Archive for April, 2010


Menu Plan Apr. 26

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Wow, what a busy month this has been! It seems every month is busier than the last. And this one has been a doozy. I’d like to say that May will bring a slow down, but I don’t really see that happening. I have so many gluten-free recipes and reviews to share, but I’m having trouble making the time to sit down and write. My house is a mess and the garden remains untouched, but I continue to plan our meals so my evenings are manageable.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Lemon Basil Shrimp
Using my easy recipe for Cilantro Lime Shrimp, I’ll substitute the flavors with lemon and basil. Serving over rice noodles with broccoli.

Tuesday – Beef and Vegetable Kabobs
I’ll cut up cubes of sirloin and skewer with slices of a variety of vegetables (mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers, potato). Then cook on a hot grill.

Wednesday – Cheeseburgers
Cooking cheeseburgers and baking cheese bread rolls. Servings with sweet potato fries and green beans.

Thursday – Boneless Pork Ribs
This recipe for boneless pork ribs is cooked at a low temperature in the oven, resulting in very tender meat. Serving with Broccoli slaw and potato salad.

Friday – Rice Bowls
Using slow-cooked Mexican chicken to top rice with corn, black beans, olives, salsa and shredded cheese.

Saturday – Grilled Chicken
Just simple seasoning on chicken breasts, then grilled for another quick and easy meal. Serving with leftover slaw and potato salad.

Sunday – No-Cook Night
We’ll either eat leftovers or go out.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Manda at Asparagus Thin is hosting this week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap. She’s chosen Fusion Foods as the theme. Be sure to check out her menu this week to see what creative food ideas she and others have to share. Thanks to Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness for continuing to organize this 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.
  • 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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Tropical Mimosas

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This month, Naomi at Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried, is hosting Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! It’s a fun roundup of gluten-free recipes. The theme this month is Breakfast In Bed. How appropriate. It’s just in time to find some great ideas for Mother’s Day (May 9th in the US this year). I’m not exactly a “Breakfast in Bed” kind of girl, but I did think of a new recipe to share for breakfast. My mom made a great punch to go with our Easter brunch this year, and my dad decided to add it to some champagne. It was so wonderful, it inspired me to create my own champagne punch.

I knew I’d have to modify my mom’s recipe because I didn’t want a whole punch bowl filled with enough to serve a large party. (Without the champagne, this recipe makes a tropical juice punch that fills a 2-quart pitcher.) And while I was changing the recipe, I decided to change up some of the flavors, too. I think I’ll serve these Tropical Mimosas with my Banana Coffee Cake (regular and dairy-free) and Berry Fruit Salad. What an exquisite way to start the morning on Mother’s Day!

Tropical Mimosas


2 very ripe bananas
24 oz. (3 Cups) pineapple juice
16 oz. (2 Cups) orange juice
12 oz. (1-1/2 Cups) mango nectar/juice
2 bottles of champagne or sparkling wine, chilled


  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the champagne, to a 2-quart pitcher. Using an immersible blender, thoroughly blend the bananas and juice until frothy. (If you don’t have an immersible blender, just pour it all into a regular blender to mix it.)
  2. Fill a champagne flute half-way with champagne, then top with the juice.
  3. To garnish, try a fresh pineapple or mango slice. Enjoy!

Additional Notes:

  • For a non-alcoholic version, add the punch to Ginger Ale instead of champagne.
  • Or, for a smoothie, add a cup of yogurt to the juice and give it a whirl in the blender.

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Menu Plan Apr. 12 – Eggs

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menu-swap-009I’m hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap again. This week the theme is eggs. Eggs are a good source of protein. In addition, they contain vitamins A, E, Riboflavin, folate and other beneficial nutrients. Eggs also contain a significant amount of fat and cholesterol. So if that is a concern for you, you may not want to eat a 4-egg omelet everyday. But, I have found that eating one egg for breakfast helps me get through the morning without getting tired or hungry.

Here are some egg recipes you may enjoy:

If you have a lot of hard-boiled eggs leftover from dyeing Easter eggs, you may want to consider these recipes:

I like the idea of making desserts with eggs as the main component of the recipe. I like to think that the protein from the eggs helps to balance the sugar.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

Monday – Cheeeseburgers
Always nice to prepare a simple meal on Mondays. Both kids requested burgers with French fries and green beans.

Tuesday – Egg and Potato Casserole
I’ll have the kids help me make fruit kabobs to serve with this egg casserole.

Wednesday – Chicken Vindaloo
Serving this spicy Indian dish with rice. The kids will get Parmesan Chicken Nuggets I have in the freezer.

