Archive for September, 2013

BroccoliniLast week was one of those weeks where I had so many activities and distractions that the grocery shopping was quick pick-ups and the cooking didn’t quite follow the menu plan. So, you’ll see some of my planned meals from last week are here again this week. I didn’t get to make all the yummy squash recipes either, so I’m going to give it another try this week.

As for this week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap, I chose Broccolini as the theme because I wanted to take the opportunity to find out more about it. Maybe you already know this but…. According to Wikipedia, broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli, not the Disney character). Broccolini has longer stems and smaller crowns than traditional broccoli, and is also more tender. The flavor is a little different from broccoli, and is sometimes reminiscent of asparagus. Broccolini seems to be the name commonly used these days, however, it is known around the world with a number of different names: baby broccoli, tenderstem broccoli, asparation, bimi, broccolette, and broccoletti.

Looking around the Web for recipes, it appears that a favorite way to prepare the vegetable is to blanch it and then quickly saute it right before serving. I’ve never blanched it before sautéing, but maybe I should give it a try. Rachael Ray has a quick method of boiling and sautéing that skips the ice water bath needed for blanching. Steaming and boiling broccolini works just as well, but doesn’t need as much time as broccoli does. I even saw a simple recipe at Taste of Home for Baked Broccolini. I’m wondering what everyone else is doing with this yummy vegetable. Roasted? Grilled, maybe? Share with us your favorite ways to prepare and eat it.

I don’t have any recipes specific to Broccolini, but I imagine it would work really well with my recipes for Quinoa with Broccoli and Mushrooms, and Baked Broccoli Mushroom Casserole.

The Gluten-Free Menu Swap roundup will be included below. Don’t forget to check it for more gluten-free menus and ideas for using broccoli and broccolini in your meals.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Mexican Chicken Pizza

Mexican Chicken Pizza

Berry Fruit Salad

Berry Fruit Salad

Quinoa with Broccolini

Quinoa with Broccolini

Monday –  Rotisserie Chicken from Sam’s Club, Butternut Squash Cornbread, Sautéed Green Beans

Tuesday – Mexican Chicken Pizza with tomatoes, black olives, and avocado slices

Wednesday – Halloween PancakesAngela’s Turkey Sausage, Berry Fruit Salad

Thursday – Angela’s Thai Thighs, Quinoa with Broccolini and Mushrooms

Friday – Battered Fish, Roasted Potatoes, and steamed peas

Saturday – Beef & Broccolini Stir Fry, Jasmine Rice

Sunday – leftovers

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

The Peaceful Mom: Simple Gluten-Free Menu
Kimberlee’s Easy Chicken Stir-Fry looks like it would be a perfect meal for adding Broccolini. She’s also making Mexican Stuffed Peppers, BBQ Pork Sliders, Italian Pasta Salad, Cheeseburger Pasta, and Pizza this week.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
Elisabeth loves to roast broccoli in the oven, though she hasn’t tried it with broccolini, yet. She could easily add some broccolini to the Veggie Pot Pie and Shrimp Teriyaki Stir-Fry she’s planning this week. Also on her menu this week is Tuna Apple Salad, Grilled Cheese, Eggs, and Pizza.

Gluten Free Detroit Metro: Gluten-Free Menu
Broccolini is not always easy to find in the stores, but if she finds it this week, Amanda might enjoy it with Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Spring Rolls with Fried Rice. Amanda is also planning for Angela’s White Chicken Chili for the Slow-Cooker, Cabbage Stew, and a night out for pizza this week.

Dietz Eats: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Fawn is serving broccoli this week with Fried Chicken and Cornbread, and Roasted Chicken with Potatoes. She’ll also be pulling chili out of the freezer one night, making chicken salad another night, and celebrating her anniversary with a night out.

Angela’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
You’ll find Broccolini in Angela’s Chicken Sausage Broccolini Quinoa and maybe even in her Chicken Broccoli Casserole this week. She’ll also be making Enchilada Meatballs, Twice Baked Spinach Mushroom Garlic Stuffed Potatoes, and Pork Roast with Apples and Pears.

