Menu of the Week

September 1, 2014

Wow! It’s already week four in this Menu of the Week series.

I’m guessing some of you may be wondering where the meat is. You can certainly add your own. But for all of those people who wonder and ask what vegetarians/vegans can eat – especially when you’re gluten free. These menus are my answer.

I have way more flavor and variety in my diet than I ever did before I became vegetarian. I even became a better and more adventurous cook.  All of these meals can be gluten free – some things I have tried and true recipes for, some you can find at most grocery stores.

You may love having some new recipes to try or you may opt to pick things up at the local deli or restaurant. Either way I hope you are feeling less stressed and more inspired about dinner. Enjoy!


SUNDAY

Curried Vegetables with Dal
Indian Potato Pancakes
Mango Sorbet


MONDAY

Taco Salad
Watermelon


TUESDAY

Jamaican Rice and Beans
Fresh Fruit


WEDNESDAY

Fajitas
Chips and Guac


THURSDAY

Baked Pasta – red or white sauce
Broccoli and or Salad
French Bread


FRIDAY

Black Bean Soup
Tostadas with Toppings


SATURDAY

Chickpea Croquettes w/Greek Salad Topping
Greek Rice Pilaf

Menu of the Week

August 25, 2014

I hope everyone had an awesome week and you are enjoying the last few days of summer. Kids are going back to school and vacations are ending. The nights and mornings are cooler and darker. All of these things have me thinking of fall and I went a little soup crazy. Among the meals this week are a soup, a chowder and a gumbo. There are also some great late summer vegetables involved as well. Enjoy!

SUNDAY

Southwestern Corn and Potato Chowder
Spring Mix Salad
Baking Powder Biscuits – easy to make gluten free


MONDAY

Tofu Pad Thai
Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Fruit


TUESDAY

Greek Diced Vegetable Salad
Roasted Cauliflower
Pita with Hummus
Optional: Grilled Chicken


WEDNESDAY

Tomato Basil Soup
Salad
Grilled French Bread (great gluten free recipe in an earlier post) or Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

THURSDAY

Bean & Bean Gumbo
Corn Bread – easy to make gluten free
Fruit


FRIDAY

Pesto Pasta – brown rice or quinoa pasta work great!
Grilled Summer Squash
Caprese Salad


SATURDAY – Family Get Together

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Or grilled meat of choice
Potato Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Grilled Sweet Corn
Watermelon
(We also had ice cream options of Sundaes, Root Beer Floats or Mango Sorbet)

 

 

Menu of the Week

August 18, 2014

Hello! I hope everyone has had a good week and you found last week’s menu helpful. Several of this weeks recipes can be grilled so take advantage of the nice weather while it still lasts!

Once again, let me know if you would like recipes or if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy your week!


SUNDAY

Grilled Veggie Burgers or Chicken
Black & Garbanzo Bean Salad
Green Beans
Watermelon

MONDAY

Baked Falafel w/Tzatziki Sauce
Greek Salad

TUESDAY

Tofu Stir Fry
Peanut Noodles
Fruit

WEDNESDAY

Super Nachos- with lots of veggies!
– black or pinto beans, bell peppers, onions, black olives, tomatoes, cheese, avocado
Fruit

THURSDAY

Spaghetti w/meatless meatballs
Broccoli and/or salad

FRIDAY

Black Bean w/Toasted Corn Tacos
Mexican Rice

SATURDAY

Baked Potatoes w/toppings
Sweet Corn w/Chili Lime Sauce

 

Menu of the Week

August 11, 2014

I am going to try something new with this blog for the next few weeks. As you can see I am not the best at getting new recipes and photos updated. I am of course cooking, creating and trying new things all of the time. But things don’t always go as planned and I’ve decided that for now, I will be posting weekly menu ideas.

It seems that for most people making dinner is a chore. And figuring out what to make is the hardest part. So often we end up rotating the same recipes week after week until we end up getting sick of something that we used to love. Since I am already creating a weekly menu for us each week I thought I’d share and see if it helps anyone.

Some of these are tried and true recipes but I do like to mix things up so some of them may be new as well. I’ll be posting the menu the week after we have had them though just in case something isn’t as tasty as I thought it would be or to add notes or make changes if needed. I may even try to add a photo here and there.

Most of the meals are vegetarian or vegan and pretty healthy. Some can easily have meat added if you prefer. A lot of them are gluten free but you can easily use regular items instead. I tend to make everything from scratch since I think it tastes better and I love to cook, but feel free to buy already prepared items if that is what you have time for. It’s still better than grabbing fast food.

You may see some surprises if you know me. Some of the meals are not horribly unhealthy but definitely not something to eat every day – like pizza and super nachos. Yes I do eat nachos for dinner on occasion. Piled with lots and lots of veggies. :) I believe in “Everything in moderation”. If you eat healthy most of the time, its ok to relax once in a while. I know some people think of “everything in moderation” as being boring. I think it’s actually exciting. It means nothing is off limits! How cool is that!

I won’t be including recipes for now, just the menu. Hopefully you will find it helpful. If there are specific recipes that you are wondering about, let me know. I may add them here or let you know where I got the recipe or I can send it to you. If you make something and it becomes a favorite or you add a new twist, let me know. To me food is all about sharing.

So here we go! Let me know what you think!!

