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GF Menu Swap: greens

April 11, 2011 2 comments

MMMMMM!  I am slowly starting to discover the joys of greens.  I have always been a big green salad fan, particularly during the spring and summer months, but that was with romaine, green leaf, red leaf, etc…  The big greens, such as kale, chard, and beet tops (to name a few) have been harder to incorporate into my diet.  However, I discovered lightly steamed kale last week that has been massaged with fresh avocadoes and a light EVOO/tamari dressing – can we say AMAZING?!  My mom has been very big on green smoothies for however many years, but I have always avoided them.  Last week I was introduced to a very simple green smoothie that was delicious and the week before my mom shared one of her new green smoothies that has oranges and pineapple add into it.  Aside from the fact that it’s green, I would never have known that it was jam-packed full of spirulina and kale.

Thanks to Angela (Angela’s Kitchen) and her choice theme of greens, I am even more motivated to include them into our diet.  Particularly as they are very important.  In fact, while typing this I was inspired to make my own green smoothie, or Green Monster, as Angela likes to refer to them.  Sadly, it wasn’t quite as good as my mom’s, but that’s okay.  Thankfully I have lots of oranges so I will use this as a base and mix it with fresh orange juice.  This smoothie has 3 kale leaves, 1 tsp. maca powder, spirulina, 1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, 2 whole oranges.

Green Smoothies are a great way to sneak a serving of greens into your diet, particularly if you don’t like the taste of them.  By juicing them up you are making it easier for your system to digest the greens and absorbing more of the nutrients.  If you’re interested in making in your own green smoothies, you can check out the following websites for recipes.

My goal for this week is to have atleast one green smoothie 3x this week.  I have included a chart below of some of the foods that I will be playing around with to try and create some of my own yummy concoctions (I hope…).

GREENS FLAVOUR BOOSTERS
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Baby spinach
  • Mixed greens
  • Romaine lettuce
  • chard
  • apples
  • oranges
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • pear
  • ginger
  • bananas
  • mango

 

MY MENU

DINNER:

  • Lemon Dill Chicken with Fried Mushrooms & Onion and Greek Salad (my fiance’s specialty)
  • Sesame Thai Beef (The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook)
  • Chickpea salad over a bed of greens
  • Hearty Minestrone Soup
  • Vegetarian Spaghetti
  • Turkey & gravy, roast potatoes, brussels, parmesan cauliflower, popovers and Pineapple Carrot Cake for dessert

LUNCH:

  • Greek Salad over rice
  • Veggie Sandwich (filled with green leaf lettuce)
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Basmati rice & lentil kitchari

THINGS TO MAKE/PREP:

  • Rich Cookie Dough (The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook)
  • Popover dry mix
  • Pineapple Carrot Cake (Friday night)
  • Bread (some dry mixes for the upcoming weeks too, hopefully)
  • Croutons
  • Thaw vegetarian spaghetti sauce
Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap

Gluten-Free Menu Swap: Make Your Own/Do It Yourself

March 1, 2011 3 comments

This week’s menu swap is being hosted by Scrumptious over at In My Box.  She has chosen a fabulous theme for this week, make your own or do it yourself.  I love this idea.  I am going to be honest, prior to my celiac diagnosis I was eating a lot of prepacked food.  I was getting better than my university days, but it wasn’t to the extent to that I have come now.  I do still buy some pre-packaged food to have on hand for emergencies, but we try hard to make most things ourselves.  There was a while that I was making my own breads, muffins and cookies, which I still try to make.  One of my goals for 2011 is to return to this.  The key is to make the dry mixes up ahead of time and freeze them for busy times.

Some things that I love to make:

  • Perogies
  • Pasta
  • Potstickers
  • Spice Blends (apple pie, curry, taco seasoning, creole seasoning…)
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Salsa
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Loose Leaf Tea Blends
  • Wontons

Some things that I want to make:

  • Antipasto
  • Biscotti
  • Coconut Kefir
  • Cheeses
  • Sugar-Free Jam (with no artificial sugars either)
  • Fruit Preserves
  • Red Pepper Jelly

This list is only the beginning.  I have to laugh at my fiance because there are some frozen foods that he sees and wants to get, but they aren’t gluten-free.  I am always saying, “we could easily make that ourselves.”  I honestly feel that my celiac diagnosis was one of the greatest things to happen to me.  I have learned so much and found something that I love doing – making my own foods/meals.  I feel better (aside from the obvious reasons) physically and mentally because I know what I am putting into my body.  Preparing my own foods allows me to control the amount of chemicals and preservatives that I put into my body, choosing whether I want it or not (usually it’s not) and choosing to add some additions, such as extra veggies.

