Menu Plan Monday, December 15!

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December can be a really busy month, except maybe when you get sick. I came down with that horrible flu last week and it knocked me flat for the whole week. I was kept busy canceling all activities by email because I couldn’t talk! Thankfully, the weekend before I got sick we inventoried our freezer. That way I had proof and a list of what we had frozen to eat and it wasn’t a huge deal that I couldn’t cook. I also drank a lot of this tea! I’m thankful that I’m better now and looking forward to some fresh yummy eats!

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over Celiac Family is nutmeg. Nutmeg is my favorite spice. I used to drive my family nuts when I stilled lived with my parents by sprinkling nutmeg on most everything that sounded good to me! I would go through a lot of nutmeg when I bought it pre-ground because it seemed like I could never get enough. Now that I buy whole nutmeg I find it is a lot stronger and even better smelling and I only go through about 4 nutmegs per year. I’m looking forward to some vegan eggnog (I still have to find a recipe!), and maybe I’ll make some custard this week and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Sunday dinner dec 7

The picture above is my Sunday dinner from two weeks ago. I was particularly proud of it because I made my own sauce for the salmon with some apple cider and spicy mustard and it turned out very well. I also grabbed some mashed sweet potatoes that no one had eaten leftover and made potato cakes out of them. They turned out pretty good and tasted a lot like sweet potato french fries–just a little flatter!

It’s the last week of school before Christmas break! It’s sure to be a busy one!

Sunday
Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
Lunch:
Husband’s famous Chili, cornbread
And Gingerbread cookies for dessert!
Dinner: leftovers

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Cherry smoothie
Maybe this eggnog as a smoothie…
Grain Free Pumpkin Bread
Apple Cider Donuts, sausage
Eggs
Leftover waffles to clean out the freezer!

Dinner:
Mushroom stroganoff (with ground beef added to my husband’s portion) from “Clueless Vegetarian” cookbook
Shepherd’s Pie with a meat version for everyone else
Leftover Chili and cornbread
Anything I can find in the freezer to clean out!
Smoothie, popcorn
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Gluten Free Christmas Treats Round-Up

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ChristmasA friend of mine asked for favorite gluten-free treats recently and I thought…where do I start? I realized my list of favorite Christmas treats was from 3 years ago–before I was gluten-free and dairy free. So since it is time to think and plan and grocery shop for the things you need for Christmas baking, here’s a new list of some of the things I enjoyed last year and some I plan to make this year as I transition to more grain free goodies.

This is my new favorite quick bread: Spiced Pumpkin Bread. I’ve been eating it every morning for breakfast and I think it would make a lovely gift in a small loaf or even a big loaf for really good friends!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding that is just amazing! I don’t have a vitamix, but it turned out mostly smooth anyway. I love how quick it is to make and I honestly had it for dinner and breakfast in the same 24 hours. You could easily give someone the components for making it in a gift basket.

Almond Butter Chocolate Cups…I haven’t actually made these yet, but they are on my to-do list. They look so yummy and they are grain free and pretty low in sugar!

Here’s two bars that would easily go in a gift basket: Cherry Chocolate Chip “Kind” Bars and Homemade Chocolate Chip Larabars. I haven’t tried the Cherry Chocolate Chip ones yet, but the larabars are amazing!

This Homemade Bittersweet Chocolate Syrup is the best thing ever! This would be a terrific addition to an ice cream gift basket (just add a gift card for the actual ice cream!) or even by itself.

I don’t think I even have to talk about how much Creamy Dreamy Vegan (and GF) Peppermint Patty bars are one of the best candies for Christmas Cheer!

We make these Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies all year-long, but they are great addition to your Christmas Cookie List!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men were the best cookies I ate last year. They were a huge hit with the Princess even without icing!

What is Christmas without a good fudge? This Really Nice Dairy Free Fudge is terrific. I made it last year and I’m planning on it again this year!

We usually use an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make our regular sugar cookie recipe, but this Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies are always a big hit too.

I plan on making some dairy free egg nog and posting the recipe later in the season! Enjoy your gluten-free cheer!

Menu Plan Monday, December 1!

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So apparently, I took a whole month off. First the internet went down during the only time I had to write. It got fixed quickly, but then the Princess got sick. Really super sick and remained so for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I tried reintroducing some chicken into my diet with very poor results, so taking care of family became all I could handle for a while. Then the internet went down again! (We think the squirrels ate the DSL line–it would be just like them.) And because we were going to have a normal week this week–the first one in about a month–my daughter got sent home from school because they found nits in her hair. When things like this happen I try to think like Laura Ingalls Wilder and say, “There’s no great loss without some small gain,” but today my small gain must be so tiny because I am having a hard time seeing it.

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over Celiac Family is cinnamon. I do love cinnamon! The easiest way for me to eat it lately is some sautéed apples which are a delightful warm way to eat some fruit for breakfast. I will also be making some apple cider donuts per request of the Princess for her breakfasts. I am enjoying some grain free Pumpkin bread which has some cinnamon in it, and I added some to the mashed sweet potatoes I made for lunch yesterday! I’m glad I purchase cinnamon in bulk because it certainly disappears quickly this time of year!

Christmas

I’m working a lot this week, so meals are simple as usual. I think that I like to keep meals simple even when I am not working outside of the house just to keep kitchen time to a minimum. I enjoy cooking, but I like eating better and cleaning up is at the bottom of the list!

