Archive for What’s for Dinner?


Menu Plan Sept 21

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menu-swap-009Wendy at Celiacs in the House is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week. She chose pumpkins as the theme ingredient. Yes, it is pumpkin season already! The pumpkin farms are opening and have plenty to choose from. I love pumpkin pie and other desserts, but what I look forward to doing this year is roasting pumpkin seeds with my kids. We pull them out of the jack-o-lanterns, clean them up, lay them out on a sheet pan with a little spray of oil and sprinkle of salt, and put them in the oven. Thirty minutes in the oven at 350° is about all it takes. It makes a great snack food to take to the games!

Monday – Chicken Tacos
We’ll be having tacos with slow-cooked Mexican chicken. I think it’s time to use up some of the peppers I have, too. So, I’m going to add them to a corn and black bean salad to serve with the tacos.

Tuesday – Salmon fillets
I’m broiling salmon fillets and seasoning with some fresh dill, butter and lemon juice. Serving with rice and steamed broccoli.

Wednesday – Rotisserie Chicken
Picking up a rotisserie chicken at the store for a quick meal. Serving with tater tots and glazed carrots.

Thursday – Chicken Burritos
Using leftover chicken and black bean salad from Monday to make burritos with brown rice wraps I found at Whole Foods last week. Serving with cilantro rice.

Friday – Leftover Buffet
Everything comes out of the refrigerator for a choose-your-own leftover meal.

Saturday – Flank Steak
Flank steak marinated in a soy/garlic marinade overnight, then grilled quickly over a medium-high heat. Serving with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Sunday – Chili
Making a tomato-base, beef and bean chili, and serving it over leftover rice.

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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Menu Plan Sept 14

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mpm121jpgBoy, has the school year started with a bang. I thought summer was busy! We’ve got Tae Kwon Do, Soccer, Dance, Back-to-School nights, and my husband’s high school reunion this week. Another busy week at our house. Everyone else feeling it, too? At least I’ve got this week started with a menu plan to keep us on track.

Monday – Chinese Chicken Salad
I marinate the chicken in a gluten-free soy sauce with garlic, ginger and molasses. Then I’ll cook up the chicken and lay it on top of salad greens: lettuce, celery, broccoli, beans sprouts, red cabbage, etc. And I can’t forget the  mandarin oranges (my kids’ favorite part) and a ginger-sesame dressing.

Tuesday – Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
I pound boneless pork very thin, bread with gluten-free bread crumbs and pan fry for a couple minutes on each side. You can eat it on a gluten-free bun or as it is. Serving with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots.

Wednesday – Tilapia with Parmesan sauce
Serving tilapia with a parmesan sauce that goes great with rice and broccoli.

Thursday – Roasted Chicken
Roasting a chicken and serving with quinoa and vegetables.

Friday – Leftover Buffet
Everything comes out of the refrigerator for a choose-your-own leftover meal.

Saturday – Out

Sunday – Cheeseburgers
Hamburger for one, cheeseburgers for the rest of us. Serving with french fries and peas.

Need more menu ideas?

For more gluten-free meal plans and recipes with quinoa, be sure to check out the Gluten-Free Menu Swap, hosted this week at La Cocina de Michelle. She’s got lots of good information about quinoa. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is a good time to start! You may also be interested in my recipe for Quinoa Chicken, which has some great Indian flavors.

As always, there are hundreds more menu plans (not necessarily gluten-free) at Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

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Menu Plan – Back to School Week

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school busIt’s Back to School Week for the Celiac Family. For my daughter, 5-day preschool isn’t starting soon enough. And my son is happy to be starting Kindergarten this year, but he is ecstatic about getting to ride the bus! With all the excitement and changes that will be going on with sleep schedules, school, and after-school activities, I’ve decided to make it another kids’ choice menu plan. I’ve included some of their favorites as well as a couple days of fast food due to a busy weekend.

Monday – Hamburgers
Labor Day seems like the perfect day to cook burgers on the grill. We’ll serve them with French fries and Brussels sprouts.

Tuesday – Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets served with steamed carrots. I’ll get the kids to help me make fruit kabobs, too.

Wednesday – Hot dogs and Macaroni & Cheese
My kids are not big fans of Mac & Cheese. But, I’m hoping to encourage their interest, by letting them help me make it. We’ll make the Mac & Cheese earlier in the day. Then I’ll just need to heat it up quickly with some hot dogs after soccer practice.

Thursday – Chick-fil-a
We’ll be out, so we’ll be stopping somewhere for dinner. Chick-fil-a is the kids’ choice. Grilled chicken fillets, waffle fries and fruit cups for the kids, and salads for the adults. If you need a fast food meal this week, check out Chick-fil-a’s gluten-free menu.

Friday – Leftover Chicken Nuggets
Serving leftover chicken nuggets with mashed potatoes and peas.

Saturday – Leftover Mac & Cheese
We’ll heat up some hot dogs to go with the Mac & Cheese again. Serving with steamed broccoli.

