Archive for October, 2009


Menu Plan Oct 26 – Cilantro

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I’m hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week with the theme ingredient of cilantro, or other fresh herbs. I don’t cook with a large variety of fresh herbs, but maybe that will change. I have hopes of bringing my sadly, neglected herb garden back to life next spring. Currently, cilantro is the fresh herb I’m most likely to cook with. What herb do you use most? Dill? Basil?

Here are some recipes I’ve posted that have cilantro in them:

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondayParmesan Chicken Nuggets
Serving with red potato and green bean salad.

Tuesday – Rice Bowls
Using up leftover slow-cooked Mexican chicken to top cilantro rice. We’ll add black beans, green chiles, corn, shredded cheese, avocado salsa or whatever sounds good to complete our rice bowls.

Wednesday – Zpizza
Picking up some tasty pizzas at zPizza. Last time we went, we had the Tuscan and the Mexican on gluten-free crusts. They were both very good.

Thursday – Chicken Vindaloo
Using up the last of the Vindaloo curry paste for a flavorful dish over basmati rice. Anyone have a recipe for gluten-free naan bread?

Friday – Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Serving garlic shrimp over flat wide rice noodles with steamed asparagus.

Saturday – Happy Halloween!
In keeping with our Halloween tradition, we’ll be having chili and gluten-free cornbread for dinner. If you’re sorting out the gluten-free candy tonight and need some help, check out the gluten-free candy list I posted.

Sunday – Leftover Buffet
Time to start eating up what’s left in the refrigerator.

Here’s what some other gluten-free friends are doing this week:

It sounds like Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness had a great party over the weekend and made salsamole with cilantro. I’d love to see that recipe. She also has Lemony Mint Quinoa and Arugula Pesto on her menu this week. Good luck to Cheryl while she works on a Celiac education grant.

Trish at Gluten Free in Salt Lake City says of all fresh herbs, she uses basil most. She has a great looking pizza on the menu with oven-roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. She’s also planning to make gluten-free foccacia bread for BBQ chicken sandwiches this week.

Sorry to hear that Kim and her family at Gluten Free is Life were sick last week. My daughter had a fever over the weekend, too. ‘Tis the season, I guess. This week, Kim’s Butternut Squash Fries got my attention. Sounds like a perfect fall dish to serve with burgers. Hope you’re all feeling better this week, Kim.

If you have any interest in herbs, you need to check out Manda’s post at Asparagus Thin. She is currently taking an herbology course for her studies. In her post, she provides a list of culinary herbs that also have medicinal value. She also has some fun, but tasty meals planned for Halloween.

Deb at Green V-Neck has two weeks of menus posted, last week’s and this week’s. This week she’ll be using cilantro in Tortilla Soup and Rajma Masala. Deb is also serving her family No-Chicken Noodle Soup and orange slices to try and beat the cold season. I hope it works for you, Deb.

At The Lilac Kitchen, Esther seems to have an abundance of pears this week. She is poaching them, making creme brulee with them, and making Pear and Feta Pie this week. She may also make a coriander (cilantro) pesto to serve with the polenta terrine on her menu this week.

In this week’s menu, Angela at Angela’s Kitchen is using cilantro in her fish tacos, guacamole, and cilantro-lime dressing. Sounds good to me. Visit her site Friday to see what recipe she’ll be posting for Gluten Free-zer Friday.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness manages the temporary headquarters of Gluten-Free Menu Swap. There you will find the rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups. For this week, email the link of your gluten-free menu to me at celiacfamily[at]gmail[dot]dom.

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Fruit Snack Giveaway Winner

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Gluten Free Fruit Snacks Prize PackWe have a winner! Andrea (comment #60) is the winner of the Betty Crocker Simple Joys prize pack. She will be receiving two boxes of fruit-flavored snacks from Betty Crocker along with a light-up yo-yo, a game of Pick Up Sticks, and a frisbee. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Congratulations to Andrea!

Categories : Giveaway
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Cilantro Lime Shrimp

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IMG_4438This became a favorite recipe of ours over the summer. It makes a nice, light and refreshing lunch or dinner. It’s quick and easy to prepare and is naturally gluten-free. I modified the recipe slightly from one that my mom and dad make.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe


30-40 medium-size raw shrimp (1 lb.)
1 TBSP olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one or two fresh limes (about 3 TBSP)
1/2 Cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 TBSP butter


  1. Prepare the shrimp, if needed. If frozen, thaw the shrimp.  Remove the shell and tail, and devein the shrimp.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Carefully place the thawed shrimp into the hot skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side. Then remove them from the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat slightly and put the minced garlic in the skillet. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds, or until aromatic, and then add the lime juice. (If the garlic starts to brown too quickly, add the lime juice immediately to reduce the heat.) Cook for another minute and then take the skillet off the heat.
  4. Add the cilantro and butter to the skillet and stir until it’s melted. Now add the shrimp back into the skillet and toss to coat.
  5. Serve over rice or noodles.

