Menu Plan ~ March 29, 2009

Wow….I missed doing this last week!  We were on Spring Break in Atlanta, Georgia.  I am now back in chilly Ohio, but keep wanting to say “y’all” instead of “you all”.  LOL!  I feel like maybe if I keep talking like I am in the South, it will feel like I am in the South too!  Okay, wishful thinking. 

Busy week ahead.  Jon gets spacers in for his braces.  Braces go on a week from tomorrow.  Hannah has a play this week that she is in.  Skating, normal busy stuff.  You know.  The fridge is full, though, and I am ready for the week. 


Sunday ~ Homemade macaroni & cheese, baked beans & veggies (I may do a spinach/turkey burger and sweet potato for myself)

Monday ~Burgers, sweet potato fries, broccoli & salad

Tuesday ~ Salmon, Brown Rice, veggies & salad

Wednesday ~Stuffed Shells (ricotta cheese & mozzarella) smothered in 3 cheese marinara sauce, green beans & salad

Thursday~ Mexican night…pizzas or corn soft tacos, refried beans, Mexican rice,  white corn & salad

Friday~ Homemade pizza or calzones, veggies & salad

Saturday~ Leftovers or breakfast for dinner


Baked Goods


Butterscotch Brownies/Blondies (I have a few recipes I am perusing…I’ll post the final)

Chocolate something….I am craving chocolate & coconut, so maybe some chocolate macaroons.  MMMMMMM!

Homemade Rice Pudding


Asparagus Thin is hosting this week’s GF menu swap.  Rice is the ingredient theme.  I have planned to use rice at least twice this week.  The brown rice with the salmon will be a short grain rice, which is my favorite.  I like that it is a little chewier than the long grain versions.  For my Mexican rice, I usually use a brown basmati (I get it at Trader Joe’s) or brown jasmine (same, Trader Joe’s).  I always use my rice leftovers for lunch either topping with black beans & cheese or sauteeing up some fresh veggies in sesame oil and tossing them together.  YUM!  I LOVE rice!  I would also like to try making my own rice pudding, so I think I am going to add that to my list of “Baked Goods” this week, even though it technically isn’t “baked”. 

Also, don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots more menu plans.

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An Amazing Dining Experience ~ Gluten-Free

I have always, always been hesitant to try a new restaurant since I have been on the gluten-free diet.  I am afraid of getting sick.  At first, I didn’t seem to react all that badly, but now, it is horrible.  I won’t gross you out with the details, just know that it is not pretty or fun.  So I usually stick with chain restaurants (yes, they get boring, but when you have to follow a strict diet, what do you do?) and those who have gluten-free menus.  I have ventured out to other restaurants and do so much more often now that I have been gluten-free for over 3 years.  I feel more comfortable expressing my needs and reading the reactions of the employees (servers, managers & chefs/cooks) that I am trying to educate. 

Last year when I was in Atlanta over Spring Break, my sister took my Mother & I to a wonderful place called Aqua Terra Bistro in Buford, Georgia.  I was nervous, I didn’t see anything on the web site about a gluten-free menu.   I asked to speak with the manager upon sitting down and for some reason I started my questions/statements with “I have Celiac Disease and have to follow a gluten-free diet….”.  I never start out saying I have Celiac because most people look at me like they have no clue what I am talking about or like I have 2 heads.  Well, much to my surprise, she informed me that the chef’s wife also had Celiac disease!  WOW!  They would indeed be able to accommodate me.  We had a fabulous meal. 

Fast forward to this Spring Break.  Back in Atlanta, back to Aqua Terra.   I could not pass up going back and dining at this amazing restaurant.  This time I spoke with Robin, I believe she is the bartender or possibly the manager.  She also has Celiac and went over the menu with me, asking what I was thinking of having.  Robin has been gluten-free for a little over a year.  I selected the following items for my meal:


Mixed field greens, Gorgonzola cheese, bacon, apples, walnuts, and red onions with a warm apple cider vinaigrette (minus the onions b/c they make me sick too)


(see my picture below…polenta is not in the pic)
Served over orecchiette pasta with fresh spinach and an exotic mushroom and truffle cream sauce (I asked them to sub the smoked gouda polenta for the pasta and they did, willingly)




With fresh strawberries

I can’t even begin to express how amazing this meal was.  The salad is one of the best I have ever had and I eat a lot of salads.  Wonderful flavors that all compliment one another so nicely.  The polenta was to-die-for!  The smoked gouda flavor really made this dish.  I love polenta plain, but this flavor brought it to a whole new level.    The scallops were done perfectly and the spinach with exotic mushrooms & truffle cream sauce left me speechless.  I wanted to clean my plate, but had to save room for the dessert.  The creme brulee was amazing.  Creamy and decadent.  Perfect. 

I give this restaurant 5 stars and all my thumbs up.  Really, if you ever get the chance to eat there, GO!  You won’t be sorry! 

The crew…my sister:kelat

My Mom & I: