I first want to welcome all of my new readers who have come here through "Welcome Home" on Facebook. Thanks for reading! I suppose I'll tell you all a little about myself and how I came to be writing this blog. My name is Dianne and I work in the natural foods department of a grocery store. I haven't always been in the food business. I have a degree in civil engineering and worked as a civil engineer for about 10 years. When we moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota for my husband's job, I was unable to find a job in engineering myself. Instead, I took a job at the grocery store. I've long since had a passion for nutrition, cooking and food in general. It was a great fit.
My job at the store is part-time, so I found myself with some extra time on my hands. I started getting involved on allrecipes.com, making recipes and taking photos of them. From there I decided to write this blog. I never would have pictured myself as a food blogger, but now it seems like the perfect fit. I get to be artistic with photography and creative making up my own recipes.
You may notice that some of the food I make is "different." Several years ago I noticed that my digestive issues were getting worse, so I started changing my diet to feel better. I was diagnosed with IBS long ago and thought it was just a "non-diagnosis." They couldn't find anything wrong with me, so it must be IBS, and I would just have to put up with it. Although haven't officially been tested for it, I'm pretty sure I have fructose malabsorption too. It was when I learned about fructose malabsorption that I discovered how a low-fructose diet can make all the difference in how I feel. It turns out I've been eating not only a low-fructose diet, but also a low-FODMAP diet as well, which is great for people who suffer from IBS. In fact, a lot of people with IBS also have fructose malabsorption.
So you can find recipes on my blog from before I changed my diet and plenty of recipes that are low-fructose, low-FODMAP and wheat- and gluten-free from after. Here is one such recipe that is gluten-free, low-fructose and low-FODMAP. The only issues with this recipe may be with the dairy products. Hard cheese, such as cheddar, and heavy cream are very low in lactose and I don't seem to have much issue with them. I'm really not sure if I'm lactose intolerant. I was always a big cottage cheese eater and recently stopped eating it and I feel maybe just a tad better. I'm still not sure if it's enough of a difference to go completely dairy-free, though. I love cheese and I love this casserole. It started out as just a chicken and potato casserole, but then I made some changes to it and I decided that it was so similar to the ingredients in a loaded baked potato, I would just call it that!
First, layer half of the potatoes, followed by all of the chicken in the pan.
Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper, half of the bacon and green onions and 1/2 cup cheese.
Finally, spread out the remaining potatoes, bacon, green onions, salt and pepper and another 1/2 cup cheese. Drizzle with heavy cream and dot with the butter (not pictured).
Bake for 1 1/2 hours (1 hour covered, 1/2 hour uncovered) and melt the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
3 - 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
(about 1.5 lbs. or 4 1/2 cups)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced (green parts only for low-FODMAP/low-fructose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" baking pan or casserole dish.
- Spread half of the diced potatoes in bottom of pan. Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and half the green onions.
- Spread the remaining diced potatoes on top, followed by the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup cheese, remaining green onions and another 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour heavy cream over top of casserole and then dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake until melted. Serve.