Menu Plan Monday, May 29th!

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I’m getting more excited about food again as I transition to some grain free goodness. It’s been a funny cycle this past week–I’ve done my best (not perfect, but good!) to eat less sugar, drink water, exercise (walking about 45 minutes a day), and go to bed on time. Because I’m exercising I’m sleeping better and therefore have more energy throughout the day. Since I’m making sure I eat better (just paying better attention overall) then I have more energy to get through the day and exercise–and the cycle has really been almost the same every day!

First grain free bread!

Check out this grain free bread I made last week! It was pretty easy–all in the blender. Once I got in the middle of the loaf I was a little concerned because it was a bit mushy, but I found out by visiting the blog that there was a misprint in the cookbook and there was too much liquid. So, I can share the recipe with you! It’s from “Celebrations” by Danielle Walker. It’s her third book and there are some amazing recipes in it! Here’s the Blender Bread Recipe.

Breakfasts:
Grain Free Bread, eggs
Cupid Pancakes from Celebrations Cookbook (she has other grain free pancake recipes on her blog that I would like to try if you don’t have the book!)
Creamy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Lunches:
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar CopyCat Soup
Leftovers including shrimp fried rice with cauliflower rice

Dinners:
Chef Salad with ham–maybe I will attempt croutons with my grain free bread!
Breakfast for dinner–I’m not sure what this will look like exactly yet, but its an easy quick dinner!
Ham, noodles, peas with cheese sauce–I’m totally going to make this up as I go along. My daughter requested something with long noodles and this was my idea to comply with her request.
BLTs–Bacon, lettuce and tomato on grain free bread for me! I might add avocado with this too. This is an amazing hot weather meal.
Pizza–If I can get motivated to make crust. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt like it, but maybe this week will be different. Maybe I will try this crust in spite of the fact that I don’t have a food processor.

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Cealic Family!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Panera Bread Soup!

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So, I used to love Panera Bread…but they aren’t exactly the most gluten-free friendly restaurant that you could find. I mean really! I love their broccoli cheddar soup and have been thinking about it lately and figured–why not try to copy it with ingredients that I can eat? It couldn’t be that hard, right? Well it isn’t!! It’s got to be one of the easiest, quickest soups I’ve ever made and I probably made a whole pot for what it would cost for one bowl at the restaurant. In case you want to copy me, here’s how I did it!

Adopted from Shugarysweets.com

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Copy Cat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/4 cup diary free butter (I had smart balance on hand, but earth balance would work also!)
1/3 med onion chopped to your liking
1 cup matchstick carrots (these were on sale at my grocery and it made everything so much faster to skip the chopping!)
1 bag broccoli florets (I chopped these a bit smaller so they would cook more quickly)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I had homemade in the freezer)
1 can of full fat coconut milk plus enough unsweetened nut milk to make 2 cups (I used cashew milk because that’s what I had on hand, but almond would work well also)
1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 t salt (or less or more to taste–this depends on what sort of broth you use)
pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste (I always thought the soup was hot because it was hot, but it is definitely the red pepper! ha!)
1/2 bag daiya shredded cheddar cheese (this is my favorite cheese substitute for cooking! It works really well!)

Melt butter in a large/medium pot. Add onion, carrots, broccoli. Cook and stir for a few minutes until softened.
Add the milk and broth and seasoning. Sprinkle the flour over and stir. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Once it is thick you are ready to enjoy!

Menu Plan Monday, November 7!

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So–after being busy busy busy last week I didn’t cook much. We only got take-out once though, so I was happy about that. I kind of just cooked a few things and we made meals with those things. For instance, I made 4 cups of rice thinking beans and rice, but we ended up doing fried rice and I used the rest to make Dijon broccoli and rice one day and rice with mushrooms and any other veggies I could find another day. I’m ready for some healthy comfort foods this week! How about you?

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

Breakfasts:
pumpkin pie–just the recipe on the back of a can with coconut sugar and 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup. (I always use coconut milk instead of the evaporated milk to make it dairy free.) I also used some leftover snickerdoodle cookies for the crust (usually I just make the pie without the crust!)
Toast–almond butter and jelly toast can take you a long way in the morning!
Eggs

Lunches:
Leftover soup and salad
hot dogs, green beans, and chips for the princess
I’m honestly not sure what my husband is eating!

Dinners: (I am using dairy substitutes for all these soups–my favorite cheeze is the daiya brand)
Potato Soup with biscuits
Breakfast for dinner: probably these pancakes with apple butter
cheddar chowder with muffins
Roasted salmon, potatoes, asparagus
If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family!

