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 ‘veggies’ Category

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 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 Black Bean Kale Soup

This recipe is a spin-off of one I remember loving when we were vegetarian. I have long since lost the original recipe, but I knew the taste in my mouth, so here’s my replica. I also want to say that I thought there would be problems with my children eating this hearty soup. However, I was wrong – they scarfed it down and asked for seconds!

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. It can easily be a vegan/vegetarian soup if you omit the ham.

This meal can be made in about 30 minutes, and it is wonderfully hearty. Other than the kale and the ham [if using] it’s all ingredients that are likely in your pantry. Usually people are willing to stop at the store for 1-2 things if you have everything else ready!


  • 1-2 TBS cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb ham, cubed [optional] (double check this – each brand has different ingredients!)
  • 3 14 oz cans black beans, drained
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed, and ripped into bite size chunks
  • 2 1/2 to 3 quarts liquid – 1 quart broth, 1 1/2 – 2 quarts water works well
  • 1-3 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning to taste, or 2 tsp Italian seasoning mix + 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 lb pasta (we like Tinkyada pasta or the Trader Joe’s rice pasta [also optional]


Bring cooking oil (canola, olive, whatever) up to medium heat in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender. When the onion and garlic start to get tender, add the ham [if using]. Let cook for a few minutes.

Add the kale that has been rinsed, peeled from the hard stems, and ripped into chunks. Stir with tongs, it will cook down pretty quickly. Once the kale has cooked down a bit, add the beans, seasonings, and broth/water.

Turn heat up to high, and bring soup to a low boil. If possible, let simmer for about 10 minutes. If you don’t have the time, it’s OK.

Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook for the amount of time on the packaging.

Serve in bowls with extra Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning Yum! A wonderful filling, hearty soup for a chilly day.

postheadericon Cranberry Sauce

This is my favorite. It’s an adaptation of a few recipes, plus some twists of my own. The basic concept of adding Ginger Ale came from Alton Brown of Good Eats. Brilliant. Adding a little fresh ginger boosts the taste a bit, and the sauce ends up very yummy, but it is incredibly easy.

This is gfcf, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, and wheat free. If you get the right brands, this could also be corn free. Cranberries (and blueberries) are in a different food family than strawberries, raspberries, and other berries, so they are safe for our berry-allergic child.

Cranberry Sauce


  • 2 12 oz bags cranberries

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups ginger ale (check ingredients)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • zest of 1 orange or 2 clementines (depending on what you have in the house)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (check ingredients – some add caramel color)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 knuckle-sized piece of ginger, grated

Put all ingredients into a large saucepan or small soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer about 30-45 minutes, until it is significantly reduced and pretty thick. Cool, and either refrigerate until needed or serve.

The cooking will mash the cranberries a bit. You may want to puree some or all using an immersion blender, depending on your tastes, and the willingness of your family members to eat things with lumps.

postheadericon Roasted Veggie Tips

Almost any vegetable seems to taste better roasted. This winter we have roasted green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, parsnips, leeks, broccoli, and of course, our favorite brussels sprouts. This is an easy way to add veggies to a dinner when you are already using the oven.

Roasted Broccoli

First tip: preheat oven to 400+ (temp can vary a bit depending on the other things you are cooking. Toss the veggies in olive oil and sprinkle a little kosher salt over the top. You can add some minced garlic or not, depending on time available & your taste. Roast for about 20 minutes, shaking a couple times.

Second tip: Try this with frozen veggies – it works great with frozen green beans, and then you don’t have to take the ends off! It really makes frozen veggies taste less like frozen veggies, too!

Third tip: Make more than you think you’ll need. I’m amazed at how fast the kids eat the roasted veggies, they’re sweeter somehow. mmmm… And you can tell them the beets are candy! ;)

Fourth tip: Try to roast vegetables the kids (or other adults) haven’t liked served other ways. Almost everyone who says they “hate brussels sprouts” has made an exception for my roasted brussels sprouts

postheadericon Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms

This is one of those easy-peasy recipes that is almost not worth writing down. But it’s so yummy (and the picture came out so well!), that I wanted to share.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free 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, vegetarian & a vegan recipe. Plus it’s South Beach Phase 1 safe.

Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms


  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced (I prefer the pre-sliced Baby Bellas/Criminis myself)

  • 4+ (as much as you want) cloves garlic, minced (our grocery store sells pre-peeled garlic. this is lovely)
  • a couple pinches kosher salt
  • Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for a minute. Add mushrooms. Stir occasionally, and watch the mushrooms cook until they reduce in size and turn a golden, almost caramelized brown.

