Stove Top Goat Cheddar Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Gluten-Free Goat Cheddar Mac and Cheese - Kid friendly, and NO cow dairy! -Creamy and delicious. - The Nourishing Gourmet

Gluten-free noodles topped with an ultra creamy and mild cheese sauce that is free of any cow dairy, but rich and creamy with goat cheddar and chicken broth. Yum! This dish is gluten-free and cow dairy-free, but still has that lovely creamy flavor and perfect noodles that I loved as a child.

I’m glad that my children eat a variety of nourishing foods, including ones that I wouldn’t have ever eaten as a child ¬– foods like caviar and seaweed and dark greens. But sometimes it’s also fun to share nourishing versions of my favorite childhood dishes. And my favorite by far was mac and cheese. Growing up my mom would make big dishes of oven-baked mac and cheese. Yum!

The problem is that some of us don’t do well with cow dairy, and half the family is gluten-free. I had been tossing around the idea of making a goat cheddar mac and cheese recipe, but I was a little worried about how it would turn out. I finally took the plunge, and it came out wonderful!

Did you know that macaroni and cheese was a popular penny-pinching dish for a long time? I’ve read several references to it as such in old cookbooks – one of which was one that helped the poorest city folks know how to cook frugally for their families.

But I was very amused by the references to mac and cheese in the book, Below Stairsby Margaret Powell (Amazon links are affiliate).  Have you heard of it before? Margaret was born in 1907, and worked as a kitchen maid and later as a cook, and this book is her autobiography. Her book is supposed to have inspired both Upstairs, Downstairs, as well as Downton Abbey. I read it recently and enjoyed it. It must have been eye opening at the time for the upper class to see themselves through the perspective of one of the maids. Plus, Margaret has a witty and insightful writing style that makes this book so much fun!

For example, when talking about trying to find a husband, “Men are very susceptible to flattery. Even a man with a face like the back of a bus, if you tell him he doesn’t look too bad, believes you. You can stuff men up with any old yarn. They believe anything. You’ve only got to gaze into their eyes, and sound as though you mean what you say. I’ve tried it so I know it’s true.”

Or on cooking, “It’s a funny thing, but the less cooking you know how to do, the more competent you feel. It’s only when you know how to cook that it worries you when it goes wrong, because when you don’t know, you don’t know it’s gone wrong. The more experienced I got the more I worried. I soon realized when a dish wasn’t perfection. Not that I could have hoped to have a dish that was perfection at Lady Gibbons’ because even the best cook in the world can’t make a dish out of poor ingredients.”

The book is full of rich little nuggets like above that make this book a riot to read (but also full of human insight). And while reading the book, I noticed that my favorite dish was treated rather poorly. In pre-war times in the wealthy households that she worked in, mac and cheese was not held in high regard at all. Margaret describes how some of the households went through vast amounts of cream and meat and all sorts of good ingredients to make elaborate 12-course meals for their every dinner upstairs, while downstairs, the servants were fed far less scrumptious meals.

She says, “What we had at night were the left- overs of the day before or a macaroni cheese or welsh rarebit. It wasn’t Mrs. McIlroy’s fault [the cook], she wasn’t allowed to give us more. Some of the maids used to moan like mad and say they never got enough to eat. I didn’t moan, but I used to feel it wasn’t fair.“

What! My beloved mac and cheese snubbed by even the servants? But on second thought, considering we do all of our housework ourselves, I guess we are the servants of our household, and so it is fitting that we eat creamy and delicious poor man mac and cheese. 😉

If you, like me, accept humble fare instead of 12-course meals, I hope you’ll enjoy this lovely little dish. (And if you love books, check out Below Stairs ).

Goat Cheddar Cheese Sauce - Pour over noodles for mac and cheese OR over steamed vegetables. Yum! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

This creamy cheddar sauce is perfect not only noodles but also over steamed vegetables for a low-carb option (or just a very yummy vegetable side!). Try it with cauliflower!

