Category Archives: Food

Menu Plan Monday, August 14

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It’s our first full week of school this week! I can’t believe we’re already back in the swing of things, but I’m also glad. We only had a little over two months this summer, but towards the end — well we can just say that we weren’t wanting to do anything except melt into the carpet. It is pretty hot here in Florida and it isn’t likely to get cooler for months, so time to get some of those 180 days out of the way!

 

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Blueberry Pumpkin Breakfast Bars

 

 

My grocery budget has evaporated almost completely already this month, so I’m getting creative with what I have in my pantry and freezer! I have plenty, so time to make use of it!

Breakfasts:

Breakfast has gotten to be a ticklish subject, but thankfully I remember French toast sticks and the princess has been eating those down pretty much everyday. I’m very thankful.

Toddler French Toast Sticks –of course I used gluten free bread and almond milk. I love that it has pumpkin in it! Extra veggies without a fuss!

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffin Bars–it might be a bit early for fall, but I don’t care! These bars are AMAZING!

Lunches:

For me: I made this strange hamburger helper that was amazingly delicious, but no one else liked it. To bad for them! It has lentil noodles and a couple of veggies so I’m going to be eating that and leftovers and any other days left I will have a bacon sandwich on grain free bread.

Princess: decided to start the school year off with bacon sandwiches. Of course. And after a bit of attitude adjusting she chose green beans as her veggie.

Dinner:

Chicken salad on lettuce or spinach

Pan seared Ahi tuna, zoodles, and coleslaw: do you know the Princess actually ate zucchini in noodle form last week? This is the person who refuses to eat any veggie that isn’t corn this summer. Of course we are having them again!!

pancakes–from Against All Grain’s Celebration Cookbook

Italian sausage with apples, onions and saurkraut

Steak chef salad

Sticky chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies

Leftovers (or soup or a snack supper)

Pizza: I’m not sure how I’m going to do pizza–the last few weeks have either been daiya pizza at the last minute, comfort food after a tough week (chicken, green beans, and rice!) or whatever I can scrap together that doesn’t feel like cooking. So we’ll see what happens Friday.

Snack: I’m hoping to make these Turmeric Bites. Just not sure if I have all the ingredients.

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 10th menu plan!

Menu Plan Monday, July 17th!

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Halfway through July already–is anyone ready for back to school? I can’t believe its starting in just a few weeks here! We had some deviations from my plan last week–its been raining (when I say rain, I really mean torrential downpour) pretty much every afternoon and one afternoon I just felt like pancakes, so that’s what we had. We liked them so much (the Princess ate TEN!!) that I’m making them again this week!

 

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Sunday’s Dinner

 

Breakfasts:

I’m still not bored of eggs and smoothies and they might make an appearance this week, but I need to make some breakfasts that I can grab and go. I’ve made a routine of walking before leaving for work, but the Princess hasn’t been getting up as early so we end up rushing out the door or just getting to work late pretty much every day because I don’t have something pre-made for breakfast. So here’s the plan for this week:

Not-A-Grain Bars subbing apple butter for the blueberry preserves because the Princess is picky about texture.

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

Lunches:

For me (I never ended up making this last week, so hopefully it happens this time!)–Quinoa Black Bean Salad

For my daughter: beans and hot dogs

Dinner:

Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

BBQ Chicken, baked potatoes, coleslaw

Salmon and Asparagus

Steak, Baked sweet potatoes, veggie

Leftovers (or soup or a snack supper)

Pizza: I’m going to be trying these new grain free crusts. They look yummy and easy (easy being the key!) I haven’t made pizza crust in a while between sales on frozen and having some bread available, but this looks simple enough that even I can pull it off at the end of a long week.

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 10th menu plan!

ReBlog: Taste Memories: Orange Jello Salad

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I thought this would be a fun post to revisit–summer is the time for getting together and this salad makes a great dish to take along!
Please welcome my mom as she share her memories about one of her favorite special occasion foods: Orange Jell-O Salad!

Orange Jell-O Salad and the Little Church on the Prairie

My mom with her parents on the left and her grandparents on the right

My mom with her parents on the left and her grandparents on the right

I was four years old when my parents moved us out of the only home I had ever known. We moved 1800 miles away from everything and everyone I knew. My dad had gone to a Bible institute and prepared to be a pastor and that was where the church who called him was located.

We had lived in my grandparents’ home in a suburb of Philadelphia. Their front door faced on a street with many homes and neighbors; their back door looked out on a Jewish cemetery and every Sunday Hebrew families dressed in their best dutifully came to visit the graves of their deceased. My life was full of people who knew me, and whom I knew. If I picked a neighbor’s flowers, my grandmother, who cared for me during the day, knew it before my little red trike rolled back into the yard.

Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles...

Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles…

Pleasant Heights, Colorado was a small farming community 40 miles from the nearest town. The daily dust storms kept my mother busy. In our yard we had tarantulas and rattlesnakes. Under the house we had a storm cellar in case of tornadoes. But there were some gorgeous sunsets and rainbows.

Rainbow on SE Colorado praire

Rainbow on SE Colorado praire

The only buildings as far as I could see were the parsonage where we lived, the little church on one side of us, and the one-room schoolhouse on the other. Oh, and the two outhouses on the school grounds. They were three-seaters; one for the boys and one for the girls. I remember my mom lamenting that all she could see was miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.
Pleasant Heights Baptist Church’s congregation couldn’t have exceeded 30 people. Maybe thirty-one after my brother was born. But those farm people took good care of us. One lady had us over to eat one Easter Sunday. I suppose there was ham. But the pièce de résistance was the Rice Salad. There was just something…dare I say it…addictive… about that combination of orange Jell-O, cooked rice, grated carrots and pineapple in a Miracle Whip dressing.
My daughter who can’t eat anything makes it for me regularly on holidays or just for when the family gets together. ‘Cause she’s good like that. Here is the recipe:

Rice Salad
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely grated carrots
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 small box of orange Jell-O
2 cups of hot water
When the above gelatin mixture begins to set, fold in ½ cup of Miracle Whip. Leave in refrigerator until firm.

Menu Plan Monday, July 10th!

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Last week went well! We ended skipping a couple of meals because we just had so many leftovers in the fridge, then we got sick and didn’t feel like eating or cooking. So there will be some repeats going on this week! I did manage to eat up all the fruit and veggies–isn’t summer wonderful? I’m seriously excited about the fruit! I’ve got peaches, cherries, and strawberries in the fridge (some of them might end up in the freezer!) and I want to take advantage of a sale before it is over tomorrow to get some more!

 

 

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Creamy Shrimp with noodles and mushrooms

 

Breakfasts:

I am not bored of the eggs/smoothie routine yet. I want to make some of the  Vegan Gluten-Free Blackberry/Blueberry Cobbler for breakfast–I didn’t get to it last week before getting sick. Maybe a version with peaches too! I got bruised peaches because they were cheaper, but that means they need to be gone soon!

Lunches:

For me–Quinoa Black Bean Salad

For my daughter: We made some tortilla/ham/egg/cheese wraps for her. She had one for breakfast and said it was delightful.

Dinners:

Best Damn Pork Chops, rice pilaf

Eggs Benedict Strata from Celebrations (Against All Grain) cookbook with strawberry spinach salad

BLT’s

Tuna Salad/Sandwiches

Pizza

Fish tacos and sautéed veggies

Leftovers

Brownies from a box–I don’t indulge often, but the Aldi’s brand of brownie mix is pretty amazing tasting.

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 10th menu plan!

Staying Safe With Allergies While Eating Out

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Eating out can usually be an anxious experience when you are dealing with food allergies! I mentioned in my last post that we ate out a lot last week–and I actually think we did it safely because we weren’t sick when we got home! Here are some tips for staying safe while traveling!

  1. If you are visiting family, don’t feel awkward about bringing your own food. It’s what you need to stay safe and healthy–usually they understand and are relieved that they don’t have to worry about it!

2. Make sure you inform your waitress. A surprisingly large amount of restaurants have gluten-free menus available now and if you ask while you are being seated they are happy to provide.

3. Don’t be afraid to play the blond card–sometimes I act ditzy and say–I can’t remember if I already said this, but I am gluten-free and dairy free. Repeating it makes an impression on your waitress in case she is having a bad day or whatever and gives you extra peace of mind that you did mention it. (Sometimes I am so focused on ordering gluten-free for my daughter that I forget to mention my allergies, so mentioning it twice helps me too!)

So here are the places that we ate last week that were really nice. First breakfast out was Bob Evans. I was a little nervous eating there because I just haven’t, but breakfast is usually easy and they were super nice! They even had decent kids gluten-free menu choices! Our food took longer to cook, but that was fine–I knew they had to cook it separately and it taking longer confirmed they were doing what they said they would.

 

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Rainforest Café: Ahi Tuna Tacos with sautéed veggies!

