4 Back to School Twists on Classic Recipes

Back to school time means “parent-approved,” kid-friendly meals on-the-go. This menu includes a fun twist on some classic recipes and, as always, they are easy to make, packed with extra nutrition and gluten free. They are also nut free, too, making these recipes ideal for school. Start the day with Pancake Muffins—given that they are made in advance, they are great to eat on the run. Then we have mac ‘n cheese, but get this, there are veggies hidden in it. Last, looking for a new birthday or party treat that everyone will love? Try birthday cake pie that is a cookie pie, cheesecake and birthday cake combined into one.

Pancake Muffins
(photo: Angela Sackett)

Pancake Muffins

Makes 14
Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

Pancakes on the go are a super-fun solution for a busy weekday morning or early-morning road trip. This is a fun recipe to make with kids and to get creative by adding your own spin. Get the recipe.


Veggie Mac and Cheese for Kids gluten free
(photo: Angela Sackett)

Veggie Mac and Cheese

Makes 5 servings
Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

Back to school means that it’s time for easy and healthy weeknight dinners. What is more kid-friendly than mac ‘n cheese and more parent-friendly than veggies? A veggie mac ‘n cheese! Get the recipe.


Chickpea Salad
(photo: Angela Sackett)

Chickpea Salad

Makes 3 servings
Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian, dairy free

Looking for a quick side salad packed with protein? This is it! Colorful, fresh and an easy crowd favorite. Get the recipe.


Birthday Cake Pie
(photo: Angela Sackett)

Birthday Cake Pie

Makes 8 servings
Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

This sweet treat is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is a wonderful combination of everything fun. It’s like putting a cookie cake, cheesecake and birthday cake in a blender, and this delightful dessert is born. Get the recipe.

Delectable Dairy-Free Summer Treats

Stay cool on a sun-baked day with these sweet, crowd-pleasing delicacies.

A summer day becomes just about perfect with a refreshing, sweet treat. Creating one to meet multiple food restrictions can be a challenge, but these recipes might help while keeping your crowd happy. They offer a fun combination of creative sweet treats that are all gluten and dairy free. Cool off with a tropical smoothie or homemade choco-banana soft serve. Let the kids help with a twist on the classic thumbprint cookie or colorful Jell-O roll-up recipes.

Frozen Cooler

Nothing is better on a hot day than a fresh, ice-cold fruit smoothie. This recipe is packed with fresh fruit and tons of nutrients, everything to keep you going on a hot day. Feel free to put a twist on this one and use your favorite juice or frozen fruit. If it is cocktail time, add 2 ounces of a good dark rum, and this smoothie just became the life of the party! Get the recipe.

Dairy free, nut free, vegan, corn free

Almond Cookies

A spin on the classic thumbprint cookie, but dairy free! My favorite coffee house in Philadelphia keeps a jar of these on the counter, and they sell out daily. Get the recipe.

Dairy free, corn free, vegan

Choco Loco

Very few frozen treats are better than chocolate ice cream. This dairy-free version is super easy and nutritious—a guilt-free indulgence that would even make for a special breakfast (if ice cream for breakfast is OK with you, it is with me!). Get the recipe.

Dairy free, vegan, Paleo

Lime Roll Ups

This recipe has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. A cool, fruity treat that is colorful and fun. The combination of Jell-O and marshmallow is an unexpectedly perfect pair. This is a fun recipe to make with kids or mix up with your favorite Jell-O flavors. Get the recipe.

Dairy free, nut free

Camp Celiac: Bring a Taste of Camp to Your Kitchen

It’s 6 a.m., and the sun is rising on a cool August morning. As 150 campers are just starting to wake up, our kitchen staff is already working hard, flipping 500 pancakes, frying 400 slices of bacon and preparing a tremendous amount of food needed for the day ahead.

Imagine an 800-square-foot space overlooking a lake in the beautiful woods of Rhode Island.

For one week each year, this kitchen becomes a safe place for 150 gluten-free campers and volunteers from around the world.

It’s Camp Celiac.

A full year of planning goes into menu creation and requires rigorous hunting for food donations and careful logistical planning. It is a week of camping fun, complete with an all-you-can-eat pizza party, pasta night, dessert buffet, tons of cookies and even a doughnut breakfast that most people living gluten-free might think to be impossible.