Thanks for joining us this week. Join us next week as we share our favorite ways to use Garlic in our meals.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us here again next week for more gluten-free meal ideas. Next week’s theme is Garlic. 
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura 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 (11)

ButternutButternut Squash is one of those foods that I frequently hear is good for you. How good is it? Well, an article on Whole Living describes it as a Power Food. It contains vitamins A, B, and C, as well as beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, folate, potassium, fiber, and more. Sounds pretty good.

I don’t cook or even eat butternut squash very often. But, given that it’s a “power food” and in season, I thought we should give it a try at home. So, once again, I went looking for some new recipes to try. Here’s what I found this week:

My son helped me plan the menu this week, so he chose what he thought looked best from the list to put into this week’s menu.

The Gluten-Free Menu Swap roundup will be included below. Don’t forget to check it for more gluten-free menus and ideas for using butternut squash in your menu.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Tropical Fruit Salad

Tropical Fruit Salad

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Friday - Pupusas and Spicy Slaw

Spicy Slaw

Monday –  Eating Out

Tuesday – Chili with Butternut Squash Cornbread

Wednesday – Hamburgers, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Green Beans

Thursday – Halloween Pancakes with butternut squash, Chicken Apple Sausage, and Fruit Salad

Friday – Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Steamed Broccoli

Saturday – Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry, Jasmine Rice

Sunday – Fish Tacos with Spicy Slaw

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Melissa is happy to welcome fall and butternut squash. She says she has a great recipe for puréed Butternut Squash Soup that she’ll post this week, so check her site later for that. This week, her family will be eating Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs, Shredded Pork Tacos, Beef Roast in the Slow-Cooker, Acorn Squash stuffed with ground beef, Chicken Apple Sausage Soup, and Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Tenderloins.

Dietz Eats: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Fawn is joining us for the first time, so stop by her brand new blog and welcome her. For lunch this week, she is making dairy-free butternut squash soup. She’ll get the recipe posted later this week. For dinners this week, she’ll be having Grilled Salmon with Corn Salsa, Fried Chicken with Quinoa, Leftover Fried Chicken Salad with Almonds and Cranberries, Sautéed Butternut Squash, Chili, and Pulled Pork.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
It isn’t on Elisabeth’s menu this week, but she shares links for a few of her favorite butternut squash recipes: Portuguese Soup from In My Secret Garden, Spicy Squash Nuggets from Peas and Thank You, and Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan from Oh She Glows. For dinner this week, Elisabeth is planning for Veggie Pot Pie, Potato Soup, Shrimp Teriyaki Stir Fry, Baked Fish and Pizza. Don’t miss her recipe for Healthy Apple Breakfast Casserole – looks too good to be healthy. :)

The Peaceful Mom: Simple Gluten-Free Menu
No butternut squash on her menu this week, but plenty of other delicious gluten-free meals. Kimberlee’s family will be enjoying Southwest Chicken Chili, Baked Ham, Pasta Alfredo, Texas Bean Bake, Pizza, Chicken Enchiladas, and breakfast for diner. Check out the full menu to see what she has planned for breakfast and lunch, too.

Angela’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Angela is a fan of all winter squash, with butternut being her favorite. She says she often uses it to replace pumpkin in recipes like her pumpkin pie and Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter. She also uses butternut squash in Slow Cooker Squash, Chickpea & Lentil StewSlow Cooker Orange Chicken with Winter Squash and Sweet PotatoesSquash and Kale Pizza and Apple Cranberry Squash. In addition to some of those recipes, you find Meatballs and Noodles, Pork and Apple Curry, and Thai Chicken Thighs on her menu this week.

Gluten Free Detroit Metro: Gluten-Free Menu
Amanda joins us a little late this week because she hasn’t been feeling well. She did, however, manage to get her menu plan posted. She’ll be serving a roasted chicken with Vegan Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad. She’s also planning Turkey Parm, Salmon, Stuffed Peppers, and a breakfast night of Frittata and French Toast using Butternut Squash Bread.

