Ask A Connecticut Chef: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

November 13, 2013 7:00 AM

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

Kashia Cave is a great chef – but even more than that, she is great human being – and one committed to teaching kids how to eat and cook a healthy, proper diet. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, this young mother and woman of faith and purpose has been acknowledged not only by her Connecticut community but also by the government of her Caribbean homeland. In late September, she was invited to New York City for a private interview with the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, and together the two women marked their country’s 51st year of independence.Ms. Kave is better known in Meriden for her REACH (Recreation, Education, Arts, Community and Home) Program, which she describes as “a 21st century community learning center that will reach all children and encourage their love of learning, service to community, imagination in the arts, development of physical well-being and sense of belonging.”

Chef Kave is, of course, also a chef, whose culinary abilities and unique approach to healthy eating have made her a frequent guest on local television shows and a much sought-after celebrity for hosting everything from children’s birthday parties to the annual Culinary Extravaganza put on by her My Kitchen organization (the third of which is scheduled for Friday, April 11, 2014). Ms. Kave is a graduate of the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Connecticut in 2006 and the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Italy, and is the founder of the non-profit My City Kitchen in Meriden.

Kashia Cave
My City Kitchen
384 Pratt St.
Meriden, CT  06450
(203) 630-2870

Kave was kind enough to share some of her fabulous gluten-free recipes so you can be prepared for the holidays.

Wild Rice Stuffing


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp each of fresh rosemary, oregano and sage
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth


Heat stove to medium high heat, sauté onions and celery in the EVOO, then immediately add the butter until softened for three minutes. Add the wild rice to the onion mixture, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the pepper, salt, cranberries, sage, rosemary and oregano. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

Note: In the last five minutes, you can sprinkle chopped pecans on the top.

Related: Top Pumpkin Treats In Connecticut

Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Cookie


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • Dash of vanilla essence


Mix together all of the ingredients and spoon the dough on a parchment paper baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Simple Bake Mac & Cheese


  • 1 box of gluten-free pasta (Recommend Heartland or Ancient Harvest Brand)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm skim milk
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese (Reserve 1 cup of cheese for the topping)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray


Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed. In the meantime, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a lager mixing bowl, add the pasta, butter and egg together. Place all of the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl until it’s creamy.

Take a medium-size baking dish and coat it with the cooking spray. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Use the remaining cheese and sprinkle it over the pasta. Bake until the cheese is golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.

Related: Top Apple Pie In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at

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