Camp Celiac’s kitchen staff consists of an amazing group of formally trained chefs, including some former campers. They all suffer from celiac disease and are experts in creating an extremely safe gluten-free space.

Camp Celiac is a non-profit that is fully dependent on volunteers as staff, counselors, nurses and directors.

Food constitutes most of Camp Celiac’s focus. Unfortunately, gluten-free products are not cheap, and Camp Celiac oversees a team of people to partner with over 30 gluten-free certified companies willing to donate bread, pasta, cookies, baking mixes, sauce, cheese and so much more. The work pays off—campers often have an opportunity to sample food that is new on the market.

Sample some of Camp Celiac’s favorite dishes at home with three fun recipes below.

Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Bake







8 servings

Making eggs for a big group is never easy, but this recipe keeps it simple to feed the crowd.

Nut free, soy free, gluten free


12 eggs

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

1 cup cheese

½ cup cooked and chopped sausage

½ cup diced ham


Preheat oven to 350° F. Start by beating the eggs in a large bowl with milk, salt and pepper until frothy. Add half the cheese and all of the meat to the eggs and fold together. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Uncover dish, add remaining cheese to the top and cook an additional 15 minutes or until fully cooked. Use a toothpick to check if the center is fully cooked and firm.

Taco in a Bag

Taco in a Bag

6 servings

Camp meals are supposed to be fun! This is a “grab bag” meal that is a twist on the traditional taco night.

Nut free, egg free, gluten free


1 small onion, diced

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

6 snack bags of Fritos or preferred corn chip

⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 15-ounce jar salsa

½ cup sour cream


Start by browning onions and ground beef in olive oil over medium heat. Once meat is cooked, drain fat, then add water and taco seasoning. Continue to cook over medium heat for a few minutes, then remove meat from heat. Open each bag of chips and equally distribute meat in each bag on top of the chips. Then either add the remaining ingredients or serve the toppings family style.

S’mores Brownie

S'mores Brownie

12 servings

A campfire with s’mores is what makes camp truly camp! Being able to provide gluten-free graham crackers for s’mores is really special. This recipe allows you to enjoy the gooey fun of s’mores with no need for a campfire.

Nut free, vegetarian, corn free


1 stick melted butter plus 1 tablespoon

8 gluten-free graham crackers

1½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup gluten-free flour

3 eggs

¾ cup cocoa powder

⅓ cup chocolate chips

1½ cups regular-size marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350° F. Start by buttering the bottom of a square baking dish with the extra 1 tablespoon of butter. Then use the graham crackers to form a single, spaced-out layer on the bottom of the dish. Leaving space around each cookie will allow the brownie batter to fill in all the space. Next, combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and flour, then mix until combined. Add three eggs and continue to mix. Finally, add cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Mix to combine and pour over layer of graham cracker. Bake for 3 minutes in preheated oven. Remove the brownies and top with the marshmallows. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes and then broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute to help lightly brown the topping for a toasted marshmallow look. Marshmallows can burn very easily. Be attentive once they are added and make sure the broiler is far enough from the topping. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Interested in learning more about Camp Celiac?

Visit campceliac.org or contact the camp directly at [email protected]. Please also consider a donation to help provide a Camp Celiac experience to as many campers as possible.

Kid-Friendly Road Trip Snacks

Snacks are a must when traveling with kids, but finding quick gluten-free options on the road can be a challenge. Add in any other dietary restrictions, and these quick eats become much more difficult to find. With some planning and a small amount of preparation, it is easy to pack great snack options for the whole family. Each of these recipes is very customizable, so it’s easy to add your own spin to keep everyone happy.

1. Breakfast Bars

Breakfast bars are a great solution for a nutritional breakfast option on the go. The brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, oatmeal and dried fruit make this a fun recipe to feed to the kiddos. Get the recipe.

Breakfast bars

2. Fruit Stick To-Go

This is a super colorful recipe packed with fresh fruit and cheese. With a toddler at home, I have been making this kid-safe version using small straws instead of sharp sticks. Feel free to get creative and change up the fruit or cheese selected for your kids’ favorites. Get the recipe.

