July 29, 2013

This Week’s Menu – We’re Still Here…

Filed under: gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 19:04

I wish my tomatoes looked like this.  Between the excessive rain and aggressive bees I haven’t been near my plants for a couple weeks.   The few plants that haven’t been trapped behind the bee line (a couple rows of plants that the bees seem to swarm to and get really testy if you get too close) lost all their blossoms in the last series of storms.  Oh well, I haven’t had time to work in the garden anyway.  At least the bees and squirrels should be happy.

Menu 7/2813 – 8/3/13

Sunday: Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Monday: Ham & Potato Salad

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: GF Pizza Rolls (love, love, love this recipe!!!)

Thursday: Chicken & Avocado Wraps

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea


June 2, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Guess who got a Lodge pan

Filed under: Cooking Light, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:08

large cast iron skillet

Cooking in a very hot kitchen!

Can you tell that we wrote this week’s menu on day three of 90o temps?   Everything can either be cooked quickly on the stovetop or out on the grill, which is really appealing when you live in a house without central air conditioning.  Even better, it gives me a chance to test my brand new cast iron skillet!

Yes, I did it.  I finally bought a Lodge pan.  After Mr. GF’s last attempt to “help” with dinner, my favorite non-stick skillet is no longer non-stick and possibly permanently fused with charcoaled bits of burnt chicken.  (He only cooks on high heat.)  I’ll keep trying to clean it up and re-season it, but it’s not looking good.  In fact, it’s bad enough that I was able justify replacing it.

Mr. GF was dubious about my choice of cast iron over modern ceramic or teflon, but how can you not love a pan that is Made in USA, can be used (with care) on my ceramic cooktop, in the oven or on the grill, is virtually indestructible and only costs about $20?   I’ll admit that it’s really heavy, it’s kind of inconvenient that it can’t be soaked in water, but it’s worth it.   At least I hope it is.   Worst case scenario is that I hate it and it is relegated to grill duty.

Keep cool!  Tomorrow we are testing a recipe for Blackberry Sorbet.  (lactose free of course)

Menu 6/2/13 – 6/8/13

Sunday:  Grilled Cheddar Sausage Patties

Monday: Olive-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 204) – The olive part is a tapenade and is quite good!

Tuesday: Chicken and Blue Cheese Slaw (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 212)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Corn and Two Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 324)

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, Blackberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008, p. 159) and Oil & Vinegar Potato Salad

May 28, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Where the Heck Have I Been?

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 08:30

baked beans

In case you can’t tell, I’m not a prolific blogger…

It’s 8:30 AM and the baked beans have been in the slow cooker for an hour and a half.  I don’t have the time to be a super blogger, but I do  manage to make homemade,  non-processed, low sodium, gluten-free with minimal dairy meals on a daily basis.  If I had more free time I’d be all over the blog-post-a-day thing, but I don’t.

Things are busy with work, I’m trying to tame the urban wilderness that I call a garden and thanks to a generous gift of new flooring, we have decided to move up the kitchen demo plan.  (It was on the calendar for fall, but I can’t live with the stacks of wood that have morphed into stacks of wood and tile taking up half the space in my dining/kitchen areas.)

I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my day-to-day world, suffice it to say that some days I have more on my plate than others and that right now that plate is overflowing.

Looking ahead, summer is creeping up on us and with all the fresh veg it’s a great time to share easy to make, budget friendly gluten free recipes.  In the mean time here is this week’s menu.  As you can see, I didn’t even finish it.

Menu 5/26/13 – 6/1/13

Sunday: Cookout

Monday: Leftover Sloppy Joe (from Saturday)

Tuesday: Roasted Chicken with Slow Cooked Baked Beans and Oven Fries

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Pork Chops

Friday: TBD

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Chocolate Chip Muffins for coffee/tea

March 10, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Easy Classics

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:25

green grapes

Menu 3/10/13 – 3/16/13

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: Omelette with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Tuesday: Baked Chicken and Quinoa with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Dinner Out – Corned Beef and Cabbage

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, GF Chunky Monkey Cookies


About the grapes…

I recently realized that other than the bananas I use for baking, I almost never buy fresh fruit in the winter.  Once I realized the error of my ways I started adding fruit to the shopping list.  We started with honey tangerines.  They were tasty, but oh so messy.  Definitely not the sort of thing you can eat on the go or at your desk.  This week’s fruit is the green grape.

Conveniently packaged in self-contained, bite sized portions, the grape may be the perfect fruit snack.  In the car, at the mall or even in front of the computer they are easy to carry, easy eat and easy to share.  No peel, no sticky juice dribbling down your chin and no smell.  Even better, all the stores had grapes on sale this week.