Sunday – McDonald’s
Finishing up the week with a trip to McDonald’s for Happy Meals. We order hamburgers with no buns, and haven’t had a problem — except when we forget to ask for forks and knives.

Need more menu ideas?

Manda at Asparagus Thin is hosting Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week with the theme ingredient of tapioca/manioc/cassava/yucca. The only time I really use tapioca is in a mix of gluten-free flours. I use tapioca flour in my recipe for King Cake. Now I know we’re not even close to Mardi Gras, but this makes a nice breakfast pastry, too.

As always, there are hundreds more menu plans (not necessarily gluten-free) at Or, check out some of my past menu plans.


Menu Plan Monday Aug 31

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menu-swap-009Last week, my in-laws cleaned out all the ripe goodies from their garden and dropped them off at our house as they headed out of town. So, this week I have an abundance of fresh vegetables to use. You’ll find zucchini, tomatoes, green peppers, and jalapeño peppers in our menu this week. No eggplant, but if you’re looking for recipes with eggplant be sure to check out the Book of Yum. This week Sea is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap with eggplant as the theme ingredient.

Monday – Fajitas
I’ll be cutting up onions along with those peppers my mother-in-law brought me to make some fajitas. I’ll marinate some steak strips and serve with corn tortillas and Cilantro Rice.

Tuesday – Chicken Vindaloo
Cooking up some boneless chicken thighs with a vindaloo sauce. May need to serve hot dogs or leftovers to the kids.

Wednesday – Quinoa with Tomatoes and Zucchini
Still working on using up some of those yummy vegetables, so I’ll cook up the zucchini and tomatoes with some quinoa.

Thursday – Spaghetti with Chicken
Making a different version of my chicken spaghetti. I’ll use a thin, brothy sauce with spinach, kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Friday – Garlic Shrimp
Simple supper of shrimp sautéed with butter and garlic and served over leftover quinoa with tomatoes and zucchini.

Saturday – Grilled Steaks
Grilling steaks and serving with corn-on-the-cob and baked potatoes.

Sunday – Tilapia Parmesan
Finishing up the week with tilapia broiled and topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce. Serving with leftover cilantro rice and zucchini.

Need more menu ideas?

As always, there are hundreds more menu plans (not necessarily gluten-free) at Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

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Kids Make Fruit Kabobs

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IMG_4270xI love to get the kids in the kitchen and have them help prepare meals. Well… that’s what I like to say. But honestly, when dinnertime comes around, I’m often rushing around to get it done. Instead of finding something the kids can do, I’m often scooting them out the kitchen, out of my way. With our summer activities finally slowing down this week, we were able to take our time and make something together. We decided to make something that’s always a kid favorite: Fruit Kabobs!

Fruit kabobs are a great activity for kids. You can use almost any fruit, they are in bite-size pieces, and the kids can put it together themselves (or with minimal help, depending on their ages). Melon is a perfect fruit to use on the kabobs because it is so easy to cut. I did the big cuts, and removed the rind from the fruit with the big, sharp knife. But then the kids could use a butter knife to easily cut the melon into bite-size pieces. They thought it was great. We had a cantaloupe, but watermelon and honey dew would be good additions. You can see from the picture that we used strawberries and grapes, too. Go ahead and use up whatever you have in the house. Of course, some fruit turns brown quickly, so if you’re making them in advance you’d probably want to avoid those.

Cutting the fruit. If your kids are older, consider letting them cut the fruit themselves with Rachael Ray’s Young Cooks Cutting Set. If they’re younger you could cut the fruit yourself, and just let the kids put the pieces on the sticks. If your kids are somewhere in between, consider letting them use butter knives or plastic knives.

The Sticks. You can use a variety of sticks for skewering the fruit: toothpicks, bamboo skewers, coffee stirs, small skinny straws, or even chopsticks. But my favorite is plastic swizzle sticks, or Drink Stirrers. They are just the right size, not too sharp, and colorful.

Good for kids and the family. This activity encourages kids to help out in the kitchen. Kids feel good about what they created. They get to pick the fruit they want, and then eat it! With the kids going back to school soon, I’m also thinking this activity is great for helping kids build fine motor skills.

Now that I got the kids back in the kitchen, I’m hoping to continue it more often. So, when I sit down to plan our meals for next week, I’m going to include one or two items that the kids can help prepare. Planning in advance will allow me to schedule around after-school activities and give us plenty of time to get it done. If you’re looking for some kid-friendly recipes, or maybe a little more inspiration, check out these online posts and articles:

Gluten-Free Kids in the Kitchen

Getting Your Children to Cook

Happy Kitchen Jam Tarts (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

Kids in the Kitchen: Spaghetti and (Gluten-Free) Meatballs

Stir Fry Kid Style

Other Online articles about Kids in the Kitchen:

Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids Teaches About Simple Snacks

Dads and Kids Cooking Together

Why Invite Your Kids Into The Kitchen?


Cantaloupe is the theme ingredient this week for Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. So check it out for more gluten-free recipes with cantaloupe.