Menu Plan Monday ~ November 24, 2008 ~ Thanksgiving Week

It is here! Thanksgiving week! I love Thanksgiving and all things pumpkin & turkey. :) I love spending time with my family and shopping on Black Friday. For the big meal, I have some family contributing sides like Catholic Potatoes, a wonderful mashed potato casserole with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, it really is heaven in a pyrex dish; Sweet Potato Casserole; Creamed Peas; and last, but not least, the non-GF pies, that way I don’t have to gluten up my kitchen with flour for the pie crusts. Truth be told, I was not much of a pie crust maker before I went gluten-free, I don’t see myself making them now, especially if they contain gluten! For gluten-free pie crusts, I use Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse frozen crusts. They are excellent and even picky family members can’t tell they are GF! Best of all, they are EASY!

The days leading up to Turkey Day are very busy here. We have parent/teacher conferences tonight for Hannah, hockey scrimmage for Jon tonight, family get together tomorrow night at the inlaws, hockey practice on Wednesday…ACK! Somewhere in there, along with my normal daily routine, I need to find time to bake! So, my menu leading up to the big day this week is very simple. Nothing complicated for a couple of reasons…time and oh yeah, I have a 20 lb turkey defrosting in my fridge that is taking up a bunch of space! LOL!

Sunday ~ Pei Wei…we used the rest of a gift card after putting up the Christmas Tree (yes, I know, I am crazy)

Monday ~ Baked Salmon, Brown Rice, Steamed veggies and salad (how much simpler can I get??)

Tuesday ~ Breakfast for dinner (eggs/omelets/bacon/sweet potato hashbrowns/toast/OJ)

Wednesday ~ Cheeseburger in Paradise ~ hockey practice night (BTW, CIP has a GF dessert now!!! WOO HOOO!!!)

Thursday ~ The Big Day ~ Here is my menu:

  • Veggie Tray with Dip
  • Sweet Potato Rounds with Curried Chicken Salad on top (Mom’s bringing)
  • Turkey & Gravy
  • Cornbread Stuffing (GF, of course)
  • Catholic Potatoes
  • Cranberry Glazed Carrots
  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce (will also have the jellied kind)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole (MIL is bringing)
  • Creamed Peas (MIL is bringing)
  • Crescent Rolls (for the gluten eating peeps)
  • Chebe Rolls (for us GF peeps)
  • Pumpkin Pie (GF and non-GF)
  • Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars
  • Cherry Pie (GF)
  • Pecan Pie (non-GF)

Friday ~ Leftovers (DUH!)

Saturday ~ I bet we are still having leftovers!  LOL!

 

Baking Items This Week

Bread

Pumpkin Pies (2 ~ freezing one for Christmas)

Bagels, if I have time…LOLOLOL

 

This week Book of Yum is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. The ingredient of the week is Sweet Potato, how appropriate! I am using sweet potatoes for our hash browns on Tuesday night, the kids love them like this! Thanks for hosting! Also, don’t forget to check out Org Junkie for lots of menu plans.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Apricot Glazed Pork Loin

What a perfect fall meal. Mashed potatoes, a glazed pork loin…YUM! It was really cold out yesterday, I believe the high was 35? It was 18 when I left for the gym this AM….BRRRR!!! Guess it is time to figure out the combination to my lock so I can start changing at the gym again. I have no clue what the combo is. But, it is apparently too cold to go from my house in shorts/running skirt anymore.

This meal does take a bit of time to cook, but it is fairly simple. It is very tasty, so well worth the time invested. The kids love this, DH loves this, it is a winner all around. I served it last night with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and a salad. Jon is eating leftovers as I type!

Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of the whole roast before I cut into it…I was running around trying to get things set on the table.

Apricot Glazed Pork Loin

INGREDIENTS:

* 4 pounds pork loin roast, rolled, boned, tied
* 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot or pineapple preserves (I have never tried pineapple, but I bet it would be great too)
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted* (I left these off last night b/c I didn’t have any…I didn’t miss them)

PREPARATION:
Rub roast with salt and pepper. Place on rack in a shallow baking pan. Roast uncovered at 325° for 2 hours.

While roast is cooking combine all ingredients, except almonds, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add toasted almonds; keep sauce warm.

After 2 hours roasting time, spoon enough hot apricot sauce over roast to glaze. Return roast to oven and baste often with sauce for 30 minutes or until meat is ready to serve. Serve remaining sauce with the roast.
Serves 8.

*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.

Now that it is closer to winter, this will become part of our meal rotation again. I am excited about that!

Oatmeal Raisin Bars ~ Gluten-Free

I love oatmeal raisin anything. Always have. I was really bummed when I had to go gluten-free that oatmeal was out and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing until gluten-free oats came onto the market. They aren’t cheap, but they are worth every penny. I was never a huge fan of oatmeal as a hot cereal, just in recipes like apple crisp, oatmeal raisin cookies, meatloaf, etc. I read Carrots’N’Cake, a blog, daily and Tina posted a great looking recipe for oatmeal raisin bars. It looked easy enough to convert to gluten-free, so I gave it a try the other day. The pumpkin raisin bars I made the other day were also a recipe that Tina posted last week. She is one great baker!

Before baking:

On my plate, ready to chow!

