Gluten Free Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce

Scroll down for a poorly lit photo of gnocchi, but first, here’s Little Guy looking pensive and adorable. He’s wearing more clothes than usual (believe it or not): a pair of Thomas the Train underwear and his Buzzy Bee costume. Most of this winter he’s been naked and peeing on the floor. Oh, I mean, potty training. The only thing worse than pee on the floor is… well, you get the idea.

Buzzy bee

We spent Bunky’s winter break upstate and I rediscovered my love for snow. It was the first time I had a chance to “play” with B outside. Most of this winter and last I’ve been (hiding) inside with Little Guy, and secretly relieved to do so, because I hate being cold. But in 40+ degree weather with PERFECT snow packing/sculpting conditions, it was awesome. We also busted out the sleds, and I might have had more fun than Bunky.

Too bad a snow avalanche from the roof decapitated our girl in the night. But we made more.

Too bad a snow avalanche from the roof decapitated our snow girl in the night. But we made more.

Now, moving along to food. I brought about ten bags of edible supplies upstate – including a package of gluten free gnocchi and made it with left over smashed up meatloaf muffins mixed with Rao’s marinara sauce. It was great, but so is this tomato cream sauce. Mmm, cream sauce. You really want to get in there with a fork, don’t you?


gf gnocchi yum

Okay maybe not, but wait until you try it. Creamy and rich, but not overpowering. Super easy to make, this tomato cream sauce is a dream.

I use Farbella gnocchi that my local grocer carries, but you can use any GF brand or make your own. I did once and it was surprisingly easy. But it IS labor intensive with all the squishing together the dough and freezing it and THEN boiling it, so if I can buy a bag, even an overpriced(ish) one, I will. Because that’s the kind of girl I am.

The best thing about gnocchi? Besides the delightful flavor? Boils in 2 minutes. Yup. Crazy. So when you’re making this meal, don’t get over excited like me and throw it in first, before you make the sauce, otherwise it will get all squished and stuck together while it waits. Might as well cook the sauce first, putting water on to boil midway through, and then boil the suckers when the sauce is done. Voila, dinner is served! (Side dish not included.)

Creamy Tomato Sauce 

Based loosely on this recipe. *Use for gnocchi or any pasta you’d like*

Note: These measurements can be adjusted to your particular tastes. For example, like garlic? Use more. Want to serve more than 2-3 folks? I suggest you double it. Enjoy the cream-aliciousness of heavy cream, or perhaps you don’t? Adjust accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 can of 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (OR, you can sub in a few tablespoons of whole milk)

Directions:

1. Heat a saucepan on medium and melt the butter, then add the minced garlic. Cook about one minute until fragrant.

2. Add the diced tomatoes, and possibly the tomato paste (totally not necessary, just bonus flavor). Stir and then simmer for about 10 minutes, more if you double the batch, until the sauce is slightly reduced and it smells gooood.

3. Remove from heat and CAREFULLY puree, using an immersion blender (if you happen to have one) or a food processor. It doesn’t have to be perfectly blended, just a texture you enjoy.

4. Then add the cream and simmer for about 5 minutes.

That’s it! You’re done. Slide the gnocchi into the sauce, stir, and enjoy. Top with grated parm, if you’d like. We sure do.

Oh yeah, you know you want some.

Oh yeah, you know you want some of this.

Shared on the fabulous Vegetarian Mamma’s Gluten Free Friday link up. Click the badge below for more awesome GF recipes and tidbits.

gf friday badge

Happy Chinese Gluten New Year

I have about a million things to tell you, but no time to do it. Between getting back on my play date game (which I was never on, apparently) and researching play schools for Little Guy (which he says have to be “blue”), I have had about zero time to update.

Fancy play date picnic.

What snacks look like when I’m on my play date A game. Of course this only happened once.

In my spare time (i.e. LG’s naps) I’m attempting to edit my novel AND take an online real estate course. By the time LG passes out at 10pm (yes, because of the long and vitally important naps) my brain is completely zapped. I’m lucky if I can stay up long enough to watch the last season of Breaking Bad, which I’m woefully behind on (no spoilers please) and gives me nightmares. I kind of wish I never started the show. It’s like a train wreck, and I can’t look away even though I really want to. At least there’s Jesse.