Serve as a side dish with anything. Really.



  • balsamic vinegar

  • medium onion, cut into 1/8″ rings

Prepare as above, but add the onion when you add the garlic, and use a slightly bigger pan. As the mushrooms, onions. and garlic are cooking, sprinkle balsamic vinegar over the top.

Continue cooking until everything has cooked down. This is a fabulous side dish for steak or burger (veggie burger, too), and my daughter calls the onions here “onion rings” – she’s never had the batter fried ones. These are infinitely healthier, and a lot less work!

postheadericon Potato Pancakes

I’ve always loved these, but they never turn out quite right. Then I saw a recipe on another website and played around with it until it worked well. This was a huge hit for brunch – there were no leftovers, and the children AND adults were wishing I had made more! The partial frying, partial baking kept it easier and less messy.

These are gfcf, wheat, dairy, gluten, soy, nut, peanut, fish, shellfish, and corn free. They could easily be egg free by leaving out the egg. I have better results with the egg as a binder, though. These are vegetarian and could easily be vegan.

Pan-frying Potato Pancakes


  • cooking oil – canola, olive oil, or whatever you prefer

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded on a wide grater
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 8-10 green onions/scallions, finely sliced in rings (all of the white, plus the light green)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup starch (corn, tapioca, potato, or arrowroot)
  • a couple pinches kosher salt and a couple grinds black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°. Put a cookie sheet in the oven to preheat, too.

Peel the potatoes, then shred them on a grater or in the food processer into medium-sized shreds. Put all the potatoes in a few paper towels, and wring out the moisture a couple times. When they are dry, put them in a large bowl. You can also use a sieve and press out the moisture.

Place a nonstick skillet on the stove with about 1/2″ of the cooking oil, and bring up to medium-high heat.

Put all the ingredients (except the oil) in the large bowl. Combine well.

Use a soup spoon to form the mixture into little cakes. Drop cakes into the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.

Crisp and delicious

Put the first batch of potato pancakes in the oven on the cookie sheet. Repeat with more batches until all the mixture is finished. Cook for about 10 more minutes, then serve and eat. Yum!

This made 12 pancakes, which served 5 people as part of a brunch. they would also be great with sour cream if you are OK with dairy, or applesauce.
Sunny Fall Sunday Brunch Fall brunch plate

postheadericon Stuffed Round Zucchini

A wonderful old farmer/wood-carver at our local farmer’s market has had these gorgeous round zucchini lately. I bought a couple this past weekend, and decided they were perfect for making stuffed zucchini. If you need to use regular zucchini, the recipe is the same, except you will likely need more than two zucchini to make enough food for your family. Plus they won’t be as cute. ;)

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. If you replace the ground meat with meat-free “crumbles”, tofu, another meatless alternative, or simply omit it, it can be a vegan and vegetarian meal as well.


  • 2 medium/large round zucchini (about 4 lbs of zucchini)

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups broth, or 2 cups water
  • olive or canola oil for sautéing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence (if at all possible – I love the spices from The Spice House: no allergens added. If you don’t have any, you could use Italian seasoning, or a nice hand-made mix with some thyme in it)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • **Optional: breadcrumbs safe for your food sensitivities


Preheat oven to 375. Find a 9×13 casserole pan, and oil it lightly.

Rinse the quinoa well in water, then put it in a pot with the 2 cups of broth/water. Bring to a boil, then cover and let it cook on low for 15-20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, cut the zucchini in half. Pick out any large seeds. Scoop out the “meat” of the zucchini, then dice it. Tip: an ice cream scoop does a great job of scooping out the zucchini! Leave about 1/4″ of zucchini wall around the outside, so it will maintain its shape during filling and baking. Organize the zucchini shells within the 9×13 pan.

Heat oil in a skillet to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and celery. Cook until they start to become tender. Add salt and spices, and let them warm for a moment. Add meat (or alternative) and zucchini, and continue to cook until the chopped zucchini is softened and the meat is cooked through.

Drain the meat/vegetable mixture, then combine with the quinoa in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Scoop the mixture into the zucchini shells, mounding it on top a bit. Tent with aluminum foil, then put in the oven for 20 minutes to allow the zucchini shells time to soften. Remove the tent and cook for another 10 minutes.

**Optional: If you have some ingredient-free breadcrumbs, you could sprinkle them over the zucchini after you remove the tent and let them brown.

Remove from oven and serve. This is one of those all-in-one meals, though you can’t go wrong with a salad on the side with some more veggies from the farmer’s market!

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….

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