Menu Plan ~ January 11, 2009

Phew, what a week that was!  As I mentioned last week in my menu plan post, Jon had the stomach flu.  Well, within a few hours, Aaron had it and so did I, for the second time!  What is that all about?  The same thing happened to me last year.  I am officially over winter and ready for Spring.  Everyone hear that?  Fortunately we were all better by my birthday on Friday.  Needless to say, I have some things on my menu plan this week that we never got to last week due to the illness in our house and going out to dinner on Thursday with my Dad & fam and Friday night for a “date”.  :)  I also didn’t go my baking last week.  Geez, I am slacking big time!  Guess I will be playing catch-up this week.  :)

Fresh Ginger is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap and has chosen “locally grown” as the theme.  Seeing as it is mid-January here, not sure that I will be able to participate in that.  Next year I hope to plan ahead and be able to freeze and can some of my tomatoes.  I was browsing her site and was very interested in the “brittle“.  I may have to give that a try.  YUM!

Here is my menu plan for the week.  Let’s see if I can stick to it this week. ;)

 

Sunday ~ Breakfast for dinner (omelets, bacon, pan-fried hashbrowns, gluten-free toast ~ Pamela’s Wheat Free Bread or TJ’s gluten-free French Rolls) with Orange Juice

Monday ~ Crockpot Taco Soup & salad (this is one I didn’t get to last week)

Tuesday ~ Grilled Salmon, steamed brown rice, steamed broccoli & spinach salad

Wednesday ~ Grilled Chicken marinated in balsamic dressing, roasted potatoes,  steamed green beans & salad

Thursday ~ Burgers on lettuce wraps, sweet potato fries & salad

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza and salad

Saturday ~ Probably Pei Wei Asian Diner OR Uno Chicago Grill’s new GF pizza!!

 

Baked Goods for the week

Pamela’s Bread

Brownies

Scones from Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes

 

As always, don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for more great menu plan ideas.  :)  Have a wonderful week!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 29 for the 7th time.  ;)  LOL!  I am officially half way to 72.  Whatever.  I feel better now than I have felt in years.  Mentally & physically.  Perhaps it is the exercise.   Perhaps it is a new year and possibilities on the horizon.  Who knows.  We had a couple of days of celebration.  Thursday night we met my Dad, Step Mom and little sister out for dinner at The Fish Market.  It was SO good!  They have an extensive GF menu.  Both Jon and I were able to enjoy meals & dessert.  I had a cedar plank salmon on top of eggplant & zucchini with portobella mushroom relish, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.  It was so flavorful!  For dessert, they brought out an amazing creme brulee with fresh strawberries.  Jon had a grilled shrimp Caesar salad.  We had a wonderful time.

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Last night Aaron & I went to Hyde Park Steakhouse.  Wow.  I can’t believe the options.  They were extremely well versed in the gluten-free diet, though they didn’t have a written menu.  I had a beefsteak & mozzarella salad with balsamic vinaigrette for my salad.  Then, our wonderful waiter brought me out a fruit & cheese plate because I obviously couldn’t eat the bread!  The fruit was blackberries, blueberries & strawberries.  There were 2 kinds of cheese…..a stilton with mango & ginger and an0ther, stronger white cheese, I don’t remember the name.  Both were excellent.  For my main course I had Chilean Sea Bass with Lemon Crystal Citrus Sauce, Potatoes Gruyere Gratin and steamed broccoli.  Divine.  Really, an amazing meal and even better knowing it was all gluten-free!  We headed home after our meal and had some awesome gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that my Mother-in-law, Mary, made for me!  It was very sweet of her and the cake was TDF!  I have had several pieces already!  :) 

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It was a wonderful birthday celebration!  A great way to welcome in the New Year and celebrate my turning a year older.  :)

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

It is no secret that I love potatoes.  I love potatoes in all shapes & sizes.  There was a sale the other day on red-skinned potatoes, so I picked up a bag and decided to roast them.  Boy, they turned out yummy!  I washed them and cut them into chunks and then tossed with some EVOO & spices.  I roasted them for 30 – 40 minutes and then served along side some Sweet Thai Chile Salmon & veggies. 

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Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

4-5 Red-skinned potatoes, washed

2 TBSP EVOO

1 tsp or so Garlic Powder

1-2 tsp Rosemary

Sea Salt

Pepper

**Spice amounts are approximate…I didn’t measure, just estimated.

1.  Chop potatoes into chunks

2.  Pour EVOO & spices over potatoes & mix well.

3.  Spread onto a cookie sheet or pyrex dish (sprayed with PAM).

4.  Roast at 400 or 425 for 30 or 40 minutes or until tender & browning.

 

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Sweet Thai Chile Salmon

Trader Joe’s Sweet Thai Chile Sauce

Salmon

Salt & Pepper

 

1.  Pour 1TBSP or so STCS on each piece of salmon

2. Sprinkle salmon with S & P

3.  Bake at 375 for 12 min or so. 

4.  Broil for 1-2 minutes.

5.  Be careful not to overcook.

Product Review: JamFrakas Bar

I have been a fan of Lara Bars, made by Humm Foods, for quite a while.  I was very excited to hear that Humm Foods had come out with a new product, JamFrakas Bars, a bar geared towards kids.  I know that I am technically not a kid, but I am in my head. ;)  I was at Trader Joe’s last week and ran across these bars.  I bought the Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp and the Peanut Butter Blisscrisp.  They were both very, very tasty.  Small and only 120 calories, but perfect for kids.  They are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.  They also have no HFCS!  Nice little treat to keep in your purse or car in case of emergency hunger pang with no GF food available.  :)  Now, if only they made a larger version for us bigger kids. ;) 

Here is something I didn’t know….General Mills has acquired Humm Foods!  You can read about it here.  General Mills is one of those companies that I support because they will not hide gluten in their ingredient list.  :) 

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Menu Plan Monday ~ January 4, 2009

Here we are in the year 2009.  The first week of the year has proved to be a little rough for us.  Both Hannah and I had the stomach flu last week on New Year’s Eve.  Needless to say, there wasn’t much celebrating going on here.  Now, as I write this, Jon has the stomach flu.  He told me last week when Hannah and I were sick that he wanted to get the stomach flu on Monday (the 5th), so he could have another day off of school.  Well, the kid got his wish.  Poor thing!  This week we are concentrating on getting back into the groove. 

Cheryl, over at GF Goodness, is hosting this week’s GF Menu Swap.  The theme this week is soup.  I don’t think I have ever made soup before, so it is a huge coincidence that I have Crockpot Taco Soup on my menu for the week!  Don’t forget to check out Org Junkie for some other great menu ideas.

Sunday ~ Spaghetti with meat sauce, steamed broccoli and salad.

Monday ~ Grilled Chicken, oven roasted red-skin potatoes, sauteed spinach & salad

Tuesday ~ Salmon, quinoa, salad & veggies

Wednesday ~ Herb Pork Loin Roast, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Veggies & salad

Thursday ~ Going to the Fish Market for my birthday (it is actually the 9th, but my Dad is leaving town, so we are celebrating early)

Friday ~ Crockpot Taco Soup & salad

Saturday ~ Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries & Salad

 

Baked Goods for the Week

Brownies from the 1, 2, 3 Gluten-Free Mix

Something baked from the Carol Fenster 1,000 GF Recipes Cook Book…haven’t decided what yet, but need to fulfill my goal of making 1 item per week out of this book.

New Year’s Day Food Traditions

Each year on New Year’s Day I eat pork & sauerkraut for good luck.  Well, to be honest, it isn’t only for luck, I happen to really like pork & sauerkraut and don’t get to eat it that often because I am the only person in my family who will touch it.  :)  So, I use NYD as an excuse to cook my pork & sauerkraut and stink up the house, as my family puts it.  Yesterday, as my pork & sauerkraut was cooking, I began to wonder about other New Year’s Day Food Traditions and came up with all kinds of traditions when I googled for info on it.  Gotta love google.  What did we do before it was around?  I am editing this post to add another fun Food Traditions Article. Next year I may want to give Hoppin’ John a try or maybe some version of Black Eyed Peas with Rice or Quinoa.

One of my favorite things about pork & sauerkraut is that is it naturally gluten-free!  WOOOHOO!!  There are many different ways that I have made pork & sauerkraut, but the  easiest way has got to be in my crock pot.  I use a couple pounds of country style pork ribs (nice & fatty….don’t worry, you’ll work it off, remember your resolutions?), sauerkraut (I prefer the kind you find in the refrigerated meat section as opposed to the canned stuff and I won’t be making my own any time soon…YUCK!), salt & pepper and a little touch of brown sugar if I feel like it, I did not yesterday.  Believe it or not, I am all sweeted out, I think.  BTW, I remember when I was little, maybe around 10 or 11, my parents making their own sauerkraut. What a process that was. It stunk too, obviously. I honestly would prefer not to think about how it is made. ;) I started by browning my pork ribs in a frying pan sprayed with Pam….no need to add extra fat with oil, there is enough already.  I seasoned the pork with S & P.  I turned the crock pot on low and added half the bag of sauerkraut.  Once the meat was browned on both sides, I added to the crock and spread the rest of the kraut on top.  I added more S &P  and this is where you would add the brown sugar if you wanted to.  I cooked on low for 8+ hours, until the meat was falling off of the bone.  I served over Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.  I didn’t take a picture.  I considered it, but there is really nothing attractive about pork & sauerkraut, it just tastes amazing!  LOL!  Use your imagination here. God gave you a brain for a reason.  Since I was the only one who ate this, I froze half to have in the next few weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my pork & sauerkraut, but not every night of the week for several weeks. ;)  I did get Hannah to try the pork, sans kraut, and she really like it, dipped in ranch, of course.  Whatever works. 

So, what did you have for New Year’s Day dinner?  Do you eat the same thing each year on New Year’s Day?  Any good recipes for Black Eye Peas or Hoppin’ John? 

Review: Glutino Harvest Corn Loaf Bread

I have heard good things about this bread, so when I was at my local health food store a few weeks back, I decided to give it a try.  It wasn’t cheap by any means ~ $5.89/loaf.  I was out of bread at home and thought now was a good time. 

I got home and toasted up some of the bread in my toaster oven.  I made a deli turkey, cheese, lettuce & tomato sandwich out of the bread.  I dove right in.  The bread was not horrible by any means, but it wasn’t fantastic either.  I was more than a little disappointed.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  I don’t know.  I normally eat Pamela’s Wheat Free Bread that is made from a mix.  I make it in my bread machine.  So, maybe I am just spoiled.  I served this bread to my son, not telling him how I felt about the bread.  He said the same thing I did.  The next day I served him a grilled cheese sandwich on it and he said it was much better that way.  So, apparently just toasting the bread isn’t enough.  You apparently need to spread butter on it and then grill it.  It would probably also work well with french toast or stuffing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

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