Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiced Chicken and Rice Stew Recipe

When the weather cools, having recipes for warming, nourishing, gluten-free soups and stews is essential. This chicken and rice stew can also be made vegan by replacing the chicken with kidney beans or pinto beans. Sometimes I make two versions of the same meal for the vegan in our house, though other times we usually have enough leftovers to have a complete meal.

If you are interested in reading more on Celiac Disease and the myriad of nutritional considerations that go along with it then check out Tom's review article that was recently published, entitled, Digestive and Nutritional Considerations in Celiac Disease.

Today's recipe can be made in a snap if your rice is precooked. We almost always have leftover cooked grains hanging around the kitchen which makes dinners go quickly and easily. I like to use short grain brown rice in this stew but I imagine long grain rice or even quinoa would work too.

Serving some sort of raw veggie salad with a stew like this helps to digest the meal. A quick cabbage slaw made from chopped savoy cabbage, grated carrots, chopped parsley, and fresh corn off the cob is quite delicious. I make a dressing that is almost identical to the dressing I use for my Spring Slaw, only replacing the apple cider vinegar with champagne vinegar.

Spiced Chicken and Rice Stew

Your house will smell of savory spices while this stew is cooking, quite a nice way to cheer up a cool, Autumn evening. Serve with a large, raw green or cabbage salad for maximum digestion. When cooking this stew start with the lesser amount of spices and garlic. Taste the stew towards the end of cooking time to determine if it needs more of anything then add them at this time. Add a little extra sea salt to bring up the flavor if needed. If you don't have smoked paprika on hand use regular paprika, they both work well here.

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1 to 1 1/2 pounds (raw) organic chicken, cut into cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 carrots, diced
5 cups water or chicken stock
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice

chopped fresh parsley

Heat a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil then the onions and sauté until soft and starting to turn color, abut 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.

Then add the cubed chicken, spices (cumin though black pepper), and Herbamare. Sauté for a few minutes. Then add diced red bell pepper and carrots; sauté a minute more.

Next add the water or stock, tomato paste, and rice. Add more rice for a thicker stew if desired. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.

Taste and add more salt and/or seasonings if needed. Simmer a few more minutes. Garnish each bowl with the chopped parsley. This stew tastes even better on the second and third days. Enjoy! :) Source:

How to cook a pot of Brown Rice:

We usually cook 2 or 3 cups of rice at a time but here is the measurements for one cup which can be doubled or tripled as needed.

Place 1 cup of short grain brown rice and 2 cups of water into a small (heavy-bottomed) pot. Add a pinch of sea salt and place the pot, covered, over high heat. Bring to a boil then immediately turn heat to a low simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Do not stir at all while cooking!

After it is cooked, remove the pot from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. That's it! Cooking rice is so easy!

Other warming soups and stews:
Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup
Curried Carrot Cauliflower Soup
Yellow Split Pea Dal
Halibut and Potato Chowder
Chipotle Black Bean Bean and Yam Stew

Other News:
If you live in the Portland, OR area then come visit Tom and I at the Wordstock Festival held at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend, October 10th-11th. Tom will be on a panel discussion at 4pm on Saturday and both he and I will have a talk and book signing beginning at 4pm on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there! :)

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. This stew looks great! I'm always on the lookout for new soup and stew ideas, so I'll add this one to my list.

  2. I always look forward to your blog posts and I learn so much from you both. Tom's article is printing right now so we can read it for school today. Thanks for sharing it with us. It seems like a daily occurrence that we are eating and enjoying your recipes at our house. What a blessing you are!

  3. Oh, I am excited to make this with short grain brown rice and some kind of beans. I've been loving butter beans lately, so perhaps I will use those. Superb recipes, as always.

  4. This sounds lovely! I love brown rice, but have never put it in soup - sounds like a perfect combination =D.

  5. Mmmm... it definitely is beginning to be stew weather around here. Can't wait to delve into Tom's article.

  6. Yum. Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons, but #1 is because of all the great soups and stews there are to enjoy!

    By the way, Ali, I tried your "Honey Kissed Peach Muffins" recipe a couple weeks ago and loved it. I've since made a variation with pumpkin puree, spices, and's delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. You're one of the rare health food blogs that makes eating well seem like a simple pleasure rather than inconvenient & tasteless. Thank you. I always hang out for your next post. I really love your blueberry syrup recipe too, I use it all the time.

  8. Thank you! I'm printing out Tom's article so I can go over it in depth later and share with my family. I majored in Nutritional Science and I really appreciate the "academic" side of your research as well as the wonderful kid friendly, healthy recipes.

  9. Looking forward to making the stew later this week it looks awesome. Ali I would like to make your Brown rice Crispy treats from your cookbook but my son has a nut allergy, what you replace the almond butter/peanut butter with? By the way I made you Rice pancakes yesterday and my kids love them. Thanks for the amazing cooking book and your blog.

  10. Oh boy does this stew look delicious! I will be making it this weekend. I am also really looking forward to reading Tom's article today, thanks again guys!

  11. Thanks for all of your lovely comments, I enjoy reading them! Enjoy the stew! :)

  12. Michele - Glad your kids liked the pancakes! Have you tried Sunbutter made from sunflower seeds? That would be a good replacement for the nut butters in the crispy treats. Enjoy! :)

  13. Oh, that looks so good! I love how you remind us what to eat together for better digestion. :-)

    Off to read Tom's article now ... thanks to you both!


  14. I made this wonderful recipe tonight for dinner. I used 2 cans of kidney beans and added a chopped zucchini at the end. I probably let it simmer on the stove for about 40 minutes. My kids and husband all ate it up and asked for seconds!
    Thank you.


  15. This looks like something to dive into on these cold wet days we've been having. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.

  16. Is the link to Tom's article not working or did you remove it? I'd like to read it again.

  17. Shirley - Thanks! :)

    Marin - Thanks for sharing your version of the recipe. I bet it was great! :)

    Diane - I love your Friday foodie fixes! Looks like you have a lot of recipes for this one! :)

    Jennifer - I didn't know the link was not working, will look into it now. Thanks! :)

  18. Making this right now. The stew does make the house smell amazing. We also had the apples/quinoa breakfast this morning, delish. We're going to make some for tomorrow morning tonight as well.

  19. I made this recipe Sunday night alongside the spring salad and the dressing. What a perfect combination!!

    There is no doubt that i'll be making this meal again. I told all the girls at work about your blog as they were all wondering what smelled so good :) Their all dieticians, nutritionists and naturopaths, so they very much appreciate recipes that are this nutritious and at the same time mouth watering.

    I can't wait to try your other recipes! Thanks for sharing.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)