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 ‘low carb’ Category

postheadericon Pork Curry with Cauliflower

slightly adapted from Beanmom. I’ve adapted it for the crockpot here

Pork Curry

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 lbs pork cutlets, pork loin, or just pork, cubed
  • 1/4 C Patak’s curry paste
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 C beef or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 C canned diced tomatoes (14 oz can or half a 28 oz can)
  • 2 handfuls lentils
  • optional – add 1/2 cup frozen peas or 1/2 cup chickpeas


Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions soften.

Add the pork and brown, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste. Break the cauliflower into florets directly into the pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Raise the heat and bring it to a boil. Cover loosely, lower the heat slightly, and cook at a low boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.

After 20 minutes, the sauce should be thickened, the pork tender, and the cauliflower will have broken into small pieces.

We serve this with lentils and sometimes with brown rice too.
Fall is coming

postheadericon Quick Quinoa Tip

Quick tip –

When a recipe calls for couscous or barley, a great substitute (with even more nutritional oomph) is quinoa.

It’s also incredibly easy – rinse 1 part quinoa in a few changes of water. Add 2 parts stock or water and bring to a boil. Let simmer 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed.

If you want to avoid the rinsing, some stores carry the red quinoa that cooks up pink (what girl doesn’t want to eat pink food?) and doesn’t require rinsing.

My kids have loved it since early toddlerhood. It makes a great mess with babies too. :)

postheadericon Quick and hearty Gumbo

Yum. We made this as a (belated) toast to Mardi Gras and Louisiana. I realize it isn’t perfectly accurate, but it is tasty and we all loved it. It’s also quick and easy, which is a huge bonus. We’ve had a wretched cold around here lately, and the spiciness of the gumbo does a great job of clearing out the sinuses! Some folks add extra hot sauce to make it work even better. This recipe has quite a bit of wiggle room – use what you have around the house, and don’t worry if you’re a little short on one thing – just add a little more of something else.

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, South Beach phase 1 safe recipe.

Quick & hearty Gumo


  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan

  • about 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts or pork loin, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • pinch kosher salt
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (or less) Creole or Cajun seasoning – we like Tony Chachere’s
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut okra
  • 1 28oz can or 2 14 oz cans kidney beans (could leave out or serve on the side if you wish)
  • 2 tsp gumbo filé powder (optional, but this thickens it) – (you can find it at The Spice House or other spice shops)

Cut raw chicken or pork into cubes. Dice all the veggies.

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until hot. Sauté garlic, onion, and bell pepper, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent.

Add chicken/pork to the pot, and keep stirring occasionally as the meat browns. Add seasonings, and keep cooking until the meat is browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomatoes with their liquid, beans, and the okra. Stir to mix them all together, and after it comes to a low boil, turn down the heat and simmer about 10 minutes until everything is heated and slightly thickened. (If you want a thicker gumbo, you would turn off the heat here and add the file powder, then cook for another 1-2 minutes)

Cajun dinner

Serve with hot sauce on the table – yum! The 1 TBS cajun seasoning worked well as an amount for us – a bit spicy, but not too spicy. If your family isn’t very spice-inclined, you might want to start off with 1/2 TBS (aka 1 1/2 tsp) of the cajun seasoning. People can always add more at the table.

We’ve served this with quinoa underneath to absorb some of the sauce – mmmmm! (the quinoa makes it South Beach Phase 2, and it tastes great without it, too)

postheadericon Preppy Ham and Spinach soup

It’s preppy because it’s pink and green soup. :) Lentil Soup with Ham and Spinach

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 safe recipe.

This is just a slight twist from a straight lentil soup, but adding some ham and some frozen spinach packs more nutritional punch without veering too far out of the path of “lentil soup is great when your pantry is empty(ing)”.

Preppy Soup Cooking


  • 3 cups brown lentils

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3+ cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • (Optional: add diced celery and/or carrot)
  • about 6-8 oz ham, diced
  • splash cooking oil
  • splash wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-10 oz frozen spinach (I buy the 16 oz bags and use half, but you could use one of the 10oz boxes, too)
  • 8 cups water
  • couple pinches kosher salt to taste

Heat oil in a soup pot to medium heat. Sauté the garlic, onion, and any other veggies. When they start to get soft, add the diced ham and the seasonings.

