Baked Cauliflower


Serving of Baked Cauliflower


One thing I do miss while on my new eating plan is pasta. I have always loved pasta and for many years dedicated Saturday night to pasta dinners. But eating paleo has changed all that. I still want that comfort food for dinner though. So what to do? Recreate it, of course. Now no one is ever going to think that cauliflower is pasta but nevertheless, I made this baked cauliflower and it was so good, the hubby went for seconds!

To make this work, since I also am off of dairy, I had to make a cauliflower ricotta. So, this month you get two recipes, three, if you count the sauce, for the price of one! You can find my spaghetti sauce recipe here.

Cauliflower Ricotta, Makes 1 1/2 cups. From




Clean Dish Towel

Measuring spoons

Food Processor



16 oz frozen cauliflower

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 T nutritional yeast (Optional)

1 egg (optional if you’re not using this in a baked dish)


Cooling Cauliflower

Cook cauliflower according to package directions.

Allow to cool for 5 – 6 minutes

Pour into a colander and drain all water.

Squeeze the water out

Spend 1 – 2 minutes squeezing water out of the cauliflower.

Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

Finished cauliflower ricotta

Baked Cauliflower from




9 X 13 baking dish

Large Bowl

Cutting Board




1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 lb ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

2 T thinly sliced basil plus more for garnish

1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 cups) cut into florets, blanched and drained well

1 1/2 c ricotta

2 c shredded mozzarella

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan

Note 1: I’m giving you the directions as listed in the recipe. I used the cauliflower ricotta above and vegan mozzarella. I cheated and used the real deal parmesan. There is no paleo substitute for parmesan. So if you want to keep this totally Paleo, just skip the parm.

Note 2: The above ingredients are for making the sauce. You can use this one or mine, see the link above.



Preheat oven to 375F.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned. Drain fat.

Add the tomato paste and oregano and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In a large bowl, pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine. In a large, oiled baking dish, place half the cauliflower in an even layer.

Dollop all over with half of the ricotta, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add the rest of the cauliflower in an even layer and top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake until the cheese is melty and golden, 25 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

Note 3: I only used half of the sauce on the cauliflower.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite baked dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

Arroz con Pollo

No pasta this month, it’s rice instead. I saw this recipe on Food Network’s, Farmhouse Rules with Nancy Fuller. An upstate girl myself, I enjoy Nancy’s show and this one was shown around Cinco de Mayo, of course! Anyway, I haven’t made a chicken and rice casserole in I can’t remember when. So while I missed doing it on May 5th, it was shortly thereafter and on a rainy, cold day. I was grateful to have that lovely smell of rice, chicken and saffron filling the house and the heat of the oven making things all warm and cozy.

Serves 4 – 6.


Cutting board


Cast Iron Dutch Oven




1/4 c olive oil

12 bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (I used 6 pieces, thighs and legs)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup diced tomato

4 cups chicken stock

One 12-ounce bottle lager beer

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 pimento, chopped (jarred pimento is fine, about 1/4 cup)

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brown the chicken

Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pieces. My Dutch oven held 3 pieces without crowding. So I browned 3 at a time, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, holding the browned pieces until they were all done.

Onion, Pepper, and Garlic

Add the onions and peppers to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute.

Add Spices

Add the paprika, cumin, saffron and bay leaves, stirring until incorporated.

Liquids and Chicken

Next, add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beer, rice and another teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, cover and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. Notice how the saffron is already giving the dish that lovely, golden hue.

Add peas and pimento

Remove the pot from the oven, add the peas and pimentos, then cover and return to the oven until the rice is completely tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.

The chicken was falling off the bone tender and hubby really enjoyed the meal.


Notes: I used brown rice which has a longer cooking time than arborio rice. Adjust your cooking times to fit the rice you use.

I used the exact amounts of herbs and spices as recommended since this was the first time I’d used this recipe. In the future, I’ll increase the cumin and paprika and perhaps add a spicy pepper to bring up the heat a little. As it is, it’s not as savory as I would have liked, but very tasty never-the-less.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite rice or chicken supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

AuGratin Potatoes: Chicklets in the Kitchen


The Tools: Potatoes, Cheese Sauce, Mandolin and Oiled Casserole Dish.

I’ve done scalloped potatoes on this blog before and AuGratin Potatoes are a close relation to them. I won’t go into the making of a white sauce again but all you have to do for AuGratin sauce is add in a cup or two of shredded cheese and your sauce is done. I used left-over sauce that I’d made a few days earlier for macaroni and cheese.

I don’t usually get this fancy but I had friends coming over for dinner and thought this would be a great side dish. The rest of the meal was grilled chicken thighs and grilled asparagus. Yummy!


One 2 quart casserole dish oiled or buttered

Mandolin (or sharp knife)



3 pounds of white or yellow potatoes. I love Yukon Golds.

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese sauce, about 3 cups

Milk or half and half to thin out the cheese sauce


Heat oven to 350 degrees F


Potatoes and Mandolin

If you have a mandolin, it makes the job faster and easier but using a knife is just as effective. Slice the potatoes.

AuGratin Potatos 006.JPG

Put the slices into the casserole.


Warming up the cheese sauce so the casserole doesn’t take so long to come up to temperature.


Adding milk, salt and pepper to the cheese sauce

Salt and pepper the sauce. It makes seasoning the potatoes a lot easier.


Saucing the potatoes

Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes, doing a little stir to make sure the sauce gets to the bottom. Add the milk or half and half and stir again if there isn’t enough sauce to cover.


Casserole covered and ready to go into a 350 degree oven.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes for the boiling to subside. Serve


The finished AuGratin casserole

Feeds 6.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your favorite potato recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Chicken Noodle Cassarole: Chicklets in the Kitchen


Chicken Noodle Casserole

Leftovers. I know. It’s Christmas Day. You’re going to have left-over turkey, or beef, or even pork. Or later in the year, you’ll have left-over chicken, but not enough for everyone. What to do? Chop it up and mix it into a casserole. That way one chicken leg and thigh quarter will feed four instead of just one or two!

Mid-December I roasted four leg and thigh quarters because I was expecting company. They had to cancel at the last minute, so that meant I had leftover chicken. Not a problem. Hubby polished off some in his salad the next day. Then he asked if I’d make chicken noodle casserole. I was good with that.

So, here’s how you do it.


Ingredients for Chicken Noodle Casserole


2 quart sauce pan

2 quart casserole dish, lightly coated bottom and sides with olive oil

Silicone spatula

Food Ingredients

2 Cups of left-over chicken

1/2 pound of pasta (I use gluten free)

2 Cans of Progresso Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 – 1 cup chopped Celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

Tablespoon dried sage

1/2 tsp dried garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh ground pepper

Optional: Instead of the canned soup, use 4 cups of white sauce, seasoned to taste.




Pasta in Boiling Water

Bring water in the saucepan to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook only half-way, about 7 minutes (for my pasta), then drain and rinse.

Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


Saute Onions, Celery, herbs and salt and pepper

After you drain the pasta, in the same saucepan melt 2 T of butter and sauté the onion and celery until they begin to soften. Add the salt, pepper, and herbs. Add the canned soup (or the white sauce).


Corn starch Slurry

Note: I only had one can of the soup so I used a cup of milk (lactose free for the hubby) and a couple of tablespoons of corn starch to make a slurry. I added that to the onion/celery mix first and let it begin to thicken, then added the soup. Add the chicken.


Slurry and Soup into the Onions and Celery


Chicken Added to the Mix


Pasta in the Dish

Put the pasta in the oiled casserole dish. Pour the saucepan mix over it and mix well. Add more milk or water if you think you need more sauce.


Pour Chicken Mix over the Pasta


Mix Pasta and Chicken Sauce

Put into the heated oven for half an hour. Remove the lid and cook another 15 minutes to get those lovely brown crunchy bits on top. Remove from oven and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite casserole recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Guest Chick: Judy Alter

Greetings, Chicklets and Roosters. Arlene here. As I told you last week, I’ve been feeling the pressure of getting ready for my October release, “Diva in the Dugout.”

One of the ways I’ve been preparing is keeping up with all the comings and goings on the Turquoise Morning Press author’s loop. There’s a large and talented group of folks writing great stories — and blogging about them.

When I discovered that my new TMP sister Judy Alter had not one but two blogs where she talked about cooking (and life),  Potluck with Judy and Judy’s Stew, I knew she’d make a great guest chick.

Take it away, Judy! Continue reading