Archive for November, 2010


Menu Plan November 29

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Sweet Potatoes is this week’s theme ingredient for the Gluten Free Menu Swap. I made a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving that turned out really good. I’ll try to get the recipe posted soon (It’s posted!) for anyone interested. It was a simple, traditional recipe with butter, brown sugar, eggs, and milk. I couldn’t decide whether to use marshmallows, or pecans and brown sugar to top it. I usually prefer the chopped pecan topping, but I know so many look forward to the toasty marshmallows on top. So, I added both, in stripes on top. I actually liked having both toppings. I took a picture before putting it into the oven, but was too busy making the turkey gravy to remember to take a picture after baking.

Other sweet potato ideas: sweet potato pie; sweet potato chili; baked sweet potato fries; simple baked sweet potatoes topped with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week. For more ideas for cooking sweet potatoes, be sure to visit Gluten Free Goodness this week.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Pork Chops with Black Beans
Cooking pork chops on the stove with black beans, salsa, and cilantro. I’ll serve it with brown rice and a tossed green salad.

Tuesday – Cheeseburgers
Grilling hamburgers and serving with French fries and green beans.

Wednesday – Leftover Buffet
Everyone gets to pick and choose what they would like warmed for dinner.

Thursday – Quinoa Indian Chicken
This chicken is cut into chunks and cooked with onions and garlic, then flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and curry. I’ll serve it over quinoa, or maybe leftover rice from Monday.

Friday – Flank Steak
Grilling marinated flank steak and serving with mashed potatoes (just didn’t get enough at Thanksgiving) and broccoli.

Saturday – Saucy Shrimp
This shrimp dish from Bonefish Grill is made with kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and feta. I’ll serve it with brown basmati rice.

Sunday – Baked Ham
Baking a ham sounds good to me. I’ll heat up some peas to serve with it, and maybe some leftover mashed potatoes, too. Or, maybe I’ll make scalloped potatoes, or sweet potatoes…hmmm.

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.

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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Gluten-Free Energy for Holiday Shopping

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I hope everyone (in the US) had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. I know we did. I may go out later this weekend to shop for holiday gifts, but for now I am avoiding Black Friday shopping. For those of you who have decided to brave the crowds at the shopping centers this weekend, you may want to try Orgain meal replacement drinks. I was sent some samples of the Creamy Chocolate Fudge and Sweet Vanilla Bean, and they were certainly filling enough to give me energy for shopping.

I don’t usually use these types of drinks. I really would rather eat a nutritious meal. But, I have to admit that this time of year is so busy, I will often go for the quick and easy meals or snacks just so I can fit more activities (like shopping) into my day. For me, this is great for lunches. I can eat breakfast with the kids and dinner with the whole family. But for lunch I’m often on my own, so it’s a perfect time to get things done. Grabbing one of these Orgain drinks and heading out the door is very convenient. It’s much better than grabbing a sugar-filled soda, and more filling than a bottle of water. Since it’s high in protein (16 grams) and low in sugar (13 grams), I know it’s going to keep me going longer, so that after shopping I still have the energy to come home, help the kids with homework, and get a nutritious, home-cooked dinner on the table.

What are these drinks? The Orgain website describes it best as an “organic, ready-to-drink nutritional shake.” They have 255 calories (60 fat calories) and are full of vitamins and minerals. It is comprised of a protein blend, complex carbohydrate blend, vitamin blend, vegetable blend, fruit blend, and an antioxidant blend. The protein blend relies heavily on whey and milk proteins, so this is not for those who have trouble with milk products. It uses brown rice components for the carbohydrate blend. And just look at all the fruits and vegetables that were combined for these drinks: blueberry, banana, acai, apple, raspberry, kale, beet, spinach, carrot, tomato. Pomegranate and green tea extracts were added for antioxidant benefits. I’m impressed by all the organic nutritious ingredients used in these drinks because it just tasted like a thick chocolate milk to me.

How did they taste? They were good. The Creamy Chocolate Fudge was my favorite (no surprise there). It has a nice smooth chocolate taste, with just a slight grainy texture at the end. (I guess I didn’t shake it up good enough.) The Sweet Vanilla Bean was even smoother, but my husband and I both agreed the flavor of the chocolate was better. (Oops! We drank up the Creamy Chocolate Fudge before I got a chance to take a picture.) They really were very filling. I have trouble finishing an 8 oz. glass of water in one sitting, so an 11 oz. energy shake was more than sufficient to fill me up.

Will I buy Orgain? Yes, on occasion. However, milk is not always my friend, so I would not drink these on a regular basis. My husband, on the other hand, enjoyed taking these to work. Perhaps the real drawback is the cost. You can buy a case of 12 of these online at Orgain for $42 or at Amazon for $45. I guess $3.50 isn’t too much to pay for a meal, but still seems like a lot to add to the grocery bill. I will buy ours at Wegmans, where I can get them for $2.89 each. If you’re interested, you may want to check Orgain’s website for other local retailers, so you don’t have to worry about shipping.

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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The Kids Table at Thanksgiving

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If you have large family gatherings for Thanksgiving, you may do what many families have been doing for years: have a kids table set up separate from the adult’s table for the Thanksgiving meal. Although I would like to have the kids at the same table as the adults, it doesn’t usually work out. Some years there are just too many people to sit at the same table. Plus, the kids are usually the first to be served and the first to be done eating. They can eat, be done, and move on to playing with cousins. We adults can enjoy the meal and conversation at our own leisurely pace.

But, I don’t want the kids to miss out on the festive Thanksgiving table. So, let the kids help with these fun ideas for the kids table. These projects are so simple and adjustable, you can easily put them together last minute.

Pilgrim Hats. I found this idea at and thought they were so cute. I picked up some black paper cups and plates at the dollar store, to make this a cheap but fun addition to my daughter’s kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast this year. Cut the edges off the plates so they are flat hat brims, then glue the cups upside down onto the plates. Cut buckles out of construction paper and glue them to the cups. To make these more useful, cut out the bottom of the cups and fill them with popcorn or another light snack. Or, instead of snacks, consider placing a napkin with fork and knife in it. Pick up black plastic flatware at the dollar store, too.

Pine Cone Turkeys. Have the kids gather some pine cones from the yard. If you don’t have feathers to glue into them, use colorful leaves or cut feather shapes out of construction paper. Bend a chenille stick for the wattle and glue it in the tip of the pine cone with some googly eyes. Cut a beak out of construction paper to glue on, too. Now you have a centerpiece for the kids table. And, the kids will feel so great about making it themselves. If you have some older kids who can supervise the younger ones, it makes a great activity to keep the kids busy while the adults are finishing the dinner preparation.

Turkey Treats. Here’s a treat the kids can help decorate, and then gobble up. I found a similar one at, but I made it simpler than theirs. I used the basic recipe of 6 cups cereal, 10 oz. marshmallows, and 3 TBSP butter. (Do not use Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. They have malt flavoring in them, and are not gluten free.) I use Erewhon’s Crispy Brown Rice Cereal and Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. I had a box of each, so I mixed them together. I think if I did it again, I would just use the Chocolate variety for a darker color. Instead of a 13×9 pan, I just pressed the mixture onto a greased baking sheet so I could make it thinner, and cut out more. I used a cookie cutter to cut out circle shapes for the tail. For a head shape, I rolled some into small balls while they were still a little warm. Instead of peanut butter, I used chocolate frosting to stick on the head and candy. I also used dot or button candy, but you could easily use any gluten-free small candy for the eyes. For the wattle, I used a dried cranberry. And for the feathers, we used candy corn.

More Thanksgiving Ideas:

  • Visit Celebrate It! for more fun Thanksgiving treat ideas the kids will love.
  • Check out Woo Jr.‘s Thanksgiving activities to keep the kids entertained before dinner.
  • How about Thanksgiving games for the kids after dinner? Check out the list at Amazing Moms.
  • You’ll find cute printable Thanksgiving decorations at Dimple Prints.
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menu-swap-009Holiday Favorites is the theme for this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap. Be sure to visit Michelle at Gluten Free Smiles this week for the roundup.

I’ve been reading a lot of gluten-free recipes for inspiration for our Thanksgiving meal this week. Here are some Holiday Favorites and maybe some new ones that you may want to consider making this week or even next month for the holidays.

Potato and other Vegetable Side Dishes

Stuffings and Dressings


And since Thursday is going to be full of freshly cooked food to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’ve got a lot of leftovers on my menu this week.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondayBaked Salmon with a Balsamic Glaze
We’ll keep it light with dinner that doesn’t leave me with leftovers to store in the refrigerator. (I need the space for all the Thanksgiving food to come.) I’ll serve it with asparagus. I’ll also make some rice that I’ll use for tonight and tomorrow with Gumbo.

Tuesday – Gumbo leftovers
I’ll pour leftover Gumbo from last week over leftover rice from Monday. I’ll heat up a baguette from Against the Grain to serve with it.

Wednesday – Pulled Pork leftovers
Using last week’s Pulled Pork for dinner. To keep it fast, I’ll heat up some Kinnikinnick hamburger buns, and serve with potato chips and steamed broccoli. I’ll spend the extra time I have to clean house and prepare some dishes for Thanksgiving.

Thursday – Thanksgiving!
We’ll be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house, but other family members will also be contributing food for the feast.

For an appetizer, I’ll be serving the family favorite: pepper jelly poured over cream cheese. We’ll dig in to it with my favorite MultiGrain Chips from Food Should Taste Good. I’ll also have a tray of vegetables and hummus to munch on until dinner.