Stir the onion mix and the ham together until the onion mix is soft and the ham has gotten a bit of brown on it. Pour in a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan, and stir.

Preppy Soup in the bowl

Add the lentils and the water, and turn the heat to high. Bring the soup to a boil, then add the spinach and turn it down to medium-low.

Let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes (check lentils to make sure they are tender). Serve alone (yummy 1 pot meal!) or with a salad and/or breadsticks.

postheadericon Roasted Garlic Chicken

This is an incredibly easy, and yet incredibly yummy dish!

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.


  • 3+ lbs bone-in chicken pieces

  • olive oil
  • about 30 cloves garlic, left whole
  • couple pinches kosher salt
  • if desired, some thyme, tarragon, rosemary, or another spice

pour a little olive oil into a glass baking dish. put in chicken and cover with garlic, salt, and another splash of olive oil.

Cover with foil and bake for about 45 min at 375. Check with probe thermometer to make sure it reaches over 165 degrees.

Serve with veggies roasted with olive oil & salt.

postheadericon Japanese Beef Stew

A friend of mine told me about her Japanese beef stew, made with soy sauce. I keep forgetting to get the recipe, so here is my version. Everyone eats this up and asks for seconds!


Japanese Beef Stew
  • 1-2 lbs beef, cubed

  • 3 TBS gf flour or starch
  • splash canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 garlic-sized piece of ginger, grated (optional)
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • splash white or red wine (optional)
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 small can sliced water chestnuts
  • 2+ cups chicken or beef broth (or water)
  • 1/4 cup gf soy sauce (we use LaChoy, Braggs, or San-J wheat-free Tamari)
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame
  • 1-2 heads broccoli, chopped into smallish florets

Toss the cubed beef with the flour or starch.

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger, and carrot. Start cooking, and then add beef. Keep cooking (and stirring) until veggies are tender and beef is browned.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine (if using), or a splash of the broth. Add 2 cups of broth, soy sauce, and everything but the broccoli. Add water or more broth to make sure you have covered the ingredients well.

Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, then cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with a side salad – we liked ours with some baby corn in it!

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 Cole Slaw Without Mayo

This is my adaptation of my grandmother’s Canister Cole slaw, or Deli Cole slaw recipe. It’s the only cole slaw I’ve ever liked – it tastes more like a salad, and has a fresh, tangy taste. My husband hates mayonnaise, and this is the only cole slaw he likes as well

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, vegan/vegetarian, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.


Mayo-free and delicious cole slaw
  • 2 bags coleslaw mix (or equivalent shredded green & purple cabbbage with a little shredded carrot and/or pepper for color)

  • 1 finely sliced bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup vinegar (I use a splash of balsamic and the rest cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or several grinds)
  • 1 tsp Italian-style seasoning (we like McCormick’s and Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 tsp celery seed or celery salt (if using celery salt, reduce the amount of salt a bit)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (helps cut the gassiness)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder


Summer dinner

Bring the vinegar to a boil (via the microwave or stove), then mix with oil, sugar, and spices.

In a large bowl, mix the hot vinegar/oil mixture with the cabbage mix, until well coated.

Put in a tightly closed jar or large covered plastic container, and chill for a few hours.

Serve with anything. This is especially yummy with anything bbq-ed, and if you make some potato salad, it’s even better!

Allegedly this lasts for 6 weeks in the fridge, but we’ve never had it last that long!

postheadericon Salmon Cakes

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, shellfish free, corn free, and South Beach phase 1 safe recipe.


Collection of Salmon Cakes

In a medium bowl, combine drained fish, and season to taste. Use a potato masher to pulverize the fish, including any (edible, filled with calcium) small bones. Mix in egg (if using) and bean flour.

Salmon Cakes

Heat a skillet over medium heat with canola oil in it (just enough to cover the bottom).

Create palm-sized patties, and cook until crispy on the bottom, then flip.

Serve over a bed of lettuce with a little salad dressing or mayo or lemon juice.

Look at our lunches!
Foods we have made
Recipe Categories