One of the many stretches of the show's imagination.

One of the show’s many far fetched concepts.

Anyway… another thing that kept me and my brain busy recently was Bunky’s first class trip of the year, which happened to be a celebration of Chinese New Year… at a Chinese restaurant. UGH. Sure, they have rice noodles. But most are doused in GLUTEN. I kind of freaked about this for a while. Why do class trips have to be food related? And not just food related, but completely food focused. What about kids with food restrictions, life threatening allergies, celiac? Why not take the kids to a museum or an indoor play space? But no. It had to be Chinese food.

Unfortunately, it wasn't to Lilli and Loo, the only GF chinese I've heard of.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to Lilli and Loo, which apparently has great GF options.

I had planned on making Bunky a similar menu including lo mein, but ended up giving her leftover baked ziti (always better the second day, B says and it’s true), chicken noodle soup, and GF fried rice similar to this recipe. Dessert was Turkey Hill Vanilla (GF – I called ahead and checked online), so at least I didn’t have to worry about that. Or so I thought. More on that in a bit. Here’s a clue:

Ours was not GF, obvs.

Ours was not gluten free, obvs.

Backtracking a bit, when my husband and I first heard about this trip, we were both angry and deflated. Angry about the concept, deflated that our kid might feel left out – again. We debated about not sending her to school that day. We considered giving her a choice. But neither felt right. She’d definitely feel left out if she didn’t go, right? And I don’t want her to think opting out is the automatic response

Food related activities and celebrations will be part of her life forever, and she has to learn how to navigate them, not hide from them. But I realize now how important it is that I don’t hide from them. That I teach her how she can enjoy these events. That they may be challenging at times, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid them.

Homemade brown fried rice is way healthier anyhow.

Homemade fried rice is way healthier anyhow.

And so I worked my butt off to make the trip a success, to help her feel included, amid all the oohs and ahhs over the fragrant egg rolls, fried wontons, shrimp dumplings, lo mein, and fried rice.

Sometimes being GF can feel a little lonesome.

Sometimes being GF can feel a little lonesome.

I used my best British accent when serving her our food, grabbed a soup bowl and spoon before they could gluten-ize it, and kept an eye out for flying crumbs and roving gluten-y fingers. The kids are her table were sweet, and I kept an eye out for their needs as well, but mostly my attention was on Bunky. It paid off. She had fun, I think.

She ate everything I brought, and we donated some extra soup to a friend.

She ate everything I brought, and then we donated some extra soup to a grateful friend.

I feel like I was pretty chill during the whole thing, except for one teensy weensy moment at the very end when the waiters brought out trays of gluten free vanilla ice cream in plastic cups… with gluten fortune cookies on top. I might have said, “Oh shit” but I’m not sure. I leapt out of my seat and asked for a plain ice cream. One waiter tried to pry the cookie off and hand the cup to me, but I said no.

Luckily, I had packed some Lucy’s allergy free cookies in my bag, just in case. So while Bunky waited for her uncontaminated ice cream, she happily munched on a cookie. Then I used the rest of the cookies to make her a gluten free ice cream sandwich. Score.

Lucys-Cookies1

Loving the new Snack and Go combo packs!

She was also thrilled with my stop at the local Hello Kitty store. (Oh holy moly, the store was AWESOME.)

I easily could have bought way, way more.

I easily could have bought way, way more cute stuff.

All in all, it was a success. Not every event will go so seamlessly, but it’s nice that this first one did.

Up next (as in tomorrow) – first sleepover. Say WHAT?!

(Luckily my sweet little homebody will be coming home in the evening. At least that gets me out of figuring out breakfast. Geez.)

Hopefully soon I’ll be able to work on the recipe posts currently simmering in my brain. There’s GF gnocchi (not homemade), one pot dinners, and Risi Bisi, a rice cooker dream.

How do you handle non GF friendly events and outings? Do you bring your own food, eat beforehand, or skip it all together? If your kid has celiac or a gluten intolerance, how do you help him or her feel included?

