Archive for the ‘Menu Swap’ Category

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…).

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




  • 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


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


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


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


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

GF Menu Swap – chia seeds

February 8, 2011 11 comments

I am going to throw this up really quickly because I see that everyone has their menus up already!  I am in the middle of playing catch-up after having a rough weekend with my back, but I am feeling much better thanks to my first (of many I think) yoga classes.  The difference this one class has made is amazing!!! 

I am the host for this week and I have chosen chia seeds because of their nutritious benefits.  I have only just discovered these lovely little seeds that you may remember from the “Chia Pets” commercials and I have to say that I quite enjoy them.  I have heard of them off and on from other blogs, but it was Angela of Oh She Glows and her Vegan Overnight Oats (I linked up to her breakfast selection) who really got me onto these.  Sadly, I can’t have too many of her overnight oats (gluten-free, of course) as I do have tend to have reactions; I am hoping that maybe with time and gradual exposure I will be able to enjoy them more often as I find them to be a great breakfast – something that I am not usually a fan of.

I have also been adding chia seeds to my cereal (on my oat-free mornings); I simply put a teaspoon of seeds into my cereal bowl, pour in some nut milk so that it is just covering the seeds and leave it to sit for about 20-40 minutes (if using regular milk you may want to refrigerate).  Then I pour my cereal in, mix it up and add some more nut milk.  It is delicious.  However, I have been reading that you can also use chia seeds in baking recipes to replace half of the butter or oil that is called for (I haven’t tried it yet, but I read it somewhere…I just can’t seem to find where).  

Another one of the reasons that I chose these seeds as my ingredient is because they are suppose to be very beneficial to building muscle and tissue, something that I am in desperate need of and are jam-packed full of minerals and essential fatty acids!!!  They are also great at assisting with hydration.  I am just going to share one last thing with you (I could go on but then I would never get to the menu plans!) and that is that they are great at helping with acid reflux.  I read about it, but it was my fiance who tried it and he found that it made a huge difference!   There is so much more information out there, and I know for a fact that Cheryl of GF Goodness has an article of her own that gives much more detail than I have.


SUNDAY – Dill Baked Cod with Caesar Salad

MONDAY – Citrus Infused Prawns with Miso Noodle Soup

TUESDAY – Organic Beef Tenderloin Steak wrapped in Bacon & Caesar Salad Oops!  change of plans! free-for-all of leftovers and last minute dinners out

WEDNESDAY – Chili (my fiance needs to master his recipe for the Tacoma Chili Cookoff in March)

THURSDAY – Thai Vegetable Curry with Lemon Grass Rice (Eating for Health: Foods That Heal)

FRIDAY – Organic Bacon wrapped Beef Tenderloins & Caesar Salad

SATURDAY – Greek Food (Dinner out for Valentine’s Day)

The Roundup:

Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness shares some of her recipes that she has used chia seeds in as well as the article that I mentioned above and another one on baking with chia seeds – definitely have to check that one out!  She has quinoa with kalamata olives on her menu for this week, which sounds wonderful – I love kalamata olives!

Sea Maiden of Book of Yum is joining us this week  with her multicultural themed meals; Chinese, Italian, Indian and American.  She is also sharing a vegan, dairy-free, soy-free chocolate frosting recipe that she made.  I have to say that I thought I had my fill of cake yesterday trying to find a wedding cake flavour, but those cupcakes and frosting pics are looking mighty tempting!

Wendy of Celiacs in the House is recovering from a really bad flu bug last week, but thankfully she is feeling much better.  She didn’t get a chance to do last week’s menu so she is going to try it out this week instead.  She has also kindly shared a link to GF Girl & the Chef who have been using chia seeds in place of gums in their recipes.  I am so glad that Wendy is on the mend!

G-Free Mom has been soaking up the sunshine for her vitamin D content and has made sure that her menu for this week has some good sources of vitamin D and calcium.  She will also be testing recipes for the Whole Foods Kitchen’s upcoming cookbook.  Her menu, like Wendy’s, includes chicken fingers, and like myself, she is going to make a chili.

Over at In My Box Scrumptious is experimenting with a couple of new recipes this week in order to check out these chia seeds.  She is planning on making GF Goodness’s pear skillet bread and trying out some vegan overnight oats for breakfast.  She also has plans to finish the week off and start the next week fermenting foods in her Culture Club, that sounds like a fabulous time and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Beyond Rice and Tofu is working on using what’s in her cupboards for her menu this week, a wonderful idea and one that I should adopt for our house!  She has some very yummy dinners planned for this week, such as teriyaki tofu stir-fry with rice and homemade tamales (she has even shared the link for her recipe)!

My sincere apologies to the Celiac Family as I missed their post in my roundup!  As usual, Heather has a great menu lined up for this week, including mexican chicken pizza and indian chicken.  Heather has also started to play with chia seeds this week by adding them to her bread mix and found that they didn’t change the taste or texture so she’s going to add them to her pizza crust as well!

Don’t forget to stop by our Gluten-Free Menu Swap/Plan Headquarters over at Gluten-Free Goodness to see who’s hosting next week or if you want to host!

Categories: Menu Swap

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



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

GF Menu Swap: slow cooker

January 24, 2011 5 comments

This week is hosted by Angela of Angela’s Kitchen.  I never did get a chance to make my pierogi casserole, thus I’ll be making it this week – for sure!!!  I should also mention that I have signed on for another month of Adopt A GF Blogger; that’s why a big chunk of this week’s menu (and last week’s) are linked up to Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free (stay tuned for my post).

SUNDAY – Curry Coconut Prawns over Rice Noodles with Spinach Salad (would you believe my fiance and I found this sauce at Costco in Bellingham?!  Delicious!)

MONDAY – Leftovers/Sandwiches??? (Dinner on the run)

TUESDAY – Leftover Turkey Burgers with Parmesan Crusted Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Aioli


THURSDAY – Pancakes

FRIDAY – Pierogi Casserole

SATURDAY – Something light… we are going to try some GF cakes at the Sweet Tooth Cakery for our wedding.


  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Ketchup (slow cooker style done in Saladmaster on the Stovetop)
  • Pierogi (not quite slow cooker, but I consider my Saladmaster set to be quite similar)
  • Antipasto (slow cooker style)

Oh, and I also have to introduce my new discovery – Vegan Overnight Oats.  I’ll have to post my adaptation of this, they are so good!!!

Categories: Gluten-Free, Menu Swap