3. Fruit Pizza

If you’re looking for a creative recipe to make with your kids, this is it! Have fun making pictures and being fancy with all the fruit toppings. After-school snacks can be easy when everyone wants to help put them together. Get the recipe.

4. Spiced Nuts

Candied nuts are a great snack, and this recipe is not loaded with sugar (and calories) like the ones you find at the store. This recipe is high in protein and great for kids. Get the recipe.

Spiced Nuts

5. Zesty Ranch Chickpeas

Crunchy chickpeas are an easy snack to make and pack. Plenty of fun flavors can be added, and it seems that most kids love ranch! High in protein and fiber, this snack is one everyone will be pleased with. Ditch those unhealthy potato chips for this one! Get the recipe.

Zesty Ranch Chickpeas

Prime Paleo Picks

Some refer to “Paleo” eating as the “Caveman Diet.” The Paleo diet is relatively easy to adopt if you’re already eating gluten free or dairy free. The crux of the diet is restricting oneself to items that were only available in primitive times. This means no processed food, added sugar, wheat or other grains. Meats, vegetables and fruits are all acceptable, but items containing sugar, rice, beans, dairy or gluten are out.

For the winter season, I wanted to make a nice, hearty, family-style meal that everyone will love. Each recipe is packed with flavor, and no one will suspect they are eating like cavemen (or cavewomen).

1. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are sweet and packed with flavor. This recipe helps them shine with a simple roast to help them get even sweeter. This is a great light side dish for a hearty dish. Click here for the recipe.

2. Honey Ketchup

Most common condiments (including everyone’s favorite, ketchup!) are not considered Paleo. They normally contain sugar, corn syrup, and other processed flavors and thickening ingredients. This Honey Ketchup recipe is absolutely delicious as a condiment or in your favorite recipes. Click here for the recipe. Click here for the recipe.

3. Meatloaf

Classic meatloaf is a wonderful winter weeknight treat. This Paleo version may not be the same as grandma’s, but it’s still juicy and packed with tons of flavor. Click here for the recipe.

Paleo Meatloaf

4. Masala Cauliflower 

Eating Paleo means skipping the rice, potato, pasta and other common starchy sides. Cauliflower is an ideal substitution. This recipe is packed with lots of flavor and will make you think twice before returning to your old favorites. Click here for the recipe.

A Perfect Hanukkah Brunch

han-brunch-imageHanukkah starts Sunday, December 2 at sundown. If you’re still looking for menu ideas, consider this Hanukkah brunch menu.

Hanukkah breakfast is extremely special to me, and I look forward to the festive combination of traditional recipes and seasonal flavors every year.

One of my fondest memories of being in the kitchen as a child is of making matzo brei with my dad. It was my job to get up on the counter and help break up the entire box of matzo into a large bowl.

Our family recipe was done by feel, without any measurements, as is often the case with traditional holiday foods. It was a challenge to come up with accurate measures for this menu, but I persevered.

All the recipes are nut and gluten free and can be made dairy free. Everyone at your table can enjoy this celebratory meal on the morning of one of the days you gather to light the evening candles and open presents for the festival of lights.

Hanukkah Brunch Recipes


>> Peach Bellinis

Gluten-free citrus salad recipe

>> Citrus Salad


>> Matzo Brei


>> Homemade Lox

Sensational Starters That Skip the Added Sugar

Butternut Squash Shooters

Holiday time is all about preserving traditions. I love to revisit the recipes that have been in my family for generations. This is a time, though, when I am cautious about making alterations—it’s a tradition, after all! Appetizers are the one area where I have fun making changes and getting creative. This menu has a number of great appetizers for a festive holiday season. Of course, all of them are gluten free, but they also contain no added sugar.

A Mediterranean Diet Menu

I was unbelievably inspired to write these recipes after a recent trip to the Greek islands, where the fish, produce and super-simple dishes are unique in both freshness and flavor. A Mediterranean diet is easy to follow and typically composed of fish, whole grains, veggies, olive oil and fresh fruit. This crowd-pleasing menu is great for any get-together. As an added bonus, a Mediterranean diet recommends having one to two glasses of wine daily. Enjoy!


