The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Gluten Free Caden

Even after healing from the strep throat, Caden has continued to complain that her stomach hurts. I had really hoped we wouldn’t need to go down the elimination diet route, but here we are. We’ve talked a lot about going gluten free, and since they are so used to me eating gluten free, she was very open to it.

Here’s the thing. It’s one thing for me to go gluten free. I like salads and almonds and don’t need bread or pasta. But a kid? Ugh. They like macaroni and cheese and pb&j sandwiches, and while you can still do those gluten free, it just doesn’t taste the same.

I have kept this low stress. I bought gluten free pretzels and hard boiled some eggs for her lunches. She has a fairly good understanding of what has gluten in it and what doesn’t, and we talked through her school day and what she would do for each snack. If she eats gluten, she eats gluten, but I also want to set her up for success by providing her with decent alternatives. I’ve also decided to move our dinners back to being entirely gluten free. Even if she ends up being okay with gluten, I think that’s a healthier way of eating for our family.

This weekend she did okay. She was mostly gluten free both Saturday and Sunday. When I could completely control her food choices she was fine, but when we were out and about all the options contained gluten and that’s what she went with. (Obviously if this is a long term thing, I will have to do a lot more planning when we are away from home.)

Day 1 at school also went fine. She had gluten free pretzels for her snack in her classroom, and at after care she had an apple. But when we got home she was tired and exhausted and asked for an Eggo waffle. I offered a gluten free waffle and she just lost it. Cried and cried. I get it, when you’re tired you want what you want, whether it’s good for you or not. So we talked about how it might make her tummy hurt, and to pay attention to how she felt after, but I let her eat it.

My goal is to do this for two weeks and see if it makes a difference. Caden loves to be sick, loves the attention she gets from it, so we’ve had a lot of talks about telling the truth. I’ve also explained over and over how this means no birthday cake, no pizza at friend’s houses, that this will not be easy. While I want to figure this out, for her sake I hope gluten isn’t the cause of this.

And because I want this documented somewhere, here is the recipe for Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes I made this weekend. After eating regular pancakes with my parents, the girls weren’t falling for my gluten free pancakes anymore. I knew I needed to up my game, so I’ve tried out a few buttermilk pancake recipes over the last few months. This weekend I put a few of them together and came up with these. Everyone loved them! The recipe makes a huge amount of batter, but that’s perfect because I froze the extras and will reheat them for breakfasts and snacks.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl. Use a whisk to really get everything combined well. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry, stir just until combined. Butter up your griddle and go to town!

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Weekly Menu Plan – 7/8/13 – 7/13/13

Here’s out gluten free weekly menu plan.

Sunday – Steak fajitas.

Monday – Zucchini pancakes. These are from my Practical Paleo cookbook and it calls for coconut flour. I really, really hate coconut flour so I’m having a bit of a dilemma here. What else to use and how much? Hopefully google and some experimenting can help me with that.

Tuesday – Avocado sonoma chicken salad

Wednesday – Spring stir fry

Thursday – Quesadillas

Friday – Dinner out

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Summertime slowdown

Work has been busy lately, and I’m wanting to enjoy summer more, so I’ve been simplifying where I can. One of those places has been our meals. No more slaving over a hot stove for 45 minutes to get a weeknight dinner on the table. I just can’t do it. It’s been more easy meals and less fussy meals. Leftovers, grill, cereal, yogurt, rotisserie chicken. Nothing pulled together enough to post a meal plan, but I have come across a few good recipes lately.

Paleo Mediterranean Chicken – I cut the chicken into cubes right away to make this faster/easier to cook. This recipe was good, but more than anything, this is a great base. Saute chicken, throw in some vegetables. Considering there is always something from the CSA box that needs to be eaten, this will be in the summer rotation.

Shrimp, edamame, and avocado salad – When Michelle and Wade came over for dinner the other week I made this salad to go along with our burgers. It was really good! Lots of flavor, relatively easy to pull together as well.

Slow cooker shredded chicken – I threw this in the crock pot Sunday afternoon and it was the perfect summer dinner. The girls had chicken tacos, I made a chicken tostada with a corn tortilla, cheese, and avocado. And there was extra to freeze!

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Weekly Menu Plan 5/12/13 – 5/18/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan.

Sunday – My neighbor brought over tator tot hot dish. I wasn’t going to eat it until I realized it wasn’t the normal tator tot hot dish! It appeared to be gluten free which was enough for me after a long day. Everyone loved it, need to get that recipe.

Monday – Overnight chicken. I marinated this for Sunday, baked it Sunday, but we’ll eat it Monday.

Tuesday – Honey Lime Shrimp

Wednesday – Chalupa bowls

Thursday – Scrambled eggs and waffles

Friday – Birthday dinner out!

