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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postheadericon Pan-Fried Salmon and Capers

This is one of my favorite ways to cook fish! I usually find fish somewhat intimidating, but this recipe is easy, delicious, and almost fool-proof. This was inspired by an early episode of Good Eats and Alton Brown’s recipe. I highly recommend picking up his newest book – Good Eats: The Early Years, even if you haven’t watched the show. It’s filled with a lot of great information, plus, he’s covered substituting for allergies on the show and he quite nice and friendly at booksignings.

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, and corn free recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or two small salmon fillets – with the skin on. We figure on about 1/3lb of fish per person, and I have made this with 8 oz of fish and also 2 lbs. The bigger issue is to make sure you have only 1 or 2 fillets to flip.

  • 1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour for dredging – amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum all work well
  • 2 TBS cooking oil – olive or canola oil
  • 2 TBS margarine (I like Earth Balance for this, but if you are dairy and soy free, using a little extra oil works well)
  • 1 TBS capers
  • 1/2 – 1 lemon, juiced

Method:
Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

In a cake pan or large, shallow bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess.

When pan is good and hot, add 1 tablespoon margarine (or a bit more olive oil) to the oil. As soon as it is melted, place fish in the pan, skin side down. For the first 10-15 seconds, shake the pan back and forth so the fish doesn’t stick to the pan. Cook until golden crust forms on the skin – about 2-3 minutes.

Carefully flip the fish away from you and wiggle the pan again for the first few seconds. Cook until the meat turns golden brown and delicious. Remove from the heat and slide the fish onto a warm plate.

Pour out the oil, add the 1 TBS reserved margarine (or oil). When the margarine has melted, add the capers and fry them quickly. After about one minute, take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice to pan and mix together. Pour the caper and lemon sauce over the fish and serve.

This is great and quick meal served with some quinoa or rice and then a roasted vegetable or salad. Yum!

postheadericon Gluten-Free French Toast

French toast with maple syrup

The girls love French Toast, but it’s my mother who usually makes it. This past weekend my parents were gone for the day, so they sent me on a hunt for a good recipe. After much Googling, I ended up with this recipe which was inspired by Alton Brown’s recipe – because if Alton made it, you can’t go wrong! I tweaked it for our taste buds, allergies, and for my own cooking preferences.

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, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.  Be sure to check the allergy notes at the bottom of the recipe.

Ingredients:

French toast on the griddle
  • 1 cup milk or milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp…)
  • 3 large eggs (eggs are integral to this recipe, so I don’t recommend using an egg substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9-12 slices gluten-free bread1
  • 4 TBS oil or margarine2

Method:

French Toast soaking liquid

Preheat oven to 250. Set a lasagna pan or similar 9×13 pan near the stove.

In a deep pie dish, combine the milk substitute, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk gently, so the milk/egg mixture doesn’t spill.

Heat your griddle or skillet to medium heat. Add about 1 TBS oil or margarine to pan and swirl around so it coats the pan.

Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for about 1 minute on each side. Pick up a piece of bread and gently shake the excess egg mixture into the pie pan.

Go soak your bread!

Lay 2-3 slices of bread in the griddle/skillet, depending on the size of the bread and your pan. Cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes for each side. When browned, remove from griddle and gently put in the lasagna pan, then slide the pan into the oven.

Continue with the next set of bread slices, until all of the french toast has been made.

Serve to many cheers and soon-to-be-empty plates! This tastes great with maple syrup, or perhaps a bit of confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top.

Allergy Notes:
1 Our favorite bread recipe is perfect for this, as is our sweet bread recipe, but any gluten-free bread will work. The Kinnikinnik loaf pictured was perfect, because it tasted a bit dry when eaten plain. Our favoite purchased bread is Ener-G Brown Rice Bread, which tastes especially wonderful when toasted.
2 We usually use Earth Balance Organic margarine tubs, which are Kosher and dairy-free. However, that margarine includes soy protein. Fleishmann’s Unsalted is also Kosher and dairy-free, but only uses soy oil – no soy protein. Alternatively, to make the recipe safe for the corn or soy-free,  you can use canola or another cooking oil to coat the griddle.

postheadericon Artichoke and Salami Sautéed Chicken

Artichoke & Salami Chicken over rice

This is a recipe that popped into my head as I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what to serve for dinner. Finding new ways of making chicken is a pretty regular event around here, and I’m sure around many homes! This recipe is likely inspired by a meal I ate in a restaurant once, or one I saw on a menu. It’s delicious and easy, and definitely faux fast food – on your plate in under 45 minutes.

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, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Ingredients:

Simmering Supper
  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • approximately 1.3 lbs boneless/skinless chicken – thighs work great
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • a couple grinds fresh pepper
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 6 1/2 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 roasted red pepper, fresh or from a jar packed in water
  • 3-4 slices good quality genoa salami (our favorite is Applegate Farms)

Method:
Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until tender. Chop chicken into 1-2 inch pieces as the onion is cooking.