February 26, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Glowing Birthday Cake

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 01:55

empty fridge with bright pink birthday cake

It’s my birthday and yes, that is an unnaturally pink cake in the fridge…

This week’s menu is a return to life before gluten sensitivity.  Back in the day my birthday dinner meant seafood.  Mr. GF doesn’t really like fish and it tends to make the house smell bad so it was the one day a year that I could get it.   Nowadays, it’s the normalcy of a giant roll filled with meat, a.k.a. a Hoagie that I crave.  Okay, crave might be a little strong, but we both miss the convenience of picking up a sub on a Friday night so that is what I wanted for my birthday dinner.

It’s possible I used a little too much food coloring on the frosting.  This is what I saw when I opened the fridge this morning.   The frosting is actually brighter in person, it may even be glowing.

Menu 2/24/13 – 3/2/13

Sunday (Birthday): GF Italian Hoagies

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Chicken and Biscuits

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Veggie Wraps Bean Burritos

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Dinner out

Misc.: GF Chocolate Chip Muffins for coffee/tea, GF Lemon Pudding Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: If my mother-in-law is reading this, don’t worry, the fridge isn’t really this empty.  Call it artistic license, but I had to put a few things on the counter to get a better picture.  If you look closely you can still see plenty of fresh veg in the drawer,  lactose free milk,  juice and raisins on the shelves.  If you have really sharp eyes you might even notice the primer brush I keep in the fridge.  It’s murder on the brush, but a lot easier than cleaning it every time I use it.

February 11, 2013

Chicken & Rice and Everything Nice – Making Soup When the Cupboard is Bare

Filed under: chicken, cooking, gluten-free, lunch, soup/stew, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:15

chicken and rice soup with spinach and mushrooms

I love soup for lunch!

One of the benefits of cooking gluten free is that it gives me an excuse to break away from the same old sandwich for lunch and in the winter there is nothing better than opening your lunch bag and finding a cup of soup.

I’m still getting over a cold and Mr. GF just caught one, so the plan was to make chicken soup for this week’s lunches.  Sadly I’m pretty much out of fresh veg and the supermarket shelves were bare so I had to get creative.  Not to worry, it all came out fine in the end.

Chicken and Rice Soup


makes 12 servings

  • 2 – 3 pounds  cooked chicken, diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cup water
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 16 oz package frozen spinach
  • a handful of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups rice


  1. Normally I would be a purist and boil a chicken and use homemade stock, but I’m still sick and kind of tired after all that shoveling so I cheated and roasted some chicken.   You could buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket, but you have to be very careful.  Many of the precooked store chickens have coatings which typically contain flour or bread crumbs.  Honestly, it’s no big deal to cook chicken while you’re watching tv, doing laundry or surfing the web.  Just brush on a little flavored vinegar or olive oil, add a few spices and pop it in the oven at 3750 for an hour.
  2. Assuming you already have your cooked chicken, the next step is to make the rice.  Mix 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is gone.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot.  Add sliced carrots, onions and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are tender.  Add chicken broth, water, chicken and spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer 30 minutes until carrots are tender.
  5. Add spinach, rice and mushrooms, continue cooking until heated through.
  6. Ladle into containers.  Cover when cooled.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, let me ask you this.  How much does a bowl of soup cost at the take out place and how sure are you that it’s really gluten free?

A little time in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll save time and money all week long.  To put it another way, twelve lunches for less than $1 a serving and no gluten.  Not too shabby.

Note: We both have lingering colds so we thought we would boost the decongestant benefits of chicken soup by adding some spice.  I thought I had jalapeños at home, but was out so I ad libbed with chili powder.  We like spicy, but it’s not for everybody.  If you prefer a more sedate flavor I would probably just use 1 teaspoon of thyme in place of the chili powder, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.

One More Thought: After I ladled out the soup I kept thinking that a teaspoon of feta might make a nice garnish.  I didn’t buy any, and Mr. GF tries to avoid dairy whenever possible, but if I had it on hand I would probably give it a try.

February 10, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Digging Out

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 20:58

red shovel in the snow

Snowstorms, Shopping Lists and Empty Shelves – Just Another Day in NH

I thought I was on top of things.  We dug out yesterday, I had my menu and shopping list ready and was all set to shop first thing this morning then I looked out the window.

After spending a couple hours shoveling and snow blowing yesterday we knew the city would plow us back in, but this was excessive.  Hard packed piles of snow up to my mid-thigh driven about four feet up the driveway.   Fortunately teamwork and a lot of practice helped us make short work of the snow.   Had we known what the supermarket would look like we wouldn’t have bothered.

After a quick trip to Market Basket we went to Hannaford for the things that MB didn’t have.  It was unreal.  The bins and cases in the produce department were completely empty.  I was looking for broccoli, cabbage and kale.  They had nothing.  The next stop was the meat department.  I wanted to make Sesame Beef with Noodles for Chinese New Year, but there was no meat.  Again, all the cases were empty.  Aisle after aisle, the shelves were empty.  It was crazy.  The combination of the storm frenzy and not getting a truck yesterday left the entire store decimated.    It was just one day!!!

So much for all my careful planning.  Re-jig the menu, hot dogs for today and hopefully the stores will be restocked by Tuesday.