Spicy Feta Dip

Sicilian Shrimp Salad

Roasted Whole Fish

True Greek Salad


Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

For more information and recipes that satisfy dietary restrictions in addition to gluten free, check out our Not Just Gluten Free section!


Gluten-Free Grain-Free Recipes

With some simple alterations, it is easy to make a fully gluten-free meal that also adheres to many other diets, including grain free. This menu is fun and very family friendly. A few simple twists on classic recipes make for a great weeknight food lineup. Try to get creative and put your own unique twists on these gluten-free grain free recipes. Pep them up with some add-ins to your chili or find an exotic spice to toss on the sweet potatoes. Make them yours and enjoy!

Corn and Pepper Salad

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chili

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Peanut Butter Pie

Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

For more information and recipes that satisfy dietary restrictions in addition to gluten free, check out our Not Just Gluten Free section!

Gluten-Free Ketogenic Recipes for Brunch

The ketogenic diet is trendy right now, and its emphasis on low-carb, high-fat eating to trigger the metabolic condition ketosis may appeal to those living gluten free or following other special diets, such as soy free or dairy free. The potential benefits of keto, such as weight loss and lower blood sugar, also attract people eager to improve their health. The keto menu I created is very easy to follow and would be great to make for a large group—it’s also very kid-friendly.

The Green Devil: Deviled Eggs With Avocado

Savta’s Mini Burgers

Baked Rainbow Fries

Keto Cookie

Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

For more information and recipes that satisfy dietary restrictions in addition to gluten free, check out our Not Just Gluten Free section!

Gluten-free Vegan Recipes

A vegan diet is devoid of animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Cooking gluten-free vegan recipes can be tricky, but with some thought and creativity, you’ll realize that the possibilities are endless. After living in Philadelphia (an underrated culinary treasure!) for 10 years, I have been exposed to a wonderfully diverse selection of vegan food. The health benefits are becoming more apparent over time as many find that a vegan diet can increase consumption of iron, many vitamins and omega-3 acids that could ultimately reduce the risk of countless chronic diseases. The menu here is easy and provides some great options if you want to give eating vegan a try. Have fun with it and try adding your own spin.

Mint and Chickpea Salad


“Cheesy” Vegan Pasta

Mango Rice

Frozen Sangria

Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

For more information and recipes that satisfy dietary restrictions in addition to gluten free, check out our Not Just Gluten Free section!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Snack Recipes

One of the hardest challenges of gluten-free living is finding safe food while on the go. This is especially difficult when combined with other food restrictions, such as avoiding dairy. Nothing should get in the way of finding solutions. With a bit of planning and creativity, it’s easy to avoid getting stuck in a predicament where you are hungry and cannot find something safe to eat. The following recipes are a few of my go-to travel favorites that are easy to pack for everyday snacks or a much longer adventure.

BBQ Kale Chips





Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds





Stuffed Dates





Very Berry Bars





Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

For more information and recipes that satisfy dietary restrictions in addition to gluten free, check out our Not Just Gluten Free section!

Off to Gluten-Free Camp

The struggles of being gluten free go well beyond just finding gluten-free alternatives to our favorite foods. They require us to be more aware of the world around us and sensitive to where food is being prepared. We must be vigilant about paying attention to every single ingredient, which can sometimes be exhausting. For anyone, especially children, these struggles can cause feelings of isolation by not being able to participate in activities where foods with gluten are the centerpieces (think pizza night). For this reason, a remarkable place called Camp Celiac in North Scituate, Rhode Island, hosts 145 kids with celiac ages 8 to 16 for a one-week sleepaway camp. This is a completely gluten-free camp where kids with celiac can eat everything in sight and for five days not feel singled out. Everyone around them deals with the same daily struggles.

Most of the campers do not know anyone with similar conditions, so this makes for a special place where they can share a donut and cookie with their friends. The camp doesn’t focus on the condition, however—rather, it focuses on the fun. Activities do not center around gluten-free living, per se, as staff does not actively bring it up. In many ways, there is no need. The campers, though, will chat about their favorite snacks or share their journey with celiac with their friends. I have been volunteering for five years as the kitchen lead and often feel that this place is as much of a retreat for me as it is for the campers. I understand what the campers feel, and I want to do everything in my power to make this a life-changing experience.

