I think I’ll start posting our menus for each week. It will help me out because often as not I end up losing the paper I wrote the menu on (usually the back of my shopping list). I remember what it was like when I was first trying to remove all gluten from our menu, figuring out what on earth to eat was just about a full time job! So if you’re interested, book mark me and come back each week for a new menu. It would have sure helped me to have had an idea of what we could eat, because for the first month gluten free I ate chicken and carrots and very little else! I will also post the gluten free brand names of the items I use where appropriate.

Just fyi, we also try and use as much organic and un-processed foods as possible. With all the GI issues going on here, it can’t hurt to know exactly what’s in everything we eat. We’re dealing with Celiac Disease, GERD, Lymphocytic Colitis, and allergies or intolerances to: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, raw tomatoes (cooked are OK) and tree nuts. None of us have all of these things, but as a family it’s pretty challenging to plan a menu!!

This is an unusual week…Andrew and I will be eating out Saturday to celebrate his taking a giant test for work (more on that later). And, Sunday we will be eating Gluten Free Pizza from a local pizza place. We almost *never* eat out because of the food issues and finances, and it’s gotten to the point where usually what we eat at home is better than what we’d get out, anyway. However, I feel a huge need to de-stress for the whole family. This weekend marks the end of about a year of studying and a few months of intense studying, so it’s worth celebrating!

THIS WEEK’S MENU (if you want a detailed recipe for anything below, email me and I’ll send it to you!)

Friday: Crock Pot BBQ Beef, broccoli, and carrots. I throw a roast or some cuts of beef in the crock pot and cover it with a whole bottle of Kraft Mesquite Smoke BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce is gluten, soy, dairy and egg free! I let the meat cook slowly all day, then pull it apart about an hour before dinner. Sometimes I add a little extra sauce to it when I pull it apart, if it looks like it needs it. I cut Rainbow Heirloom Carrots (red, yellow, orange and white carrots) into rounds and steam them for a few minutes, then add broccoli and steam them together for another 5 minutes or so. Then, toss them with a little Real Salt (mined salt) and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve the beef right on the plate, or on a gluten free bun (Kinnikinnik brand hamburger buns are the BEST!).

Saturday: Eat out. (probably at Outback Steakhouse, where they have a good GF menu). The kids will be eating gluten free frozen chicken nuggets and frozen fries with watermelon and carrot sticks.…Ian’s brand chicken nuggets are terrific and taste like ‘real’ chicken nuggets. In our area, we usually buy Western Family frozen fries. Cheap, and gluten free!

Sunday: Pizza from Pier 49 pizza (one location here has GF pizza crusts. YUMMY! Call your local franchise and bug them about getting the crusts…all the other ingredients are already gluten free.

Monday: Gluten Free Lasagna and a tossed salad. Tinkyada gluten free pastas makes GF lasagna noodles. I will use ground beef, spinach, sneak some grated carrot in, olives and mushrooms with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. I’m making a regular lasagna for a compassion project Saturday, so I’ll just make a GF one for next week while I’m at it. I make my tomato sauce from scratch rather than buying a pre-made spaghetti sauce, with lots of garlic and herbs. I will make one half of our lasagna with goat cheese products for Isaiah and I.

Tuesday: Corn Chowder, bread, salad. Canned corn, potatoes and onion in chicken broth (adding goat’s milk and about 1/3 of the soup to a blender and processing it until smooth gives it the ‘chowder’ feel) make this a really tasty and hearty soup. I use Pacific brand chicken broth…gluten free and organic. Costco has it, pretty reasonably priced. I haven’t decided what sort of bread to make yet…probably a biscuit or Irish soda bread.

Wednesday: Grilled chicken, corn on the cob, broccoli salad. I will rub the chicken with spices before I grill it. I will be grilling twice as much chicken as we need, because we’ll eat the rest of it the next night. The broccoli salad is lightly steamed broccoli (still crunchy), chopped red onion, bacon bits and mayo with salt and garlic powder (Hormel brand Real Bacon Bits is GF…check their website because they’ve got a great list of GF products! Kraft mayo is GF.)

Thursday: Mediterranean Wraps and fruit salad. Rice tortillas (Food For Life brown rice tortillas…yummy!), homemade hummus, lettuce, cucumber, red onions, yogurt dill sauce (with goat yogurt), feta cheese, and the leftover grilled chicken from the day before. I will make a lot of the hummus and save most of it for snacks with carrots or corn chips all week long! Served with a fruit salad…just a bunch of chopped fruit with a little pineapple juice tossed in.

Friday (next week): Chicken and Vegetable Satay Pasta: Tinkyada gluten free spaghetti noodles, tossed with boiled chicken breast, snow peas, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, and whatever other vegetables happen to be in the fridge. The sauce is made with peanut butter (I use the organic type from Costco…ingredients: Peanuts, nothing else!), sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce (Tamari Organic brand is GF, watch out ’cause most brands are not!) and a bit of rice vinegar with some chili sauce mixed in. I will take a little of the sauce out for Isaiah before adding the soy. Serve with fresh green onions and ground peanuts on top!

Whew! This should get me caught up so that I can do meal planning next Saturday and be back on schedule. I’ll post a few pics and full recipes this week!

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