Archive for August, 2010

Aug
30

Menu Plan August 30

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Join us at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting again this week, but with watermelon as the theme. We like it simply cold and sliced. We’ll skewer large cubes of it this week for Fruit Kabobs. Find other gluten-free menus this week at Gluten Free Goodness. The rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups can be found at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap Headquarters.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

MondayEgg & Hashbrown Casserole
Making a casserole with eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, green onions, etc., so we can have leftovers for breakfast the rest of the week. I’ll let the kids make Fruit Kabobs with watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes to serve with it.

TuesdayRoasted Chicken
Roasting a chicken in a clay pot. Serving with corn on the cob and mashed sweet potatoes.

Wednesday – Flank Steak
Marinated flank steak grilled and served with steak fries and steamed broccoli.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Clearing the leftovers out of the refrigerator.

Friday – Easy Garlic Shrimp
A quick and easy shrimp recipe that I think I’ll serve over Cilantro-Lime Rice instead of rice noodles.

Saturday – Egg Rolls
It’s been a while since I’ve made egg rolls. I make these with julienne vegetables and ground pork. Then, wrapped in rice paper, I fry them until golden brown. I’ll serve them with sticky rice and maybe even some gluten-free fortune cookies.

Sunday – Build your own Salad Night
I’ll try letting everyone make their own salad. I’ll set out lettuce, baby spinach and various chopped vegetables, and let everyone choose from the leftover protein (shrimp, chicken, steak) to add to it.

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Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com 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 (6)
Aug
26

Wild Rice Salad

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My mom made this salad this summer while I was visiting. It was so unique and delicious I knew I had to share it with you. When I got home, I made a few changes to the recipe, and made it myself. My husband liked it, but the kids weren’t too crazy about it. Actually, they wouldn’t even try it. But let’s face it, this wasn’t meant to be a kid-friendly recipe. Too many strong and wonderful flavors. :)

It makes a large bowl, so it’s great to take to potlucks, parties, or family gatherings. Or, you can do what I did and just keep it in the refrigerator for quick, but filling lunches.

Wild Rice Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 Cup dry wild rice (plus 3 Cups water and 1 Tbsp instant chicken base, or follow directions on the package)
12 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts (Reserve marinade to use in dressing.)
10 oz. bag of frozen peas
1 green pepper, diced
9 green onions, sliced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 Cup toasted pine nuts

Parmesan Dressing:
1-1/3 Cup olive oil (Use artichoke marinade to make up the total amount.)
1/2 Cup cider vinegar
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Darker and longer grain wild rice requires longer cooking. Here’s what I did with a very dark, long grain rice: Rinse and drain the rice, then place in a medium pot with 3 Cups water and 1 Tbsp instant chicken base. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. Then remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain any excess water.
  2. While the rice is cooling, prepare the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together. I start with the marinade/oil from the artichokes, which is usually about a cup, and then add an additional 1/3 cup olive oil. Then I whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Now prepare the other salad ingredients. Chop the artichoke hearts into large chunks, or bite-sized pieces. Slice the green onions, and dice the green pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, artichoke hearts, peas, green onions, and green pepper. Pour in about 1/2 of the dressing and stir gently.
  5. Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator to chill for a couple hours, or even overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, stir in the halved grape tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. At this point, you can add more dressing to the salad, or let each person add some to their own serving.

Additional Notes:

  • I didn’t actually measure it out, but I would guess that it makes about 12 servings, depending on serving size.
  • For toasting pine nuts: I like to toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-heat heat. Keep the pine nuts in a single layer and stir frequently. When the nuts start to turn golden brown, stir constantly. Watch carefully, because they can burn quickly. Remove from heat when all are toasted.
  • Do pine nuts leave a bitter taste in your mouth? Leave them out, or try toasted almond slivers or sunflower seeds instead.

Notable Links:

  • Don’t have any wild rice? Try The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Brown Rice Salad recipe. You’ll also find it listed along with other gluten-free recipes at this week’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays.
  • For more healthy recipes, visit Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, where Amy is celebrating the one year anniversary of this wonderful weekly event.
Categories : Recipes, Salads
Comments (17)
Aug
23

Menu Plan August 23

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Join us at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. This week we’ve got more seasonal fruits and vegetables on our menus. Celiac Family has tomatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, cucumber and more in our menu. Find other gluten-free menus this week at Gluten Free Goodness. The rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups can be found at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap Headquarters.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Pizza
Using the cheese bread recipe to make the crust. I’ll double the recipe and make a pepperoni and mushroom pizza, as well as a Mexican pizza with fresh tomato and avocado.

TuesdayCheeseburgers
Making cheeseburgers without buns and serving with broccoli and corn on the cob.

Wednesday – Baked Salmon
Baking salmon with a balsamic glaze. Serving with red potato and green bean salad.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Clearing the leftovers out of the refrigerator.

Friday – Beef Kabobs
This is a quick and easy meal to get on the table. Serving with Basmati rice.

Saturday – Seven Layer Salad
Making this salad with lettuce, peas, diced ham, cucumber, green onion, shredded cheddar, bacon bits and creamy dill dressing.

Sunday – Eating Out
Planning a night out for a gluten-free dinner at Bonefish Grill. I’m looking forward to the Saucy Shrimp.

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Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com 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 (4)
Aug
20

Gluten-Free Animal Cookies

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Can you believe I found four different brands of gluten-free animal cookies at one grocery store? Not a specialty market, but a large grocery store chain? I know that the gluten-free market has changed a lot over the past five years, but I was still surprised!