Notes on the recipe:

  • I used the this gluten free pasta (they hold together well and taste great), but you can use whatever brand/kind you like. You can get them here on Amazon.
  • I didn’t use goat milk in this recipe to replace cow milk. Why? Goat milk tends to get more “goaty” in flavor when heated. I was nervous about using chicken broth as I was concerned it would be too thin, but it turned out great. I used store bought, and not homemade, but homemade would be even better.
  • You can make this into baked mac and cheese by putting the finished mac and cheese in a pan, and sprinkling with cheese and putting in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Make sure you use a mild cheese (not “goaty” cheddar) for this recipe.

Gluten-Free Goat Cheddar Mac and Cheese - Kid friendly, and NO cow dairy! -Creamy and delicious. - The Nourishing Gourmet

Other Recipes Based on Books:

Stove Top Goat Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 8 ounces of gluten free elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter of choice (Goat, sheep, or cow, if you can tolerate it) OR oil or fat of choice (you can try bacon grease too!)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (Or try arrowroot or organic corn starch)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth, homemade or store bought (made with real food ingredients)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ pound of mild goat cheddar, grated
  • Unrefined salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional flavor addition: dried or fresh thyme, paprika, cayenne, fresh chives, diced cooked bacon

Directions:

1. Cook the noodles according to the packages instructions until JUST cooked (don’t overcook). Make sure you boil in salted water. Drain and rinse.

2. For the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, and whisk in the tapioca flour. Whisk for one to two minutes (don’t allow it to burn) and then slowly whisk in the broth. It should thicken almost immediately. Once it has thickened, add the goat cheddar, and stir until the goat cheddar has melted (about five minutes or so). Salt and pepper to taste. Add any flavor additions. The sauce should be on the verge of being too salty, as it will be diluted on the noodles.

3. Pour the noodles into the sauce, and gently fold into the cheese sauce. Serve right away and enjoy!

(To bake: Pour into a casserole dish, sprinkle with more cheddar cheese. Bake in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.)

Stove Top Goat Cheddar Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of gluten free elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter of choice (Goat, sheep, or cow, if you can tolerate it) OR oil or fat of choice (you can try bacon grease too!)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (Or try arrowroot or organic corn starch)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth, homemade or store bought (made with real food ingredients)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ pound of mild goat cheddar, grated
  • Unrefined salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional flavor addition: dried or fresh thyme, paprika, cayenne, fresh chives, diced cooked bacon
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles according to the packages instructions until JUST cooked (don’t overcook). Make sure you boil in salted water. Drain and rinse.
  2. For the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, and whisk in the tapioca flour. Whisk for one to two minutes (don’t allow it to burn) and then slowly whisk in the broth. It should thicken almost immediately. Once it has thickened, add the goat cheddar, and stir until the goat cheddar has melted (about five minutes or so). Salt and pepper to taste. Add any flavor additions. The sauce should be on the verge of being too salty, as it will be diluted on the noodles.
  3. Pour the noodles into the sauce, and gently fold into the cheese sauce. Serve right away and enjoy!
  4. (To bake: Pour into a casserole dish, sprinkle with more cheddar cheese. Bake in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.)

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon and Chicken (Grain–free. AIP)

This grain free fried rice is full of flavor from ginger, garlic and green onions, and is filling enough to serve as a main dish with the bacon and chicken. Yum! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

This fun dish is full of flavor from ginger, garlic, green onions. And, because it’s made with cauliflower “rice”, it’s also Grain Free and AIP-friendly! The bacon adds depth of flavor that can’t be beaten. Plus, with the addition of the chicken, this is a main dish!

As I mentioned in this post about saving bacon grease, my husband taught me his family’s method of making fried rice, and the secret was using bacon grease. So much flavor! I’ve used it in this dish, and it adds a lovely depth of flavor. You can use avocado oil, pastured lard, or whatever nourishing heat-safe fat you have on hand if you don’t consume pork products or just don’t have any bacon in the house. I’d start with about 2 tablespoons.

