Chicken Divan

Ohmagosh! Can anyone say Chicken Divan!? Made from scratch – the old fashion way. Okay sure I have tweaked it a tiny bit, but not much.

The finished dish, a few serving removed. I may have over done it with the topping, but that is one of my favorite parts.

The finished dish, a few serving removed. I may have over done it with the topping, but that is one of my favorite parts.

Many years ago, like in the 1970’s after my maternal grandmother died I found her original hand written recipe card for Chicken Divan. THEN I found the magazine page she had cut out with the very original recipe made with Hellman’s mayonnaise. I senselessly threw out the magazine page and only saved Grandma’s hand written copy. I have no idea which magazine it was or the year. But I know it was way before my cooking years.

I’ve had modern versions of Chicken Divan made with canned soup and frozen broccoli. It was good. This is better.

That said, here is my recipe with my minor tweaks.

Chicken Divan

one medium chicken cooked, boned and cut into bite size pieces – this can be roasted or poached or boiled if you are a chicken boiler – just sayin’

one big head of broccoli cut into flowerets and steamed for about 2 minutes (I’m not convinced you have to steam this as it will bake for 45 minutes)

1/2 medium onion, chopped and sautéed in a dab of butter

2 C. chicken broth (I used my home-made broth)

1/2 scant C. flour

1 C. milk – whatever kind you like to use

1/2 tsp. curry powder – your favorite of course

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 C. mayo – Miracle Whip will work if that’s what you keep

1 pkg. stove top stuffing – yea this is a cop-out I know, bread crumbs, Panko, dried up cornbread crumbled – all will work

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

I must have put some black pepper in this and forgotten.

I must have put some black pepper in this and forgotten.

Make the sauce; put the chicken broth and flour into a 3 or 4 cup glass jar and screw the lid down tight. Shake the heck out of it till the flour is blended in real well. Pour into a medium saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring continuously. As soon as it starts to thicken add the milk. Use a whisk if you want to. Add the curry powder and lemon juice. Cook at a light bubble while stirring for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes then stir in the mayo. Add the sautéed onions.

Prep the broccoli and place it in an 11 X 13 baking pan – I used a round glass dish. Layer the prepped chicken over that. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Top with the stuffing mix and sprinkle the Parmesan over it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes 4 – 6 hefty servings.

I served it with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and a meal was made. Oops, I forgot to photograph the plate! My’bad.

Some notes: The onions were my idea – I can’t imagine cooking savory foods without onion. The broccoli did not need to be precooked. Use canned cream of chicken soup if you like. Or canned chicken broth, or vegetable broth and tofu instead of chicken. Viola! Nearly vegetarian. You know it’s almost never about following a recipe exactly. Make due with what you have or use the product you like best. Once in a while a substitution won’t work but usually it will be fine. Sure you might notice the difference between whole milk and skim, but oh well.

Let’s visit gravy in all its glorious manifestations one day soon. This lemon curry sauce is a gravy. Wasn’t it easy.

bon appetite!

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Breakfast Was Leftovers

I seldom use a Teflon pan

I seldom use a Teflon pan

I am a miser. Even with food. Don’t misunderstand that – I will not eat food that is about to go over!! But a miser I am and I like to use leftover in creative ways. Remember that marv potato salad I made last night? There was a small bowl left. It became breakfast.

So I heated the leftover potato salad – which you may remember did not have mayo in it – in a dry Teflon skillet. There was just enough oil coating the potatoes to keep them from sticking. Then I added three farm fresh eggs and cooked them until set but still a bit glossy. Really now, Marideth’s were left in the pan until they were dry. My sister and brother both like them cooked until they pop and try to jump out of the pan. But I digress.

A slab of multigrain toast, a dab of raspberry jam, orange slices and a meal was born!

As we say in the Ozarks…

bon appetite!

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Fried Green Tomatoes

100_2076I love fried green tomatoes! And the tomato plants are loaded right now. There is a gazillion ways to fry green tomatoes – take your pick. I’ll list some guildlines.

Make sure the tomatoes are large, firm and shiny. I can eat a whole large tomato myself, usually cut into 3 or 4 thick slices. I like to dip it into well beaten egg then in something dry. That something dry can be as simple as white flour (which makes a mighty fine crust) or as fancy as Japanese style Panko crumbs. Tonight I used a long time favorite, organic cornmeal and whole wheat flour. If you really want to be decadent do the dipping process twice. Yum! Then fry the slabs in your favorite oil. I have used peanut, olive and canola. I don’t keep canola around any more and have quit doing high heat frying in olive and am learning to use coconut oil. It smells divine and does not leave an aftertaste.

