My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hash Brown Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole. The first time I ever had hash brown casserole was at my Aunt Carol's house on Christmas day many years ago. It quickly became a family favorite and I looked forward to having this on Christmas day at her house. Matter of fact...I think I made a meal on just the potatoes and her Chex mix! After I had children and couldn't always make it to Christmas dinner at her house, she shared her recipe with me. Since then, my family has enjoyed the hash brown casserole on most of our holidays. (And sometimes we just craved it so we had it on a casual weekend with steak dinner!) Then I found out I had a gluten allergy and haven't made these potatoes for a couple of years. Our family really missed these scrumptious potatoes at the last few holidays. I was determined to make them gluten free, delicious and economical. I do not think that gluten free food has to be expensive or tasteless!

     I grew up in a family that has some fabulous cooks (many of our friends are great cooks too!) and food is an important part of our socializing. We get together for holidays, celebrations and just to visit. Food is always in the center of the entertaining. No one wants to eat tasteless food and purchasing special food is extremely expensive. I want to enjoy the comfort foods that I grew up eating and I don't want to sacrifice flavor + I want my guests to enjoy the meal also. (Let's face it...if the food sucks then no one wants to come to my house for dinner! My goal is to make my food gluten free and delicious so everyone loves it and those with gluten allergies can have a great meal without health issues).

     I have been to several restaurants including Cracker Barrel, that have similar potatoes but they all have gluten in them. All the recipes that I have come across have cream soups in them which are not gluten free. (Yes, you can go to a specialty store and buy expensive gluten free soups but I am way too frugal for that!) So, I have tweaked Aunt Carol's original recipe to make it gluten free so everyone that eats at our house can enjoy the hash brown casserole and would never guess it is gluten free. It doesn't require any expensive "special" ingredients. The nice thing about this casserole is you can make it in advance and bake it the day you need it. It also freezes very well. (And leftovers taste great stuffed inside a homemade egg burrito made with corn tortillas...just saying!)

If you have a dairy allergy then you can substitute dairy free cheese, dairy free margarine (or oil) and you can use dairy free evaporated milk. (I included a recipe below for dairy free evaporated milk for those of you that want to try it).

Hash Brown Casserole Recipe:
  • 30 oz. bag of frozen hash browns (shredded or cubed), defrosted. You can use potatoes that you have shredded or cubed yourself if you prefer. It is a good way to use up potatoes. Potatoes are cheap if you are willing to do the work yourself.
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk (I used fat free). You can also substitute 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half & half for the evaporated milk. 
  • 2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (Make sure they are gluten free. I used Goya brand today. Better Than Bouillon brand is a paste form that is gluten free and wonderful to use also). If you are vegetarian then substitute a gluten free mushroom bouillon or any other gluten free flavoring you prefer. I have even added 1/2 cup of left over gluten free alfredo sauce and it was a yummy addition!
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used non-fat greek plain yogurt today). You can also substitute mayonnaise or a dairy free equivalent. 
  • 1 tbs. corn starch 
  • 8 oz. shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend cheese. You can use cheddar cheese if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter (I used real butter because I prefer the flavor but you can substitute margarine or oil)
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (or you can use gluten free corn flakes cereal or regular potato chips)
Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the hash browns, chopped onion, shredded cheese and sour cream together. Warm the milk in the microwave or stove top with the chicken bouillon and corn starch until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir into the potato mixture. Spoon into 9x13 pan. Mix the melted butter or oil with the crushed tortilla chips (or corn flakes or potato chips) and sprinkle on top of the potato mixture. Bake 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes or until heated through so cheese is melted and top is golden brown and crunchy.

Diary free evaporated milk recipe:

  • 12 oz. Rice Milk
  • 12 oz. Coconut Milk

Shake the can of coconut milk well to incorporate "cream" that solidifies at the top of can. Combine the rice milk and coconut milk in pot on medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Bring to a slow boil. Turn heat to low and simmer (stirring occasionally) until liquid has been reduced by half. Cool to room temperature before storing in a mason jar or container that seals. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days before using. NOTE: Liquid will separate after it is cooled. Just whisk together before using.

I hope you find this recipe becomes a holiday tradition for a casual side dish!

Gluten Free Casually

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, I'm making in for Tues. AM. It looks good, and I have to be G free too, as for Celiac.