MY MENU:

SUNDAY – Seafood Pasta Casserole (we have some leftover lobster & crab that needs to be eaten)

MONDAYVegan Dal Makhni & potato salad (interesting combination, I know – call it a weird craving!)

TUESDAYButter(less) Chicken over rice (as pictured above)

WEDNESDAY – Wonton Soup

THURSDAY – hmmmm…..

FRIDAY – Homemade Individual (we all have different topping preferences) Pizzas (I use a double or triple batch of the Tomato Basil Biscuit recipe for the crust from The Gluten-Free Family Cookbook)

SATURDAY – Either Burgers or Rotisserie Pork Loin with green salad and parmesan cauliflower…

SOUP OF THE WEEK:  Vegan Wonton Soup (from Moosewood).  My plan is to use GF Gobsmacked’s Potsticker Wrappers as the base.

TO MAKE:

  • Tomato Basil Biscuit crusts
  • Muffins
  • Biscotti
  • Wonton Soup
Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap

Gluten-Free Menu Swap

February 21, 2011 15 comments

I am hosting this week’s menu swap and I have chosen garlic as my ingredient.  As many of you know, I was not feeling so well last week and ended up eating a lot of homemade Chicken Soup.  I don’t know what it is about chicken soup, but it always makes me feel better.  So with that in mind, my menu planning for this upcoming week is much easier – I am going to recycle some of last week’s meals and add in some very easy meals.

Garlic – mmmmmmm!  This is a staple in my household and we usually go through a bulb or two per meal.  For years (and years and years) garlic has been used medicinally and to add flavour to food dishes.  Medicinally, garlic is full of antioxidants, which makes it great for fighting off free radicals (there is so much more to this, but I’ll spare all of us the science lesson).  One of the things that I love about garlic, aside from its taste, is it’s wonderful ability to help clear up a sore throat or even a cold; it’s immune boosting powers are wonderful!  There are believed to be other health benefits, but they still haven’t been proven yet (such as heart disease prevention).  Personally, I think that garlic is a super food. 

Starting to see why I have chosen for my ingredient?  I have had only 2 colds this season and only 1 of them was really bad.  Thankfully, last weeks stomach upset wasn’t too bad, but I refuse to take anymore chances!  Like everyone, I HATE being sick.  My plan is to stuff myself full of garlic to give my immune system an extra boost so that I can miss all of the colds that are flying around  (particularly as I have a baby shower to attend soon and don’t want to get the mama-to-be sick).  So will all of that said and in mind, we’re going to make meals that are enhanced with garlic, such as Greek Salad (my future mother-in-law’s recipe) and some Garlic Mashed Potatoes (recipe to come later this week).

For anyone who is interested in growing their own garlic (a project that I might take on this year) I found this website, Growing Garlic.

MY MENU:

SUNDAY – Dinner out at Organic World

MONDAY – Organic Chicken Sausages & Garlic Mashed Potatoes (recipe to follow) with tomatoes and zucchini

TUESDAYCitrus-Soy Glazed Black Cod (Martha Stewart) & Caesar Salad (I use an entire bulb of garlic!)

WEDNESDAY – Mount Fuji Stirfry (Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook)

THURSDAYThai Chicken Curry Wraps (Jenn Cuisine) with the Spunky Coconut’s tortilla wraps

FRIDAY – Shrimp Potstickers with green salad

SOUP OF THE WEEK:  Split Pea (from The Colophon’s Best of the Best Recipes – restaurant in Fairhaven)

Things to do/make:

What’s on your menu?  Leave me a comment with your link or email me: glutenfreesmiles [at] gmail [dot] com

Over in Angela’s Kitchen, she is just itchin’ to get this year’s garden started, but distracting herself with information on raising chickens.  Looks like she’ll be sharing many stories about these guys in the future!  Angela is big fan of garlic and has her slow cooker garlic chicken on the menu, a must try.

Sea Maiden from Book of Yum is unable to tolerate too much garlic, so she is going to spend her week celebrating kale, another super food.  She even shares a very yummy sounding recipe for dehydrated kale chips that I have just added to my must try list!  Once again she is sharing an ethnic menu with us.