Gluten Free Buckwheat Noodle Stir Fry + a Slice of Country

It’s November, already. I know I’m not the only one caught totally off guard by the insanely fast passage of time this autumn. I’ve heard the rumbling on other blogs. I know it’s super boring and redundant to talk about how fast time goes by, but seriously, it feels like Bunky started kindergarten about three seconds ago, and now Halloween is over, Little Guy’s 2nd birthday was over a week ago (!) and Thanksgiving is a stone’s throw away. I’m behind on posts and pretty much everything else.

How I'm feeling lately.

I can relate to how this guy feels.

But, instead of throwing up my hands and giving up (my usual m.o.), I am going to take some deep cleansing breaths (trying) and go one post at a time. First up, our awesome pre-Halloween trip to the country and a super yum buckwheat noodle stir fry recipe.

Important note from the author: I totally understand if you feel the need to scroll past the ridiculous amount of pictures of my kids and the photogenic country background and get right to the recipe. All I ask is that you look at this one before you go.

indian corn

I mean, really. How does nature make this stuff up?

Okay, so here we go. A few weeks ago we drove up to the country for what might be my favorite time of the year (well, besides summer at the lake, of course). Besides everything looking so golden hued and gorgeous with all the fall foliage, there is THIS:

Cunningham Farms Corn Maze

Cunningham Farms

Cunningham Farms is a lovely little farm in Bethel, NY. (Bethel is the location for the original Woodstock concert, btw, with a trippy museum to boot.) We stumbled upon their pumpkin patch and corn maze last year and loved it. This is a picture of Bunky in October 2012 giving her famous double thumbs up (highest level of praise).

farm thumbs up with hay bale

And now, one year older. (Same fleece, ha.)

Bunky on hay bales

They added some cool new features like an obstacle course, giant chess board, and Bunky’s absolute favorite, panning for gems. The kid is super into crystals and rocks. I mean, who isn’t?

obstacle course

chess board

Bunky loved "finding" gems.

Bunky finding “gems” with her dad.

I loved the corn maze, which I skipped last year because I didn’t feel like carrying Leo.

corn maze kids

Of course, I still ended up lugging him around most of the way, but with a face like this, how could I resist?

Little Guy close up

Look at the sky. It was a perfect mix of clouds and sun.

Look at the sky. It was a perfect fall mix of clouds and sun.

There was a tractor, because of course.

tractor

The Indian corn was a huge hit all around.

candy corn

Little Guy loved his so much he fell asleep holding it later that day. No joke. He also used it as a “phone” on the ride home.

corn nap

A real life nap. Not staged.

I feel like the corn was more colorful than I remember, each kernel so shiny and vibrant. Or maybe I just never really saw it before. My mom used to love Indian corn and every autumn we’d have some hanging on our door. I used to think she was a little silly for getting so excited about it, and now here I am. There are so many things I wish I could tell her she was right about. Corn is the least of it, you know?

She would’ve loved these guys, obvs.

Bunky thief

little guy thief

She also would have loved this blog. I think she would have been surprised about the recipes since I had never been much of a cook. My claim to fame as a post college graduate was that I made edible scrambled eggs and rocking rice krispie treats. No joke. It wasn’t until I met my husband at the ripe old age of 26 (yes, I thought I was old then – HILARIOUS, right?!) that I began to learn. Looking back, I’m pretty sure it was his master plan to teach me how to cook and then conveniently hand over the tongs.

Well. I’ve come along way from those early days. For years I relied on recipes, strictly. I felt like if I strayed from a recipe even in the most minor of ways, it would end in disaster and chaos. Not unlike how I live my life, ha. Oh, the metaphors one can come up with on such little sleep. Anyway. It’s only very recently that I feel brave enough to go out on my own, to combine recipes, to leave out (seemingly!) key ingredients, to swap things out, to PLAY. I still keep it safe, as I don’t have any free time to experiment for whimsy’s sake. I’ve got a picky family to feed, you know?

So, the recipe I came up with works in several key ways for me and my people:

1. It’s HEALTHY, but covertly so (6-8 grams of protein per noodle serving!)

2. I can switch up the veggies depending on what I’ve got hanging around.

3. It is super flavorful (which is saying a lot given my spice averse family).

4. (Perhaps most importantly) It’s FAST and EASY.

