A Gaggle of Girls
I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters. We've outgrown dairy, soy, egg, and corn allergies, but still deal with a berry allergy in my youngest.
More about us
email me
Bentos for A Gaggle of Girls
The Year of Living Change-erously
I'm a Mormon.

We are hosted by Invehosting

Archive for the ‘faux fast food’ Category

postheadericon Quick Chicken Curry

This is quick and easy!


  • 1.5-2.5 lbs Boneless/skinless breasts or thighs, cut into strips (with breasts, cut so you get short strips) Can also substitute pork if that’s on sale)

  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 head cauliflower chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 TBS Patak’s curry paste
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can chick peas
  • oil of choice for sautéing


Saute chicken in batches, keep batches warm in a bowl with foil. It’s usually 2 min per side to brown the little chicken pieces.

Steam cauliflower to a little tender (I use the microwave)

Saute onion and garlic in juices. add coconut milk and curry powder when they become tender. add rest of ingredients and cook until hot and coconut milk has become a nice sauce.

Serve over brown rice or lentils

postheadericon Italian Quick and Easy Soup

My 8 year old wanted to make our lunch today. She looked at recipes in a few children’s cookbooks, but since we need to go grocery shopping, she didn’t have enough ingredients for the official recipes. Here is what we came up with together. A wonderful, warming soup for cold days – and easy enough for kids to do most of the work!

This recipe is wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, peanut, fish, and shellfish free. It is also vegan, vegetarian, and gfcf. It could easily be corn-free with label checking.

Another bowl of soup


  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 2 TBS cooking oil
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped (if you have them)
  • 3 potatoes, chopped (we choose not to peel them)
  • 1 splash wine (optional – we just had a little wine left so we poured it in)
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tomato cans of water
  • 1 tsp each of oregano, basil, and thyme
  • 1 bay leaf (they’re lucky!)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 28 oz can beans, or 2 14oz cans beans; drained


Quick and Easy Italian Soup

Heat oil in a medium/large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, and carrots (if using). Stir until they become tender. Add wine or water, and stir to get the good bits off the bottom.

Add all the other ingredients. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir well, then turn down to medium-low. Let simmer, uncovered, for at least 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Serve and enjoy! This soup was a hit and everyone had seconds!

If you have different vegetables around, you could easily substitute what is currently in your pantry.

postheadericon Avacado Chick Pea Salad

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, corn free, vegan & vegetarian, and also South Beach phase 1 safe recipe.

This is barely a recipe, because it is soooo easy and yet so yummy. I first had it at my friend’s house, and she dislikes lettuce so she has created salads without lettuce, which boggled my mind a bit, until I couldn’t stop eating it. So my version has mesclun in it, but it does taste great without it.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chick peas (approximately)

  • 2 avocados
  • a few handfuls of mesclun (mixed baby salad greens) – optional
  • salad dressing – we use a balsamic vinagrette or a poppy seed dressing (we love the one from Brianna’s) be careful with the dressing amounts for South Beach!


Find a nice bowl to use as a salad bowl. If you are using the mesclun, fill the bottom of the bowl with a few handfuls of washed & dried mesclun.

Dump the chick peas on top of the mesclun.

Slice the avocados in half long-ways. Twist to remove one half from the seed. Slice into the avocado still in its peel diagonally ( \ ) and then slice the opposite way diagonally ( / ) so you have cubes. Gently squeese the cubes on top of the chick peas. Remove the pit from the other side of the avocado and repeat. Do the same thing with the second avocado.

Serve salad with dressing on the side, as some people may prefer it without the dressing. You can also easily double or triple this or figure out the best ratio for your family between chick peas and avocados.

I have also served this with crab meat on top for a non-vegan choice. mmmm….

postheadericon Crabbie Patties

I think we’ve perfected this! The original recipe for Crab Cakes and Salmon Cakes were egg-free and more delicate. This Crabbie Pattie is sturdier, and has eggs. It would still be suitable for a low-carb diet, though.


  • 4 6 oz cans crab (the cheap kind works fine) You could also use 2 cans salmon
  • 2/3 cup bean or pea flour (or another type of flour or starch you have on hand)
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • cooking oil

Drain the cans of crab in a strainer. Squish it to get as much liquid out as possible.

While the crab is draining, preheat oven to about 400 degrees (or whatever temperature another food is cooking at), and heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a largish nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Dump the drained crab into a medium bowl. Add the salt, seasoning, and egg. Stir. Add flour, and mix well.

Finger Food Dinner

Use a spoon to form Crabbie Patties. place in oil – 4-6 per batch. Fry for 2 minutes, then flip. Fry for 2 more minutes, then place on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven. Repeat until all the patties are cooked. Bake for about 10 more minutes.

OR Bake on a non-stick cookie sheet/Silpat for 30 minutes (with no pre-frying), flipping after 15 minutes. Be very careful when flipping, as the Crabbie Patties are still a bit fragile.

These are great served with a whole finger food meal, or as a lunch with a salad and french fries, or as an appetizer. Some may like them plain, some with tartar sauce, and some with cocktail sauce.

postheadericon Peanut Butter Chicken

adapted from one of Beanmom’s Really Easy Dinners

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut short-wise at a 45 degree angle (so you end up with almost bite-size strips)

  • a garlic-clove sized piece of fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • decent sized plop of peanut butter (in our house it must be natural, unsweetened, as Bill dislikes sweet & savory together)
  • Splash wheat-free Tamari or LaChoy soy sauce
  • a little water to texture-taste
  • a little olive oil for sautéing
  • peanuts for a topping (watch out – FISHER roasted nuts have gluten, Planters do not)


Saute chicken in batches (should need about 2 min per side). Save over in a bowl, covered with foil.

