Salad #2 ~ Day 1

Had another excellent salad along side my filet mignon, sweet potato & sauteed snow peas for dinner.  To create this salad I tried to think of things that “I” normally wouldn’t eat on a salad and then added it to the salad.  Normally I like my fruit separate from the rest of my food.  I will eat fruit, but usually only by itself or with other fruit.  Occasionally I will eat fruit on cereal, but that is about the extent of that.  So, tonight I went out on a limb and put some fresh blackberries on my salad!  Shocker, for me!  I loved them!  This was a great combo:

~ 2 handfuls of mixed greens (arugula & spring mix)

~ 12 or so cut up grape tomatoes

~ a few cut up radishes

~ 1 TBSP organic raw pine nuts

~ 1 TBSP or so goat cheese

~ handful of fresh blackberries

~ drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette

~ half of a cut up zucchini

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I was pleasantly surprised by this combo and will absolutely be trying it again very soon.  See, this challenge is making me branch out!  My Mommy is going to be so proud of me! :) 

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Gluten-Free Salad Challenge ~ Day 1

Salad for lunch!  YUM!  Here is my yummy creation that I made for lunch today.  I used leftovers from dinner last night. 

~ 2-3 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula & romaine)

~1 Roma tomato

~ 1/4 large cucumber

~ 1/4 cup white corn

~ 1/4 cup black beans

~ 1/4 cup ground turkey taco meat

~ some leftover steamed broccoli, chopped

~ 1/4 brown basmati rice

~ small amount of shredded cheddar

~ a few crushed Baked Tostito’s Scoops

~ some light Ranch & Frank’s Red Hot drizzled on top

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Yum!!  What a filling lunch!  I also had a small handful of Tostito’s Scoops on the side. 

What did you all have?  I will probably have a side salad for dinner to go with our Filet Mignon.  Not sure what I will put in it yet, but I am loving coming up with new ideas!

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Gluten-Free Salad Challenge

After reading about this salad challenge and realizing that I had missed the sign up date, I decided to make up my own, gluten-free salad challenge!  I love salads and eat them almost daily.  I do get in a rut, though, and this is just the thing to pull me out of that rut!  :)  So, here is my challenge:

To eat at least 1 salad/day for 2 weeks.  Each salad has to contain the following:

~ At least 1 cup of salad greens (spinach, arugula, kale, mixed greens, etc)

~ At least 1 serving of another vegetable of a different color (tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, radishes, etc)

~ A source of protein (cheese…lots of choices, meat/meat sub., beans, nuts, eggs)

~ Dressing is optional, but I usually use at the very least EVOO & balsamic)

~ Bonus: Max. 1 handful or one serving of something else that I may not normally put in a salad or in the particular salad that I made.  I have been known to use Fritos as GF croutons!  So, things along those lines.  Maybe I’ll give cereal a try?  LOL! 

I am going to commit to this for 2 full weeks, starting on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 (tax day, what better day?).  Anyone else up for the Gluten-Free Salad Challenge?  Just post here or shoot me an email.   I’ll put together a little raffle for those who play along and enter your names into a contest and send out a GF Goody Bag!  :)  For those who do play along for the GF Goody bag, make sure to document your salads. ;) 

Woohoo!!  I am excited!  I love challenges & goals and I love salads.  This will certainly inspire me to be more creative! 

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Off Topic, but Fun

This post is going to have nothing to do with gluten or Celiac disease.  This post is written so that I can hopefully win a $50 gift certificate to Children’s Place to help with Hannah’s summer wardrobe.  The contest is being set up by The Children’s Place and Twitter Moms.   

Hannah loves The Children’s Place and Grandma just bought her a brand new outfit there over Spring Break!  Here is a picture of Hannah in her new sassy outfit:

 

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This outfit actually has a cute jacket that goes with it, but since we were bowling, she was hot and took it off.  :) 

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Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Icing

I went back & forth all week long about what dessert to make for Easter dinner.  I originally was going to make a Snickerdoodle Cake, but I think I am saving that for this upcoming weekend (Jon’s 13th birthday).  So, I tossed around several ideas….Lemon Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, Spice Cake, Vanilla Cake or Lemon Bundt Cake.  I opted for the Lemon Bundt Cake because is seems so “Springy” to me. 