Thanks for joining us this week and offering ideas for gluten-free meals, menus, and gluten-free recipes for butternut squash. Join us again next week when we explore ideas for adding broccolini to your meals.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us here again next week for more gluten-free meal ideas. Next week’s theme is Broccolini. Feel free to share your favorite Broccoli recipes, too!
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura 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 (7)
Sep
16

Olives – Menu Plan Sept. 16

Posted by: | Comments (7)

OlivesI’ve loved olives ever since I was a kid. Did anyone else adorn their fingers with pitted black olives as a kid? Well, now I enjoy all varieties of olives — green, black, Spanish, Greek, kalamata, etc. They can add a vibrant flavor to otherwise bland dishes. And lately, I’ve been wanting to find a good olive tapenade recipe. So, I decided to go looking for some new recipes to try. Look what I found:

And a few recipes at Celiac Family:

The Gluten-Free Menu Swap roundup will be included below. Don’t forget to check it for more gluten-free menus and ideas for using olives.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Avocado Salsa

Avocado Salsa

GF Pizza

Pepperoni & Black Olive Pizza

Monday –  leftovers

Tuesday – Chicken with Cauliflower and Olives, Spaghetti Squash

Wednesday – Eating Out

Thursday – Baked Chicken Nuggets, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli Salad

Friday – Steak and Pepper Fajitas, Avocado Salsa (with black olives)

Saturday – Spanish Olive Frittata with a non-dairy milk substitute, Smashed Potatoes

Sunday – Pepperoni and Black Olive Pizza, Rainbow Apple Salad

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
Like me, Elisabeth loves olives. She’ll be putting them on a Vegan Tuna-Less Nicoise Salad and pizza this week. She’ll also be making Sloppy Joes and Lentil Sloppy Joes, Zucchini and Potato Bake, Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes, and Potato Chip Fish. Stop by her site for her complete menu and the recipe links.

Angela’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Angela is another fan of olives, and loves to use them to top pizza, nachos, tacos, salads, etc. She also puts them in some great recipes: Braised Mediterranean ChickenDairy Free Seven Layer DipEggplant Caponata, and Veggie Tortilla Pinwheels. Her dinner menu this week is looking pretty great, too: Chicken Pad Thai, Apple French Toast Casserole with Turkey Sausage, Broiled Pork Tacos, Mediterranean Chicken, and Tuna Noodle & Vegetable Casserole. Find all the recipe links and a printable grocery list on her menu plan this week.

Gluten Free Detroit Metro: Gluten-Free Menu
Amanda does not share my love of olives, so you will not find them in her meals. She still has a tasty menu planned for the week. Her family will be enjoying turkey burgers, [Oooh. That reminds me of the Olive Burgers I used to get at Burger Street in Texas. LOVED those! Sorry...back to Amanda's menu.] Shrimp Scampi, Pork Chops, and Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice. She’ll also be eating gluten free at the Renaissance Festival. Check it all out.

The Peaceful Mom: Simple Gluten-Free Menu
I don’t see olives in Kimberlee’s menu this week, but I do see lots of opportunities for adding them to her meals. :) Lasagna Bake, Steak Fajitas, and Southwest Chicken Chili would all taste good with some sliced olives on top, don’t you think? Also on her menu this week is Hot Wings, Ham and Bean Soup, and Breakfast for Dinner.

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
I also see opportunities for adding olives to Melissa’s menu plan this week: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Taco Salad, and Stir-Fried Chicken in Lettuce Cups. Steak with Guacamole, Potato Leek Hash with Swiss Chard and Eggs, and Winter Minestrone Soup round out her menu for the week.

Thanks to everyone for joining us this week. Come back next week for more gluten-free menus and ideas for using Butternut Squash in your meals.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us here again next week for more gluten-free meal ideas. Next week’s theme is Butternut Squash.
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura 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 (7)

FamilyFavoritesThe Gluten-Free Menu Swap theme this week is Family Favorites. Visit Angela’s Kitchen for the roundup of gluten-free menus and family-favorite meals.

Can I say Family Favorites are my favorite meals to cook? Or, is that redundant? :) Our favorites are usually simple, quick meals to prepare. Part of the reason it’s so quick for us, is that I make them often enough that I don’t have to use a recipe. I don’t have to watch over the cooking too closely because I already know what to expect. Basically, favorite meals are easy. And, with a busy family schedule, the only thing better than easy is knowing that the whole family will eat it!