Oatmeal Raisin Bars (Courtesy of Tina at Carrots & Cake)
Modified to be gluten-free

Makes 9 bars
Ingredients:
2 cups dry oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix; if you use a regular GF Flour Mix, make sure to add xanthan gum, 3/4 tsp per)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients until smooth.
3. Spread batter in prepared baking pan, and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until bars are cooked all the way through.
4. Let bars cool completely in pan before cutting.

I brought some of these to a friend of mine the other night when we met for dinner and she loved them! She asked for the recipe and I passed it along. She doesn’t even have to eat GF and she like them! :)

Menu Plan: November 16, 2008

My menu is pretty boring this week. Nothing new and exciting. Some of the things are things I was supposed to make last week…OOPS! Also, we are meeting an old friend out tomorrow night at Pei Wei, so that will make 2 nights that we are eating out this week. We have been busy with hockey, Jon is on 2 different teams, a house team and a Select (kind of like an All-Star team).

Sunday ~ Homemade Veggie Soup, cornbread & salad
Monday ~ Pei Wei with a friend. I will have Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls and Pei Wei Spicy Chicken…YUM!
Tuesday ~ Turkey Mexican Pizzas, mexican rice and salads
Wednesday ~ Cheeseburger in Paradise (hockey & ice skating night)
Thursday ~ Apricot Glazed Pork Loin, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, broccoli & salad
Friday ~ Leftovers
Saturday ~ Homemade Pizza, steamed veggies & salad

Baked Goods

Chocolate Crinkles
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownies (one of the mixes I have…either 1, 2, 3 Gluten-Free or Gluten-Free Pantry (the one you find at Wal-Mart))

Can’t wait for Turkey Day next week!! YUM! I am making a new pecan pie recipe that I found in Cooking Light and is easily adapted to be gluten-free. I am also making a pumpkin pie. Oh, and can’t forget about Black Friday. One of my most favorite days of the entire year!

Thank you to Lilac Kitchen for hosting this week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap. :) Lots of great ideas there! Also, check out Org Junkie for lots more menu plans.

Review: Allergaroo Spaghetti

An excerpt from The Gluten-Free Mall: “Allergaroo is the first to offer all natural, ready-made dishes free of the 8 most common food allergens(wheat, milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish). Allergaro believes that your kids will love these meals that are shelf-stable and come in a microwaveable pouch. Just heat & eat! 1 serving per pouch.”

I have to say that I was very impressed by this product. I was skeptical at first, how good could spaghetti in a pouch be? Well, it was pretty darn good! I made this for Jon one night before hockey practice and he loved it! He wants me to buy more! I actually might grab some of these for him to take with him to an away hockey tournament that he has coming up and will be attending without DH or I (gasp…I am a little nervous about this). Now, he did eat 2 in one sitting b/c he is 12 and a growing, very active boy. But, it is nice to know that he can have a safe meal when he is away from home. If the hotel doesn’t have microwaves in the rooms, which I am going to check out hopefully today, I am sure that he could have the wait staff toss this in the microwave since you cook it right in the pouch.

I am giving this product 5 stars! Thank you, Allergaroo, for making a great, portable and convenient product for people with food allergies & intolerances.

You can find Allergaroo Spaghetti at The Gluten-Free Mall. A bonus, they are on sale right now!

Review: Barkat Pizza Crust

Another treat that was in our care package was Barkat Pizza Crusts. These crusts are shelf stable and ready to add toppings too. Very convenient! The other night when I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I threw some marinara sauce & cheese on one of these crusts and tossed it in the oven for 12 – 15 mintues and BAM! pizza!! Now, I made this for Jon, but I had to sneak a taste so that I could review it here and b/c I was curious. The pizza was good. Not anything like the homemade pizza crust that I have been making, but good considering that it was a shelf stable product. Jon liked it and said he would eat it again (that is huge coming from him). He also said that it wasn’t as good as my homemade crust, but, you know. These are nice to have on hand for quick dinners or maybe even to take with you to a local pizza place for them to put their toppings on if you trust that they won’t cross-contaminate your pizza.

You can find Barkat Pizza Crusts at The Gluten-Free Mall. They aren’t cheap, but like I said, nice to have on hand and good, too!

Honey Baked Lentils

About a month or so ago, I bought a package of green lentils from Whole Foods. I didn’t buy them for any specific reason other than I wanted to give them a try in something other than a canned soup. I hadn’t really narrowed down a recipe until this week, when I was reminded of a recipe that a friend shared for Honey Baked Lentils. This sounded perfect! I even had a spaghetti squash in the fridge that I could use as a base for the lentils. The best thing about this recipe is that it is gluten-free in it’s natural state. I love running across recipes like this!

Honey Baked Lentils
**Original recipe courtesy of Kay, modified slightly by me

1 cup lentils
2 cups water (I used 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup water)
2 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP Soy Sauce (I used La Choy Low-Sodium)
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic (I used 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 small onion (I omitted this b/c I can’t eat onions)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all liquid ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Add rinsed lentils and bake, covered, for an hour and a half or until tender. You can also saute and throw in veggies, or sub in a bit of rice for some of the lentils. **I threw in some steamed carrots to my bowl of spaghetti squash & lentils.

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