Since my post on the bacon grease, I’ve gotten a few requests to talk more about how to find the best bacon/pork products. I think that topic deserves its own post detailing the “best, better, and worst” options. Meanwhile, I suggest that you buy the best quality that you can afford, with pastured organic bacon being the top choice. I also give very simple directions for making your own bacon in my soup cookbook, Ladled! If you are on the AIP diet, my understanding is that you should be using nitrate-free (something I choose to do normally).

Other AIP Recipes:

This dish comes together quickly. Prep ingredients before starting, or if you are comfortable doing two things at once, dice the chicken while the bacon cooks and prep the ginger, garlic, and carrots while the chicken cooks. This is another dish that cooks best in my beloved 12-inch cast iron pan. (affiliate link).

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon and Chicken (AIP, Grain-free)

Serves 2 main dish servings (4 small sides)

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 chicken thighs (or breasts), diced
  • 2 celery sticks, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 16-ounce package of cauliflower rice (about 3 ½ cups)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled, and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 3 green onions, roots trimmed and top couple of inches cut off, then thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of grated carrots (peeled before grated)

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat, turning to brown evenly. Once the bacon is done, remove to a plate, and add the diced chicken and celery sticks to the hot grease. Cook, stirring as needed to cook evenly. Cook until the chicken is done (no pink in the middle).

2, Add the cauliflower rice, ginger, garlic and carrots, and green onions. Cook, stirring as needed to prevent sticking. If at anytime the pan seems dry, you can add more saved bacon grease, or other fat/oil. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the cauliflower and carrots are tender. Crumble bacon over the dish and salt to taste and enjoy.

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon and Chicken (Grain–free. AIP)
 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 chicken thighs (or breasts), diced
  • 2 celery sticks, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 16-ounce package of cauliflower rice (about 3 ½ cups)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled, and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 3 green onions, roots trimmed and top couple of inches cut off, then thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of grated carrots (peeled before grated)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat, turning to brown evenly. Once the bacon is done, remove to a plate, and add the diced chicken and celery sticks to the hot grease. Cook, stirring as needed to cook evenly. Cook until the chicken is done (no pink in the middle).
  2. Add the cauliflower rice, ginger, garlic and carrots, and green onions. Cook, stirring as needed to prevent sticking. If at anytime the pan seems dry, you can add more saved bacon grease, or other fat/oil. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the cauliflower and carrots are tender. Crumble bacon over the dish and salt to taste and enjoy.

 

Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry

This easy dish makes a wonderful and flavorful frugal main dish that is paleo and AIP friendly too!  Serve it over desired carbohydrate (AIP - think cauli-rice or sweet potato). -- The Nourishing GourmetThis easy main dish is a stand by for our family. Ginger and garlic brightly flavor broccoli, mushrooms, and ground beef. It’s wonderful served over rice, cauliflower rice, or even eaten on its own. It’s very frugal, and fast to make – all of which makes this dish reappear on our menu frequently.

This is also the type of meal that works so well for us to be both an AIP-friendly main for me, and a dish that everyone else can enjoy too. I can serve this with rice or quinoa for my family to enjoy, and for me, I can enjoy it with cauliflower rice, or top a sweet potato with it.

I’ve mentioned many times that we typically eat a very simple diet, and this is an example of that. It just takes a couple of vegetables (and really, you can also make this with just broccoli), a meat, some fresh ginger and garlic, and a carb to serve it with. I should also note that this isn’t a “stir fry” made the traditional Chinese method. This is our easy no-fail method where the vegetables get well cooked along with the meat.

A couple of notes on the recipe:

  • For those on the AIP diet, you may like to pick up a bottle of coconut aminos. I like this recipe just as it is, but having the option of the sweet and salty coconut aminos is nice too.
  • To grate the fresh ginger, I love using my microplane (it has many uses in the kitchen!).
  • I use my largest beloved cast iron pan for dishes like this. I bought my largest pan at Goodwill (and practically had to fight off other shoppers for it). This 12-inch cast iron is very similar to what I used.

