Archive for March, 2010


Menu Plan Mar. 8

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This week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap is being hosted at Asparagus Thin. Manda chose the theme of Red Carpet Specials. I can only assume that she was thinking of meals and dishes appropriate for a celebration of the Academy Awards. Well, since I have small kids who were in bed before the ceremony even started, I’m thinking more about after-dinner cocktails and desserts. So, I am offering recipes for Chocolate Martinis and Raspberry Meringue Tarts.

Thanks to Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness for continuing to organize this fun and helpful event. If you’d like to find out more about the Gluten Free Menu Swap, host future events, or check out past round-ups, visit the current GF Menu Swap headquarters on her site. Last week, Cheryl posted a giveaway of gluten-free food items to encourage more hosts to participate, so go ahead and enter and join us for GF Menu Swap!

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
Using my flank steak marinade to season sirloin strips. Then cooking up with broccoli, cabbage, garlic, water chestnuts, etc. Serving over rice.

Tuesday – Pork Chops with Black Beans
Pork Chops pan-fried with salsa and black beans. Serving with leftover rice and green beans.

Wednesday – Cheeseburgers
We’ve really been enjoying the cheese bread rolls with our burgers. If you haven’t tried them yet, you should really give them a try. They’re really pretty quick and easy to make.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Time to clean out the refrigerator. Everyone gets to choose their own meal.

Friday – Chicken Tikka Masala
I made this a couple weeks ago and it was so good I couldn’t stop thinking about it for two days. I had originally planned to make it with spinach, but tried this simpler recipe instead because my spinach had gotten slimy. My husband thought it was great, too, but he said he still prefers the Chicken Vindaloo. Both are too spicy for the kids so they get to eat plain chicken instead. Serving with basmati rice.

Saturday – Pizza
If I can find a zPizza, I’ll be checking out their gluten-free pizzas this weekend.

Sunday – Fish
I found so many good-looking fish recipes last week, I think I need to try one this week.

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.
Categories : Menu Plan
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Soft, Warm Pretzels Gluten-Free!

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That’s right! For this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, I made gluten-free soft, warm pretzels. I saw the recipe on Flour Arrangements, a blog full of wonderful recipes posted by Sophie. I love her blog name: It just seems so appropriate for someone baking lots of gluten-free treats, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I probably have a dozen different gluten-free flours in my pantry. I’m always impressed by the big, beautiful photos on Sophie’s site. They always make my mouth water. And when I saw her post for these pretzels, I immediately thought of the buttery, gluten smell of the hot soft pretzels at the mall. You know the ones I’m talking about. I just had to give her recipe a try.

So how were they? Good. Really good. But perhaps not perfect because I think I erred a little bit. I tried my best to follow the recipe exactly, but did have to make a couple substitutions. I did use teff flour and almond meal as instructed for the high-protein flour. But, I had to substitute brown rice flour for the white rice flour. I didn’t realize I was out of white rice flour. (Actually, I think I quit buying it.)

Another problem I had, the recipe calls for 1-1/4 tsp of yeast. When I tried to proof it, nothing happened. So, I added another teaspoon of yeast to the mixture. That seemed to do the trick. Now for the big mistake: I put the dough into the warm oven to rise, but I didn’t cover the bowl. Oops! By the time I got the dough out, it hadn’t really risen much. And, the surface of the dough got a little dry and crusty in spots. But, I was determined to make it work. So, I got it out and worked with it a little and pressed on. I didn’t find the dough to be very sticky at all. Perhaps it got too dry in the oven. But, I actually found it to be fairly easy to roll it out and shape into pretzels.

The baking soda and water mixture was a lot more than I needed to brush on the pretzels. But, it is definitely necessary for the taste and texture of the crust of the pretzel. As the pretzels came out of the oven (Oh, what a wonderful smell!), I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled a mixture of coarse Kosher salt and coarse sea salt on them. The flavor is just what you would expect for the pretzels. The texture was good, too, however I would prefer a lighter, airier pretzel. I think the combination of letting the dough dry out in the oven and then kneading the dough probably deflated the necessary air pockets from the dough.

I was hoping to get a chance to make another batch of pretzels before posting this, but I ran out of time. I will definitely make these again! Even with the denser dough product, these were really good. The flavor was right-on and they were soft and tender. Even the next day, they still tasted good. My husband heated one up in the toaster oven two days later and said it was still good.

So for my next batch, I will use 2-1/4 tsp yeast and cover the dough before putting into the oven to rise. I would also say that for the baking soda solution, you can use 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp baking soda. That should be more than enough to brush onto the pretzels. And, my husband would say, “Don’t forget the mustard!” I prefer mine plain, with just a little salt.

My thanks to Sea at The Book of Yum for creating this fun and productive blog carnival. It’s great motivation to learn about some fellow gluten-free bloggers, and try some new gluten-free recipes. Thanks also to Thomas of The GFCF Experience for hosting the event this month. And, thanks to Sophie for sharing so many wonderful gluten-free recipes. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your tasty recipes!

Notable Links:

Categories : Appetizers, Breads, Recipes
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Chicken Enchilada Soup

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Last month, I had chicken enchiladas on my menu plan, but family schedules changed and I couldn’t make the dish. I had to make due with leftovers for dinner instead. By the time I got around to making the chicken enchiladas later that week, I didn’t have enough corn tortillas or chicken to make them. But, I did have leftover Mexican chicken and fresh tomatillos that needed to be used. That’s when I thought about the soup challenge posted by Linda @ The Gluten-Free Homemaker. I did have enough ingredients to make soup. So, I got started making a Chicken Enchilada Soup.