In addition to the meals on this week’s menu, I would also include these as family favorites:

  • Hamburgers – make your own gluten-free buns or buy a gluten-free favorite (Udi’s)
  • Pulled Pork
  • Bacon-wrapped Chicken
  • Simple Grilled Chicken
  • Grilled Steaks
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Chicken Taquitos
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • and Leftover Night, because everyone gets to choose their favorites from the week!

For Breakfast, my kids often get to eat gluten-free pancakes and Chocolate Chip Banana Mini-Muffins. But, their favorites, which they would say I don’t make often enough, would be Beignets and Cinnamon Rolls.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Pigs in a Blanket

Hot Dogs in GF Pizza Dough

Easy Garlic Shrimp

Easy Garlic Shrimp

Marinated Flank Steak

Marinated Flank Steak

Monday – Gluten-Free Pizza Dogs, Zucchini Salad

Tuesday – Chicken Tacos, Guacamole

Wednesday – Pizza, Strawberry Spinach Salad

Thursday – Teriyaki Chicken Tenders, Jasmine Rice, Broccoli

Friday – Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta with Zucchini

Saturday – Flank Steak, Oven-Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans

Sunday – leftovers

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura 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)

Added September 4, 2013
school bus

Well, now that Labor Day is past, I think kids everywhere are back at school now. We actually started school last month, and this year I thought it was time for a newly updated letter to give to my kids’ teachers. Now that my kids are getting older and more independent, I feel more confident that they can read the ingredients on labels and make decisions about what is safe for them to eat. So, with that in mind, I updated the letter to give my kids more responsibility in making sure they are gluten free at school. But, even though I know my kids can make good food decisions, I wanted to make sure the teacher knew about their dietary restrictions and would be supportive about it in the classroom.

Due to an email I recently received from a reader, I also dug out an old letter I created to send to other parents. It tells parents about my children’s needs to be gluten-free, along with a request to be notified about any birthday celebrations in advance. The letter also includes a small list of gluten-free snack ideas. You may want to use this letter for preschool and kindergarten classes that share or rotate snack responsibilities. It also works great for sports teams, clubs, church groups, scouts, etc.

These are all letters I have created and shared on Google Docs so that you can copy text or save as another document and make your own revisions to fit your own needs. Just click on the links to get started.

Letter to teacher — for more independent kids.

Letter to send to other parents — about snacks for preschool classes, teams, clubs, etc.

Letter to teacher and school officials — for younger kids.

Find even more ideas at Gluten Free in School: Snacks, Lunchbox ideas, Care Packages, Classroom Party Foods, Crafts, etc.

————————————————————————————————————————-

Updated September 7, 2011

My kids are back in school this year. Every year, I write letters to my kids’ teachers to introduce my kids and let the teachers know about their food restrictions. I give the letters to the teachers at the school open house, the week before school actually begins. I’ve revised some things with my letters this year:

  • First, I added the principal to the distribution. In the past, I’ve only given a copy to the teachers and school health nurse.
  • Second, I added field trips to the list of activities to be concerned about.
  • And finally, I enclosed a copy of my son’s individual health plan. I didn’t think that was necessary to do, since it was created with the school nurse and on file at the school. But, I found out last year, that the teacher and principal didn’t know it even existed. So, I’m hoping that my letters this year close a few gaps in the communication chain.

I also wrote a letter directly to the school nurse and principal that expressed concern about how the “specials” teachers would be informed and made aware of the food restrictions. Occasionally, the kids will be offered rewards in the form of candy, popsicles, popcorn, etc. from other teachers (art, music, PE, etc.). We never had a problem with it last year, but our school has quite a few new teachers this year. And, I want to limit (as much as possible) the chance of my kids getting sick from gluten. You may want to put this into the letter to your teachers, instead of writing a separate letter.

This year, I’ve put the letter into a document that you can open and review. Just click on the letter image below. I know your family has different kids, teachers, and school systems that will require you to personalize your own letter. I hope that by sharing my letter with you, I have given you some ideas of what to write in your own letters. And, if you think of something that you feel I should add to mine, please share your thoughts in the comments.

____________________________________________________________________________

Original post September 8, 2009

 

It’s Back to School Week at Celiac Family. My son starts Kindergarten today! We’re all pretty excited about it. But, being the mother that I am, I’m a little nervous, too. He’s been gluten free for more than four years, and is very good about making sure foods are gluten-free before eating them. But, this is the first time I won’t be walking him into the classroom. When he was in preschool, I could see what activities were planned for the day, check the snacks in the classroom, and the teachers could ask me any questions about craft products they were using. I know it’s time to let go of some of the control, but it’s hard to let go when it’s about his health.