For drinks, I thought I’d try this Cranberry Apple Cider at $5 Dinners.

We’ll be roasting a turkey, using Alton Brown’s method for brining and roasting.

For the cranberry sauce, I’m going to try Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe for Cranberry Relish.

My husband will make his always-requested, famous garlic mashed potatoes.

At my husband’s request, I’ll be making a Cherry Pie using the recipe for a gluten-free pie crust at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Other family members are also bringing some of their favorites: Green Bean Casserole, Green Stuff gelatin dish, Pork, Stuffing, Pecan Pie, and more. It will definitely be a feast for us to be thankful. 🙂

Friday – Leftovers
I always love eating Thanksgiving leftovers the day after. Whether it’s a full plate, or just a turkey sandwich, it’s all good to me. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of salads and/or side dishes to gobble up.

Saturday – Chicken Spaghetti
If there’s any turkey left, I’ll use it instead of chicken to make this dish with spinach and tomatoes.

Sunday – Pizza
I know the kids will be ready for one of their favorites, so we’ll make pizza and serve with a tossed green salad.

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.

Categories : Menu Plan
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Menu Plan November 15 – Cranberries

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menu-swap-009Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Only 10 days until I have a house full of people, and I really haven’t done much planning. Fortunately, having a blog means that I can simply look back on what I planned last year for ideas. I’m also going to check out what everyone else is planning.

Have any good cranberry recipes to share? Last year, I made a really nice Apple Cranberry Crisp, but I can’t find my notes to write up a recipe. I do remember that adding fresh cranberries gave the apple crisp little bursts of delicious flavor. I’ll have to look for the recipe again. I also made a Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce I found at Coconut & Lime last year. It was really very tasty, but I didn’t like the crunch of the seeds, so I ended up pushing the sauce through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. If the crunchy seeds don’t bother you, you might want to give it a try. The pomegranate gives it a very nice flavor.

I am hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week, and if you haven’t guessed it, the theme ingredient is Cranberries. Check below as I link up menu plans and ideas for cooking with cranberries from other bloggers with gluten-free menu plans.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondayPulled Pork Sandwiches
Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, I decided to make pulled pork this week. It makes a large batch, so I’ll freeze the leftovers to use next week when I’m busy preparing for Thanksgiving. This week, I’ll serve it with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad.

Tuesday – Tilapia Parmesan
My daughter has now decided that she loves this broiled white fish topped with a Parmesan sauce. I’ll serve it with rice and broccoli.

Wednesday – Gumbo
I like to make this hearty gumbo with chicken, shrimp, sausage, okra, and more. I’ll pour it over leftover rice from Tuesday.

Thursday – Leftovers
Time to clear out all the leftovers.

Friday – Out
We’re hoping to meet with friends to celebrate a birthday.

Saturday – California Chicken
I call it California chicken because that’s where we lived when we started making this. It’s simply grilled chicken breasts that are topped with a slice of Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese (allowed to melt) and slices of fresh avocado. I’ll serve it with Corn and Black Bean Salad.

Sunday – Grilled Steaks
We’ll grill steaks simply seasoned with salt and pepper. I’ll have the kids help me make a tossed green salad to serve with it.

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Michelle at Gluten Free Smiles is a big fan of cranberries – juice, pie, chutney, muffins…oh my! She has a grilled chicken salad on her menu with a Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette that sounds wonderful. This week, she’ll also be having Cioppino, Hamburger Soup and Eggplant Parmigiana. Check it all out at Gluten Free Smiles.

Dianne at Wheat Free Family has several cranberry recipes on her menu this week. I’m not sure which sounds better: Maple Cranberry Chicken Breasts or Cranberry Pepper Pork Loin Roast. Like Michelle, Dianne is also using Cranberry Orange Salad dressing this week. You’ll find her full menu this week at Wheat Free Family.

It sounds like Nicola at G-Free Mom has a busy week planned. That seems to be a common theme this season. But, it doesn’t seem to have slowed down her cooking. She has Pasta Bolognese, Thick Wintry Vegetable Soup, and Fish Cakes on her menu this week. Find more tasty ideas, including a Cranberry Walnut Salad,  on her complete menu this week.

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving ideas, check out Celiacs in the House this week. Wendy has listed a few helpful links of Thanksgiving dishes and tips. As for cranberries, Wendy’s been eating them in smoothies and in Kim’s Cranberry Muffins. Her family’s menu this week includes Mexican Lasagna, Chicken Thighs, Beef Stir Fry, and more healthy meals.

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness has a Harvest Apple Crisp with cranberries and a Fresh Cranberry Relish recipe to share this week. And on her menu this week is Nightshade Stew, Wild Salmon and Pesto’ed Cannellini Beans with broccoli and chicken.  She’s also looking for more hosts for the Gluten Free Menu Swap. If you’d like to host, send her an email.

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.

Categories : Menu Plan
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