Gluten Free Salad Challenge Day #8

Wow….here I am in week 2 of my salad challenge!  I really can’t tell you all how much I am enjoying creating fun & new salads, adding things I would have never added before.  Great way to become more creative with my cooking & food prep.  I did today’s salad for lunch because I am meeting a couple of friends out for dinner at Outback, one of my favorite places to eat gluten-free. 

The make up of the salad:

~ 2 cups of arugula & mixed baby greens

~ large handful of grape tomatoes

~ 1/2 zucchini

~ 1/4 cucumber

~ 1 chopped steamed beet (got these pre-made at Trader Joe’s today..YUM)

~ 1 TBSP Goat Cheese

~ 1 TBSP Pine Nuts

~ Drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette


This may have been one of my favorite combos by far.  I love beets (this is just within the past year), but hate the prep.  Peeling, etc.  They are messy & stain.  The ones I got from Trader Joe’s are already steamed (so they are peeled) and ready to go.  Just open the package & slice for a salad or heat up.  Perfect for my salad. 

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Mission: Gluten-Free Chex

Most of the gluten-free/Celiac community is aware by now that General Mills is an amazing company and is modifying it’s current ingredients to make some other Chex cereals gluten-free.  As of June 1, 2009, the following flavors should all be gluten-free:




Honey Nut



I have been lucky in that I have been able to find the Strawberry, Rice, Honey Nut and just Monday, the CORN!  My local Wal-Mart finally had the Corn Chex that said “Gluten-free” right on the front!  Now, must find the Chocolate & Cinnamon.  Wow, can you imagine the Chex Mix that I am going to make once I get all of these together??  I love cereal and have a bowl a day for snack usually.  I never can decide what kind, so I mix 3 or 4 kinds together.  Usually it is 1 or 2 different Chex cereals, Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise and Envirokidz Leapin’ Lemurs.  YUM! Sometimes I mix in a bit of vanilla yogurt, sometimes I eat just dry with my hands like a Chex Mix.  I have been known to toss in some Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles when feeling a little frisky!  😉 

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Butternut Squash Fries & GF Salad Challenge Days 6 & 7

Okay, so I am a little behind!  LOL!  I am catching up now!

Tonight for dinner I made these amazing Butternut Squash Fries.  I love Sweet Potato Fries, so I figured these would be right up my alley, and they were.  Best part?  Only 65 calories!!!!  We had them along with our pulled pork sammies and salad. 

Backing up one day to my GF Salad Challenge for Day 6.  I had a wonderful salad last night with dinner.  For dinner I had Honey Baked Lentils over buckwheat that I had steamed the other day and topped with a bit of Sriracha!  YUM!  The salad was excellent, with (gasp…hope you are sitting down Mom & Kelly) another fruit addition!  I loved this combo! 

~arugula & mixed baby greens

~ 1 Roma tomato

~ 1/2 zucchini

~ 1/4 cucumber

~ 1 TBSP chopped walnuts

~ 1/4 Cara Cara Navel Orange

~ Drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette




Now, onto the salad from day 7 (today).  Tonight I needed to find some new & exciting things for my salad.  Enter: Honey Baked Lentils (leftover from last night). 

~ arugula & mixed greens

~ 2 TBSP HB Lentils (YUM)

~ 1 TBSP sliced almonds

~ 1 Roma Tomato

~ 1/2 zucchini

~ 1/4 cucumber

~ Chopped Broccoli

~ 1 TBSP Goat Cheese

~ Drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette


Perfect salad!  Loved the lentils in this! 🙂

Gluten-Free Salad Challenge Day #5

Today I came up with a bit of a twist on my salad.  I really wanted a salad, but I had leftover grilled chicken and cooked buckwheat that needed to be eaten.  I decided to combine it all into one huge cooked salad!  I had leftover veggies from the veggie tray, so I sauteed up some zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, grape tomatoes and some spinach in some balsamic vinegar.  Then I tossed in the chopped up grilled chicken and about a half cup of the cooked buckwheat from some grain action.  Warmed through and then shoveled into my bowl. Topped with some pine nuts and Frank’s Red Hot!  How is that for a “salad”?


Then, for dinner I had a salad too!  This one was more traditional.  It had:

~ arugula & red & green baby lettuces

~ cucumber


~ zucchini

~ broccoli

~ strawberries

~pine nuts

~drizzled with EVOO & some honey

Very tasty to go along side our meal of quinoa spaghetti and meatballs!  YUM!!


Hindsight…I should have subbed my pine nuts out for some walnuts.  Darn!  Maybe tomorrow! 

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Menu Plan ~ April 19, 2009 – April 25, 2009

Phew.  Busy week last week.  Things should be somewhat calmer this week.  No large cookouts to plan for or b-day cakes to bake.  😉  It is finally getting warmer, though, so there is much to do in the flower beds to get ready to plant after Mother’s Day.  I can’t wait to get all of my fresh veggie plants in the ground.  I know I am planning on tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and peppers.  I need to see if there is anything else I want to include.  Maybe some berries of some sort. 

Onto the plan:

Sunday ~ Leftovers incorporated into dinner.  I sauteed up veggies from the veggie tray (mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli and I tossed in some spinach) in some EVOO & balsamic vinegar.  I chopped up some grilled chix and tossed it into the pan and then tossed in some cooked buckwheat from the other night.  YUM!  I finished with Sriracha Hot Sauce.  I served salad along side.

Monday ~ Spaghetti (most likely Quinoa pasta) & meatballs (Aaron’s specialty), broccoli, salad & some kind of bread (maybe Chebe with garlic butter or maybe just toasted rolls with garlic butter)

Tuesday~ Hannah and I will fend for ourselves.  Maybe some quick burgers, sweet potato fries & veggies.  Maybe some leftover spaghetti. 

Wednesday ~ BBQ pulled pork, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Steamed green beans & salad (kids eat fruit salad as opposed to garden)

Thursday ~ I am meeting friends at Outback! YAY!  Gluten-free Mac & Cheese, baked beans , veggies & fruit for the kids & Aaron.

Friday ~ Homemade pizza (veggie for moi), veggies & salad

Saturday ~ Burgers, potatoes & salad for the fam; Honey baked lentils and roasted carrots & salad for me. 

Baked Goods for the Week

Pamela’s Bread

PB Cookie Bars

Coconut Macaroons

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Snickerdoodle Birthday Cake

Jon’s 13th birthday was Friday and we had a family cookout for him on Saturday.  He had asked for a Snickerdoodle Cake, so I set off to take my sister’s recipe and use it with Pamela’s GF Classic Vanilla Cake Mix.  I followed the directions on the package for a cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan and added to the mix:

~ 1 tsp vanilla extract

~ 1 TBSP cinnamon

I baked for about 20 minutes, 5 minutes less than Pamela’s suggested.  I have been keeping a close eye on my baked goods as my new oven is persnickety or I am not used to it yet.  Sometimes the temp is spot on with my oven thermometer, other times it is off (usually when I am not paying attention, of course 😉 ). 

I let the cake cool, then flipped carefully onto a decorative plate.  I prepared the following frosting:

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Blend 1 stick of softened butter in a large mixing bowl on low speed for about 30 seconds.  Add 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 3 -4 TBSP milk, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.  Blend until sugar is incorporated (1 minute or so).  Increase speed and beat until light & fluffy (1 more minute).  If frosting is too thick, add 1 TBSP of milk.  Add food color for variety & fun.

The cake tasted amazing and got rave reviews by all.  I served only gluten-free cake to all of the guests and it went over well.  Jon loved it.  He had 2 or 3 pieces yesterday and 2 pieces today.  It isn’t the prettiest.  I am far from a pro cake decorator (please don’t submit to that blog that makes fun of cakes 😉 ), so it is funny looking.  Jon wanted me to put M & M’s on it to “write” Happy Birthday.  Only problem was that I only had the Easter Dark Chocolate ones and you can’t see them very well against the cinnamon frosting.  Oh well.  No laughing or making fun. 🙂


Gluten Free Salad Challenge Day #5

One might think that I could be getting tired of my salad challenge, but I am not.  I am loving it!  I am putting things in my salad that I would not have put in before and that is great. I have a lot of great ideas for the upcoming week, too!

Today’s salad was similar to the one I made the other day with blackberries, but still different.

~ 2-3 handfuls of Romaine & Spinach

~1 chopped Roma Tomato

~ 1/2 chopped yellow squash

~chopped carrots

~chopped radishes

~chopped broccoli

~ chopped mushrooms

~1TBSP or so of organic raw pine nuts

~1TBSp or so of goat cheese

~ drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette

~handful of strawberries (another new thing for me!)

Excellent!  I am SO loving fruit in my salads!  What the heck have I been thinking not putting fruit in my salad for so long?  I have a bunch of oranges to go through, so look for those to make an appearance in my salads this week, too!


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Gluten-Free Salad Challenge Day #4

Saturday was a busy day.  We had Jon’s b-day cookout planned, so lots to do.  I did manage to squeeze in my salad challenge salad at lunch time, though.  I also had a salad with dinner at our cookout, though it was just mixed greens, spinach, mushroom, tomato & broccoli.  Still a salad.  🙂

My lunch salad:


~2 cups mixed greens, arugula & spinach

~ 1 chopped Roma tomato

~ 1/2 chopped yellow squash

~ 1/4 cup cooked broccoli (leftover from last night)

~ 1 TBSP Goat Cheese

~ 1 TBSP Pine Nuts

~ Crushed Blue Corn Tortilla Chips for “croutons”

~ Drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette

Then, for kicks, look at this fruit & veggie spread at the cook out that I put together (with my Mom’s help…THANKS Mom!).


We had grilled burgers & grilled chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans & salad to go along with the spread.  YUM!

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Gluten-Free Salad Challenge Day #3

YUM…tonight’s salad was one of the best so far!  I didn’t get a pic b/c things were crazy here today, but just look at my list of yummy goodness:


~2 large handfuls of arugula & mixed Spring Mix

~ 2-3 oz piece of chicken breast marinated in Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

~1/4 cup buckwheat (steamed in chicken broth last night)

~ 1 TBSP Organic Raw Pine Nuts

~1 TBSP Goat Cheese

~ 1/2 Yellow Squash (chopped)

~ 1 Roma tomato

~ leftover sauteed okra & grape tomatoes

~ drizzle of balsamic

Had some baked Tostito’s Scoops on the side.  Very filling & satisfying salad.  Now the kids and I are headed out to Cold Stone for some ice cream/frozen yogurt for Jon’s 13th b-day!!


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Gluten-Free Salad Challenge Day #2

I am so loving the salad challenge!  Today I had a salad for lunch that consisted of just spinach, grape tomatoes & pine nuts with a drizzle of Light Creamy French dressing.  This doesn’t really count in my salad challenge as it doesn’t meet all my “requirements“. 

For dinner I had a more hefty salad to go along side my Thai Peanut Marinated Chicken breast, okra & sauteed grape tomatoes & whole grain buckwheat (First time I had it and it was very good.  Much nuttier than brown rice and there is 5 grams of protein & 5 grams of fiber per serving!).  My salad tonight is similar to last night’s salad….I enjoyed those blackberries so much in last night’s salad, they had to make another appearance.


~ 2-3 handfuls of Spring Mix & Arugula

~1 chopped Roma Tomato

~ 1/2 chopped zucchini

~chopped carrots

~chopped radishes

~chopped broccoli

~1TBSP or so of organic raw pine nuts

~1TBSp or so of goat cheese

~ drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette

~handful of blackberries

I think the only differences from last night were that I forgot my cucumber (DOH!) and I added broccoli.  I promise tomorrow will be more interesting.  😉  We are having Calzones for Jon’s b-day dinner, so it will go along with our Italian theme.  🙂 

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