Here’s the secret: awesome gluten free soba noodles.

king soba

I used King Soba Sweet Potato Buckwheat for this recipe, but their Pumpkin Ginger Brown Rice noodles are great, too. They are organic, gluten free, and super healthy. You can cook them up and add them to soup (which we did for Bunky who is anti-stir fry for some strange reason) or make this…

stir fry

Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Or my recipe by this photo.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Noodle Stir Fry (with chicken or all veggie)

Adapted from this recipe and this one, too.

Ingredients (for the sauce):

For the sauce:
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger minced or thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar

For the rest:

  • 1 complete package of gluten free King Soba noodles (comes in batches of 3 but each is about one serving, according to my family)*
  • 2 teaspoons of canola oil
  • 1 broccoli crown, separated into bite sized pieces
  • carrots (we used pre-shredded from the store, or 2-3 carrots shredded or sliced)
  • 2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips or thinly sliced (omit and use cubed tofu if you’d like)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, deveined and chopped

* We also cooked up a package of plain rice noodles and used both cause we are noodle people.

Directions:

1. Mix all sauce ingredients into a small bowl. Set aside

2. Boil water for noodles. Cook as directed on the package. Set aside when done.

Gray noodles look gross, but they taste good.

Gray noodles look gross, but they taste good.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in the pan on medium. Add broccoli, cook for a few minutes and then add carrots. After a minute or two add the chicken and cook until almost cooked through.

(Sidebar: I had taken a picture of the raw chicken happily nestled inside a circle of veggies, but my husband nearly threw up when he saw it and told me to delete it. So I did. Thanks, honey. Probably a good call.)

Add kale. Cook for a few minutes until wilted down.

stir fry chicken and veg

4. Now add sauce. Stir everything together and cook for a few minutes more on low heat.

5. Finally, add noodles and stir to combine or serve over noodles. Your call.

stir fry gf

It looks like I served this version over rice, ha! Works just as well, but with less protein power than buckwheat soba.

Some day I’ll manage to take pictures during daylight hours and not seconds before starving people are waiting to eat. Until then, they’ll look like the one above. Sorry.

I leave you with this final photo from Cunningham Farms. Yup, this guy was back.

See you next year, suckers.

See you next year, suckers.

GF Pasta-bilities and a Recipe

flickr, cookbookman17

Looks innocent, doesn’t it? But it’s not.
flickr, cookbookman17

Finding decent gluten free pasta can feel like the holy grail in the early days of going GF.

I remember soon after Bunky’s diagnosis we went on a mad search to replace her beloved mac and cheese. We had used Annie’s brand in the G days, but at the time the creamy GF version wasn’t readily available.

Before we knew her favorite gluten mac & cheese was making her sick.

Before we knew her favorite gluten mac & cheese was making her sick.

B had never been a fan of the orange powder. (My kid has standards, okay?) But desperate times. So we bought a couple versions with powder and ALL were failures. The one that stuck out the most was a strangely yellow hued macaroni made from corn. After B pushed away her bowl looking utterly dejected, my husband and I took a bite. It couldn’t be that bad, could it? Yup. It could. It was.

Soon after we found Annie’s GF creamy mac (score!) but looking back, I realize now that it wasn’t the pasta’s fault. (The orange powder cheese is another story.) Our brains and taste buds were programmed to seek out gluten. After a lifetime of eating gluten pasta, one bite of corn pasta is a shock to the system. It doesn’t taste bad, necessarily, but it does taste different. Like when you accidentally take a sip of milk thinking it’s your orange juice and you gag because of the shock, not because the milk tastes bad.

There were other failures, too. Overcooked brown rice pasta was a big one. The summer after B’s diagnosis I had an urge to make our family’s favorite summer pasta dish: cubes of fresh mozzarella, chunks of tomato, and slivers of sweet basil, all tossed together with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I cooked the Tinkyada rice pasta following the directions on the package. Big mistake. You know how it went down. It was a soggy, mushy, slippery, rubbery mess. I can very clearly remember putting one fork full in my mouth after another in front of my daughter, pretending to enjoy it, pretending it was fine, when really I wanted to cry.

