What is for Dinner Tonight?

Sunday is the day where I sit down and figure out what we are going to eat for the week. We usually go grocery shopping on Sundays, so it is easiest for me to sit down on Sunday morning with my coffee and plan my week out. Here is what I have on the menu for this week:

Sunday ~ Spaghetti with meat sauce (I use Prego 3 Cheese Sauce and add fresh ground meat or ground turkey and Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta), steamed broccoli and a fresh salad. My new favorite dressing of the day is T. Marzetti’s Lite Honey French (the ones you buy cold in the produce section)

Monday ~ Baked Salmon (seasoned with S & P, garlic powder, dill and paprika), brown rice (I usually sprinkle Red Hot on my rice for some zip) and steamed green beans. I will probably have a salad along with my meal. Jon will actually eat salmon, Hannah, not so much. She will probably have Kraft Mac & Cheese, obviously not GF.

Tuesday ~ Hoisin Chicken Wings (a new recipe that I found on a blog I frequent, A Year of Crockpotting. I am so looking forward to this recipe, I hope the family likes it. I will serve pan-fried taters and salad along with this.

Wednesday ~ Hannah and I will go to Cheeseburger in Paradise after her skating class. Jon and Aaron will have leftovers or fend for themselves. This is also the first day of school!!!! YIPPPEEE!!! (Did I say that out loud???)

Thursday ~ Grilled Chicken (marinated in balsamic, EVOO (thanks to Rachel Ray for shortening that for us 😉 ), garlic powder, S & P), baked potatoes, sauteed spinach (for me, the fam won’t touch, steamed veggies for them) and salad.

Friday ~ Breakfast for dinner. Most likely scrambled eggs or omelets with veggies & cheese, fried potatoes, bacon and gluten-free toast or bagels (if I get around to baking them this week).

Saturday ~ Burgers on a bed of tomato & lettuce, topped with cheddar, sweet potato fries (Alexia brand) and brussel sprouts (once again, for me, the fam will leave me if I serve them this, they will have corn on the cob).

I am usually pretty good about following my weekly plan. I go through my freezer to see what meats I have and incorporate them into the plan. We buy meats on sale and freeze so that we don’t have to pay ridiculous prices when I have a craving for baby back ribs, pulled pork, etc.

So, there you have it! Off to the shower and then to the store!

Oh, fun news that I can’t forget!!! I will be submitting my menu to the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. Make sure to check it out at Gluten-Free Cooking School.

Deciphering Labels

If you ask anyone who has a food allergy or sensitivity what the hardest part is and they will say that making sure what they eat doesn’t have the ingredient they are sensitive to in it. Thankfully, there are now labeling laws for the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts). Unfortunately for those who have Celiac or are sensitive to gluten, companies are not required to call out gluten on the label. Gluten can be hidden in natural flavors, spices, etc. There is a lot to be said for companies that won’t hide gluten in spices or natural flavors. I will gladly spend extra money to make sure that the product that I am eating is free of gluten and is easily verified over one that I have to call to verify or wonder about. Here is a list of companies that will clearly mark gluten on the labels:

These are companies that say they will clearly list gluten in the
ingredients. I have not included companies that are specifically GF or
smaller specialty companies. I know this list is not complete. Some of
these are actually subsidiaries of some of the others, but I have not tried
to sort that out.

When a company says it will clearly list gluten, you might still see things
like “modified food starch” or “natural flavor.” In this case, the suspect
ingredient does not have gluten if gluten is not plainly listed. I cannot
tell you about any policies regarding cross contamination.

Act II
Aunt Nelly’s
Balance Oasis (Balance bars)
Ball Park
Baskin Robbins
Ben & Jerry
Betty Crocker
Blue Bunny
Cascadian Farms
Celestial Seasonings
Con Agra
Country Crock
Crunch & Munch
Egg Beater’s
Fiddle Faddle
General Mills
Good Humor
Green Giant
Haagen Daz
Healthy Choice
Hebrew National
Hershey~ Update (Just issued a new statement this year (2009); call per each item to verify GF status)
Hillshire Farms
Jiffy Pop
Jimmy Dean
Kozy Shack
La Choy
Marie Callender’s
Martha White
Old El Paso
Orville Redenbacher
Peter Pan
Ranch Style
Reddi Whip
Russell Stover
Sara Lee
Seneca Foods
Slim Jim
Sunny Delight
Swiss Miss
T Marzetti
Van Camp’s

For the first 6 months or so after I was gluten-free, I carried this list around with me every time I went to the store. I also had a huge notebook full of lists of individual foods that I could safely purchase and eat. I no longer need the notebook or lists. For the most part I can either remember the brands or stick with what I know. We also tend to buy very few processed foods so there really isn’t the issue of what is in it if it is a natural, whole food.