Our next meal was the Rainforest Cafe in Disney Springs. I have always heard that Disney goes out of their way for food allergies and even though Rainforest Cafe isn’t owned by Disney they truly didn’t disappoint. I made a reservation through the Disney App (which I totally recommend–those restaurants can get crazy with lines!) and it had a place to put in my food allergies even in the reservation. Our waiter was kind and they even sent the chef out to talk to us about our menu choices and make sure they could make them for us. My daughter was beyond thrilled that she could get a bun with her cheeseburger. Everything took awhile again, but I was again reassured that they were going the extra mile to keep us safe. It was a delicious meal and the several thunderstorms that we had happen while we were there were amusing.

 

No visit to Disney Springs is complete (at least for us) without a visit to Erin McKenna’s bakery. A completely gluten-free, diary-free bakery that is now offering dairy free soft serve ice cream! All allergy people and parents will understand the thrill it is to go into a place where you don’t have to say no to anything your child wants! We got some donuts for breakfasts and of course some ice cream to eat on the way to the car!

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Some of our donuts: Mine had cookie crumbs on top and Princess had chocolate frosting

 

The rest of the week was mac and cheeze from a box, some Canadian bacon, eggs, leftover hamburger buns, and veggies as we could squeeze them in. We also ate at a food court in the mall on the way home.

As always, accidents can happen so I brought my usual kit of “Oops, I got glutened” with me just in case. This consists of charcoal (helps with tummy aches!), peppermint tea, and usually a hot water bottle. This has got to be the first time I didn’t need to use it though!

What about you–what do you do to make sure you stay safe with food allergies on vacation?

Menu Plan Monday, July 3rd!

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Um–where did half the year go?

I didn’t really menu plan last week because we were on vacation and we ate out a ton more than I think we ever have on vacation. We were moving around a lot and weren’t gone long, so cooking everything and keeping it cold in the insane heat was not a headache I wanted to deal with. But when we got back we had to go to the store because we did a great job of cleaning out the fridge before leaving…and on the way I totally made a menu plan for the rest of the week on the back of the shopping list. I just couldn’t help it!

 

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My egg breakfast from this morning!!

 

Breakfasts:

More eggs probably–I have a source for local fresh eggs and they are just amazing. I also want to make some Chia seed pudding–it seems perfect for a cool, filling breakfast on a hot morning! And of course I have some smoothies–maybe some more of the strawberry/banana/spinach variety.

 

Lunches:

For me–baked chicken thighs with veggies: beets, peppers, green beans, maybe tomato, onion

For my daughter: she picked out a crustless Quiche that she wants to try. It will have regular cheese, so I won’t be able to try it, but it sounds delightful.

Dinners:

Stew in the crockpot

Burgers, grass-fed hot dogs, beans, corn on the cob, salad

Shrimp with noodles, veggie

Best Damn Pork Chops, rice pilaf

Pizza

Fish tacos and sautéed veggies

Shepherd pie (family recipe–I don’t think I actually use a recipe when making this!)

Shrimp Fried rice

Leftovers

I would like to make this again–it turned out amazing and I even used frozen berries! I haven’t had a good cobbler in years and since no one else likes it around here I had to eat it up myself. It would be good as a breakfast too! Vegan Gluten-Free Blackberry/Blueberry Cobbler

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 3rd menu plan!

Honey Mustard Sauce

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One of my first jobs was fast food. I had never been around fast food much before then, but it was a type of amusement park and they had a kitchen (serving the same stuff that we served the public) where employees could buy food pretty cheap–I did not pack a lunch very often that summer and sometimes didn’t eat breakfast before going to work either! One of the things that I loved was the honey mustard sauce there. It was perfect for everything–dipping chicken nuggets in, dipping French fries in, putting on your sandwich–you get the idea. That was before I was aware of the ingredients, but I can guarantee that there was nothing good for you in that sauce!

This is a bit of a spicy sauce that the Princess heartily enjoys, which surprised me. So I find myself making it usually at least once a week and she always shows up to lick the spoon! I hope you enjoy it as much as she does!

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2 Tablespoons mayo

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-2 Tablespoons honey

Balsamic vinegar (optional, to taste)

Add the ingredients into a bowl. We like it with or without the vinegar–if I am trying to make more of a salad dressing instead of just a dipping sauce I will add the vinegar. Mix until combined.

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Taste–this is an important step! Add additional ingredients as needed. If my daughter is helping she prefers it sweeter, so we always need a little more honey .

Use as desired. Is excellent as a salad dressing, for dipping any kind of meat or veggie, eating with a spoon (not my favorite, but there’s no accounting for some tastes!), or using to dress up your sandwich! Enjoy!

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