Thursday – Boneless Pork Ribs
This recipe for boneless pork ribs is cooked at a low temperature in the oven, resulting in very tender meat. Serving with Roasted Asparagus and scalloped potatoes.

Friday – Cilantro Lime Shrimp
I’ll serve this quick and easy recipe of shrimp with wide rice noodles and broccoli.

Saturday – Fried Rice
I’m looking forward to trying this recipe for fried rice. I’ll use up what’s left in the refrigerator for the ingredients.

Sunday – Steak
The pleasant weather and lack of mosquitoes has tempted us to grill outside. Serving steaks with a tossed green salad and corn on the cob.

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

Wendy at Celiacs in the House has gotten her garden started, and is even seeing the peas sprout. I’m so jealous because my garden plot still sits untouched. She’s got a great menu planned this week including an Asparagus Quiche with an almond flour crust and a Mad Cow Turkey Chili made in the slow-cooker. Wendy and her daughter have also been having good success with Egg Rolls. Check out her full menu this week for more gluten-free meal ideas.

Are you allergic to eggs, like Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness? No worries! Cheryl has a nice menu planned this week without eggs. She’s planning to make her wonderful Lemony Mint Quinoa and Grilled Pepper and Rosemary Salmon. Yum!

Head over to Angela’s Kitchen for more wonderful meal ideas. Angela has an Asparagus Egg Bake on her menu, as well as Taco Salad, and Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry. Like Wendy, Angela is also putting the slow-cooker to work this week: She’s making Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

The gluten-free menu plan at In My Box is vegan as well, so no eggs. Instead, there are some tempting dinners of Fennel and Kale Pasta, Sloppy Sushi Rolls, and Tofu Florentine. I’ve never made sushi rolls myself, but those Sloppy Sushi Rolls may be just the inspiration I need to get me started.

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 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.

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Menu Plan Apr. 5

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This week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap is being hosted at Angela’s Kitchen. Angela’s theme ingredient this week is coconut. My husband and I have never been big fans of shredded coconut. However, I have been using coconut milk in recipes recently. Since I have trouble with lactose, I’ve been trying to use it to replace milk in some of our recipes. So far, we have both liked the switch. I have used it in Chicken Tikka Masala to replace the cream, and most recently in my dairy-free recipe for Chocolate Creme Brulee. Both yielded very good results.

For more gluten-free recipes, be sure to visit Angela’s Kitchen to see what other gluten-free friends are making for dinner this week. She and others have more ideas for incorporating coconut into recipes!

Next week, I’ll be hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap with eggs as the theme ingredient. So come on back on Monday to link up your menus, share a recipe, or just see what we’re cooking with eggs. 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.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Tri-tip Roast
We are still enjoying time with family. My sister graciously offered to convert her dinner recipes to make it gluten-free for us. She made a wonderful roast with vegetables and Betty Crocker gluten-free brownies for dessert.

Tuesday – Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Some nights are just calling for a quick and easy recipe. Shrimp is quickly sauteed with butter and garlic and served over rice noodles. Serving with roasted asparagus.

Wednesday – Rotisserie Chicken
Another busy night, so I’ll be picking up a rotisserie chicken for dinner and serving with steamed broccoli.

Thursday – Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces and breaded with gluten-free bread crumbs and grated Parmesan, then baked. Serving with French fries and a tossed green salad.

Friday – Baked Salmon with a Balsamic Glaze
Baking salmon with a glaze made of balsamic vinegar and garlic. Serving with rice and leftover asparagus.

Saturday – Pupusas and Spicy Slaw
I think it’s time to make pupusas again. I’ll be filling them with refried beans and cheese, and serving with spicy slaw.

Sunday – Leftover Buffet
Last chance to eat up what’s left in the refrigerator.

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.
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Recipes from Gluten-Free Girl

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Once again, it is time for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, a great online event that encourages gluten-free bloggers to try recipes posted by other gluten-free bloggers. It’s a great way to expand your cooking knowledge, connect with other gluten-free bloggers, and find some great new gluten-free recipes. This month I turned to Gluten-Free Girl for recipe inspiration.

It feels a little awkward to “introduce” Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl to you, because she is so well-known in the gluten-free community, food blogging community, and beyond! But perhaps some of you are new to the gluten-free diet and haven’t yet stumbled across her story, book, site, recipes, etc. Shauna has been sharing her stories with us since her diagnosis of Celiac Disease in 2005. She’s a beautiful writer who shares her heartfelt stories of life, family, friends, sharing, and, of course, gluten-free recipes. We’ve read about her diagnosis, her book, her marriage to the Chef, cooking tips from Danny (the Chef), the birth of their daughter, and the myriad of gluten-free recipes along the way.