Saute onion, garlic, ginger together. once they are softened, add pb, tamari and mix into a sauce. add a little water to make a sauce. toss with chicken.

Serve with brown rice and steamed or roasted broccoli. Yum.

postheadericon Herbed Skillet Chicken

This is a great low-carb, South-Beach meal, which we have all loved.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water (depending on consistency desired)
  • 1.5 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 splash wine of choice (whatever you’re drinking with dinner or you have open in the fridge)

In a small bowl, mix together the spices.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, garlic, and onion and sprinkle half the spices on top. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly browned, turn over and sprinkle with other half of spices and and cook for 5 more minutes. Flip once more and cook for 1-2 min (just to get the spices cooked on the meat).

Remove chicken, keeping warm and add 3/4 cup water and the splash of wine to deglaze the skillet, scrape the pan and get up all the yummy browned bits. Bring water to a boil, add chicken back in; cover, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken, until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from skillet & cover with foil to keep warm. Combine starch and a little more (up to 1/4 cup) water. Add to pan juices; cook until thickened and translucent, stirring or whisking constantly. Pour sauce over chicken, and serve. Or serve with sauce next-to the chicken, because half the members of the family wouldn’t eat it with the sauce.

I served this with pink rice, green & yellow beans, and a big salad.

postheadericon Thanksgiving Pot Pie

This is a great non-leftover-looking way of using up leftovers from Thanksgiving or other big holiday meals. This idea was inspi Chicken Pot Pie and Shepherd’s Pie.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Thanksgiving Pot Pie


  • 1 lb (approximately) cooked turkey or chicken, chopped

  • 1/2 cup leftover gravy
  • 1-2 cups mashed potatoes
  • frozen or leftover vegetables totaling about 2 cups: bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, peas, broccoli, asparagus, etc.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a 9×9 pan, mix cut up turkey/chicken, gravy, and vegetables. Spoon mashed potatoes over the turkey and vegetable mixture, so that it forms a topping.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Served with leftover Cranberry sauce and leftover Ginger Butternut Squash Soup, this makes a wonderful dinner. As a bonus, it’s unlikely you’ll have leftovers!

postheadericon Phat Thai (or Pad Thai)

This is a wonderfully quick dish. You need a large skillet or wok and a large serving platter or bowl and a cover for your serving dish. You also need to make sure you’ve done all your chopping in advance, as once you start cooking, things move very quickly. Phat Thai is almost a meal in itself – we usually serve it with a small salad and some edamame or roasted broccoli.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! There are many variations within the recipe, so it is easily adapted for different dietary restrictions It can be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Phat Thai aka Pad Thai


  • 1 lb Dried rice stick noodles

    2 TBS Vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb of one or several sources of protein
    • shrimp, peeled & de-tailed

    • firm or extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
    • chicken, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten (can omit if needed, but add extra chicken/tofu/shrimp)
  • 1 TBS Fish sauce or (oddly enough) balsamic vinegar
    2 TBS Soy sauce (La Choy is GF, as is San-J Tamari and Braggs Aminos)

  • 1 TBS Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, dry roasted, crush some so there are some small pieces (can omit if needed)
  • 2 cups fresh or 1 can Bean sprouts
  • 8 Scallions, whites and pale green, sliced in rings
  • 1 or 2 Limes, quartered lengthwise (optional)


Soak rice noodles in enough warm water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes. (or prepare according to package directions)

Prep all the remaining ingredients and place them next to the stove, along with a serving platter and a cover to tent the serving platter and keep everything warm.

When the noodles are very limp and white, drain. Set by the stove as well. You want to have everything ready to toss in the pan.

Heat a wok or large skillet at medium-high heat and add 1-2 TBS oil and swirl to coat the surface. When oil is very hot drop in garlic and toss until golden, about 30 seconds.

Add shrimp and toss until they turn pink, no more that 1 minute of cooking for the shrimp. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat as necessary for chicken and tofu, cooking until browned.
Add the egg to the pan and tilt the pan to spread it into a thin sheet. As soon as it begins to set, scramble it to break it into small lumps. Remove and set aside next to the shrimp.

Pad Thai and roasted broccoli

Heat 1 TBS of oil in wok or skillet and heat 30 seconds and add soften noodles. Thin noodles to cover the surface of the pan, then clump them together and gently turn over. repeat this process a couple times. Add fish sauce/balsamic vinegar & soy sauce and turn noodles to season evenly. Add sugar and peanuts and continue to turn the noodles. Remove noodles to the covered serving platter before they burn.

Reserve some of the scallions for garnish. Toss bean sprouts and the rest of the scallions in the wok for a minute, then add them to the serving platter.

Turn heat down to Medium, then toss the contents of the serving platter into the skillet/wok. Stir together for 1-2 minutes so everything is mixed together and heated. Depending on your family’s eating habits, you can add the shrimp, tofu, and/or chicken to this mixture, or set them on the table in individual bowls.

Transfer every to the serving platter and squeeze the juice of 2 lime wedges (if using) over the top. Garnish with remaining scallions and serve at once. Place soy sauce, lime wedges, and peanuts at the table for individual garnishes.

This serves 6 hungry people, with not much for leftovers!

Look at our lunches!
Foods we have made
Recipe Categories