Sunday
Breakfast:
Apple Cinnamon Waffles with bacon
Lunch:
Pork Chops (salmon for me), mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, and three bean salad.
Dinner: snacks

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Some sort of Cherry smoothie…haven’t had a chance to look up a recipe yet
Mini quiches

Grain Free Pumpkin Bread
Apple Cider Donuts, sausage
Overnight Egg Salad

Dinner:
Clam Chowder
Fish, sweet potato fries, veggie
Apple Ginger Carrot Soup
Veggie soup from freezer and anything else we can find in there to clean out!
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Hubby’s Famous Chili

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chiliMy husband makes an excellent chili. It’s not complicated, but it tastes yummy. I think one of my favorite parts about it is that I can put him in charge of dinner and I don’t have to worry about anything except whipping up a pan of cornbread!

6 cans (15 oz) of chili beans
3 cans (15 oz) kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1-2 cans (15 oz) of stewed tomatoes
1-2 cans full of water, as needed to make the chili a little saucy
1 lb ground beef if desired
Taco seasoning to taste
Chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin powder to taste

Open all the cans and put into a crock pot. Add seasonings. Cook on high for a 2-3 hours. Meanwhile cook the beef and season it with taco seasoning. After all the flavors have come together in the crock pot you can remove some chili to make it meat free and then add the meat into the big pot. Cook until heated through and you are ready to eat. Serve with favorite toppings (onions, hot sauce, cheese/cheeze) and cornbread!

Notes: If using name brand chili beans with the larger jars we usually only get 3 cans per recipe.
Chili sauce used to be one of our favorite seasonings until we gave up High Fructose Corn Syrup. I haven’t been able to find a brand of chili sauce that doesn’t include that ingredient.
We tend to make this much if it is for a crowd or just the 3 of us. Leftovers are wonderful frozen and pulled out for lunches!

Menu Plan Monday, October 27th!

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The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is pumpkin. Pumpkin is not my favorite orange veggie–I much prefer butternut or sweet potatoes, but it is hard not to give into all things pumpkin. This week I’m planning to make some pumpkin ice cream and if I have enough coconut milk left (end of the month blues!) I will make a crust less pumpkin pie for breakfast!

Salmon grilled, brussel sprouts, and crispy smashed potatoes with garlic avocado aoli!

Salmon grilled, brussel sprouts, and crispy smashed potatoes with garlic avocado aoli!

This weekend was crazy busy! We visited a farm and played in the hay, went through a maze, went on a hayride, and got a lot of dust on our brains! We also visited the library for their annual fairy tale festival. I really don’t think I’ve seen so many princesses in one place before. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad I had yesterday to wind down and get some food cooked for this week as it is supposed to be even busier! I made some mini quiches, some more apple cider donut/muffins, and some vegan bread from “The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread.” Now I’m ready to attack the week!

Sunday
Breakfast:
Pumpkin waffles with sautéed apples
Lunch:
salmon/turkey burgers, Crispy Smashed potatoes, brussel sprouts
Dinner: snacks

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Vanilla milkshake
Mini quiches
Waffles from freezer
Banana Bread from freezer
Apple Cider Donuts, sausage
Overnight Egg Salad

Dinner:
Spaghetti and meatballs (I will probably eat my sauce with a baked acorn squash) from freezer!
Veggie soup from freezer
Vegan nachos (inspired by this dish)
Pink Panther Smoothie and Healthy Caramel popcorn
Sweet potato/bean enchiladas (Still didn’t get to these!)
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!
Pumpkin ice cream!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Sweet Potato and Apples Dish

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sweet potatoes and applesGrowing up in Lancaster County we ate a lot of casseroles. I still miss them sometimes, but most of them had meat and cream soups and cheese and that just makes them difficult to recreate.

Last week I had some apples and some sweet potatoes to use up and so I decided to recreate this yummy dish. The original had sausage in it which is super yummy if that is part of your diet. I tried adding some sausage spices, but didn’t come up with anything noteworthy.

Sweet Potatoes and Apples Dish

Adapted from More with Less Cookbook

sweet potatoes and apples 22-3 medium sweet potatoes or 4-6 small sweet potatoes
2-4 apples depending on size and how much you like cooked apples

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes and apples. Make sure the slices are fairly thin so everything cooks evenly. Put into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.

Make the sauce:
1/2 c water
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
dash nutmeg
2 T coconut sugar

Pour over the sweet potatoes and apples. Cover, place in oven and bake until tender about 50 minutes.

Menu Plan Monday, October 20th!

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The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is fennel. I don’t think I’ve ever used fresh fennel, and I didn’t see any at the farmer’s market this past weekend. I know I’ve used dried to help season sausage when I used to make it, but otherwise I am not sure how to use it. I’m looking forward to some tips from others because it’s always interesting to try new things!

Ellie's pumpkinhanging

This weekend was all about carving pumpkins! It was even delightfully cool a couple of evenings so it almost felt like fall! I’m adding in another fall/winter favorite to our menu rotation this week–our favorite clam chowder! I’ve also discovered that cooking our meals goes a lot more smoothly if I make a big salad/soup for the week. That way if my husband and daughter have a sandwich or a hotdog I already have a quick option available. Last week’s lentil potato salad was so yummy and FILLING!

Sunday
Breakfast:
eggs with mushrooms and potatoes, coffee
Lunch:
Favorite Chili (recipe coming soon!), cornbread
Dinner: popcorn

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Some sort of smoothie
Eggs
Waffles from freezer
Banana Bread from freezer
Apple Cider Donuts

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Paleo Pumpkin Waffles
Easy Clam Chowder
Sweet potato/bean enchiladas (Back from last week!
Chipotle Copy Cat Beans and Rice with sautéed veggies
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!