I actually tried three recipes from Gluten-Free Girl this month. Nothing too daring, I’m afraid. I was really looking for some simple, but tasty vegetable recipes. And I just happened to find them at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. I started with the Broccoli Winter Slaw at the beginning of the month, and moved on to the Roasted Asparagus by the end of the month. I also had a need for some brownies this month, so decided to try her recipe for those as well.

I’ll start with the Broccoli Winter Slaw, which I loved. I’m a big fan of broccoli, and lately have become a fan of Brussels sprouts, too. So, this recipe had been calling to me since she posted the recipe earlier this year. I made the recipe as it is written, except for the Napa cabbage which was not in the stores the day I was shopping. Instead of the Napa cabbage, I added a little regular cabbage and a little Cosmopolitan lettuce. And, yes, I did make the mayonnaise from scratch. I don’t think I’ve done that since nutrition class in college. If you haven’t made it before, it’s really a very simple recipe. You just have to be sure to add the oil slowly. The salad was very good. Crisp, fresh vegetables, with a little dressing is just what I was looking to make. And, the best part about the recipe, is that you can add whatever extra flavors you might want to add to your menu. Add some spices, or herbs, to change up the flavor. If there is any downside to this recipe, it’s that I made too much and didn’t eat it up fast enough. I often make more than I need so that we have leftovers to eat for lunches and dinners. A few days after I made it, the dressing started to separate and just wasn’t as appealing anymore. Perhaps if I had made it with store-bought mayonnaise, it would’ve lasted longer. Of course, it may not have tasted as good either. Either way, I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a fresh tasting salad with winter vegetables. We’ve decided to make it for our Easter celebration this month.

Next I tried Shauna’s recipe for Roasted Asparagus. I don’t think asparagus needs a lot of dressings, sauces, or flavors. And this recipe has a simple, but really nice balance of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s just enough to complement the flavor of the asparagus. I have to say that although the taste of it was just right, I did overcook it a little. The blanching that I was suppose to do to the asparagus, ended up being a boiling bath about 5 minutes too long. So, they were a little softer than I was expecting. But, still very good, and not mushy at all. I really like the simplicity of the recipe, and how quick it was to get it done. A necessity for our family during these busy spring days. I think this may be my favorite way to cook asparagus now.

And finally, I tried the Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe for Gluten-Free Brownies. I needed brownies for my daughter to take to school. Another student was bringing brownies to share with classmates for his birthday. So I wanted to have a gluten-free brownie for my daughter to eat with the other students while they celebrated his birthday. Now, normally on such an occasion, I would pull out a brownie mix (The Gluten-Free Pantry or Betty Crocker) because on busy school nights sometimes that’s the only way to get it done. But, since I didn’t have any mixes, and I was out of time to go to the store, I decided to see what recipes I could make up quickly. Shauna’s recipe looked great, and thankfully I had all the ingredients necessary. (I used Brown Rice Flour Superfine and Tapioca Flour.) I was surprised by the brownies and the recipes. I had never used an ice bath to cool a pan of brownies before. But, it seemed to work out great. Although it wasn’t written in the recipe, I used parchment paper to line the pan. I like to do that so I can pull the brownies out of the pan whole. Then I can lay it on the cutting board and use a pizza cutter to make nice cuts. The brownies were really very soft in the middle. They almost seemed undercooked. The edges were definitely the perfectly chewy brownies you would expect. The brownies in the middle were soft and creamy. But not gooey, and not chewy. Definitely different than I was expecting, but still very good. And Shauna was right, they were even better the next day. Refrigerating them overnight, gave them a chance to set up, and get a little chewier — just the way I like them. Did I mention they were a rich, dark chocolate flavor? How did I leave that out? Wonderful. Really.

If you haven’t checked it out before, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef has quite a library of recipes on the site. And, she and her husband, “the Chef,” have a new cookbook due to release this year. She’s given hints about some of the recipes that will be in the cookbook on her website, and I can’t wait to try some of them. I’m sure there will be lots of comments about it online after it’s released, if you want to wait. But based on the recipes on her site, the cookbook will be fabulous. I’m signing up to receive one of the first copies of “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef” through Amazon.

As always, I want to thank Sea for continuing to organize this fabulous online event. And, to Shauna and Danny: Thanks for being such an inspiration to all of us trying to navigate our way through the gluten-free diet with healthy and delicious gluten-free foods.

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