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 ‘menu ideas’ Category

postheadericon Adapting your menu for allergies

(This is a portion of a longer blog post at our “A Gaggle of Girls”, blog)

Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month!
Happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!

If you are living with food allergies, Celiac disease, food intolerances, or any other dietary restrictions, you are already used to adapting your menu. But what happens when one person wants to be a vegetarian? or you move into a home where people eat dairy? or your children have opposing allergies? or you have one kid who loves peppers and another who hates them? You learn how to adapt your menus so you can make (almost) everyone happy with one meal.

Tagging the pizza

For Mother’s Day, I made a double batch of quiches, and made them in individual sizes so each person could have the ingredients she wanted. This meant that those who like soy “cheese” could have some, and those who like bacon can enjoy without upsetting the new vegetarian. Individual pizzas, quiches, mexican pizzas (tortilla, refried beans, ground meat, salsa, soy or dairy cheese), and tacos are some incredibly easy ways of letting each child eat the ingredients she loves.

One of my favorite adaptation methods is “on the side”. I loved When Harry Met Sally, and I’m afraid I may sound like Sally when I’m in a restaurant! However, at home I have embraced that concept with my daughters. We make salads with dressing on the side, of course, but also make Pad Thai with the shrimp, limes, and peanuts on the side, a risotto with meat and/or cheese on the side, a vegetable curry with meat and some veggies on the side, or make a meal of pasta or polenta with marinara or White Sauce and sausages or meatballs on the side.

2 pizzas just out of the oven

When you start to think about meals in a new way, a way where everyone can enjoy a similar meal, you can find new ways to deconstruct dinner. A buffet of choices for pizzas or ice cream sundaes becomes more fun, not just a way to accommodate food allergies and pickiness! Shifting your perspective to fun rather than a chore can help you enjoy your meals, too – not just feel like you need to get through them somehow.

postheadericon Thanksgiving Dinner in Pictures

Happy Thanksgiving!

5 desserts isn't overkill

postheadericon A feast fit for an allergic family

We might have dietary restrictions with allergies and celiac disease, but we don’t let that stop us from eating well!



I hope all of you have had wonderful feasts that show how much yummmm you can get with food allergies!

postheadericon Early summer menu

As winter turned into spring, we started steaming more vegetables and roasting fewer. Now that spring is turning into summer, we’re avoiding the oven and using the crock pot more and more – it gives us a hot meal without a hot kitchen!

We’re also making more and more one-pot meals, or stove-top casseroles. Delicious, easy, and fewer things to clean up after dinner!

Our Menu:

  • Chicken Rattatouille with pasta (we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals)

  • Steamed green beans and Pelau
  • Keilbasa ala JadenKale (recipe to be added later), with a salad on the side
  • Taco Friday, with lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and olives as toppings. The creaminess of the guacamole helps us not miss the cheese
  • Rotisserie chicken with Cole Slaw, potato chips, and a new 3 bean salad recipe
  • Chili and corn chips, olives, and guacamole
  • Pot roast, mashed potato, and salad

What are you eating?

postheadericon Mid-February Menu

I just found the Gluten-free menu swap, which is being hosted this week by Gluten-free Red Sox fan. The theme for this week is Butternut Squash. I usually serve butternut squash as Ginger Butternut Squash soup. However, it can also be used in place of the pumpkin in Ingredient Free Pumpkin Bars. Yum.

Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the menu swap until after I had done the week’s shopping, and I don’t usually have specific meals designated for specific days. However, if you’re having trouble coming up with warming winter meals, here’s this week’s menu for the Gaggle of Girls Gluten-Free Family…

*= here is my recipe for roasted vegetables

What are you eating this week?

postheadericon A few tips to help you on your Food Allergy trip

This post is part of the Food Allergy Blog Carnival

We’ve been living with dairy alternatives for 9 years now. We’ve been living gluten-free due to Celiac Disease for almost 5 years. We’ve been living berry-free for a bit over a year. In the past 9 years we’ve gone through times of needing to avoid citrus, soy, eggs, and corn. Not all at once, though! 😉 I’ve picked up a few ideas on how to make the transition to a new diet, and/or living with a restricted diet easier, and I hope they’re helpful.

I’ve got a new tip to start us off – my friend has a child who is anaphylactic to almost everything (no, really!). On their front door is a a sign saying “No Food Allowed”, because they live in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids who were coming over with food. If we lived in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids, we might well have a sign like that up, too. It’s a great way to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in your house, though you might have to pay for a bit more food so the neighbor kids have something to eat when they’re visiting!
Read more tips

postheadericon Thanksgiving Dinner – celiac style

Thanksgiving Food

While we wait (im)patiently for the archives to re-appear, and I try desperately to cook without my recipes, I offer you proof of a wonderful gfcf, allergy-safe, gluten-free, celiac Thanksgiving!

We had:

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Don’t forget dessert:

Soon this will have links to all the recipes, and even more pictures. We promise we’re working as fast as we can!

postheadericon Young Chefs

I’m still dealing with fibromyalgia-like symptoms because of Chronic Lyme disease. I’m being treated, but the effects wax and wane – some days are better than others.

This evening, I couldn’t move my right arm or bend over, so the girls helped me with dinner made dinner while I supervised. Since they are 9, 7, and 4, we made an easy dinner. However, since they are also children living with a chronic illness that is only treatable with food avoidance (Celiac disease avoiding wheat, rye, oats, barley), plus other food allergies and sensitivities, they need to know how to cook and they help out a lot.

Young Chefs make dinner

They made one of our “all in the oven” meals – set the oven for 350 and put in:

  • Roasted frozen green beans (ok, that was really easy – dump frozen green beans in a oven-safe pan, drizzle oil over them, sprinkle with kosher salt)

  • Chicken with BBQ sauce (Gluten-free store-bought bbq sauce mixed with splashes of cider vinegar, brown sugar, and rum then drizzled on top)
  • Cornbread, using our favorite recipe

I helped reading the recipe, but they measured, read the fractions, and mixed it all well. We’re looking forward to a yummy dinner!

I really think that it is very important for kids to learn how to cook (kids with food allergies and kids without) – as much as it can be annoying having 3 people in the kitchen with me, the more they know how to cook, the better. Often, when kids are involved in the cooking, they’re more willing to try new meals. Plus, nothing warms your heart like hearing “Mommy, save this recipe so I can have it when I grow up!”

Look at our lunches!
Foods we have made
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