That said;

Fried Green Tomatoes 

a Moonmooring original

1 or 2 large firm shiny green tomatoes, sliced in slabs about 1/4 plus inch thick

1 farm fresh egg, well beaten in a shallow bowl for dipping

1/4 C. organic cornmeal and 1/4 C. whole wheat flour stirred together in another shallow bowl

1/2 C. coconut oil heated in a cast iron skillet

Heat the oil. Slice the tomatoes. Beat the egg. Dip the tomato slices in the egg then in the flour mixture and place carefully in the hot oil. Fry until the tomatoes pierce easily with a fork. Salt and pepper liberally. I really like mine with horseradish sauce on the side.

This is not the most atractive plate I have ever photographed but it does have a down home feel to it. Here e have tonights dinner; Roasted Pesto Chicken, warm potato salad, fried green tomatoes

This is not the most atractive plate I have ever photographed but it does have a down home feel to it. Here we have tonights dinner; Roasted Pesto Chicken, warm potato salad, fried green tomatoes and freshly cut and brewed mint tea. Absent from the picture the roasted cabbage with bacon. I couldn’t get the darn stuff to get done enough. It was delicious but served after dinner. Kinda like dessert – only not.

Sarah’s Warm Potato Salad

about 2 pounds of new potatoes simmered in their jackets till tender, cool in cold water and slip the skins, roughly chop into a bowl

meanwhile, cut up 3 or 4 slices of bacon in 1/2 inch pieces and fry until the fat is rendered out and the bacon is crisp, drain about half of the bacon grease and set aside

add to the still hot skillet 1 small onion chopped and 3 or 4 stalk or cutting celery diced and a few cloves of mashed garlic. Saute until the onion is wilted. Pour over the potatoes.

Add 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, 1 tsp. brown sugar, a splash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper liberally. Add more bacon grease OR olive oil to coat the potatoes well. Serve warm. makes 2 – 4 serving.

I’ll not give the cabbage recipe until I have it perfected.

bon appetite!


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Long Time No see

An invitation to a Facebook food group has refreshed my interest in this blog. It’s been over a year since I have even looked in here. Where does the time go? Too busy – but now I find myself allowing the time to do this.

A brand new garden space shared with boss, long time friend and co-gardener Marideth Sisco finds me excited about healthy food once again.

Moonmooring has been shifting toward more photos and goings on in the Ozarks allowing me to blog here about food, more.

Isis Candy cherry tomatoes. We are picking handfuls of them already - even though the garden is very late this year.

Isis Candy cherry tomatoes. We are picking handfuls of them already – even though the garden is very late this year.

bon appetite!

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Good blog post. I’ve been thinking the same thing for years and posted similar thoughts myself on Moonmooring Grub, . I keep coming back to it to read some more comments. Enjoy.

Glenn Pendlay

Why? Well it started in Guatemala last week. I was eating in the weightlifting chow hall with Donny Shankle and thinking about the food. The meal that day included a sort of salad. Tasted like it had some kale in it, had some green beans, some corn, lettuce, and bits of bacon. There were diced up potatoes, cooked with onions. Diced up carrots that most people seemed to be mixing up with the potatoes and onions. And chicken. Not fried chicken, just chicken. It was representative of most of the meals, mostly vegetables and meat, some potatoes or rice. Nothing fancy. I remarked to Donny that it would be hard to overeat and get fat on such food. Not that it wasn’t good, it was tasty enough, but it was nothing you would want to go on eating once your hunger had been satisfied. And it wasn’t calorie dense, mostly…

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This sounds and looks divine! I have to try it.

Finger, Fork & Knife

These peperonata and goats cheese crossovers should taste of sunshine, so the brightest and freshest peppers and the best puff pastry you can find will be needed to do it justice. Sweet peppers, red onion, garlic, basil and goats cheese peek through the slits in the flaky golden pastry, enticing you to take a bite and delight in the sweet tastes of the Mediterranean that are hiding within.

2 tbsp olive oil

½ red onion

4 small peppers, red and yellow

1 small courgette

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp palm sugar

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

A pinch of smoked paprika

¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Good quality goats cheese

¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 sheet all-butter puff pastry

½ tbsp poppy seeds

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C

If frozen, thaw the puff…

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Chicken Pot Pie, the Moonmooring way. Well one of the ways anyway! Highly aromatic with fresh Rosemary, sage, turmeric root, garlic, and celery and onions.


But not just any old chicken pot pie.

The first thing to do is pour about 2 cups of chicken broth (which I made yesterday, along with the simmered chicken) in a medium saucepan. Stir in 2 Tbls. organic cornstarch and cook till thick and bubbly. Lower heat to lowest setting and set aside. I wish I had taken a photo of the sauce but didn’t. So sorry!