A Tribute to a Friend…

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Remembering this special friend today.

The Girl Who Couldn't Eat Anything

rain drops
These past weeks I’ve been extra sad. One of my friends from college passed away recently. We had lost touch since we both graduated, but his name always made me smile and made me remember the experiences we had working together. He was great at making people laugh and being a friend. Here are some of my memories of Chris.

When I first started working with him (we worked in the computer lab/tutoring center together) I was in charge of putting together the schedule for the students. I got Chris’ availability sheet from him and filled out the schedule according to the needs of the computer lab. Chris didn’t like his schedule so he went to our boss’s boss and got it changed to what he wanted.
Even though we got off on the wrong foot after the scheduling conflict it was impossible to stay annoyed with Chris for long…

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What’s Up With October?

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october

My new planner has a cute page for goals, and what you are currently reading. I kind of had fun with October, so I thought I would share what I’m currently doing:

Reading: “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
I haven’t gotten very far, but the beginning seems to describe the Princess in all her glory. I can’t wait to get some tips on how to deal with all of her –because frankly it is exhausting most of the time!

Planning: Spa parties! Lemongrass spa parties of course! All the ones I’ve had so far have been super fun.

Watching: nothing–I’m not interested in most of the things available right now and I just don’t have much time. I’d rather be reading.

Cooking: SOUP–since I’ve started making lunches out of the last five weeks 3 of them have been a soup. See my menu plans for recipes!

Eating: muffins/ quick breads–it has finally gotten a wee bit cooler around here and so I’ve been baking and it makes me happy!

Drinking: coffee with my new dairy-free half and half!

Pinning: pumpkin and snickerdoodle recipes. I just can’t stop!

Crafting: I want to make some fall cards–maybe that will happen before the end of the month!

Loving: pumpkin spice –no pumpkin–just the seasoning!

Dreaming: of moving up in my company–Lemongrass Spa–and making it into leadership

Feeling: excited for even cooler weather–I have yet to unpack my sweaters!

Listening: my favorite podcast: What Should I Read Next by Modern Mrs Darcy

Celebrating: Host A Spa Party Day–it was super fun and I can’t wait until next year’s!

Are you doing any fun things in October?

Menu Plan Monday, October 24!

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We have a crazy week with fall festivals and field trips and other random stuff happening, so the menu plan–it is super simple. The goal here is to keep us on track budget wise while using stuff on sale and keeping from picking up take-out! I think this plan will do it!

Last week's breakfast/dinner!

Last week’s breakfast/dinner!

Breakfasts:
pumpkin coffee cake (I actually ended up liking this cold? Maybe because its still warm in Florida or it could just be because I’m weird!)
apple cider donuts
Triple Berry Green Smoothie

Lunches:
Ham roll-ups with green beans and crackers for the princess
Sausages with sauerkraut and apples/Italian Sausage Potato Spinach Soup for me

Dinners:
Italian Sausage Potato Spinach Soup
Sandwiches –I’m thinking something like ham and guacamole for me
sausages/hot dogs with sauerkraut and apples, french fries
Out to lunch 😀
Chili and cornbread
If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family!

Easy DIY Dairy Free Creamer

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The stars of the show!

The stars of the show!

I love coffee! I don’t usually put sugar in, but I have had a serious struggle trying to find a creamer that would work for me. Back in the day I used to love a bit of heavy cream in my coffee. That made it sweet enough without sugar and also made it a beautiful creamy brown color. There are no shortage of dairy free creamers out there–there’s unsweetened and HEAVILY sweetened, there’s almond and coconut–so many choices and I probably have tried them all at one point or another.

A month or so ago I came across a dairy free creamer that was labeled half and half. It is made up of half almond milk and half coconut cream. I was intrigued so I bought some to try. It was super awesome–I loved it! The coconut was mixed in so there weren’t weird bits floating in my coffee, there wasn’t a ton of sweetener involved so I felt like I just ate a half-gallon of ice cream…the only problem was when I went back to buy some more…apparently everyone else loved it too because it was out of stock. And still out of stock 2 weeks later! So I thought–this can’t be that difficult.

Dairy Free Creamer

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup canned full fat coconut milk (at room temp or if making in the winter when the coconut has gotten solid warm it up in a saucepan first)
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (grade B is best) (totally optional!)

Pour the milks into a container with a tight lid. Add the maple syrup if using. Close the lid and SHAKE WELL! Add to coffee and enjoy! Should keep in the fridge for at least a week, maybe a bit longer. Shake before using EVERY TIME.