Lots to do—and eat!

Activities include, but are not limited to, swimming, fishing, zip-line, crafts, yoga and hiking. Campers eat three meals a day with multiple snacks in between, with the idea of sharing meals that the campers usually can’t enjoy in group settings. The menu includes all-you-can-eat pizza night, pasta dinner, Chinese “takeout,” pancake breakfast, and unlimited sweets and treats freshly baked in a fully gluten-free kitchen. Campers top it off with gluten-free s’mores around the campfire and hot soft pretzels at snack time.

Behind the scenes

Camp Celiac is a 501(c)(3) fully staffed by volunteers. All directors, counselors, kitchen staff and nurses give their time to make this week something very special. Almost all the food and supplies are funded by donations. We are indebted to the extremely generous vendors that want to share their gluten-free products with our community.

The testimonials are endless. From our youngest to oldest campers, the message is always the same—they believe (and I cannot agree more) that this place is something very special where lifelong friendships are formed and a new level of confidence is created by being connected to a group of people like them.

From the parents of a first-time camper in 2016

“To everyone who made this past week possible:

“Our son just attended Camp Celiac for the first time, and what comes to mind most is WOW!!! When we dropped him off, we were so impressed with the facilities, the efficiency of the drop off and the friendly nature that everyone had. We thought that he’d have a good time and felt comfortable that he’d be safe from being ‘glutened.’

“As the week progressed and we saw pictures every day of all the activities, we were thrilled and thought that he was probably having a great time. By the time Friday rolled around, we were starting to think, ‘Uh oh, he may not want to come home.’ And at pick-up time, it was clear that camp had exceeded our hopes. It’s a bit counterintuitive to be happy to see your child cry, but watching him say those heart-wrenching goodbyes confirmed that the entire experience meant something to him he’ll never forget, and we are so grateful. On the way home, he said that it was probably the best week of his life.

“It’s clear that the amount of time and effort you put into organizing, staffing and facilitating camp is an incredible labor of love.”

Want to learn more or help support this special place? Please visit Campceliac.org or the “Friends of Camp Celiac” Facebook page. We are always in need of qualified volunteer counselors and nurses. We also accept donations on our site. Vendors interested in donating products to offer and promote to our camp community should contact us. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or inquiries to [email protected].

Registration opened Feb. 1, 2018, and some beds are still available. Find registration forms online at campceliac.org. The dates for camp this year are Aug. 5 to 10.

Click here for a list of gluten-free-accommodating camps in the United States and Canada for 2018.

Want more information on celiac and kids? Check out our Kids section!

Raw Gluten-Free Recipes

Raw diets are becoming more and more common with the increasing popularity of cold-pressed juice, veggie noodles and the overall desire to eat more wholesome and less processed foods. There are many different schools of thought about what is classified as raw. Some believe that raw foods are those that are never exposed to heat. Some believe that raw foods are those not heated past 120° F. Others include foods that have been fermented or dried. The following are a great selection of raw gluten-free recipes to try. I have included a fancy green juice, an easy-to-make snack bar, a simple avocado lunch and a flavor-packed poke bowl. These recipes can be adjusted to put your own spin on them. Get creative, experiment and have fun trying something new.

Cold-Pressed Juice







Fruit and Nut Bars






Stuffed Avocado






Poke Bowl






Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes

These gluten-free, dairy-free recipes from Laura Hahn Carroll are kid-friendly and make for great additions to a family meal.

As executive chef at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island, I have had to accommodate many kids and staff who eat dairy free. In the process, I have discovered some wonderful dairy-free substitutes that make altering recipes super easy. A creamy soup, fancy meal or fun dessert that is both gluten and dairy free need not be a challenge. Luckily, the plethora of dairy-free butter, milk and cheese alternatives makes cooking dairy free seamless. Make these simple crowd pleasers that will leave no one wondering whether dairy is involved.

Spicy Tie Dye Salad


Creamy Peanut Butter Soup


Nutty Gluten-Free Crab Cakes


No-Bake PB&J Balls


Laura Hahn Carroll, author of the cookbook Around the Word One Gluten-Free Meal at a Time, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs about gluten-free food at GuiltFreeFoodieCutie.com.

Photos by Angela Sackett.