I ran across fresh turmeric root at Mama Jeans in Springfield last week. I’ve never seen it in any stores in my neck of the woods so was delighted. It has a pungent earthy aroma and is a beautiful orange color.

I used a deep ten inch pie plate for the Chicken Pot Pie today. Cut up your vegetables and chicken and place them in the pie plate as a way to measure the right amount of ingredients.

This morning I made pie…

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This morning I made Spanakopita, aka Spank, a Mediterranean spinach pie. I told Mom and Dad it was spinach pot pie. Mom loves all things spinach and Dad was okay with it.

If you haven’t worked with phyllo dough before read the package directions very carefully. Every detail is for a reason. This is the recipe I use to make Spanakopita.


1/2 package phyllo dough, completely thawed
olive oil to brush between layers, about 1 cup or more

2 Tbls. olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp dried mint

2 – 10 ounce packages of spinach, washed and roughly chopped, leave wet

6-8 ounces feta cheese, broken into fine pieces
4 eggs

Chop then rinse the spinach and leave to drain in a colander but don’t dry it.

Heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic gently. Add the dill, nutmeg and mint. Add the wet spinach and cook until the spinach is well wilted. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile layer about 1/2 of the phyllo dough in an 8 X 13 pan, brushing each layer with olive oil.

Beat the eggs with a fork and add the crumbled Feta cheese, salt and pepper. Add to the slightly cooled spinach and mix well. Pour the spinach / egg mixture over the prepared phyllo dough and adjust the filling so it is well spread out and flat.

Before the top layer of phyllo dough goes on.

Top with the remainder of the phyllo dough, brushing oil between each layer.

Bake in a 350 oven about 30-45 minutes until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and allow to set about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Enjoy with a salad and some fruit for dessert!

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Poppy Seed Dressing

A favorite for many people, this recipe has smooth flavor!

Many years ago I visited a friend, Judith,  and she served me a salad made of what I thought to be unusual and unexpected ingredients. It was delicious and is standard fare at Moonmooring. I call this salad and dressing my house salad.

Looking down into the blender.

The Dressing

Place these ingredients into a blender;

1/4  medium white onion *see below*
3/4 C.  olive oil
1/4 C.  cider vinegar
1/2 C.  sugar
3/4 tsp.  salt
1/2 tsp.  dry mustard
Blend till smooth and creamy looking. Then add;

1 tsp.  Poppy seeds

Blend just enough to incorporate.

*Note* A white onion will make an off white creamy dressing
A red onion will create a pink dressing
Use garden fresh green onions for a beautiful light green dressing

Serve this dressing over the following salad ingredients;

The Salad

1/4 head loose iceberg lettuce, broken into large bite size pieces
8-10 sections of ruby-red grapefruit
1/4 C. broken walnuts or pecans
1/4  avocado, sliced, optional and my own addition to this marvelous salad

Pour about 2 Tbls. of the dressing over this and serve. Yummy!!

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Cream of Celery Soup

I recently posted this soup recipe on Moonmooring, along with my days adventures.

It is light and filling. Using organic celery really is a boost to the environment and your own system.

Cream of Celery Soup

1 head organic celery, cleaned and diced

1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
olive oil for sauteing
1 – 1 pound sweet potato, light fleshed, cooked, peeled and diced
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups whole milk, or your prefered milk
1/4 cup cold water
3 Tbls. flour

Prep the celery, onions, garlic and ginger . Cut the sweet potato in chunks and simmer in water till tender, cool and peel, dice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Meanwhile heat enough olive oil in a soup pan to cover the bottom, add the celery and onions and cook till tender. Add the garlic and ginger stirring often. Do not burn the garlic.

Add the chicken broth, prepared sweet potato cubes and salt and pepper A dash of cayenne is nice. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup for a few minutes till the ingredients are the desired consistency. Add the milk and bring to a light simmer. Mix the cold water and flour in a glass jar and quickly shake vigorously till blended. No lumps! Add the flour/water mixture slowly ( you might not want to add all of it at once, so you can adjust the thickness of the soup) while stirring continuously to prevent lumps, until the soup comes back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer lightly till the soup starts to thicken. Add more milk or more of the flour/water to suit your self. Season gently with salt and pepper.

a moonmooring orignal recipe

If you want, about 1 pound (more or less) diced, cooked chicken can be added at this point. If you like. I prefer my celery soup meatless.

Serve with good crackers, a tuna or chicken salad sandwich, a salad or some fruit for a complete meal. Even Adrian and Holly liked this soup!

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