Archive for November, 2009


Boneless Pork Ribs

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event1bThis month, I am again participating in Book of Yum’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event. It’s a great event that encourages gluten-free bloggers and foodies to try gluten-free recipes by other gluten-free bloggers and write about the experience. I often see gluten-free recipes on other websites that I want to try, but put off actually making them for various reasons.

This month, I decided to try a recipe for Firehouse Boneless Pork Ribs posted by Brian at Fire and Salt. Brian is a firefighter who began cooking gluten-free for his celiac wife.  He has a lot of great-looking recipes on his blog, and I was glad to finally get a chance to share one of his recipes with you. I had never cooked boneless pork ribs before, but decided to buy them at the store when they were on sale. I was happy to find Brian’s recipe. It looked fabulous!

IMG_4778xSo, I gave it a try. It was so quick and easy to prepare. The slow-cooking method made the meat so tender it almost melted in my mouth. And the flavor was just as good as I expected. The best part about the recipe: my kids liked it, too! I never know if they’re going to eat food I prepare from a new recipe. They were a little hesitant, but did try it. My daughter’s first comment was “yuuuumm!” Well, that pretty much says it all. A perfect recipe to share for this month’s edition of Book of Yum’s Adopt a GF Blogger.

(I served the pork ribs with a little extra barbecue sauce, along with my husband’s famous garlic mashed potatoes and my Broccoli Mushroom casserole.)

Brian has recently posted many recipes that would be great at a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner, so be sure to check them out:

And let me tempt you with some more of the decadent desserts he’s made:

So many good gluten-free recipes out there to try, better get started….

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Menu Plan Nov. 16

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holiday-food-festI’m really feeling the holidays closing in now. I still haven’t finalized our Thanksgiving plans, yet. But, fortunately, there are lots of fun holiday meal ideas to check out at many gluten-free blog websites.

The Holiday Food Fest hosted at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free has plenty of fall and holiday dishes to check out. (Many are gluten-free, but not all.) So far, roundups of Fall Desserts and Fall Dishes have been posted.

Diane at The Whole Gang announced a virtual Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party this week. Several different gluten-free bloggers will be contributing and hosting each day this week with some great recipes. I can’t wait to see what they have to offer. At the end of the post, Diane also has a great meal planning template for preparing for a large Thanksgiving celebration. Now that’s getting organized!


So, while I surf through the blogs and finalize our Thanksgiving plans this week, here’s what our family will be eating for dinner:

Monday – Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)
Based on all the leftovers I already have in the refrigerator, we should be having a leftover buffet instead. But, I’ve been anxious to try butter chicken again. This time, I’m taking the easy way and trying Patak’s Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce. Check out this easy recipe at Patak’s website. Serving with Basmati rice.

Tuesday – Boneless Pork Ribs
So, I’ve never actually cooked pork ribs before. I’ve always enjoyed my dad’s spare ribs, but never even attempted them. Instead, I just request it when I go home. Last week I saw the boneless pork ribs on sale at the grocery store and decided to give them a try. I found a good looking recipe for them at Fire and Salt to try. I’ll serve them with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad.

Wednesday – Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Marinating sirloin strips of beef with my flank steak marinade. Then stir frying the beef with broccoli, garlic, water chestnuts, and peppers. Serving over rice.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
OK. I don’t think we’ll be able to wait any longer. Time to clean out the refrigerator. Everyone gets to choose their favorite.

Friday – Hamburgers
My daughter’s favorite cheeseburgers and fries is on the menu.

Saturday – Outback
It may be time to use up that gift card for Outback that’s been floating around in my purse. Outback has a nicely detailed gluten-free menu with plenty of choices that satisfy everyone in our family.

Sunday – Pizza
Trying pizza again. If I’ve got time, I’ll try my dad’s recipe for thin crust pizza. I just need to modify it to be gluten-free. If I’m low on time, I just might pull out the frozen Glutino pizzas.