Over at the Menu Swap headquarters, Gluten-Free Goodness is taking a break from the kitchen and has planned a very simple menu sharing her link to kalamata hummus – MMMMMM!  Like Sea, Cheryl is also going to enjoy some kale in the form of pesto.  You should also popover there to check out the garlic shoots that she has coming in.

The Celiac Family also enjoys garlic in their cooking  and after seeing the pictures of some of her garlic dishes she has shared I am feeling rather hungry, even though I just ate dinner!  This week they will be enjoying marinated flank steak and white chicken chili, to name a couple of their dishes.

Beyond Rice and Tofu is still paying close attention to what she has in her fridge and cupboards, but that doesn’t stop Renee from creating a tasty menu!  None of her dishes are too garlicky, but most of them do contain garlic.  She is also in the process of growing three different types of garlic! 

I have just been introduced to The Wheat Free Family and can’t believe I haven’t seen this blog before now!  Dianne has a menu filled with some of my family’s favourites, such as caesar salad and garlic bread, but she also has calzones on her menu; something that I have been dying to make! 

Scrumptious (In My Box) includes garlic in most of her cooking and shares a really great little story about one way that garlic was used in Russia while she was living there.  I am happy to report that she has officially conquered her “fear that [her] pressure cooker will kill [her]” and is happily planning what to use in it. 

Thank you everyone for sharing your wonderful menu plans for this week and for being patient with me!  I think that I now have to go and do some yoga (after I right write down some yummy meals and their links) so that I don’t spend the night dreaming about all of this delicious food!

Have a great week!

*I have physical rehabilitation for most of tomorrow, so I may not get to the roundup until early evening.

Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap

For all of you Dog Lovers!

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I just read this article via the company that is making my wedding cake – it’s fabulous and a must read!

Pet Talk: Show Dog knows his business and his gluten

Categories: Gluten-Free, Uncategorized Tags:

GF Menu Swap – FOOD AS LOVE

February 14, 2011 4 comments

Gluten-Free Goodness is hosting this week’s menu swap and the theme is Food as Love in honour of Valentine’s Day.  I have a busy week ahead of me filled with lots of yoga and physiotherapy.  Menu plan may be changing for this week as last night (Sunday) my tummy started feeling funny and my fiance texted me to say that he’s not feeling so great either.  Crossing my fingers that it’s just something I ate over the weekend and I will be much better after taking it easy for a day.

SUNDAY – Rotisserie Chicken, steamed chard, broccoli, carrots & salad

MONDAY – Food as Love (postponed) Chicken Soup (stock is brewing right now)

TUESDAYThai Chicken Curry Wraps (Jenn Cuisine) with the Spunky Coconut’s tortilla wraps

WEDNESDAY – Mount Fuji Stirfry (Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook)

THURSDAYCitrus-Soy Glazed Black Cod (Martha Stewart) & green salad

FRIDAY – Sirloin Steaks with veggies & salad

SATURDAY – TBA (fiance’s son has hockey tournaments all day)

SOUP OF THE WEEK:  Chicken soup

Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap

Butter(less) Chicken: dairy-free

February 1, 2011 1 comment

I absolutely love East Indian food!  In fact, I am still in search of a gluten-free samosa recipe, but until then I will settle for things such as curry chicken and butter chicken (or butter-less as the case was tonight).

A few years ago there was a lady at my mom’s workplace who would make butter chicken for everyone during their Wednesday night dinners.  My mom use to work the late shift and I think that some of them started getting together and making dinners on certain Wednesday nights.  Well, my mom brought her leftover butter chicken home one night and I finished it off – it was the best thing I had ever eaten!  At some point I started going depending on what they were having and joined in.  Of course, this was all before my gluten-free days. 

My mom’s friend was kind enough to share the recipe with us, but I never did get around to making it until last spring when my fiance couldn’t stop talking about how much he looooooves butter chicken.  We finally got around to making the recipe and really enjoyed it, but I found it to be a little bit hard on my tummy because of the dairy.  While we were eating it I came up with the plan to substitute coconut milk for the whipping cream – it was fabulous!  There was only enough leftover for each of us to have a little bit in our lunches the next day.  However, tonight I made this up with no oil or butter what-so-ever in my Saladmaster 5 Qt. pot.

