When it comes to good, old-fashioned home cooking, there is a standby ingredient that millions of home have sitting in their pantry or cupboards. Millions of homes including my own.
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom/Chicken/Celery/Potato/Broccoli Soup
Only in my home, those cans are collecting dust and have been since Fall of 2011. Well, more like Summer 2005.
Campbell's soup may be convenient and tasty and a key part of great recipes, but they're also full of dairy and gluten; two things two of my little ones can't eat with a dairy allergy and celiac disease. I really try to avoid the chaos of preparing three different meals for my family--life is crazy enough as it is--so Campbell's Cream of Whatever hasn't been on my shopping list for awhile. And the recipes that call for it have been off the table too.
No Cheesy Potatoes.
No Chicken and Rice.
No...Uhhh...It really has been so long since I've cooked any of those recipes that I can't even remember what they are.
Forget about the gluten and dairy! Those classic red and white cans are full of sodium, fat, and a bunch of other unhealthy junk. AND they're just so darn expensive. Was it really so bad that my children's food issues prevented me from using any Campbell's Cream Soups? Probably not.
But come on. What really goes better with ham than Cheesy Potatoes?
1 cup non-fat dried milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup beef/chicken/veggie bouillon (granules or powder, NOT cubes)
4 TBSP dried minced onions
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Pour all ingredients into jar. Screw on lid and shake jar to mix thoroughly. Label lid with preparation instructions (For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup: mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cup water. Heat in sauce pan on medium until thick.) Store in pantry.
I was rather skeptical the first time I tried this recipe. Could this really taste that good? Will this mix actually thicken? It worked perfectly! It does NOT taste exactly like Campbell's soup, but it is delicious nonetheless in it's own way. And it has to be healthier than the canned stuff. Less preservatives, salt, and fat. And most importantly for us, it's GLUTEN FREE!
So what did I use it for? Well, Cheesy Potatoes of course! Even though it's gluten-free, it's not dairy-free, so Dee had to eat the shredded potatoes minus the delicious, creamy sauce, but he's used to it. He was pretty pleased with his plain potatoes. (Say that three times fast!)
So, just to reiterate why this Cream of Something mix is so fantastic...
...no mystery ingredients!
...lower in sodium and fat!
...uses up some of that Non-Fat Dried Milk you have sitting in your food storage!
...can be stored in a jar! Feelin' the Jar Love on this one for sure!