The bad news about making this soup is that my kids won’t eat soup. The good news is that knowing my kids weren’t going to eat it, I felt free to add in the jalapeños to give it a little heat. And more good news: I absolutely loved it. I mean, I like chicken enchiladas, so why wouldn’t I like it as a soup? My husband liked it too. And now I have a new way to use up my leftover Mexican chicken. In the past I’ve used the chicken for rice bowls, salad, taquitos, quesadillas, nachos, and tacos. Now I can add soup to my list, too! I kept the soup pretty simple, but I can see making this again in the future with some corn and black beans added in before the final simmer.

Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tomatillos (about 1 lb.), husks and stems removed, and quartered
2 (4 oz. cans) diced green chiles
3 jalapeños, stems removed, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp salt
4 Cups chicken broth (added 2 cups at a time)
2 Cups leftover shredded Mexican chicken

For topping:
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips
corn oil for deep frying the corn tortilla strips


  1. Using a 4-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until tender. Then, add in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, or until aromatic.
  2. Pour 2 cups chicken broth into the pot and add in the quartered tomatillos, chopped jalapeños, diced green chiles, and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the tomatillos are tender.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersible blender to purée the soup.
  4. Return the pot to the heat and add in the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and the shredded chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, deep fry the corn tortilla strips in hot corn oil (375° F) about 2-3 minutes, or until crispy.
  6. Serve the soup with some cheddar cheese and crispy corn tortilla strips on top.
  7. Makes 4-6 large bowls of soup.

Additional Notes:

  • If you don’t have an immersible blender, you can use a traditional blender to purée the soup. You may want to let the soup cool down a little before pouring into the blender.
  • I used fresh tomatillos, but you can also use canned tomatillos. The canned tomatillos will not need to cook very long, and will purée quite quickly.
  • If you don’t want to fry the tortilla strips, you can simply top the soup with some crushed tortilla chips. Or even just serve the soup with warmed corn tortillas.

Notable Links:

Categories : Recipes, Soup
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Menu Plan Mar. 1 – Fish

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“Give me back my filet o’ fish. Give me that fish!” I was wakened with this whispered greeting from my son the other morning. Apparently, he inherited my gift affliction of singing advertising jingles. (Any wonder why I spent many years in advertising?) Well, McDonald’s isn’t the only one who starts advertising their fish sandwich during the Lent season. Wendy’s has been pushing their fish fillet sandwich, too. And, in case you’re wondering, both fish sandwiches are breaded or battered with gluten ingredients and then placed on a bun with gluten, so we don’t eat them.

But it has got me thinking about fish more. Fish continues to be promoted as a great source of protein, vitamins, nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids. Most dietitians recommend eating fish at least once a week for all of its health benefits. So, as I offered to host the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week, I thought it would be a good idea to make the theme fish. I really only have a few fish recipes that I make on a regular basis, so I’m hoping everyone has a fish recipe they can share. My kids aren’t big fish eaters, but on good days my daughter will eat it willingly and my son will try at least one bite. So, if anyone has a recipe that seems kid-friendly, please send it my way.

😉 And if you really want to get that silly jingle stuck in your head, too, you’ll find it on YouTube.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

Monday – Cheeseburgers
My daughter is feeling cheated because I’ve left cheeseburgers off the menu the last two weeks. So, I’m making it again with the wonderful cheese bread rolls. If you haven’t tried them yet, you should really give them a try. They’re really pretty quick and easy to make.

Tuesday – Baked Salmon
In this recipe, I bake salmon fillets with a balsamic glaze. I’ll serve with rice and asparagus.

Wednesday – Chicken Enchilada Soup
I use leftover Mexican chicken, added to a green chile and tomatillo sauce to make this soup. Topped with shredded cheese and fried corn tortilla strips.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Time to clean out the refrigerator. Everyone gets to choose their own meal.

Friday – Tilapia Parmesan
This quick and easy dish is broiled with a creamy Parmesan sauce. I’ll serve with angel hair pasta and broccoli.

Saturday – Pizza
I’ve got a mix of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Sunday – Pupusas and Spicy Slaw
Making pupusas filled with beans and cheese. Serving with spicy slaw.

Here’s what some gluten-free friends have on their menus this week:

Kim at Gluten Free Is Life is hoping this week that March’s spring weather will melt away the snow. I think a lot of people are thinking that this year. This week she’s having Spaghetti and Marinutta (a high-protein marinara sauce with almond butter and flaxseed meal). Check out her menu this week for more great gluten-free meal ideas.

I guess this week’s GF Menu Swap was too last minute for some people, so I did some looking around myself. I found so many great fish recipes, I don’t know which one to try first. I hope no one minds that I’ve added them here:

Wendy at Celiacs in the House has Cod Cakes on her menu this week, as well as a Tamale Pie with black beans and chicken. Sounds good to me. I found her recipes for Fish Cakes and Salmon Chowder that she posted earlier this year.

Angela of Angela’s Kitchen has sick kids this week, so she didn’t get a menu plan posted. But I was happy to find these fish recipes on her blog: Roasted Fish and Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes.

No menu plan from Manda at Asparagus Thin this week either. But I knew I could count on her to have some intriguing fish recipes on her blog. How about Broiled Chilean Sea Bass with Pistachio Butter Sauce, Catfish Vindaloo, Chinese Black Salmon, and Salt Baked Salmon with Horseradish Dill Sauce?

Elizabeth at Modern Gal didn’t post a menu this week, but she has quite a few fish recipes on her blog, too: Salmon Fried Rice, Fish Tacos, and Salmon Potato Cakes to name a few.

Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang has Whole Roasted Fish on her menu plan this month.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness continues to manage the 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]com.

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.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (8)