Keep warm and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Menu 2/10/13 – 2/16/13

Sunday: Chili Dogs

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Sesame Beef with Noodles

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Winter Kielbassa Casserole

Friday: leftovers

Lunches: Chicken and Rice Soup

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day

January 28, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Back in the Kitchen

Filed under: menu planning — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:47

This is what the kitchen looked like last week…

table taking up all the space in the kitchen

This week we get back to business.  The floors are done and the table is finally out of the kitchen.  The china cabinet will have to wait until next week, but everything else is back where it belongs and I can open the oven, dishwasher and refrigerator without slamming into the table.  Time to cook.

Menu 1/28/13 –  2/2/13

Sunday: leftover Beefy One Pot Dinner, Kraft Food & Family, Fall 2007, p.22

Monday: Split Pea Soup, What’s for Dinner? 365 Lean & Natural dinners, p. 28

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday:  Creamy Chicken & Rice

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Meatball Parmesan Sandwiches with Oven Fries

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

Apple Raisin Crunch, What’s for Dinner? 365 Lean & Natural dinners, p. 25

I’m kind of waffling about this week’s menu.  I really wanted to try making a GF/Dairy Free condensed cream soup substitute, but between the clean up from the floor adventure and a work deadline I just don’t have the time to develop a new recipe.  I picked up a few choice ingredients when we went shopping yesterday, so maybe over the weekend, but not today.  In the mean time I am going to try un-glutening (okay, it’s not a word, but it should be) an interesting looking recipe I found for Apple Raisin Crunch.  There isn’t a picture in the cookbook, but based on the ingredients it looks like an apple crumb cake.  I may even replace the butter with applesauce to remove the dairy and reduce calories.  Win/Win and Yum!!!

January 20, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Love Your Slow Cooker

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:04

crockpotIt’s a busy week at GFBM so I am bringing out the slow cooker.

We’re in the middle of refinishing the floor in the dining/hallway area and the very limited space in our tiny kitchen is occupied with the dining table.  Needless to say, three days without being able to access the counter or oven for prep and cooking means my faithful slow cooker will be called into action.

Menu 1/20/13 – 1/26/13

Sunday: AFC Championship Game, Dinner out

Monday: leftover ham from Saturday

Tuesday: Chicken and Mushroom Stew, Prevention Guide Slow Cooker Recipes, p.9

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Beefy One Pot Dinner, Kraft Food & Family, Fall 2007, p.22

Friday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

May 29, 2012

Easy Gluten Free Stir Fry (chicken, pork, beef or vegetarian)

Filed under: dinner, gluten-free, lunch, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:58

We love stir fry!

Have an extra chicken leg or spare pork chop?  Make stir fry!  Did you buy the family pack of steaks?  That tiny one that nobody eats makes a great addition to stir fry.  Did you go crazy at the farmer’s market?  Don’t let all that fresh veg go to waste, make stir fry!

In case you can’t tell, we love stir fry!  It’s fast, is a great way to use leftovers and is easy to stretch for a week of gluten-free lunches.   The only caveat is that you have to be really careful and read your labels.   Sauces and stocks are favorite hiding places for gluten, and just because a company didn’t list wheat on the label the last time you bought it doesn’t mean that they haven’t changed the formula.  (Ask me how I know…)


  • 2 cups uncooked rice (brown or white)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • *1 cup meat (chicken/pork/beef), cubed
  • 3 – 4 small carrots, julienned
  • 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of pea pods
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (substitute beef broth for beef)
  •  **ginger, garlic, onion powder to taste

*A few thoughts on meat: Meat is an optional ingredient, if you prefer vegetarian, then omit the meat.  (You’ll want to use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth as well.)  Also, meat can be previously cooked, as in leftovers, or raw.

**Fresh ginger and garlic add a wonderful, robust flavor to this dish but can easily be substituted with powdered versions.  If you have fresh ginger and garlic on hand simply add them to the pan with the onions, otherwise, wait until the end to shake over the cooked veg.


  1. Add water, rice and a pinch of salt to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover with  tight-fitting lid and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat large fry pan, wok or dutch oven and add oil.
  3. If using previously cooked meat proceed to step 4, otherwise saute meat until no longer pink.
  4. Add carrots, onions, red and green peppers to pan, continue cooking on medium heat until onions are softened.  If you are using fresh ginger or garlic add to pan now.
  5. Stir in pea pods, mushrooms, soy sauce, chicken broth and remaining spices.  Add meat if using leftovers and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  6. Spread cooked rice on a serving platter and top with meat/veg mixture.  You can also just add the rice to veg mixture in the pan.  It’s not as pretty, but if you are using it for lunches it will be easier to measure out into daily servings if the meat/veg/rice is already mixed.

Note: Total cook time is about 30 minutes.

Substitutes: You can substitute any veg in season or on hand.   (Broccoli works great but is messy!)  Rice noodles also make a great alternative to plain rice.


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