I never knew my grandmother but by all accounts she was an astounding cook – able to take the most random ingredients (and often very few – they were quite poor) and make mouth-watering, incredibly flavorful, satisfying dishes. I claim no such culinary genius – if only! But once in a while I can do a pale imitation. A fleeting culinary muse, perhaps? Who knows… it’s a bit thrilling when it happens, though.
This dish, on the other hand, was inspired by two very deep emotions.
1. I had no money that day. 2. I could have gone to the store and used a credit card, but that entailed getting out of my comfy apparel and I felt very strongly against that.
I knew I had a package of mini gnocchi. I found a very boring recipe for a bake online. Boring gnocchi is not cool so I dashed to the pantry and then to the fridge, and it all came together in my head. All I needed now was healthy green things. To the garage freezer. Eureka! Frozen hurricane spinach! We’re saved!
It came out so friggin’ good. Another reason to make this slow cooker shredded chicken ahead of time! I used all the low-fodmap options included in the recipe. (Except butter. I never leave out the butter.) Roux made with gluten-free flour looks and behaves weirdly, but becomes fine once you introduce the milk and broth.
Here’s to you, Grandma – a blessing to all and an inspiration to many!
Chicken Swiss Gnocchi Bake
A cheesy gnocchi bake with shredded chicken, squash, spinach, black olives and cream! Low fodmap options included.
4ozcan of quality mushrooms (Like portabella) – drained(already low-fodmap)
1bagfrozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1medium yellow squash (or zucchini), chopped(I chop away the excess seeds)
3/4cupshredded swiss cheese
1/4cupgrated parmesan cheese
1/2cupsliced black olives
1cuplow sodium chicken broth(low-fodmap: homemade or Progresso unsalted)
2TBSPbutter(more oil if intolerant)
2TBSPflour(low-fodmap: gluten free flour)
1cup2% milk(low-fodmap: use a lactose-free milk)
1/2cupheavy cream(if intolerant use more milk)
1/4tspground black pepper (or more to taste)
1TBSPextra virgin olive oil(2 if not using butter)
additional salt & pepper for vegetables
Preheat oven to 425 F
In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and squash. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Transfer veggies to a container. Clean the dutch oven well (remove anything stuck to the bottom).
Return dutch oven/skillet to the stove. Add butter (or more oil) and return to medium heat (more lowish than highish medium). When melted add the flour and whisk for a few minutes. (Gluten free flour behaves oddly during this – it'll be okay when you add the milk)
Whisk in milk, then the cream, then the chicken broth. Whisk away. Allow to simmer, whisking until smooth. Liquid will thicken in about 5-10 minutes.
Whisk in 1 tsp salt & 1/8 tsp nutmeg.
Add back in the mushrooms and squash, as well as the cooked chicken, olives, spinach and black pepper. Mix well.
Finally, stir in the swiss cheese and combine well. Top with grated parm.
Use the next rack position from the top one. Put dutch oven uncovered in and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling (might be less time).
Change oven setting to broil and broil a few minutes until cheese starts turning a light brown.