Add chicken, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and basil to the pan, and sauté until the chicken is browned on all sides. This means using tongs to move the chicken, onion, garlic, and spices around the pan and rotate the chicken.

While the chicken is browning, cut the artichoke hearts into quarters, chop the sprig of rosemary, slice the salami into strips, and roughly chop the roasted red pepper. Don’t forget to stir the chicken in between chopping!

Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until well combined. Continue cooking over medium heat until the newly-added ingreients are hot, and well-integrated.

Serving Supper

There will be some liquid in the pan from the artichokes (even after draining) and roasted red pepper. Some will evaporate while cooking, and the rest can be spooned over rice or pasta along with the chicken.

Serve with rice or pasta (on the side or on top, depending on your tastes and the level of pickiness in your family) with a roasted vegetable or salad.

This is a great crowd-pleaser, for adults and kids. Yum!

postheadericon Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

This recipe contains peanut butter! (I do think that sunbutter or another peanut butter substitute would work well, but that hasn’t been fully tested as of yet)

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

A friend of mine linked me to a similar recipe, and I’ve adapted a bit and made it safe for our allergies. This is delicious, and much less work than one would think. I’ve been craving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for years now, and this hits the spot. It’s also a great recipe to use to wow friends who think that folks with dietary restrictions don’t eat 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, tree nut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe. Unfortunately, my brownie recipe doesn’t work well without eggs, so this is not vegan or egg-free.

Ingredients

Ready to be eaten

Filling

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine or shortening, softened

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (we like Jif Natural), OR sunbutter or another peanut butter substitute should be fine too
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp)

Topping

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have their own brands of dairy-free chocolate chips, and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are dairy/soy/nut free)

  • 1/4 cup margarine or shortening (half a stick)

Method:
Make super-easy brownies according to recipe instructions. Let cool in the pan.

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread the peanut butter mix evenly over the cooled brownies.

In small bowl, microwave the topping ingredients for 60 seconds; stir well with a whisk until smooth. You may need to microwave an additional 30 seconds if your chocolate was cold (we keep chocolate chips in the freezer so they don’t melt)

Spread gently and evenly over peanut butter filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.

Cut into 1-2 inch cubes, and serve to much applause.

This recipe is fine on a counter unless the weather is hot, in which case I suggest refrigerating. So, they were fine on the counter for most of the 2009 “summer” in New England!

postheadericon Whoopie! Waffles!

Who doesn’t love a breakfast of waffles? We make a big batch, and then refrigerate or freeze the extras so they can be heated up in the toaster on busy mornings. While this recipe has 4 eggs, it can be substituted with a commercial or homemade egg replacer without sacrificing taste or quality.
This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients and use appropriate substitutes!) 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.

Ingredients

Whoopie!  Waffles!
  • 2 cups gf flour (I like sorghum, millet, or brown rice)

  • 1 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, or corn is good here; or use 3 cups gluten free flour mix in place of the flour and starch)
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS xanthan gum
  • 1 TBS + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 2/3 cup milk substitute
  • 4 eggs or equivalent egg substitute (while usually I wouldn’t suggest replacing eggs in a recipe with 3 or more eggs, egg replacers work quite well in this recipe)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Method:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk substitute through vanilla extract.

Slowly mix the liquid into the flour, and stir until smooth.

Waffles and Goosebarry Syrup

This batter will act differently based on humidity, temperature, and phase of moon. So you may need to add 1/2 cup more flour or 1/2 cup more water, depending if it is very wet or very thick.

Add optional blueberries when the batter is well mixed, and stir until just incorporated.

Use a ladle to add waffle batter to the waffle iron, and cook according to device instructions. Keep waffles warm on a plate covered by a tea town in the oven set at 200 degrees. Serve with margarine, maple syrup, and Gooseberry Syrup.

postheadericon Brownie-Mallows

Gooey Goodness

My daughter heard that her friend’s mom made brownies with fluff on top, and had to have them right away. We came up with this recipe, which is delicious. When we told her friend about it, it turned out that my daughter had misunderstood, and her friend’s mom doesn’t make these, so it’s now our special recipe. They are gooey and good, but they need to stay chilled or they get very, very sticky!

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, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, and shellfish free recipe. Unfortunately, my brownie recipe doesn’t work well without eggs, so this is not vegan or egg-free.

Ingredients:

A Batch of Brownie-Mallows

Method:
Follow the recipe for the super-easy brownies. Let them cool completely

Spread Marshmallow Fluff over cooled brownies, making an even layer.

Layers of goodness

Mix together margarine and chocolate chips in a bowl, then microwave in 60 second intervals, stirring until well combined.

Pour chocolate mixture over fluff, and spread with a spatula until you have an even layer of chocolate.

Place the entire pan into the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill.

Slice into 1 1/2 inch squares. Serve chilled.

postheadericon Simple Gooseberry Syrup

Saving the syrup

If you miss the flavor of raspberries and blackberries but cannot eat them, consider trying gooseberries – they are their own food family (related only to currants) and are unlikely to cross-react with other foods.