Need more menu ideas?

  • menu-swap-009Be sure to check out the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week at In My Box. In My Box is a nice website designed around vegan and gluten-free foods using the produce received from the local CSA. This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Dutch ovens. I don’t use a Dutch oven, so I don’t have anything to contribute. But if you’re looking for some ideas for cooking gluten-free using a Dutch oven, be sure to check out the roundup at In My Box.
  • 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.
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Broccoli Mushroom Bake

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This dish is a favorite of mine. My mom used to make it for special occasions, and I have good memories of it during the holiday season. I’ve modified it quite a bit to make it gluten-free, but the flavors still remind me of the original dish. While so many people fix green bean casserole for holiday dinners, we make this broccoli casserole instead.

Broccoli Mushroom Bake


3 large broccoli crowns (about 1.5 – 2 lbs. total), chopped and steamed

6 TBSP butter (separated)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Cup green onions (2 bunches or about 15 onions), chopped
1/2 Cup parsley, chopped
1/2 Cup green pepper, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (I like to use baby bellas, or crimini mushrooms.)

1/4 Cup gluten-free flour (I used a mix of flours, but rice flour works well.)
1 Cup chicken broth (vegetable or mushroom broth also works – Make sure they’re gluten-free. We use Pacific brand.)
1 Cup milk (Edit: Originally, I left this out of the recipe. You can use broth instead, but I think it tastes better with milk, or a milk substitute.)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Make sure it’s gluten-free. We use French’s.)
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
12 oz. cheese (Use cubes of semi-soft cheese or shred harder cheeses.)

1 Cup gluten-free bread crumbs, or just enough to cover


  1. Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces and steam for about 10 minutes – set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, melt 4 Tbsp butter over low heat. Once melted, increase the heat and add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley and green pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender and aromatic.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, make a roux by melting the remaining 2 TBSP of butter and adding in the gluten-free flour. Stir constantly until it reaches an even pasty consistency. Gradually add in the chicken broth, and continue stirring until it’s smooth and all lumps are gone. Let it cook for a few more minutes until it starts to thicken.
  4. Stir in the milk, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper. Add the cheese and stir frequently until it is all melted and well blended.
  5. Combine the broccoli, vegetable saute, and cheesy sauce. Stir gently to evenly mix, and pour into a casserole or baking dish. Top with gluten-free bread crumbs.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • Makes 8 – 10 servings.
  • You can use a variety of things for toppings: gluten-free bread crumbs, crushed gluten-free corn flakes, crushed gluten-free Rice Chex, crushed gluten-free gluten-free crackers or crushed gluten-free pretzels. Or, if you don’t have them, cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil while baking.
  • You can make this dish the night before. Without the bread crumb topping, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, pull the dish out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature (30 – 60 minutes). Then add the topping and bake at 375° F for 30 – 45 minutes.
  • If you aren’t comfortable making a roux (It’s really not hard.), try a gluten-free creamy mushroom soup instead. (Wegmans, Progresso, and Health Valley all have a gluten-free option.)
  • I have also made this with dish with vegetable broth and mushroom broth instead of the chicken broth. Both versions turned out very tasty as well.
  • For the cheese, I typically use a processed cheese because it melts so quickly and smoothly. However, sharp cheddar cheese will give it a stronger cheese flavor, which is also nice.

Related Links around the web:

  • For more gluten-free fall dishes, be sure to check out the Holiday Food Fest at Tasty Eats At Home.
  • For more recipes with broccoli, check out The W.H.O.L.E. Gang’s Friday Foodie Fix.


Categories : Holidays, Recipes, Side Dish
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Marinated Flank Steak

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IMG_4448xWe just had a dinner party where we served this marinated flank steak. Flank steak is a great meat to prepare for small dinner parties. It is not the cheapest meat to serve, but it is reasonable and the sliced meat will serve several people. It takes little time to prepare and cook, has little fat, no bones, and slices easily. Most importantly, the resulting steak slices are always flavorful and very tender. We always get compliments when we make it, so I thought I would share our marinade recipe. This marinade recipe is good for a flank steak 1.5 to 2 lbs.