Additional Notes:

  • I use a quick-thaw method for thawing the shrimp: Place the shrimp in a colander placed in a bowl of cold water. Put it in the sink and let a constant trickle of cold water stream into the bowl for about 15 minutes.
  • I have also used frozen pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe. It turns out good, but needs less time on the skillet. It’s already cooked, so really you just need to heat it through for a couple minutes.
  • In the picture above, I’ve served the shrimp on rice, but I also enjoy it on wide flat rice noodles.

For more gluten-free meals, check out this week’s edition of What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free? at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

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Banana Coffee Cake Revised Recipe

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IMG_4569xI’ve been intrigued by the blog carnival Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I love the idea of changing your recipes to be a little healthier than they were before. Especially if they still taste as wonderful as they did before. So, I decided to try changing my recipe for Banana Coffee Cake.

For starters, I reduced the sugar in the cake by a 1/4 cup. I didn’t even miss it. Next, I removed the dairy from the recipe. Although I’m lactose intolerant, I usually cook with whole milk. I take any opportunity to get more calories into my son. Since my son doesn’t eat the coffee cake (don’t ask me why), I figured I’d try replacing the cow’s milk with almond milk. I also replaced the butter in the recipe, but I didn’t have a good, low-fat alternative. I used shortening with butter flavor. I’m not sure that’s a healthier option. 🙂 However, I did meet my goal of reducing sugar and eliminating the lactose.

The results: it was even better. The texture was perfect — moist and soft, but not gummy. And I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t miss the sugar. I loved the coffee cake. Just like the original cake, it lasted on the counter for a few days without drying out or getting crumbly. Here’s the revised recipe:

Banana Coffee Cake – Revised Recipe


Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP shortening, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup shortening, softened
3/4 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 Cup)
1/3 Cup almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan or 8 x 8 baking pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the shortening/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and almond milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour all but about a cup of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour or spoon on the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.

Notable Links:


Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
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Menu Plan Oct 19

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This week the Gluten-Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in the House. She chose squash as the theme ingredient. The only squash on my menu this week is acorn squash, prepared in a simple, traditional way with butter and brown sugar. I haven’t been able to get my kids to eat any kind of squash yet, not even with butter and brown sugar. Crazy kids! 🙂 I’ll keep trying.

I’m hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap next week, so please join us. The theme ingredient will be cilantro, or other fresh herbs (but you don’t have to include them in your menu to participate). For the rules and past week roundups,  check out the menu swap headquarters hosted at Gluten Free Goodness. Thanks Cheryl.

Monday – Leftovers
Starting out the week with leftovers that didn’t get eaten up over the weekend.

Tuesday – Pork Chops with Mushrooms
Cooking pork chops with baby bellas and serving with rice and acorn squash.

Wednesday – Roast Beef
Cooking roast beef and serving with sweet potatoes and broccoli.

Thursday – Chicken Tacos
Making slow-cooked Mexican chicken for tacos.

Friday – Chik-fil-A
Stopping at Chik-fil-A after soccer practice. My current favorite is the grilled chicken and fruit salad with spicy dressing. The kids will eat a grilled chicken fillet with waffle fries and a fruit cup. If you haven’t tried it yet, check out their gluten-free menu.

Saturday – Chicken Chili
Making a chicken chili with white beans, green chiles, onion, garlic, and some yummy spices. It’s been a while since I’ve made it, so I’m really looking forward to it. If I’ve got time, I might even make some arepas to go with it. Now that I’ve made pupusas, arepas can only be easier, right?

Sunday – Cheeseburgers
My daughter requests cheeseburgers for dinner every night. So, here it is: cheeseburgers with french fries and peas.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

Enter the Fun Giveaway at Celiac Family this week for the Betty Crocker “Simple Joys” prize pack that includes 2 packages of Betty Crocker Fruit-Flavored Snacks, a Pick Up Sticks game, a light-up yo-yo and a Frisbee.

Categories : Menu Plan
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