 

Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of fat of choice (I like saving leftover bacon grease for dishes like this. Yum!)
  • Two cups of broccoli (cut into smallish stalks/florets )*
  • ½ pound of mushrooms, gently washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ground meat of choice (I used grassfed beef, but pork would be nice too)
  • 1 to 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (you want about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • To serve: soy sauce, tamari (for gluten-free), or coconut aminos (for AIP option), optional

Directions: 

1. In a large pan, heat fat of choice over medium to medium-high heat (stay with medium if using a cast iron pan) until hot. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

2. Add the beef, ginger and garlic cloves, and sprinkle again with salt. Stir, breaking the beef into small pieces as it cooks, until the beef it completely cooked.

3. If you have excess fat (depending on the grade of ground beef you used), push the meat and vegetables to one side, and tip the pan slightly to pool the grease on one side of the pan. Remove with a spoon.

4. Salt to taste. Serve with desired carbohydrate (such as rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes), and soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.

*After I cut off the bunch of florets at the top of the broccoli stalk, I cut off the very end of the broccoli stem. I then peel the stem of the broccoli to remove the hard exterior, and thinly slice it. I add it back to the florets, and it will cook in the same time as the florets (plus, it’s very delicious, and reduces waste!).

Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of fat of choice (I like saving leftover bacon grease for dishes like this. Yum!)
  • Two cups of broccoli (cut into smallish stalks/florets )*
  • ½ pound of mushrooms, gently washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ground meat of choice (I used grassfed beef, but pork would be nice too)
  • 1- 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (you want about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • To serve: soy sauce, tamari (for gluten-free), or coconut aminos (for AIP option), optional
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, heat fat of choice over medium to medium-high heat (stay with medium if using a cast iron pan) until hot. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
  2. Add the beef, ginger and garlic cloves, and sprinkle again with salt. Stir, breaking the beef into small pieces as it cooks, until the beef it completely cooked.
  3. If you have excess fat (depending on the grade of ground beef you used), push the meat and vegetables to one side, and tip the pan slightly to pool the grease on one side of the pan. Remove with a spoon.
  4. Salt to taste. Serve with desired carbohydrate (such as rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes), and soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
Notes
*After I cut off the bunch of florets at the top of the broccoli stalk, I cut off the very end of the broccoli stem. I then peel the stem of the broccoli to remove the hard exterior, and thinly slice it. I add it back to the florets, and it will cook in the same time as the florets (plus, it’s very delicious, and reduces waste!).

 

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms - a frugal, lovely comfort food that's full of nourishing ingredients too! -- The Nourishing Gourmet
This casserole’s aroma and visual appeal had my kids ogling: first the smell of the easy roux cooking (think browned butter and cream!), then the grating of the Gruyere, the toasty smell of quinoa bubbling in bone broth, and, of course, the redolence of sauteed mushrooms with garlic and herbs.
I first made this casserole when we were phasing off of a grain-free diet, to see how we’d do with quinoa. I soaked the gluten-free grain overnight, to reduce phytic acid and improve its digestibility. (That’s an easy step- just a little salt water overnight: instructions below.) We all loved it and pronounced it an instant creamy classic.
Although the recipe is topped with a roux (homemade cream sauce), I hope you’ll know this is one quick-to-assemble casserole that provides 8 big servings; so it’s great for guests or a weeknight meal. Melted cheese atop chicken and cozy, high protein quinoa (that cooks while it bakes!) provide a comfort food that’s fun to make and sure to please.
The main ingredients are all accessible at Trader Joe’s- an easy way to grab what you need for a plentiful dinner. (There are a few additional basic pantry or fridge ingredients you may already have on hand at home.) The ingredients aren’t all inexpensive, but they’re high quality and relatively affordable; (let’s face it: organic chicken isn’t cheap). When you buy a couple of the ingredients, the Gruyere cheese (or jack, for a milder flavor) and quinoa, you’ll be able to use leftovers of these ingredients another time as well; the recipe only uses half of what you’ll buy. Or perhaps you already buy quinoa in bulk?
The whole casserole costs about $18.25 to make. If you serve 8 people, each servings costs about $2.25.
Here’s the price breakdown if you purchase your ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
$4.58- 1 pound organic mushrooms
$1.75- 1 cup quinoa
$8.50- 1.75 pounds organic chicken thighs
$3.15- 1-1/4 cups grated Gruyere (or less for jack cheese)
$.25- 3 cloves organic garlic
The additional ingredients you’ll need are bone broth, a cup of cream or milk (we use raw cream), a teeny bit of white rice flour, butter, herbs, salt and pepper. The casserole is loaded with chicken; so if you want to save money, make a really big salad and give smaller portions of the casserole, or use less chicken, if you’re really stretched budget-wise. It’s the spendiest ingredient by far.
Enjoy!
Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup organic, grass-fed cream (or raw cream or milk)
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water
  • 1.5-1.75 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″/bite-size cubes/pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  •  1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or use jack for a milder flavor)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons animal fat, butter, or avocado oil (for sauteing)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or mixed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium size bowl, soak the quinoa in the 1-1/2 cups water and apple cider vinegar overnight. When ready to assemble the casserole, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and set aside. It will cook in the oven.