Flank Steak and Marinade Recipe


1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground mustard (dry powder)
1-1/2 tsp molasses (or sugar)
1/4 Cup soy sauce (gluten-free options include San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, Eden Foods Organic Tamari Soy Sauce, and La Choy regular soy sauce)
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir thoroughly.
  2. If the steak is small enough, put it in a zip-style bag and pour the marinade on top. Massage the marinade into the meat and let it sit in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight. If the steak is too large for a bag, put it into a large shallow dish (like a 9 x 13 pan) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Flip the steak at least once while it’s marinating.
  3. Remove the steak from the marinade and place on a medium-high to hot grill. (Discard the remaining marinade.) Grill the steak for about 8 minutes on each side to cook the steak to medium or medium-rare.
  4. Once you remove the steak from the grill, cover it with foil and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Then, slice the steak against the grain, at an angle.

Additional Notes:

  • One flank steak (1.5 – 2 lbs.) will serve about 6 – 8 people.
  • My kids love this steak, too! It is very tender and easy for little ones to chew.
  • It makes great meat for sandwiches or to top salads, hot or cold.
  • I have marinated the steak for as little as 2 hours and still have had it turn out very good.
  • I also use this marinade for beef stir fry and Chinese chicken (for salads, rice dishes, stir fry, etc.). It really gives the meat good flavor.
  • If you are going to use a zip-style bag, you can always just mix the marinade ingredients in the bag before putting the meat in. Just saves cleaning another bowl.

For more gluten-free dishes, be sure to visit this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten-Free?” at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

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Menu Plan Nov. 9

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mpm121jpgFinally…my week slows down a little. Soccer is done, so I have fewer after-school activities to worry about. And, thanks to a casual dinner party over the past weekend, we have lots of leftovers to eat up. So, we’ll eat up what we can and freeze the rest. That means less cooking for me this week. Sounds like a good week to start working on our Thanksgiving menu.

Monday – Leftover Buffet
Today, I’m just going to let everyone choose which leftovers they want to eat.

Tuesday – Easy Garlic Shrimp
Cooking my quick and easy garlic shrimp recipe, but serving over leftover rice instead of pasta. Serving with sautéed green beans and carrot sticks.

Wednesday – Chicken Wings
I’m hoping to get my husband to make his tasty chicken wings for dinner. Serving with leftover baked beans, mashed potatoes, and broccoli.

Thursday – Mexican Casserole
I’ve been looking forward to trying this casserole recipe at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. I’m planning to have the kids help me make it, too.

Friday – Pulled-Pork Sandwiches
Leftover slow-cooked pulled-pork on gluten-free buns. Serving with sweet potatoes and leftover apple crisp.

Saturday – Chipotle Braised Chicken
Brian at Fire and Salt posted this recipe last month along with a recipe for herbed rice salad that looks really good.

Sunday – Hamburgers
Grilling cheeseburgers and serving with French fries and peas.

Need more menu ideas?

  • menu-swap-009Be sure to check out the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week at Gluten Free Goodness. Cheryl has chosen carrots as the theme ingredient. Carrots are a staple food item in our house. Great for snacking, and quick to steam for dinner, too. Before my kids had teeth, I would give them carrots to “chew” on while they were teething. Once they got teeth, I would steam a large batch of baby-cut carrots until they were just slightly softened. Then, I would refrigerate them and serve as a cold afternoon snack. The carrots were cold and tasty, but not too hard for them to chew. I could adjust the softness of the carrots depending on how well they were able to chew them. Now that my kids are older, they prefer the raw crunchiness of them. Here are some carrot recipes I have posted: Carrot Cake, Slow-Cooked Balsamic Carrots and Apricot-Glazed Carrots.
  • 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.
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