chicken and herb soup
4 Tbsp condensed cream of potato soup
1 cup peas, carrots, and corn mixture (canned or defrosted)
1/4 cup half-and-half, cream, or milk
1 dallop sour cream
seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder)
chicken broth (add a little if the ingredients are too thick)



Stir all ingredients together and then mix in the deboned chicken pieces. Let the pie crusts sit out for 1-3 minutes until they become malleable. Place one crust on the bottom of a deep baking dish. Don’t be afraid to tear apart the crust and reform it until it covers the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken and soup mixture and cover with the second pie crust.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until done and the crust is slightly browned.

This makes one large pot pie or multiple smaller pies (which are great for sharing!).

[Click to Tweet: Easy chicken (or turkey) pot pie! #comfortfood for #thanksgiving2017 @bigsistertweets]


Kitchen Notes

Gluten Free Option – To make the chicken pot pie gluten free (GF), you’ll need to ensure each ingredient is GF, from the pie crusts to the soups. Our Publix doesn’t carry GF pie crusts, but I really like the ones at Earthfare.

The price of GF soups is ridiculous though (at over $3 a can!), and they don’t have the same flavor or consistency that I’m used to. I just use the same Campbell’s soups Mom always used, even though they do contain wheat flour as a thickener. Since this is the only time I knowingly cheat on my GF diet, and I don’t have celiac disease, this doesn’t pose a serious problem for me. However, if you need to make this GF, you’ll have to splurge on the soups or make your own from scratch.


The Chicken (or Turkey) – I use organic rotisserie chickens from Earth Fare because they’re only $5 on Mondays. However, any rotisserie chicken will do fine. You can even substitute turkey if you have some leftover from Thanksgiving.

Deboning a chicken sounds daunting if you’ve never done it before and, even if you have, it’s never fun—but it’s not a complicated process. Simply place the rotisserie chicken on a non-stick cutting board. (I use plastic for easy clean-up.) Using a knife, remove the skin and legs. Then remove the breasts and other large chunks of meat. You can then use a knife or fork to remove the smaller pieces of meat around the bone. Cut up the larger portions with the knife and shred with the fork for a finer texture. The trick is to do this while the chicken is still warm. If you put it in the fridge overnight, the fats will turn to gelatin, making this job a lot less appetizing.


Lunch for Tomorrow – Depending on the size of the chicken, you may be able to set aside a portion of it for later. I usually make some chicken salad for the next day’s lunch by adding mayonnaise, mustard, and seasoning. It doesn’t get any easier than that!


Broth for Later – Nothing is healthier than homemade chicken broth, especially if you use an organic chicken. If you’d like to make your own, simply put the bones, skin, and “icky” pieces in a crock pot. Add a little onion, seasoning, and water, and cook on low for about six hours (depending on your crock pot’s heat level). Keep in mind that the more water you add, the more broth you’ll make, but the more diluted the flavor will be.

Once it’s cooked, let it cool. Using a strainer, pour out the broth. If you plan to use the broth over the next few days, keep it in the fridge. If not, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Four cubes is roughly 1/4 cup of broth. (If you want more broth, you can repeat this process the next day using the same bones and skin, but there will be less flavor.)

Do you have any tips for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Share them in the comments below!

Blueberries: From Picking to Eating



This past month marked the height of blueberry season here in North Florida. We have three bushes in our yard, but the late frost killed most of the berries on the vine. Fortunately, we found a u-pick blueberry farm right outside of town.


Robby went to school with Jen, who owns Myrtle Creek Farm along with her husband Scott. It was nice to visit with them and see their beautiful farm, filled with blueberry trees, blackberry bushes, and even a pear tree. They lost a lot of berries to the late frost this year, too, but they still had plenty for us to pick!

Even though we have our own blueberry trees, Jen told me something I never knew: they only ripen on the vine. That means you have to pick them at their peak (dark blue). If you pick them early (when they’re still pinkish), they won’t continue to ripen on the counter or in the fridge. Their technique? “Tickle” the berries. If they fall off the vine, they’re sweet and ready to eat.