Grease a large casserole dish (9″ by 13″ or similar) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the 1/4 cup rice flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes, to cook the raw flavor out of the flour. (This part smells really good.) In a steady, thin stream, constantly whisk in the bone broth, then the cream, allowing the liquid to absorb the flour, as it becomes a creamy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, stirring, and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons preferred fat over high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, stirring briefly. Cover for 2-3 minutes, to produce steam. Uncover and add herbs. Saute over medium-high heat for 8 minutes more. Set aside and allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Add cubed chicken and stir to combine.

Place soaked, rinsed quinoa (uncooked) into greased casserole dish, spreading it out evenly. Top with chicken mushroom mixture, spreading it out over the quinoa. Add about 3/4 of the total grated cheese to the roux (cream sauce), stirring briefly to mix. Top chicken and mushrooms with cream sauce. Spread the sauce to within 1″ of the edges of the casserole. Pour the 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water in around the edges. Carefully transfer dish to oven and bake 45 minutes, until edges are bubbling rapidly and all water is absorbed.

Serve with an optional side of wilted greens or a green salad.

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup organic, grass-fed cream (or raw cream)
  • ¼ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water
  • 1.5-1.75 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1"/bite-size cubes/pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or use jack for a milder flavor)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons animal fat, butter, or avocado oil (for sauteing)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or mixed Italian herbs
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl, soak the quinoa in the 1-1/2 cups water and apple cider vinegar overnight. When ready to assemble the casserole, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and set aside. It will cook in the oven.
  2. Grease a large casserole dish (9" by 13" or similar) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place ¼ cup butter in small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the ¼ cup rice flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes, to cook the raw flavor out of the flour. (This part smells really good.) In a steady, thin stream, constantly whisk in the bone broth, then the cream, allowing the liquid to absorb the flour, as it becomes a creamy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the ½ teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon white pepper, stirring, and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons preferred fat over high heat. Add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon sea salt, stirring briefly. Cover for 2-3 minutes, to produce steam. Uncover and add herbs. Saute over medium-high heat for 8 minutes more. Set aside and allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Add cubed chicken and stir to combine.
  5. Place soaked, rinsed quinoa (uncooked) into greased casserole dish, spreading it out evenly. Top with chicken mushroom mixture, spreading it out over the quinoa. Add about ¾ of the total grated cheese to the roux (cream sauce), stirring briefly to mix. Top chicken and mushrooms with cream sauce. Spread the sauce to within 1" of the edges of the casserole. Pour the 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water in around the edges. Carefully transfer dish to oven and bake 45 minutes, until edges are bubbling rapidly and all water is absorbed.
  6. Serve with an optional side of wilted greens or a green salad.