Weekly Menu Plan 2/28/2010 – 3/6/2010

Getting excited for the Team USA vs. Team Canada Men’s Hockey Game that is going to be on here shortly. There is sure to be excitement this afternoon in our house.

Here is hoping that with the end of February also comes the end of the snow. LOL! Wishful thinking, huh? I just want to see the grass again. I want to see how much it needs mowed. 😉 I want to see the tulips & daffodils poke up through the soil. I want to not have to wear gloves everytime I go outside. I know, be patient, it will come.

Onto the meal plan –

Sunday – Turkey burgers, sweet potato puffs (thick cut “fries” that puff up & get all soft & gooey in the center), green beans & salad.

Monday -Spaghetti & marinutta, roasted broccoli & salad

Tuesday-Turkey tacos or Mexican Pizza, cilantro/lime rice, refried beans & salad

Wednesday-Holiday Baking Company lasagna (review to come soon!), asparagus & salad

Thursday-BBQ Chicken Breast, Cheese Chili Potatoes (recipe to come this week), broccoli & salad

Friday-Pizza on a new pizza crust to review and salad

Saturday-Leftovers or take out

Baked Goods

Testing out a new bread mix that I will review this week (in the oven now)

Brownies (a new, super healthy recipe – hope to share this week, too)


Weekly Recap:

Several new posts up on the Examiner site – info on Wendy’s new GF menu, P.F.Chang’s rolling out a new menu & an article about Lactose Intolerance & Celiac Disease being confused.

A couple new articles up on Celiac-Disease.com: Quick, weeknight meals, Chicken Finger Breading ideas, and a Review of Shabtai Gourmet Gluten-free Supermoist Brownies.

French Meadow Bakery Coupons

Snikiddy Products Review

Biscottea Cookies review

News & Notes, specifically that today (2/28) is the last day to order your Zing Bars for a $10/box discount: use code gflife.

Amazing Maple Pecan Sables recipe.

Anne, at Gluten-free Musings wrote a very interesting post on a woman she met this past week. The woman she met was a diagnosed Celiac, but went on to explain to Anne that she still had her old gluten-filled favorites once a week or so. Head over to Anne’s blog & read all about it for yourself & make sure to share your thoughts.

Check out the lengths that Heidi, at Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom, goes to for her son Sam. Sam is 6 (I think) and was feeling left out because he couldn’t have lunchables like his friends. Heidi goes above & beyond to solve Sam’s problem. I believe she is getting the “Mom of the Year” award this year. 😉

Don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for many more menu ideas.

Have a wonderful week!!!

Hippity Hoppity Easter’s on its Way

I just happened to glance at the calendar & realize that Easter is coming up quickly – April 4, 2010. Sure, I have seen the Easter decorations in the stores, but since they are typically decorating for Christmas before Halloween, that doesn’t mean much to me. Having a child with Celiac Disease who has to follow a gluten-free diet means planning all functions, celebrations, holidays, meals, etc in advance. Children like to feel like they belong. They like to be like their friends, not stick out like a sore thumb because they can’t eat the candy or treats that the other children are having. I am going to go over some tips for helping your child(ren) have a wonderful Easter or spring holiday and not feel left out.

Easter Baskets

Easter baskets can be filled with whatever the Easter Bunny decides to fill it with. There are plenty of gluten-free candy options out there, so you just need to be cautious. Some of the holiday variations contain different ingredients than their original shapes and sizes. A perfect example is Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts – they contain wheat, while Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups do not and are usually safe for those following a gluten-free diet. Here is a brief list of safe, popular Easter Candy:

  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
  • Starburst Jelly Beans
  • Wal-Mart Jelly Beans (says “gluten-free” on the label)
  • Peeps
  • Snickers Bars (full size or miniatures)
  • M & M’s (dark, peanut butter, milk, peanut, almond)
  • Skittles
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Just Born Jelly Beans
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • Cadbury Cream Eggs
  • Dove Dark
  • Dove Milk
  • Dove Caramel
  • Mounds
  • Baby Ruth Crème Egg
  • Butterfinger Nest Eggs
  • Nestle Caramel Nest Eggs
  • Nestle Peanut Butter Nest Eggs
  • Nestle Milk Chocolate Nest Eggs
  • Pez
  • Pixie Sticks
  • Pop Rocks
  • Rolo
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Three Musketeers

The list can be seen in its entirety here. Candy doesn’t have to be the only “food” item that’s fun for Easter baskets. There are Lara Bars (a General Mill’s product), 100% fruit leathers, fruit snacks (Betty Crocker’s are gluten-free), nuts, gluten-free homemade cookies or granola bars or fresh fruit. I also add other items such as an iTunes gift card or gift card to a popular store or gluten-free restaurant or ice cream shop. Cold Stone Creamery has gluten-free ice cream & my kids love to go there.

Spring Celebrations

If we (or just Jon) are invited to a function or celebration that is going to be serving food (and most seem to these days), I always make sure to bring or send along something he can eat. Some super quick & easy dessert ideas can be created with Betty Crocker’s Gluten-free Baking Mixes. There are many recipes on the Betty Crocker site or you can simply follow the directions on the box. These mixes are priced well & taste so good that no one will even know that they are gluten-free. They have become my go-to dessert when we head out to parties now. If we need ice cream to go along with our cake or cupcakes, I can always count on Edy’s/Dryers or Breyer’s. Both brands will label gluten clearly and have very good chocolates & vanillas.

Now that I have shared dessert ideas for the spring celebrations, what about the main course? What about Easter dinner? If you are preparing it, as I probably will be, here are some ideas.

What if you are invited to someone else’s house? Politely ask what they are serving and if you can bring something to share. If met with any resistance, then mention having to follow a gluten-free diet. Most hosts are more than willing to either accommodate, if they feel they safely can or suggest something that will complement what they are serving. If you are met with a lot of resistance, to heck with them; bring your own meal or eat before you go. No need to risk getting sick!

Being the planner that I am, I like to have this figured out well in advance – at least a week before the function, if not more. Having to follow the gluten-free diet myself, I know what it is like to sit & watch other people eat & have a good time. It is not fun. I do whatever I can to try to avoid having Jon feel like that.

French Meadow Bakery Coupons

I did a review of some products by French Meadow Bakery a couple weeks back. I adore their Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Since I wrote the review, I have also used the Cinnamon Raisin Bread to make French Toast – boy, was that good!! Perfect with some fresh blueberries & maple syrup drizzled over the top.

Anyway, the point of my post – a survey & a coupon! Ooh! I love coupons! This is a coupon for $2 off any gluten-free retail product or 20% off your online order. All you have to do is go here and take the survey – which took me about 5 minutes.

French Meadow Bakery has a nice variety of gluten-free products available. Here is a list of what they offer:

Brownie Bites


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Pizza Crust (2 pack or 6 pack)

Sandwich Bread

Multigrain Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread


Cakes (yellow or chocolate)

Cupcakes (yellow or chocolate)

Muffins (blueberry or apple cinnamon)

Italian Rolls

Some background on French Meadow Bakery:


French Meadow Bakeryâ„¢ began with a purpose, to introduce the world to flavorful, nutritionally beneficial foods using only what’s necessary from the planet’s most natural and abundant sources.
Gazing out onto the pristine fields of French Meadow, Lynn Gordon was teaching a cooking class and pondering a new recipe for bread that would accommodate her macrobiotic diet. The diet prohibited her from eating breads loaded with yeast and sugar (the natural leavening process breaks down complex carbohydrates and the glutens, rendering the bread more digestible and the nutrients more easily absorbed.) Thus, the idea for the all-organic and functional French Meadow Bakeryâ„¢ was born.

Opened in 1985, French Meadow Bakeryâ„¢ is the longest continuously-running certified organic bakery in the U.S. Lynn’s early vision for a variety of delicious, innovative healthy breads and sweet goods has blossomed into an extensive and award-winning product line of gluten-free, vegan, yeast-free and kosher parve foods known for their great taste, texture and functionality. French Meadow still uses only natural ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The bakery is USDA-Certified Organic, Quality Assurance International Certified Organic, Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, a program of The Gluten Intolerance Group®, and Certified Low Glycemic for Diabetics by The Glycemic Research Institute®.

Lynn’s passion for unique and trend-setting performance foods for all consumers still manifests itself in such popular products as Woman’s Breadâ„¢, Men’s Breadâ„¢, Healthy Hempâ„¢ Bread, Healthseed Speltâ„¢ Bread, and delectable cookies, cakes and desserts. Fourteen new and trendy products were introduced within the last year. All products are also sold nationally in most supermarkets today.

French Meadow Bakery’sâ„¢ founding commitment is to be a sustainable company that educates its customers on the lifelong benefits of organic foods and which supports small farmers continues. The bakery still uses only certified organic grains and non-GMO ingredients that are grown in balance and harmony with nature, sustaining the health of the planet.

After Lynn’s auspicious vision in that now-famous field in 1985, French Meadow’s mission now reaches a welcoming international audience with its new strategic business alliance with Rich Products Corporation.

Want to find French Meadow Bakery gluten-free products in your area? Click here to see where!

Product Review: Snikiddy

I received some complimentary coupons from Snikiddy to go and get a couple bags of their snacks to sample. I was very excited as everything I saw on their website looked like so much fun! Sometimes even us adults need fun snacks. 😉 I was hoping to find the Baked Fries, but none of the stores in my area seem to carry these. I ended up with the Grilled Cheese Puffs & Nacho Cheese Puffs. No complaints here – I love cheese.



Some information on Snikiddy:

Snikiddy® is a brand of great tasting, family-friendly snack foods made from simple, wholesome, and real ingredients.

How Snikiddy Got it’s Name:

Snikiddy® is a shortened (and let’s face it, easier to say) form of the word persnickety, which means choosy or picky. Growing up, Janet (Mary’s mom) and her siblings were known around school as the Snikiddy kids (a badge they wore proudly) because they always ate healthy lunches. Their mom (Grandma), ahead of her time with her passion for good health, would pack their lunch boxes full of locally grown organic produce and very simple foods. A teacher once referred to them as being persnickety and the kids’ version of the word (snikiddy) stuck.

Grandma’s passion for healthy eating was obviously contagious. It was passed from generation to generation and in 2006 Janet and Mary founded Snikiddy®. At Snikiddy®, we are persnickety about our products – whether we’re insisting on top-quality ingredients or simple ingredients such as real cheese, potatoes and corn, we take pride in every product we make and are confident that these snacks would pass the true test…your family’s! We thank you for being Snikiddy® about your snacks too!

We all loved these cheese puffs! They had a great cheese flavor & crunch. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on those baked fries!!! Come to momma!

Find out where you can purchase Snikiddy products in your area. Columbus people – I found the cheese puffs at Meijer in Westerville.

Product Review: Biscottea Cookies

A few weeks back I received some complimentary samples of Biscottea Shortbread Cookies. Here is some information about Biscottea:

BISCOTTEA® is baked with organic and all-natural ingredients and combines the richness of a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe with the health attributes of the teas which are baked into each BISCOTTEA® square.

I was sent samples of the following Biscottea shortbread cookies:

Blueberry Tea Shortbread-White Tea from China’s Fujian province has long been celebrated for it’s cooling properties. High in antioxidants, this tea is mellow, slightly woodsy in character. We combine this Organic White Tea with Organic all-natural blueberry flavor into this gluten free version of our traditional BISCOTTEA® Blueberry Tea Shortbread. These were our favorite cookie of the 3. I loved the subtle blueberry flavor & the texture of the cookie. Just like a traditional shortbread cookie.

Chai Tea Shortbread -Savor the delicate balance of fragrant Chai Spices — cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and pepper — we combine these all natural spices into this gluten free version of our traditional BISCOTTEA® Chai Tea Shortbread. These cookies tasted a lot like a chai latte. The texture was awesome. Great cookie!

Earl Grey Tea Shortbread- From the Makaibari Estate, known for its outstanding organic teas, this Darjeeling Tea has spicy, floral notes — ideal for this Earl Grey recipe. We combine this “Champagne of Teas”, with the citrus bouquet from the Bergamot fruit into this gluten free version of our traditional BISCOTTEA® Shortbread. This cookie earned a very close 2nd place to the Blueberry Tea Shortbread. Excellent flavor & texture.


Biscottea Shortbread cookies can be purchased at Gluten-Free Mall for $5.45/box of 8 cookies.

Have you tried these cookies? What did you think? Of all the cookies that I miss from my gluten-filled days, I think the shortbread cookie is the one that I miss the most because I have found that it has been the hardest to replicate. These cookies made by Biscottea fill that void. 🙂

News & Notes

Have you heard the news? I have all kinds of tidbits, so I am going to put them all here in one, nice, neat place. 🙂

King Arthur Flour has a gluten-free line of mixes coming out on March 1st. The mixes/flour will be certified gluten-free, kosher, allergen free and have no preservatives. Watch for more info on where to purchase these mixes.


I am looking for a couple readers to write a guest post that will go live the 3rd week of March. Please email me at kim@glutenfreeislife.com if you are interested.


Wendy’s has updated their gluten-free menu. They have removed some salads that were previously on the list (Chicken Ceasar, Mandarin Chicken). After speaking with someone from Wendy’s this morning, I confirmed that those salads are no longer available. There are new ones on the menu and the gluten-free status of those salads should be posted on Wendy’s site by the end of February. I will make sure to update when that happens.


If you are in or near the Columbus area, Holiday Baking Company is beginning to offer gluten-free lasagna starting today!! I will be getting some this week to try out. I can’t wait!


And, the news that I am most excited about, P.F. Chang’s has added lots of items to their gluten-free menu. Please check out the offerings & make sure to let me know if you have tried any of the new offerings!


Check out some of my latest articles on Celiac-Disease.com. I have chatted about Quaker Rice Cakes, cacao nibs, bagels, Puffins, waffles and much more.


Want to try the new You Bars? You can see my review & get a discount code here.


Get a deal (free shipping) on all frozen gluten-free food you buy from gluten-free.com.  Click here for details


The offer to get a discount on Zing Bars is ending on Sunday! Take advantage of this deal now!

Here is the code:

Save $10 on EACH box of 12 ordered. So if they order 3 boxes, they would save $30 dollars. Each box of 12 is regularly priced at $31.95.

Coupon code is: gflife
Expiration date is: Feb 28 2010

Have an amaZING day!!

Maple Pecan Sables

These cookies are inspired by a recipe that I found in the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times. I love pecans in my cookies & just happened to have an open bag that needed a use. The way the recipe is written, it is vegan in addition to gluten-free. I changed it slightly. My version is not vegan. I didn’t have any vegan margarine in the house, as we use real butter.



Makes 36 – 44 cookies

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 TBSP maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups Better Batter Flour (you can sub another GF flour mix, just make sure it is not one that contains any baking soda or baking powder)

1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toast chopped pecans for 10 minutes.

2. Beat butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt with mixer until smooth. Stir in flour with spatula until just mixed. Fold in pecans.

3. Shape dough into two 10-inch logs. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill for at least 2 hours.

4. Unwrap dough logs & preheat your oven to 350. Let dough stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll logs in Sugar in the Raw, then slice into 1/4 inch disks. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Stats per cookie (based on 44 cookies): <1g protein, 4g fat, 55 calories, 6g carb, 3g sugar.

These cookies turned out so good! They remind me of Pecan Sandies!

Do you know what today is?

Today, February 23rd, is National Banana Bread day! Yes, there is a day set aside just for banana bread. What do I like best about bananas? They are naturally gluten-free. Bananas contain considerable amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. The latter makes them of particular interest to athletes who use them to quickly replenish their electrolytes. I will often eat a banana before my long runs to fuel me through my run and to help with keeping me from getting dehydrated.

I have many banana bread recipes and if you asked me to choose a favorite, I am not sure that I could. There are certain things that I like about each of the recipes that I am sharing below. I wish I had some really ripe bananas to make a loaf today!

Banana Nut Bread


Orange-Pecan-Topped Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread


Banana Bread French Toast

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Do you have a favorite recipe for banana bread that you want to share? I would love to hear about it!

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – February 22, 2010 – February 27, 2010

I wanted to write a little about National Eating Disorders Awareness Week because I have suffered from an eating disorder. I struggled with anorexia as a teen and then again a few years back, though not nearly bad the 2nd time. After recovering from my battle as a teen, I never knew that this was a battle that I would have to fight my entire life. I will win this war.

My struggle started innocently enough. I was a gymnast & I always believed, the littler, the better in the sport of gymnastics. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was trying to defy my genes. I was 13 and starting to develop & grow & I was doing everything in my power to thwart that. I cut my calories way back. I was eating approximately 500 calories/day. After a year or so, I ended up under 100 lbs (at 5′ 7″). I was dangerously thin. I really don’t know how I let it get so bad. I just wanted to lose one more pound. I would lose that pound & then lose just one more. It spiraled out of control.

My Mom took me to a doctor & with threats of being put into the hospital, I slowly began to eat. It wasn’t nearly as easy as one who hasn’t suffered from an eating disorder would think. My stomach was not acclimated to having much food in it at one time. I had to really concentrate on eating calorie dense foods. I was also scared of getting fat. My body image was very, very distorted. I eventually gained the weight back over time – about a year or so. In my later teenage years I looked back on that time & wondered how I ever starved myself, as I love food way too much.

Fast forward to my early 30’s. Hannah was 2 or 3 and I was still carrying around an extra 10 or so pounds (those pounds were in my eyes – I was a healthy weight). I started the South Beach Diet to lose a few pounds before going to the beach & that was enough of a trigger to get me in trouble. I did not cut calories as severely, but I had “rules” about what foods I would eat. I manipulated my diet to where I would lose weight – slowly. It didn’t help that this was pre-Celiac and food just made me feel sick in general. Before I got down to a scary weight, my doctor intervened. I sought counseling & learned to watch for certain “red flags” so that I could identify unhealthy behaviors. I have since gained back what I lost and maintain a healthy weight. One way I help keep my focus on being a healthy weight is knowing that I have to fuel myself properly to have the energy that I need to run.

I am now aware that anorexia doesn’t go away. It isn’t like an illness that is cured. It is something I will need to be aware of & on top of for the rest of my life. I know that I have these tendencies and I know what red flags I need to watch out for. I used restricting food as a method of control. Controlling my food intake gave me a strange sense of calm when everything else around me was chaotic. Now that I know that, I take steps to avoid it.

Here is some great information from the National Eating Disorders website:

The mission of NEDAwareness Week

Our aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.

How NEDAwareness Week Works

This year, NEDA is calling for everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week participants can choose from a huge range of ways to contribute: Distribute info pamphlets and put up posters, write one letter for Media Watchdogs, register as a Volunteer Speaker or host a Volunteer Speaker, coordinate a NEDA Walk, or arrange interactive and educational activities such as panel discussions, fashion shows, body fairs, movie screenings, art exhibits and more. As an official NEDAwareness Week participant you can be involved in any way that works with your schedule, resources, community, and interests. These events and activities attract public media attention – on local, national and international levels.

I saw a post last week on Oh She Glows by Angela regarding sizes in clothing. Writing “Size Healthy” over all the number sizes in our clothing is a fantastic idea! While it is too late to enter Angela’s contest, it isn’t too late to tag your clothing tags with “Size Healthy”. I may have to get my sharpie out this evening & visit my closet.

Product Review: Starfish Battered Fish

I have just started to see the Starfish Battered Fish in our local Whole Foods stores over the past 6 months or so. I was thrilled when Starfish sent me some complimentary samples of 3 varietites of their battered fish – Halibut, Cod & Haddock.


The crispy, battered fish portions are peanut, soy, egg, milk & gluten-free. The wild harvested fish is oven ready & quick to prepare.


I served the fish along side “chips” or steak fries. Jon was so excited to be eating “fish & chips” again. He ate an entire box in one sitting (there are 2 – 2.5 servings per box. If I hadn’t known that these were gluten-free, I wouldn’t have been able to tell. The batter had a crisp texture and the fish was tender & flaky. I even re-heated some fish the next day in the oven after heating up the night before and it turned out just as good as the night before. This is definitely a product that I will be purchasing again

You can find Starfish products in all US Whole Foods stores and some other stores that can be viewed here.

Have you tried Starfish products? How did you like them?

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