Now, Robby and I can’t possibly eat two quarts of berries before they go bad, so we freeze them to enjoy throughout the year. The trick to this is to lay the berries on a small sheet pan and then set the pan in the freezer. That way, each berry will freeze individually, and you won’t end up with a solid mass of blue ice. Once frozen, scoop the berries into freezer-safe bags and return them to the freezer.

Mary Frances’ Cobbler


Nothing beats my mother-in-law’s cobbler. Seriously, I can eat so much of this stuff that I make myself sick. It’s that good.

When I stopped eating wheat, one of the first things I did was figure out how to make this cobbler gluten-free. The good news is that it’s easily altered, and it tastes even better without wheat flour!

Click here to download a printable recipe card.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

My new favorite muffin is banana-blueberry. They have just the right amount of sweetness, and they smell like heaven when they’re heated up. If you don’t have time to make these from scratch, there are some great mixes available. I’ve tried a couple gluten-free options, and both were delicious.


The King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Muffin Mix is a basic vanilla mix, but it has a great flavor. You’ll need to add one or two soft bananas and a cup of blueberries. The batch always makes several more muffins than it promises, which is really nice. If you prefer, you can use a small loaf pan instead of muffin cups.

Robby recently picked up a box of Simple Mills Banana Muffin & Bread Mix. It has far less carbs than the King Arthur mix because it uses coconut sugar. In total, the mix has only seven ingredients, including dried bananas. Just mix in a few blueberries. I got 11 nice-sized muffins out of this mix.Muffin_SM_1

If you have leftover muffins—and that’s a big IF—throw them in a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze them for later. They’re great for breakfast or dessert!

Do you have a blueberry recipe you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments.

Thank you!

Healthy Living


Healthy Living

I’ve always been rather slender. From high school to my late twenties, I took that as a license to eat whatever I wanted – hamburgers, fries, pizza – you name it, I ate it.

Like most college students, I tried to balance a day job with nights filled with homework, and years full of one change after another. It wasn’t surprising that I was tired much of the time, but I became concerned when the fatigue outweighed my energy and I began to have persistent pain in my arms and legs.

God’s Intervention

Fortunately, God gave me the strength to persevere, culminating in a graduate degree and a professional career. I then met Robby, and we were married in 2011. But just as everything was coming together on a personal level, my health continued to deteriorate. Doctors kept pushing medicine, but I wasn’t able to take any of it, and I didn’t feel it was right for me, anyway.

Once again, God intervened and led me to a chiropractor in town who specializes in nutritional care. It was there that I learned that I am…drum roll please…sensitive to wheat gluten and sugar! I know, it seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? It turned out that my health problems were a result of my body trying to process food that it simply wasn’t able to handle. All those years of eating whatever I wanted had caught up with me.

The Decision

For me, it was a no-brainer to stop eating those things that were harmful. I felt like a new person within three days of avoiding gluten, and even better when I reduced my sugar intake, eventually switching out my sweet tea to unsweet. I now have more energy and better overall health than I’ve ever had. I’ve made a lifelong decision to eat those foods that are healthful and to avoid those that harm me – a decision I reaffirm every time I take a bite.

You may be wondering how Robby has taken all of this. Well, it turned out he’s sensitive to gluten, as well, though not to the same extent as I am. Early on, he offered to eat whatever I ate, helping us to avoid preparing two different meals every night. Sometimes he reaches for a “glutinous” dessert, but he readily agrees that our new diet has benefitted his health as well as mine.

As Robby and I have shared our story with folks, we’ve been amazed how many people tell us they have experienced something similar. Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe wheat is “bad.” In fact, the Bible tells us God made it (along with everything else), and the New Testament records Jesus and His disciples eating it. However, there are a lot of studies out there that indicate the wheat varieties readily available to us here in the US are not the same as they were thousands, or even hundreds, of years ago. Add to that the impact of modern pesticides, and we’ve got a food product that many of our bodies can’t process easily. 