That is one of the things I love about my Saladmaster.  I love the way my food tastes and that I can cook it with little-to-no oil or water.  I can ACTUALLY taste the vegetables, although I digress as the only vegetables in tonight’s dish were onions, garlic & ginger!  My fiance was quite shocked when I told him that there was no butter and very little salt in this dish, but loved it anyway.  I believe his exact words were, “this is exactly how I like it.”  I guess I can’t argue with that.  I must admit that I did not use the full amount of chicken because I am not really feeling that into meat right now.

I think that the key ingredient to this dish is fresh cilantro.  I love cilantro.  I love how it smells and I love the taste.  Any recipe that calls for fresh cilantro is usually a hit with me, but I alway double, triple and sometimes quadruple the amount.  I personally don’t think that you can go wrong with this fresh herb and I am so grateful that we have a farmer’s market in our area that sells this all year round.  The second key to this recipe is when you add the cilantro.  You want to time it so that it doesn’t actually cook in the sauce and become wilted, but you also want to put it in early enough that there is time for it’s flavour to blend in with the mustard seeds and tandoori that are also in this –  a wonderful combination that plays with your tastebuds!

I am adding this post to this week’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at Simply Sugar & Gluten-free.

BUTTER(LESS) CHICKEN -adapted from my mom’s friend’s recipe

 1 Tbsp. butter*

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil*

2 large onions (cone #2)

2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

 1 bulb of garlic (cone #1), finely chopped or crushed

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger (cone #1), finely chopped or grated

2 tsp. red chili powder

2 Tbsp. tandoori masala

4 chicken breasts, cubed or sliced (I prefer cubes/chunks)

Salt

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

¾ cup plain tomato sauce

 4 cups (1 can and a bit) of coconut milk

1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

Rice

1.  Chop onions and toss into a pot that is approximately 5 qt. and has a lid.  Add the mustard seeds and gently saute until the onions are tender (lid off).

2.  Add garlic, ginger, chili powder, tandoori masala and chicken.  Mix it together.  Add the salt and then cover (medium-click-low**).

3.  Stir every now and again to blend the flavours.  There will be some excess water when the salt is added, extracted from the meat.  Cook until the water has evaporated.  You may need to remove the lid in order to help it evaporate.

 4.  Add tomato paste and tomato sauce (medium-click-low**).  Reduce the heat and let cook.

5.  Once the paste and sauce has blended in with the other ingredients, add the coconut milk and simmer on low heat.  Should be done in a matter of minutes.

6.  As the sauce starts to thicken, stir in the cilantro.

Serve over rice (and garnish with whole cilantro leaves if you want to get fancy!).

*If not using Saladmaster, you will need to melt the butter and heat the oil before putting the onions and mustard seeds in, thus making it Butter Chicken (if you know a secret to lessen or exclude this completely, please let me know).

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN OPTION:

  • This can easily be made vegan/vegetarian by excluding the chicken completely and using tofu instead or just make the sauce!
  • Exclude the butter completely and only use vegetable oil to saute the vegetables

BUTTER(LESS) OPTION:

  • Decrease the amount of butter used and increase the amount of olive oil (Ex. 1 tsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil)

GF Menu Swap: nuts

February 1, 2011 5 comments

Another week, another menu.  This week is hosted by Heather of Celiac Family and she has chosen nuts as her ingredient. 

There are so many amazing things that you can do with nuts.  They are great in RAW recipes in place of flours.  Personally, nuts and I have a love-hate relationship; if I eat too many they upset my tummy, but I can’t always stop eating fresh, RAW cashews or pistachios.  There are so many ways to enjoy nuts; as a base in RAW foods, nut milks and trail mix.  You can also enjoy them in baked goods (not always one of my favourites, but my fiance loves nuts in his brownies).

Some of my favourite nut recipes:

Celiac Family also has a list of some of her yummy nutty favourites, so don’t forget to check them out as well as this week’s Menu Roundup!

SUNDAY – Dinner out

MONDAY – Butter Chicken (dairy-free)

TUESDAYRice Wraps with Ginger Peanut Sauce

WEDNESDAY – Macaroni & Cheese (leftovers for lunch)

THURSDAYPork Roast, gravy & carrots (with some potatoes too!)

FRIDAY – Leftovers

SATURDAYTurkey Burgers (We loved them so much, including my fiance’s son) with salad

SOUP OF THE WEEK:  Chili 

LUNCHES:

  • Turkey Sandwiches
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Butter Chicken
  • Rice Wraps
Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap