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.
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Archive for the ‘side dishes’ Category

postheadericon Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Make this for thanksgiving. In our house, it is not thanksgiving without it.

As a warning, though, I broke my crock pot with this soup (OK, it slid off the hood of my car), and my mom needed stitches from this soup. So be careful!

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup


  • 2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped in 2 inch chunks*
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Cups apple cider
  • 2 Cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 Cups Chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil. Saute, then sweat the onions and ginger over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the onions are quite soft. (The fresh ginger is the secret here – ground ginger doesn’t have the same punch.)

While the onion is cooking, peel and chop the squash – [*an Oxo peeler works best for the peeling, and take care with the chopping, since folks have been known to hurt themselves with this very resistant squash. You might consider buying pre-peeled squash.]

Add squash, chopped apple and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender. Allow to cool slightly.

Remove the solids from the broth with a slotted spoon and puree in a food processor or in a blender in batches, adding broth as needed. It’s easier if you can use an infusion blenders right in the pot – less mess potential! The soup should be a velvety orange puree.

Add cider to soup, stirring well. Correct seasoning by adding ground ginger, grated fresh ginger, and/or salt and pepper to taste. Serve in small soup bowls as a hearty first course, or with a salad as a light lunch or supper.

postheadericon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These are surprisingly delicious – sweet and mouthwatering. You won’t believe how fast brussels sprouts disappear if you roast them!

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.

Great dinner plate

1-2 lbs brussels sprouts
kosher salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400

Rinse brussels sprouts, and cut the ends off, and then make an X in the bottoms.

Lightly oil a baking sheet, then toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil and add a little kosher salt.

Roast for 10 min, then shake. Cook another 10 minutes, and eat. Make sure you sneak a few of the crispy leaves before someone else snags them!

Once you’ve wowed your family with these, don’t forget other roasted vegetables!

postheadericon Lemon Risotto

This is an adaptation of a great recipe in Cooking for Mr. Latte, an amusing book that has fabulous recipes. Many of which can be easily adapted to be dairy and gluten free.

This is dairy, egg, gluten, corn, and soy free. It could also be vegetarian very easily, too.
Lemon risotto

  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth, hot (ideally homemade stock. Could also be vegetable broth if you have vegetarian guests
  • zest of 1 lemon (I use a microplane grater)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice, left to sit for a few minutes
  • good pinch kosher salt

Find a medium-sized saucepan, and put in the olive oil. Bring the olive oil up to medium heat.

Add the arborio rice, and stir, letting the oil coat the rice. Add about 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring very frequently. Add it little by little so the rice is loose, but not swimming in broth.

After the first few additions of broth, add half the zest. When you have used 4c of broth, check the rice for done-ness. You want it firm, but not crunchy. Keep cooking and adding broth until the rice is done.

Add the lemon juice/coconut milk mixture, and combine. turn off the heat. It will sit very well for a while as the rest of your food finishes.

We love this paired with Oven Fried Chicken and a salad. It cleanses the palate very well when paired with a greasy food.

postheadericon Great Gluten-Free Stuffing

What is thanksgiving without stuffing? OK, so we never actually stuff the turkey with it, but it’s still a delicious bread stuffing. Mmmmmm… This year it finally turned out just right. Yum.

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 vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Great Gluten-free stuffing


  • 2 batches Focaccia or a loaf of prepared bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • splash olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth (you might need a little more or a little less)
  • 2 tsp Bell’s seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt (less if using prepared broth)
  • several grinds black pepper
  • (optional – 1 cup pecans, 1 cup dried cranberries, or other additions)

Make and cube the Focaccia, or cube a loaf of pre-purchased bread. Toast for about 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven, or in a toaster. When toasted, toss them into an oven-safe casserole dish.

Sauté onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of the Bell’s seasoning as it’s cooking. When soft, mix in with the toasted bread cubes. Add the 2nd tsp of Bell’s seasoning, plus salt and pepper and mix well.

Chop the fresh parsley, and mix that in with the bread cubes. (If you’re adding pecans, dried cranberries, or other variations, add them here) Pour the broth slowly over the bread and toss, mixing well so they are evenly moistened.

Cover, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Serve with the rest of your Thanksgiving or other festive meal!

postheadericon Flaky Gluten Free Biscuits

These are flaky and delicious. They are perfect for serving with some soup or fried chicken!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free recipe! It is also wheat free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free, top 8 allergen free, corn free, vegetarian recipe. This recipe only has two eggs in it, so it could easily be an egg free and vegan recipe.


  • 1 cup light colored flour (we like amaranth, sorghum, or millet)

  • 1 cup starch (arrowroot, tapioca, corn, potato, or sweet rice flour are some examples)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (or your favorite egg replacer)
  • 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick) or shortening or lard
  • 2/3 cup soured milk substitute (1 tsp lemon juice or vineger, plus enough water or milk substitute to make 2/3 cup liquid)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Add the margarine/shortening/lard to the dry ingredients, and use 2 knives or a pastry blender to mix together until it looks like rough cornmeal.

Mix in the eggs and milk, and stir until just moistened.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been well greased, lined with parchment, or lined with a silicone baking liner.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. They turn out a bit crumbly, but incredibly flaky and delicious!

postheadericon Asparagus Soup

This is adapted from a recipe I clipped this past spring. It is gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free. It could easily be vegan/vegetarian and corn-free by checking ingredients.

Everyone in our house loves asparagus, but they love it as soup even more – they frequently have seconds (or thirds!) of this soup. It would double well if you were planning to serve a larger group.


  • 4 TBS olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped (ideally videlia or other sweet onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) – you can also substitute half broth, half water if desired.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 lbs asparagus

Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsnip. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Break the woody ends off the asparagus, and then chop roughly and set aside.

Add the broth and the thyme to the vegetables. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

Add the asparagus, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn the heat off. If you have an immersion blender (aka stick blender), use it to puree the soup, and then serve it. If you don’t have an immersion blender – let the soup cool, then puree in batches in a regular blender. Then go out and buy an immersion blender for next time.

This is a very pretty soup in white bowls, and a great way to get kids to eat lots of veggies! We serve it with a casserole, and dinner is happily complete.

postheadericon Garlic Pan fried squash

My husband came up with this recipe, and the girls liked the squash a lot better than my “just steam it” veggie strategy. We scarf it down each time it’s made! :)

Faux-breaded yellow squash

  • 3 yellow squash, sliced in circles (I’m sure zucchini would work too)

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • splash olive oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

Steam squash in microwave for 2 min, until starting to get tender. Drain any liquid out, then toss with the cornmeal.

Begin sauteing the garlic in the olive oil. As it starts to cook, add the cornmeal/squash mixture, and add a pinch or two of salt.

Cook until the squash is tender and beginning to get golden brown

postheadericon Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken

For the marinade:

  • 3-5 lbs chicken pieces (wings, legs, thighs all work well)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 garlic-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup gf soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

Mix everything but the chicken in a microwave bowl, heat 1 minute and stir until brown sugar is dissolved. Combine with chicken in a resealable plastic bag or container. Shake. Let Marinate for 2-24 hours, depending on how much time you have.

The Baking Ingredients

  • pre-marinated chicken

  • 1/3 cup GF soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • splash olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced very finely or pressed
  • garlic-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

preheat oven to 375. Grease baking/roasting pan or line with something like Reynolds Release, Silpat, or other nonstick substance.

In a small saucepan, splash the olive oil. Add garlic & ginger and cook over medium heat for a minute. Add brown sugar, and whisk together. Add liquids, increase heat, and whisk as it boils. Continue boiling for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.

Drain chicken from marinade. Arrange chicken pieces into a single layer in baking sheet. Pour thickened sauce over chicken.

Optional – sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake at 375 for 1 hour. You can turn them after 30 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice and steamed broccoli, or some other carb & veg mixture. Or serve as an appetizer or side dish along with other great finger foods.

postheadericon Crock Pot Applesauce

When Applesauce is this easy, why would you buy it?


  • 12 cups pared, cored apples. Thinly sliced or chopped into chunks.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • freshly ground nutmeg (optional)


Put apples, cinnamon and sugar in crock pot.
Stir in water, lemon juice and nutmeg

Cook low: 5-7 hours
Cook high: 2.5-3.5 hours

Stir or mash, depending on the consistency you like.

Note: You really don’t need to cut the apples up much. By the time they

are done cooking, they practically disintegrate. So don’t waste time cutting
them up small. Besides, it is nice to have some “chunks” in there.

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. :)

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