Start Off Right

I’m telling you all of this to encourage you to be healthy, regardless of where you are in life.

If you’re healthy now, good! But it takes effort to stay that way. Many healthy people still consider themselves under some kind of stress, whether it’s starting a new semester, dealing with family issues, or staying up nights with a new baby. Stress in your life means stress in your body.

The first thing we want to do when we’re stressed is to skimp on regular, nutritious meals. We also head for the pastries and pastas because they give us a quick (and cheap) sugar rush. However, I caution you against this “just fill me up now” mentality.

Instead, plan ahead so you have good foods available to grab in a rush. I keep gluten-free Kashi or Kind bars in my purse at all times. See below for other snack suggestions.

Also, stop and think about the messages your body is sending you. Do you get sick or sluggish after eating certain foods or at certain times of the day? Does your nose run or your sinuses drain after eating? Are you able to eliminate waste easily every day?

If you have any concerns, be your own advocate! Western medical doctors aren’t trained in nutrition. (I know, it’s crazy but it’s true!) Do your own research of nutritional topics from various resources so you can formulate your own opinions and decide what kind of diet works best for you. Be sure to take into consideration your personal taste, habits, budget, and commitment. And, if one is available to you, see someone trained in nutrition for more information and support.

(Disclaimer: I am a student of the Bible, not a doctor. My testimony is real, but my medical degree is not.)

Scales don’t tell the whole story. (Photo by Ashley Jones)

Scales don’t tell the whole story. (Photo by Ashley Jones)

Don’t Give Up

Second, if you’re dealing with health issues now, take heart! I believe my story is proof that God does work miracles.

Yes, sometimes God heals in an instant – and don’t we all want that kind? But often He calls upon His people to help one another, to act as a doctor or a counselor for someone else. How gracious is God that He would allow us to be the method to carry out his healing!

In my case, my doctor and his partner are both wonderful Christians, and God has used them to lead me down a healthy path so I could be well. This has enabled me to live a whole life; have a full, happy marriage; and have enough energy to write this little blog to you after working all day at the office.

Keep praying for your healing, and be open to whatever method God may use to get you there. No matter how the healing comes, we give God the glory!

Food Suggestions

From time to time, I’ll post some gluten-free recipes here that you might find useful. In the meantime, here’s a short list of some of the basics Robby and I eat during the week (and we love all of them!):

  • Eggs, bacon or sausage, and a bit of fruit for breakfast
  • Stir fry on rice (we like it with turkey kielbasa)
  • Chicken and yellow rice with black beans (one of my favs!)
  • Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (using gluten-free bread crumbs in the meatloaf)
  • Baked fish, especially wild-caught salmon
  • Beef or pork pot roast with veggies
  • Taco salad (see my blog Serving Taco Salads for the recipe)
  • Taco soup
  • Sausage and bean soup
  • Leftovers for lunch (There ain’t nothing wrong with that!)

For a morning snack, I like Greek yogurt with sunflower seeds. My 3-o’clock “gotta stay awake” snack is usually apples with cheese and gluten-free crackers or almond butter. The key is to include a protein with each meal, especially since gluten-free flours may spike the blood sugar more than wheat flour. However, when I’m on the run I’ll grab a Kind snack bar made of fruit and nuts or a Kashi bar made of popped rice and chocolate.

Resource Suggestions

Gut and Psychology Symptom introduces the GAPS diet. This was more extreme than even I needed, but it’s a great background resource and helps to explain the various functions of the body and why certain foods might trigger a negative response. By Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD of neurology and nutrition.

Fiber Menace explains the author’s theory about how products with supplemental or man-made fiber cause dysfunctions and diseases of the gut. I’ve had my gall bladder removed, so I have some experience with this myself. By Konstantin Monastyrsky.

Scripture References

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NAS  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

James 5:16, NAS  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.