This summer, my grocery shopping habit changed a little. Rather than doing a big weekly shopping trip, I did two or three short trips during the week. While the kids were busy with sports and/or activities, I took advantage of the time by getting my shopping done at the closest grocery store. It was not always ideal because I often ended up paying a little more for certain items. But considering I didn’t have to argue, bribe, or referee the kids, I’d say it was a bargain!

The biggest benefit of my new shopping style was finding a large variety of gluten-free items that have found a place at so many different grocery stores. Our local Giant and Target stores have recently expanded their selection of gluten-free items. While Target’s prices seem to be very reasonable, the prices at Giant seem a little high. In spite of the higher costs, I couldn’t wait to try some new products.

And knowing that school will be starting soon, I bought all four boxes of animal cookies. I wanted to try them all side by side, to determine which one was best. I wish I could say there was a clear favorite, but after all family members added their input they turned out fairly even. Even so, they all have unique characteristics, so I hope this helps you find your favorite without having to buy all four. I’m sure you can find one that meets your needs for gluten-free preschool snacks, snacks for the toddlers, light treats to send with lunch, after-school snacks, study breaks…you get the idea.

Annie’s Gluten Free Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies

Well, let me start by saying these Bunny Cookies are MY favorites. Love, love, LOVE the chocolate flavor combined with the vanilla. They are similar to the popular Teddy Graham cookies (which are not gluten free). They have a nice crunch, but aren’t too crumbly. And, because of the small size, there aren’t a lot of broken ones in the box. The rest of the family liked these, too. And, won’t these be fun at Easter time? Ingredient notes: All natural – no additives or preservatives, but plenty of sugar (cane sugar). Also contains rice, corn, soy and tapioca flours. Made in a peanut-free and tree nut-free facility. (Complete list of ingredients and nutritional facts at Annies.com.)

Kinnikinnick KinniKritters Animal Cookies

These were my husband’s favorites, not that I expect him to take these to work with him. :) My son liked these and Ian’s cookies the best. And I have to say that I preferred these over Ian’s. K-Kritters have a nice crunchy texture without falling apart. Like the bunny cookies, there were few broken ones in the box. No overwhelming flavor, just lightly sweetened. Ingredient notes: Of all the cookies we tried, these were lowest in sugar: 2 grams per serving of 8 cookies. However, they do contain sugar, and really aren’t lacking in sweetness. Another interesting note was that they contain pea starch, pea protein and pea fibre. They also have potato starch, rice flour, tapioca starch and soy lecithin. “Produced in a gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut free facility. May contain traces of egg.” (Complete list of ingredients and nutritional facts at Kinnikinnick.com.)

EnviroKidz Organic Gluten-Free Animal Cookies

These Animal Cookies have been available to us for a while now. In fact, you can usually find them at most large chain grocery stores, often in the natural foods or organic sections of the store. They are my 5-year-old daughter’s favorite.  I think the texture is a little grainy, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. Even though it is labeled as Vanilla, these cookies do have a subtle cinnamon flavor that we like. On the down side, there are often lots of broken cookies in the box. Ingredient notes: all organic ingredients with evaporated can juice; rice, corn, and soy flours. “This product is third-party certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI).” (More product information at Naturespath.com.)

Ian’s Animal Cookies

These were my least favorite Animal Cookies. My husband and I both thought they tasted stale. They were a little hard and slightly chewy without being soft. However, my 7-yr-old son thought they were great. He likes the animal shapes. And, I would think that these would make good teething biscuits because they aren’t too crunchy to cut delicate gums. These are very similar to Mi-Del’s Gluten-Free Arrowroot Cookies, which we used to buy. But, we haven’t seen those in the stores for a while, and so haven’t tried them in a while either. Ingredient notes: Sweetened with organic dehydrated cane juice and honey. Contains corn, soy, potato, and rice flours. Also contains soy, egg, and butter (milk). “This product is manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. This product is routinely tested using the ELISA method to gluten free standards as determined by the World Health Organization.”

So what will I be buying in the future? If I was ranking all the cookies above: Annie’s GF Bunny Cookies would win, with K-Kritters and EnviroKidz coming next. I probably won’t buy Ian’s again.  Anyone else have some opinions to share about these? Or, maybe you have tried some other brands I haven’t included here?

Notable Links:

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
Comments (19)
Aug
15

Menu Plan August 15

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This week, the Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted at In My Box. Zucchini and other summer squash is the theme ingredient. I don’t have a lot of recipes to share with you. Occasionally, I make a chocolate chip zucchini bread that is really good. But usually, zucchini is cooked simply at my house: sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled; or sliced and lightly sauteed on the stove. This week I may try serving our shrimp dish over sauteed zucchini strips or ribbons instead of rice noodles.

Want to join the 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.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

MondayChicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
Using slow-cooked Mexican chicken to make enchiladas with a green sauce. Serving with Cilantro Rice.

TuesdayCheeseburgers
Making cheeseburgers without buns and serving with sweet potato fries and steamed green beans.

WednesdayEating Out
Probably eating at Chick-fil-a. The kids get a grilled chicken fillet without the bun, a fruit cup and waffle fries. I like their grilled chicken and fruit salad with spicy dressing.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Two no-cook nights in a row!

Friday – Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Marinating sirloin strips and stir-frying with broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts, celery, etc. and serving over rice.

Saturday – Easy Garlic Shrimp
Making a fast and easy garlic shrimp dish and serving over rice noodles.

Sunday – Lamb Chops
Trying something new. Hopefully getting my husband to make his famous garlic mashed potatoes to serve with it.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com 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 (5)