This recipe really couldn’t be any easier.  I used Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix (which, I have to share, my sister got on clearance at Kroger for $2.49!!!!  Thanks KELLY!).  There are several variations listed on the package and I chose the lemon one.  All I had to add to the mix, aside from the water, oil & eggs, was 4 tsp. of lemon zest and 1.5 tsps. of pure lemon extract.   Instead of using the recommended pan sizes (yes, that is the rule breaker in me coming out. ;) ), I used a bundt pan.  It worked perfectly!  I baked at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes, keeping a very close eye on the cake. 

I let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so and then placed my plate that I wanted to display the cake on upside down over the top of the bundt pan and gently flipped it over.  Perfection! 

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After the cake cooled, I iced it with Lemon Icing. 

Lemon Icing

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix above ingredients until smooth.  Slowly drizzle over the cooled cake. 

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The cake was a hit!  Jon loves it.  Our Easter guests, Aaron’s parents , Mack & Mary, enjoyed the cake as well.  I especially liked the icing and will be making this again soon!

Here we go…..

Another Barney Butter give away!!!  Oh, how I love my Barney Butter!  Melon Cauliflower is hosting this give away.  She is another huge BB fan and even had a run-in with airport security trying to get some home with her!  Poor thing!  I don’t blame you on wanting to avoid the shipping cost, though.  Ouch!  Anyway, I hope I win the 3 jars!  Oh, how I have missed my Barney Butter!  I can’t find it locally.  Supposedly my Fresh Market is supposed to carry it, but they don’t.  I even asked them if they do.   Their web site says they do.  My next step is asking Raisin Rack (okay, who am I kidding, I am going to BEG) to carry it. 

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Happy Easter & A Weekly Menu Plan

Happy Easter to those that celebrate.  We are going to be having Aaron’s parents over for a mid-day Easter dinner today.  I am going to be preparing the meal.  I will be making Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin (or Perfect Pork Tenderloin as I called it in this post).  I will be serving baked sweet potatoes & baked Idaho potatoes with a small toppings bar (brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, cheese, bacon, sour cream, salt, pepper, red hot, whatever you like) on the side.  For veggies I will be making just simple steamed broccoli (though I would love oven-roasted broccoli or carrots, my oven will be very busy as it is) and a mixed greens salad with lots of toppings to choose from.  We will have Buttermilk Cornbread made from Gluten-Free Pantry’s mix (usually I make mine from scratch, but these mixes were on clearance at Meijer, so I picked some up).  For dessert, I am making a Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Icing.  YUM!  I will share the recipe/method for that later on this week.  :)

The rest of our week appears unusually calm; dare I say that?  Yes, normal schedules & school will be going on.  Wait, I just remembered.  Not so calm.  LOL!  Jon’s 13th birthday is Friday!  YIKES!  That makes me a little scared for a couple of reasons.  First, I am getting old.  Second, I will be the “official” mother of a teenager!  He has been practicing the “teen attitude” for a while, though, so he has got it down, no worries.  We will be having a small cook out on Saturday for family and Jon will have a couple of friends over the following Friday to spend the night. 

Sunday ~ Easter dinner as listed above

Monday ~ Leftovers from Easter

Tuesday ~ Filet Mignon on the grill, parmesan pea risotto, roasted broccoli & salad

Wednesday ~ Mexican Pizzas (soft tacos for Jon), corn & salad

Thursday ~ Pulled BBQ Pork , sweet potato french fries (baked), roasted asparagus & salad

Friday ~ Calzones (Jon’s b-day dinner choice), veggies & salad

Saturday ~ Cook out!  Aaron is in charge of grilling up burgers & chicken breast; baked beans, corn on the cob & mixed greens salad to go along side.

Baked Goods for the Week

Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Icing

Snickerdoodle Cake (Jon’s B-day) (Friday/Saturday)

PB Cookies

Pamela’s Bread for sandwiches (Friday)

Cheryl at GF Goodness is hosting this week’s GF Menu Swap.  Thanks for hosting, Cheryl.  The ingredient this week is flaxseed.  I am just learning how to cook with flaxseed in my baking.  I like the nutrition that it adds to baked goods & foods.  Who can’t use more fiber in their diet?  I have been adding about 1TBSP to my GF Oatmeal when I have that for breakfast to boost the fiber up a bit. 