The green gooseberries taste very similar to raspberries and blackberries when eaten raw. However, the red gooseberries are quite tart, and need another use. This syrup is great over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream, and has a wonderful sweet-tart flavor. Plus, it’s incredibly easy!

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.

Ingredients:

Cooking gooseberry syrup
  • 1 cup cane sugar

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup gooseberries

Method:
Combine sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat. Whisk and cook until the sugar fully dissolves.

Meanwhile pull off the little brown or green bits at either end of the gooseberries. Cut gooseberries in half.

Add gooseberries to the sugar/water mixture.

Let cook over low heat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Strain the seeds and fibers from the syrup, and pour into a refrigerator and microwave safe container.
Refrigerate syrup, then warm for a few seconds in the microwave before serving over waffles, or ice cream.

postheadericon Tarragon-Lime Green Beans

Lime & Tarragon Green Beans

This was adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. It’s a pretty fast cooking dish, and the flavors are amazing. Don’t cheat and use bottled lime juice – if you don’t have a fresh lime to zest and juice, wait until you do.

Serves 6.

Decorative Tarragon Sprigs with green beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
  • grated lime zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 TBS olive oil (this does not need to be extra virgin, and could be another cooking oil)
  • 1 1/2 pound green beans
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Method

Green Bean prep

Combine 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lime zest in small bowl; set aside.

Juice the lime and chop the tarragon leaves, and set aside.

Snap off both ends of the green beans, and set aside. Set aside the minced onion with the green beans.

Just browning

Heat 1 TBS regular olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion, green beans, 2 pinches kosher salt, and 3 grinds teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green but are still crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove the cover, increase heat to high, and cook until water evaporates, about 60 seconds.

Add olive oil mixture to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beans are crisp-tender, lightly browned, and beginning to wrinkle, 2-3 minutes.

Summer dinner - 1 pan, plus grill

Transfer green beans to serving bowl, toss with lime juice and tarragon. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl with a plate or other lid to keep warm when bringing the rest of the meal to the table.

This is great with some roasted potatoes and a fish that has been in a citrus marinade. There won’t be many leftovers with these!

postheadericon Miso Soup, hold the barley

Traditional miso contains barley, a gluten-containing grain. However, there are some companies, such as Great Eastern Sun which make miso from alternate ingredients such as soy, chickpeas, and rice (their misos are also certified organic and kosher). Additionally, as miso soup is usually made using a fish broth, using a vegetable broth in its place, makes the soup an option for vegetarian/vegan diners and those with fish allergies.

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, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

This is my adaptation of a couple easy miso soup recipes I’ve found.

Ingredients:

Miso soup, serving for one
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (you can make some quickly)

  • 1/4 cup dried wakame (sea vegetable)
  • 1/2 lb firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into half-inch cubes (1/2 lb = 8 oz = 1 package)
  • 4 TBS red Miso
  • optional: 2 scallions, sliced into rings (white and light green parts only)

Method:
Make a quick batch of vegetable stock. In a medium pot, bring 7 cups of water to a boil with 2 cloves garlic, 3 baby carrots, and 3 leafy pieces of celery.

Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 20+ minutes. Strain the vegetables out of the broth, then measure 6 cups of broth for the miso soup.

Ready to serve the miso soup

Reuse the medium pot and bring the vegetable stock to a simmer.

Add the diced tofu and wakame, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove 1/3 cup broth from the soup, and dissolve the miso in the stock. Once the miso is well mixed in with the broth, add to the soup.

Garnish with scallion rings and serve.

Tuna and rice

This is lovely served with a salad and sushi, but is also wonderful served with grilled tuna and Asian Rice Salad.

postheadericon Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

2 loaves out of the oven

My dear friend Nanny Ogg had an overflowing zucchini crop last year, and every time I sent her an instant message, her status had something to do with making, serving, or eating Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. It does taste every bit as good as I thought it would, too!

This makes 2 loaves. This doubles wonderfully, too!

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, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

1 slice

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups gf flour (sorghum, rice, brown rice, millet, or another mild flour)
  • 1 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, or corn)
  • 1 TBS xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (the miniature Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are perfect here if you have them!)

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour or use parchment to line 2 loaf pans

In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, and sugar. Beat well. (Since this recipe has 3 eggs, it is not easily changed to an egg free recipe)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Add zucchini and vanilla, and combine well. Stir in flour mix, and mix well.

Add chocolate chips and stir just until they are distributed well.

2 loaves, ready to go into the oven

Divide batter into two loaf pans, then bake for approximately 1 hour. Start testing with a toothpick after 45 minutes – when the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.

Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack in the pans, then knock out of pans and cool completely. Slice and serve. While it’s delicious hot, it might be better to wait for it to cool – it’s only somewhat crumbly after it’s cooled, but quite crumbly when hot.

This recipe freezes well if your freezer isn’t already crammed with zucchini and the bread isn’t inhaled by your family!

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