 

SUNDAY

Feta Pear Salad
French Bread
Grilled Salmon
Grilled Zucchini and Green Beans

MONDAY

Grilled Black Bean Burritos
Chips and Guac

TUESDAY

Mediterranean Grain Salad (Quinoa)
Pita or Chips
Raw Veggies (carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, green beans, etc.)
Hummus

WEDNESDAY

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Broccoli
Lettuce Salad

THURSDAY

Black Bean Burgers with fixings
Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
Watermelon or Fresh Fruit

FRIDAY

Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Asian Cabbage Salad

SATURDAY

Grilled Veggie Pizza- (I have an awesome recipe for a Gluten Free crust if anyone is interested)
Lettuce Salad
Fresh Fruit

Brussels Sprouts Chips

November 23, 2013

BrusSprtsCps

My vegetable love this fall has been roasted Brussels sprouts. I think I could eat them everyday. I make them pretty much the same each time with only a variation in the spices I put on them. I cut them in half, cover with olive oil and either salt or an herb blend of some sort. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. Yum!!

One thing I always do when checking on them is pick off the single leaves that have become brown and crunchy and immediately eat them. I can’t even describe how delicious they are! So last week while pulling off the usually crispy leaves and promptly eating them I had a revelation. I could make a whole pan of crispy leaves! Why didn’t I think of that before? It’s my favorite part! Why not have a whole pan? Essentially Brussels sprouts chips. To me these are so much better than kale chips and still healthy. It does take a little patience to break each sprout into it’s individual leaves but it is well worth it!

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Fresh Brussels sprouts
Olive Oil
Sea salt or herb blend of choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut each sprout in half. Core each half as you would a cabbage but on a smaller scale.

Carefully pull apart the layers. Place the leaves and the core pieces in a bowl. Coat lightly with olive oil and sea salt or herb blend. My favorite blend these days is Penzey’s Greek Seasoning.

Place on a baking sheet, separating the pieces. Bake for 10 minutes, pull off the crispiest pieces and bake the rest a few more minutes. The core pieces won’t crisp up but they are still delicious.

Eat immediately!

Vegan update…..

September 2, 2013

imageAfter 5 months of being a “transitioning vegan” I’m pretty sure I’ll continue transitioning or maybe a better word would be part-time vegan.

I definitely feel better physically when I’m eating vegan. I feel I have more energy. For the most part, I eat vegan at home. But try not to make a big deal of it if I can’t when I’m out with friends or at other people’s houses.

I know I am already a challenge for some people being vegetarian and gluten free. The funny thing about that is that I’m totally content with a plate of veggies; raw, cooked, grilled, it doesn’t matter. I truly love vegetables.

I have been enjoying converting some of my favorite recipes to vegan but I have to say that real butter is just better than vegan butter in my Banana Chocolate Chip Scones. I used coconut yogurt in place of regular and that worked well. I may keep playing with this one though.

There really isn’t a replacement for cheese on pizza. We tried a few vegan cheeses and they were not good. I have heard that making cashew cheese is pretty good for pizza but I haven’t tried that yet. For now, we either have more of a foccacia or we just put a little cheese on it – at least enough to keep all the yummy veggies from falling off.

One of my favorite converted recipes is a Gluten Free French Bread recipe I have been making for years. It calls for egg whites and melted butter. Olive oil easily replaces the melted butter. For the egg whites I used chia seeds soaked in water. It worked like a charm! It added a little extra crunch- kind of like poppy seeds do and the bread seemed a little stickier that usual but it got rave reviews from people, many of which didn’t know it was gluten free. I really like it toasted. Peanut butter, jam, honey, pesto, bruschetta. The options are endless!

So here is my converted Gluten Free French Bread recipe. It is adapted from Bette Hagman’s “More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet”.

Gluten Free French Bread
Makes 2 loaves

2 cups white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp yeast

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chia seeds- soaked in 6 Tbsp water for 15 min.
1 tsp white vinegar

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine flours, xanthan gum and salt.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and stir in the yeast. Let foam slightly, then blend with the flour mixture. Add the olive oil, chia seeds and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Dough will be more like a batter than regular bread dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease and sprinkle with cornmeal. Form dough into two long french bread shapes. Slash dough diagonally every few inches.

Cover the dough and let rise until doubled- about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Bread will appear dark in color. Remove from pan and let cool before cutting.

Going Vegan?

February 12, 2013

I’ve been vegetarian for years. 15 to be exact. I’ve toyed with the idea of going vegan but frankly it seemed like too much work. And it may be, but I’m going to give it a try. Things are complicated a bit by the fact that I am also gluten free. But what the heck, I love a challenge, especially when it involves being creative with food.

So what prompted this final push? Well, a few things. I’ve noticed a connection to eating dairy and my sinus problems. I don’t easily get sinus infections but I tend to have a constant slight stuffiness. I recently did a fruit cleanse for 3 days and noticed that the stuffiness went away. Once back to my usual vegetarian diet, the stuffiness returned. Nudge #1.

I recently spotted the book “Forks Over Knives” at Barnes & Nobel and on a whim I decided to pick it up. I’m a sucker for a good cookbook and the recipes looked pretty good and didn’t have a long list of complicated, difficult to get ingredients. I read the book the next day and decided to try a couple recipes. They were delicious!  Nudge #2.

A couple days later while trying to decide what to watch on Netflix, I suggested we watch the movie “Forks Over Knives”. It’s a very convincing movie. I have believed its message for years and have been trying to get my husband on board to healthy eating to no avail. This movie actually convinced him! He decided to give it a try and now I have a partner in eating vegan at home. The final nudge.

Our first Official Vegan Meal consisted of: Falafel (baked and adapted from Homestyle Vegetarian published by Bay Books), a delicious Mediterranean Rice Salad (from gluten-free recipes for the conscious cook by Leslie Cerier) and a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (from Allrecipes.com) with various raw veggies. YUM!

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