Also, don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots more meal planning ideas. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

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Banana Bread French Toast

Yesterday I made some banana bread  to use up some bananas that were very ripe.  There seems to be some kind of banana strike going on in my house.  LOL!.  The only difference, or change I made, in the recipe that I made yesterday was that I omitted the nuts (Jon can’t eat them with braces) and I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix (listed in this post) as my GF flour mix. 

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Jon had been asking for French Toast, so instead of using the sandwich bread, I thought that the banana bread would make an excellent French Toast.  Here is what I did:

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Banana Bread French Toast (1 serving)

1 egg, beaten with a smidgen of milk (I like the word smidgen, don’t you?)

Dash of vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

3 thinner slices of banana bread

Pam (spray your pan)

1.  Pam your pan and heat over medium heat for a minute or 2, just to warm up.

2.  Dip banana bread in egg mixture (don’t forget to stir in the vanilla & cinnamon….I didn’t make it real clear above that you need to do that. ;) )

3.  Place in pan and leave alone until the one side is browned up.  Don’t mess with it a whole lot, it will fall apart if you don’t leave it alone.  Once browned, flip and cook on the other side. 

4.  Arrange on plate and add your favorite toppings.  Jon likes chocolate chips & syrup (He likes Aunt Jemima, and it is GF; I prefer real maple syrup).  This would be good with sliced bananas, strawberries, powdered sugar….I could go on & on.

Jon declared this A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!  He likes it better this way than the way I usually make it (with Pamela’s GF Sandwich Bread).  He has asked for it again tomorrow AM!  LOL!  I think I might be able to make that happen for him. 

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Butterscotch Brownies ~ Gluten-Free

I set out making these brownies today because I was in the mood to try a new treat.  I can’t remember the last time that I had a “Blondie” or butterscotch brownie.  I found a recipe in my Betty Crocker cook book and modified it to be gluten-free.  It turned out really, really good.  Not especially pretty, but who cares! 

blondie

Butterscotch Brownies ~ GF

4 TBSP butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 large egg

¾ cup Carol Sorghum Flour Mix (see below for the mix)

½ tsp xanthan gum

½ cup chopped nuts (I omitted because Jon just got braces & can’t eat nuts for 2 years!)

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

 

Heat oven to 350. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with Pam.

Melt butter in a 1.5 qt. Pan over low heat; remove from heat, stir. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in pan.

Bake 25 minutes (I only baked 22 min). Cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2 inch squares while warm (16 pieces).

Each brownie is 135 calories; Fat 6 g.

 

Carol’s Sorghum Mix

1.5 cups Sorghum Flour

1.5 cups Potato Starch Flour (or corn starch)

1 cup Tapioca flour

Makes 4 cups. Use cup for cup in baking.

 

I will definitely be making these again, maybe even doubling the recipe next time.  YUM!! 

Review: Food Should Taste Good Chips

I have been seeing these Food Should Taste Good chips all over blog land and after seeing the sweet potato and chocolate flavors, I knew I had to try them.  I had been on the look out for the chips and finally found them at Whole Foods right before Spring Break.  They were on sale, 2 bags for $4.00.  I bought 2 Sweet Potato & 2 Chocolate and brought them along on Spring Break with me.

Sweet Potato.  These chips ROCK!  OMG!  Seriously, heaven in a chip.  They are crisp and have an amazing sweet potato flavor.  I could eat a whole bag, I am not kidding.  I like to eat them with sandwiches, but really, I could eat them with anything. LOL!

Chocolate.  These chips don’t rock so much.  I don’t know what I thought that the combo of chocolate & corn (tortilla chips) would be good, but I am a chocolate nut, so I thought I would like it.  They aren’t the worst in the world, but they were unappealing enough for me to take the 2nd bag back to Whole Foods to exchange for another bag of the Sweet Potato chips.  It is rare that I give a poor review, but I felt the need to here.  Maybe others will feel differently. 

Olive.  I have yet to try these, but just received a whole case (24, 1 oz bags) from Amazon.com.  I got a coupon emailed to me and got free shipping, so I think I got the whole case for under $15…$13.28 to be exact. ;)  I will make sure to let you know how they taste!  :)  Lunch time tomorrow, perhaps!

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