I didn’t make pasta for six months after that. Which is terribly sad, really, because pasta can (and should) be delicious. Not only that, but pasta is supposed to be a mama’s best friend for a fast easy dinner. Big, huge, annoying bummer.

Fast forward months, years. After talking with other celiac families and reading countless blogs and articles, we figured some things out about pasta (among other things). Like you can NOT overcook GF pasta because it will suck. Especially brown rice pasta. We learned how Tinkyada can be good, great even, if you are careful to watch the clock and test the noodles periodically. Jovial is another great brown rice pasta. Pick some up, especially if you see it on sale. Totally worth it.

We also decided to give out some second chances. Brands we had initially thought were mediocre (at best) we realized were actually great, like Bionaturae, for example. Hey, it’s made in Italy for crying out loud! Italy, we discovered, is very celiac-friendly. Which makes sense, if you think about it. How could a country that is famous for gluten-rific dishes not take care of the population who is gluten free? Answer, they do. Very well. Note to self: go to Italy ASAP.

Other great brands we’ve tested and loved are: Schar (so good! always!) and Mrs. Leeper’s brown rice spaghetti and corn spaghetti. Yes, corn! We gave it another shot and love it. Especially in this recipe with diced tomatoes, garlic, white wine and shrimp. Yum.

Which brings me to my new favorite GF pasta – fresh. Yes, you read that correctly. Fresh gluten free pasta does exist. And it’s awesome. We discovered RP’s brand recently and I buy it whenever I order from Fresh Direct and it’s always a hit. They make fettuccini (regular and spinach), linguini, and fusilli. Click here to find a store near you that sells it.

Just like any GF pasta, the key is DO NOT overcook. The great thing about fresh pasta is that it’s ready in 2 minutes. Seriously. No joke. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but so is gluten fresh pasta. It’s worth a splurge every now and then. Or, um, almost every week.

This delicious recipe, adapted from About.com, is reason enough to try out this pasta.

IMG_1606

Butternut Squash Pasta with Brown Butter and Sage

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds (I’ve used about half and it was OK)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 packages of RP’s fresh fettuccine*
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 dozen sage leaves (or as many as you get in a package)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

* It really depends on how much pasta you eat. My family of three (not counting the Little Guy) can easily put away 2 packages. You could also use any kind of regular GF pasta. If so, you’ll want to cook it a few minutes sooner since it will need more time.

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375°. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. You could also buy the squash pre-cut and cubed. Toss squash with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread it out on a large jelly roll pan or roasting pan.

2. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned, turning about halfway through the roasting time.

3. When the squash is nearly finished, put water on to boil for the pasta. Fresh pasta cooks super fast, so wait until after step 4 to cook it.

4. In a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, cook butter and sage leaves until the butter begins to brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Do not let the butter (or garlic) burn. Remove from heat and remove the sage with a slotted spoon; use a spoon to crumble. It should smash up into pieces quite easily.

5. Cook pasta as directed on the package. About 2 minutes for RP’s fresh pasta.

6. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the butter mixture, along with the crumbled sage and roasted butternut squash. Put back on the heat and continue cooking stirring, until pasta and squash are hot. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Toss with the 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese just before serving. Garnish with more Parmesan.

IMG_1604

By the way, tonight I gave Bunky a new pasta – Ancient Harvest’s Quinoa made from quinoa and corn flour. She didn’t bat an eye. Ate up the entire bowl. Sure, it was doused with butter, but still. Made me a bit teary to see how far we’ve come.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian MammaEat.Live.Make, and Gluten Freed R.D., and One Creative Mommy’s Gluten Free Monday link up. Click the links to find more great GF recipes.

Kale me Crazy

flickr photo credit, Glory Foods

I just couldn’t help myself with this ridiculous title. The runner up was, “A Kale for Help.” Yes, a kale recipe is coming up, but first…

I’m actually terrible at titles (can’t you tell?) and at one point when I worked for the evil empire of MTV Networks it was part of my job to come up with catchy, quirky, and cool headings and you can guess that I did NOT excel at that. At all. It was a rather short-lived job, and actually my last “corporate” one. Then I went on to become a self-defense instructor. Way more fun, and I was much better at it.

*If you want to see me in groin-kicking action, check out the movie, The Brave One, starring Jodie Foster. Um, my brief scene didn’t make the final cut, but it did make the deleted scenes! I can’t say much for the movie itself (I enjoy kicking butt for fun, but I don’t like actual violence, even in the movies) but it was definitely a fun experience being on a movie set. Directors actually yell “Action!” and “Cut!” and the part about waiting around for hours, totally true.*

But I digress. Back to –

flickr photo credit, krupp

Maybe this post should’ve been called, “A Kale for Help” because I need help, people, serious help, with dinner. Bunky is in a picky(er) phase right now and is a sort-of vegetarian, or I should say, cheese-atarian because she pretty much only eats cheese. My husband is picky with most vegetables and beans because of digestive issues. I will not elaborate (you really don’t want to know). He will really only eat potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans right now. I’m only allowed to use a tiny amount of garlic. No onion. My list of “no’s” is long and depressing. If I made food just for myself it would be magical, dishes filled with vibrant veggies and tingling spices. Even Little Guy who formerly ate whatever, is now getting picky. Or at least enjoying his new trick of shaking his head “no.” It was really cute for a few days. Not anymore.

So you see what I’m up against. I don’t want to a short order cook and make everyone individual meals, but I have to admit that sometimes it goes down like that. My goal is to find a meal I can make and truly enjoy, and then tailor the same meal for my picky people. Which brings me to kale.

Bunky ate raw kale at age two when we took a garden class together and it gave me the false hope that she would be a voracious veggie eater. Not true. I am currently the only kale eater in the house, but that is not stopping me from making this awesome dinner…

Creamy Spaghetti with Chicken, Kale and Tomatoes

Not the prettiest picture, but everyone was hungry and grumpy when I was trying to take it.

The meal deconstructed worked out like this: Bunky ate her pasta with red sauce and strawberries on the side (don’t ask). My husband enjoyed his with chicken and tomatoes. I ate it all. The recipe is adapted from With Style & Grace, but as you know, I adjusted it for my picky family.

*This meal is gluten free, obviously, but with a few easy changes it can also be dairy free. I haven’t tested it DF, though, but if you do let me know how it turns out.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces dry gluten free spaghetti (I used Mrs. Leeper’s brown rice pasta)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, filleted
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (sub non dairy spread if you’re Dairy Free)
  • 3/4 cup half and half (use full fat coconut milk for DF)
  • 1/2 cup, approximately, grated parmesan cheese (sub nutritional yeast here for DF)
  • 2 cups kale, cut and removed from stem
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes (or more if you like)
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti a few minutes short of the package instructions for al dente. *This is key for GF pasta. If you overcook it, it will be gross – especially brown rice pasta, which gets gummy.* Set aside some pasta water if you remember. If not, don’t beat yourself up.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook chicken breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Set cooked chicken aside.

Then melt the butter in the same pan over low heat. Add half & half and mix with the melted butter to combine. Stir frequently and then add the cooked pasta. If you time it right, which I did by sheer luck, you can use tongs to transfer the pasta directly into the pan without draining it. But if not, no big deal. Just use a colander and then add pasta to saucepan.

Increase the heat to medium while you toss the pasta with the butter and half & half. Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, mix well. Add a little cooking water from the pasta if you need more liquid. If not, regular water is fine too. Then add the rest of the cheese and toss again to combine. Decrease heat and throw in the kale and tomatoes and mix well to combine. Remove after a few minutes or until kale is just slightly wilted. 

Spoon some of the pasta mixture on a plate and place chicken along side, or on top. Or underneath. It’s up to you. Tell your picky family members to remove what they don’t want and sit back and enjoy.

Pairs nicely with a glass of chilled white wine. (What doesn’t, really?) 

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mama, Eat.Live.Make, and Gluten Freed R.D., and One Creative Mommy’s Gluten Free Monday link up. Click the links to find more great GF recipes.