Archive for October, 2013


Van’s New Gluten-Free Products

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VansGFA while back I was sent a box of gluten-free food items from Van’s Natural Foods. They don’t just make gluten-free frozen waffles anymore! (That was one of the first items we were able to buy in the stores over eight years ago when my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.) Van’s has really expanded their gluten-free line of products. Maybe you’ve already seen some of these products in the stores and wondered what they taste like. If you haven’t seen them in the stores and want to try them for yourself, you can check out the Store Locator on their site. You may also want to check out the Coupons and Specials page on their site. I found them available at Walmart stores. If you’ve already tried some of the Van’s gluten-free products, please add your thoughts about them in the comments below, so we can all benefit from your opinions, too.

vanbarMy favorite product in the box was the Cranberry Almond Snack Bars. I bought these this summer for a quick snack while out running errands. I didn’t want to stop for a meal, and this was just what I needed. Even before the weather started cooling down around here, I didn’t have to worry about it melting in my car or purse. They aren’t overly sweet, and are great to refuel for after-school sports and activities, too. They are a soft, chewy bar, so if you’re looking for some crunch, this isn’t the one for you. They have some other flavors, too  — Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate — but this one is my favorite.

VansCrackersEveryone will enjoy these crackers whether they follow a gluten-free diet or not. If you’ve been gluten-free for several years, you may remember how difficult it was to find crispy snack crackers. Well, not anymore. Van’s crackers are very light and crispy. The Fire-Roasted Veggie crackers paired with my Corn and Black Bean Salad made a delicious, quick lunch.

My husband got to try the cheddar crackers. He’s the only one in our house who eats cheese anymore. He said they were good and really appreciated the individual packaging so he could pack it in a suitcase for traveling or simply grab it for a quick snack at work. Kids’ lunches, anyone?

CinnHeavenSpoonAnd finally, we tried Van’s new gluten-free cereals. My son loves cinnamon, so he was anxious to try the Cinnamon Heaven cereal. He thought it was great. It was a good crunchy cereal, but I personally prefer a crispier texture. I also bought the Honey Nut flavored cereal to try. The texture was the same, and the consensus was that we liked the cinnamon flavor better.

Overall, I’d say I was pleasantly surprised by the crackers and will buy these for entertaining this holiday season. And, the snack bars will also have a place in my pantry and purse.

So, what do you think? Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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AutumnleavesThe Gluten-Free Menu Swap theme this week is meals inspired by other Gluten-Free Blogs or Cookbooks. Visit Angela’s Kitchen for the roundup of gluten-free menus. Angela chose this theme at a perfect time for me because my kids are home on fall break this week, and I’m hoping to have some help in the kitchen to try some new recipes. More importantly, I was sent review copies of three new gluten-free cookbooks. Each one of them offers great gluten-free recipes with a different focus.

You may have seen the new cookbook Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry. Elana’s new book is all Paleo recipes, so if you follow a paleo diet or are just wanting to try the paleo diet, this is a great book to get started. You’ll find plenty of gluten-free recipes to please the whole family in it — from bagels and coffee cake to salmon burgers, brownies and ginger ale. What I like most about Elana’s recipes is that they often have few ingredients, uncomplicated cooking methods, and taste delicious. We’ve enjoyed the Rosemary Lemon Chicken and the “Peanut Butter” Ice Cream recipes in it.

I’ve also recently received The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes. As you can guess from the title, it is full of gluten-free recipes for the Slow-Cooker. I haven’t tried many recipes from the book, yet. I’m kind of a throw-everything-in-the-pot kind of cook for slow-cookers. Many of the recipes have additional steps of searing meats or preparing sauces on the stove. I don’t always have the time or patience for that, so I’ve been a little reluctant to try them. What I do love about the cookbook is the variety of recipes (including desserts!) and the cooking tips included for each recipe.

Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking is the largest of the three cookbooks, with 250 gluten-free recipes to try. My goodness, where do I start!? Well, I started with the Battered Fried Fish, and it was great! The whole family loved it, so we’re making it again this week. The batter is made using whipped egg whites and cornstarch, which makes a very thick batter and stays on the fish wonderfully. Just be sure to place the fried fish pieces in a warm oven to keep it crisp while you fry up the rest of it. We used tilapia, but the author also suggests sole or haddock fillets. I’m also looking forward to trying the Almond Sponge Cake recipe.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday — Chicken TacosGuacamole

Tuesday — Chinese-Style Braised Pork in the Slow Cooker from The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes, serving with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Wednesday — Apple Pancakes from Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking and Breakfast Sausage from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry

Thursday — Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken (inspired by Elana’s Lemon Rosemary Chicken from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry)

Friday — Battered Fish from Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking

Saturday — Thai Chicken Pizza from Angela’s Kitchen

Sunday — leftovers

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura 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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Garlic – Gluten-Free Menu Plan Oct. 7

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It’s October, and I thought it was a good time to increase our garlic consumption to start warding off the colds and vampires. 🙂 So, Garlic is the theme this week for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap.

GarlicGarlic not only has antibacterial and antiviral benefits to help fight colds. It is also credited with having anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-cancer properties. To get the most of these benefits, The World’s Healthiest Foods says to let the garlic sit for a little while after chopping or crushing it. It also suggests using it raw in recipes, or adding it toward the end of cooking so not to lose the many possible health benefits associated with garlic. Perhaps I’ll start our meal preparation with mincing the garlic first. Then, I’ll work on the rest of the meal before adding in the garlic. But, health benefits or not, I like the flavor garlic adds to our meals. So, maybe I’ll just add extra garlic at the end. That ought to keep the vampires away!

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 garlic in your meals.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Easy Garlic Shrimp

Easy Garlic Shrimp

Marinated Flank Steak

Marinated Flank Steak

Monday —  White Chicken Chili (cooked with garlic!) made with leftover rotisserie chicken

Tuesday — Baked Ham, Amy’s Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese, Sautéed Garlic Broccolini

Wednesday — Oven-Roasted Chicken Legs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Bacon

Thursday — Easy Garlic Shrimp over Rice Noodles, Roasted Broccoli

Friday — Corn Dogs, French Fries, Peas

Saturday — Slow-Cooker Brisket, Roasted Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach (cooked with garlic!)

Sunday — Marinated Flank Steak (with garlic!) and leftover vegetables

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Melissa is getting garlic in her CSA box, so no doubt she’ll be adding it to her meals this week. On her menu is Spaghetti and Meatballs, Roasted Salmon and Brussels sprouts Bake (w/ garlic), Taco Salad, Chuck Roast, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes, Eggplant Burgers, and Acorn Squash stuffed with Ground Beef.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
Elisabeth has garlic in her favorite Portuguese Soup. Other meals she planning this week: Veggie Burgers, Grilled Cheese, Eggs and Potatoes, Salmon BLT, and Pizza. For breakfast this week, she’ll enjoy Apple Coffee Cake, Buckwheat Granola, and Chocolate Paleo Breakfast Cookies.

Angela’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Can’t wait to try Angela’s 40-clove Garlic Chicken for the Slow-Cooker and her gluten-free/dairy-free Herbed Garlic Bread. Her menu this week also includes Slow-Cooker Cassoulet, Shrimp Pad Thai with Broccoli, Crock Pot Fajitas, and Taco Pizza. She also shares her yummy recipe for Pineapple0-Garlic Pork Chops.

The Peaceful Mom: Simple Gluten-Free Menu
Kimberlee is making garlic toast triangles with gluten-free bread this week to serve with Italian Pasta Salad with Chicken. Her family will also enjoy this week BBQ Pepper Jack Bacon Burgers, Easy Potato Soup, Slow-Cooker Chili, Taco Bowls, and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Dietz Eats: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Menu
Fawn has a great week of meals planned for a busy family. Starting with an evening of Breakfast for Dinner, and continuing with Corn Chowder, Roast Chicken with vegetables, Chicken Tacos, and Crock Pot Pulled Pork.

Gluten Free Detroit Metro: Gluten-Free Menu
Amanda says her family loves garlic, and she finds it to be a cheap way to add flavor to a meal. Her family’s meals this week will be Shredded Chicken Tacos with rice, Sun-Dried Tomato Garlic Pasta, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice, Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, and Meatballs and Pasta with Garlic Cheddar Rolls.

Thanks to everyone who joined us this week. Join us again next week at Angela’s Kitchen when we’ll be sharing gluten-free menus and meals inspired by Blogs or Cookbooks.

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 next week at Angela’s Kitchen, where we’ll be sharing meals inspired by other Blogs or Cookbooks.
  • 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 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 (9)