Not knowing the Kindergarten teacher or the school, I didn’t know what the typical day would be like or what kind of student activities might be an issue for us. So, I wrote a letter to the teacher to express my concerns. I also enclosed with the letter some more detailed information about Celiac Disease. (It never hurts to raise awareness about Celiac Disease, right?) We found out who my son’s teacher would be a day before Open House, so I hand delivered the letter to the teacher. We got to speak briefly about it, but she was busy meeting the other new students and parents. Even if you get a chance to speak to your child’s teacher at length, I think it’s a good idea to put your concerns in writing. That way there’s less chance of miscommunication. Plus, it gives the teacher something to refer to later. I also gave a copy of the letter to the school nurse.

I’ve copied my letter below for you to use for inspiration. When I sat down to write the letter, I did a quick search online to find some sample letters. I knew there were some out there, but couldn’t find one at the time. After I took the time to write the letter, I did find some other great resources to help prepare yourself and your child for the new school year.

  • “GF Letter for School” at Gluten-Free is Life
  • Form letters to schools/child care providers at Dallas R.O.C.K.
  • “Back-to-school checklist for celiac families” at The Savvy Celiac
  • “Back to school tips for gluten-free and food allergy kids” at Sure Foods Living
  • “Navigating the School System” at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness – This addresses the issue of getting the school to accommodate the gluten-free diet. Be sure to scroll down the page for information about a 504 Plan, a letter to educators and a physician’s letter.

______________________________________________________________________

September 3, 2009

To: Teacher
CC: School Nurse

Re: Student’s name

Our son is so excited to start Kindergarten in your class at WS Elementary. We have completed all the required forms and paperwork.  You will notice in the health forms, that he has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley (malt), rye and sometimes oats. Our son is actually very healthy, but he must manage Celiac Disease with a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. It is very important to his health that he remains gluten free.

Since he has not yet started Kindergarten, we are not familiar with the procedures for activities and snack time in your class.  So, I am providing this information to you in order for our son to avoid any possible contact with gluten.

We will provide our son with a gluten-free snack everyday. He is aware of his condition, and has been instructed not to trade snacks or eat any other food without first confirming with an adult that it is gluten-free.  He should also avoid any contact with other classmates’ snacks, or crumbs of snacks, that contain gluten.

In addition to snacks, our son should also avoid contact with craft products that contain gluten.  Of most concern to me is play dough, pasta, hay/straw, fingerpaints and paper maché, since they are products that almost always contain wheat and/or are likely to get under his fingernails.  Other products that may contain wheat are glue, paint, and ink. To be clear, our son does not get a reaction just from touching gluten, however if it gets on his hands and fingers it could be transferred to his mouth. I would be happy to review the ingredients of any craft products in the classroom to determine if they do contain gluten. If they do, I will be happy to provide a suitable substitution.

If our son does accidentally come into contact with gluten at school, I ask that you immediately have him wash his hands thoroughly. He does not have an allergic response, such as anaphylaxis, so no medicine nor medical attention is required. I would simply request that you make me aware of the contact with the gluten (through a note sent home with him and/or a phone call/email) so that I can monitor his health. And, we can determine how to avoid it in the future.

If you allow students to bring in birthday treats to share, I ask that we be made aware of it a day or two in advance. Cupcakes and cookies, unless made with special alternative flours, are not gluten-free. If notified in advance of what will be brought in, our son can bring a gluten-free alternative in order to celebrate with the other students. If it works for you, I can also provide you with a box of safe, gluten-free treats to store for our son in cases of surprise treat occasions.

For your information, I have enclosed documents that provide detailed information about Celiac Disease. Please feel free to call or email me anytime with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

[Be sure to provide your name and contact information here.]

Enclosures:
“What Is Celiac Disease?” (I copied several pages from Danna Korn’s “Kids with Celiac Disease“)
Unsafe Gluten-Free List
Safe Gluten-Free List
Quick list of gluten-free snacks

Categories : Parenting
Comments (18)