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Weekly Menu Plan 5/5/13 – 5/11/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan.

Last week we seemed to have an abundance of groceries already in our fridge, so I bought a rotisserie chicken and figured we’d eat it in different ways throughout the week. That didn’t work so well. I need a plan when I get home, not the hope that I can look in the fridge and magically come up with a meal. That said, we only ate out once and given our week last week? That’s a huge win.

Sunday – Mexican Polenta Pie. This recipe was so disappointing I went back and left a comment on the recipe. I love polenta, but everything got lost in this dish. The beans/pork had no flavor, the proportions of things were off, and after a long day working outside I just wanted a good meal! Two thumbs down. Sadly, this will also be my lunch tomorrow and Tuesday, so let’s hope it reheats better.

Monday – Berry baked oatmeal. I actually made this for breakfast Sunday morning, knowing there would be plenty of leftovers for dinner Monday night. Everyone loved this! The only con to this is that it has to bake 45 minutes, so it isn’t a quick meal.

Tuesday – Creamy Chicken Taquitos.

Wednesday – Burrito Bowls.

Thursday – Beef & Cheddar sausages on the grill. We bought these today at Costco. I LOVE finding foods that proudly say – No MSG, No nitrates, gluten free!

Friday – Anyone’s guess. Leftovers? Out to dinner?

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Weekly Menu Plan 4/21/13 – 4/27/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan.

Sunday – Dinner out at Rojo

Monday – Leftovers from Rojo

Tuesday – Tacos

Wednesday – Steak bites with roasted carrots

Thursday – Lime Mango Chicken Skewers

Friday – TBD

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Weekly Menu Plan 4/14/13 – 4/20/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan.

Sunday – Chicken enchiladas with mexican rice. This is a basic cheese enchilada recipe. I make cheese for the girls, and use leftover roast chicken mixed with cumin and chile powder as the filling for mine.

Monday – Crockpot beef tacos from the freezer

Tuesday – Honey Lime Shrimp This is by far our favorite shrimp recipe!

Wednesday – Smothered Chicken

Thursday – Huevos Rancheros

Friday – Dinner out

Saturday – Dinner at my parent’s house

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Weekly Menu Plan 4/7/13 – 4/13/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan.

delaney cook

Sunday – Bacon, egg, and leek risotto. The picture above is Delaney tending to the risotto. I started this dinner way late, and needed to multistask as the rice was cooking. Delaney loves stirring, and once I showed her how and when to add more broth, she took care of things. She was so excited to add back the bacon and leek at the end, that I told her that I was going to fry an egg to put on top of mine, and did she want to try that too? She did! This is when I love her people pleasing tendencies. She knows how happy it makes me when she tries new foods! This was a huge moment in our house. She loved this dish. She broke her runny yolk and stirred it in, and loved the leeks! The only problem is that it makes so much. I almost halved the recipe and definitely should have.

Monday – Quesadillas. Gymnastics starts up again tonight, so quesadillas will move to Mondays.

Tuesday – Leftover risotto.

Wednesday – Sausages and roasted broccoli.

Thursday – Fried rice.

Friday – Peanut noodles.

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Weekly Menu Plan 3/24/13 – 3/30/13

Here’s our gluten free weekly menu plan. We’re a little burned out on chicken around here, so we’re doing our best to bust out of that rut. I’m also in a little bit of a menu planning rut, so we may be winging it a few nights as well.

Sunday – Braised Beef Tacos. This beef was so good! The girls loved these tacos. I checked it at 3 hours but it wasn’t done, so I cranked the oven to 350 and baked it for another 20 minutes. It then sat on the counter for 20 minutes and by then it was falling apart. I also made a recipe of baked polenta that we ate Saturday evening with some sauteed eggplant and tomatoes. I cannot get enough of this polenta! It reheats so well, and was amazing for lunch last week, so it’s coming as lunch this week topped with this beef.

Monday – Shrimp and sausage with roasted broccoli. I use andouille instead of chorizo, and just saute everything together.

Tuesday – Leftover beef?

Wednesday – Greek Chicken Thighs

Thursday – Pancakes

Friday – Dinner out?

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Weekly Menu Plan 3/17/13 – 3/23/13

We have a lot going on in the evenings this week, so I roasted a chicken today that we’ll eat throughout the week. I don’t have a firm plan for meals, we’ll wing it. Maybe tacos, maybe quesadillas, maybe just reheated.

I also made an insanebaked polenta with tomato sauce to go along with it for dinner tonight. Polenta was one of the first gluten free foods I turned to to replace pasta. I love it, but it’s not low cal, so I don’t make it often.

You bake the polenta, which it makes a perfect Sunday dinner candidate. I topped it with the tomato sauce, roasted chicken, and parmesan cheese. It was divine. And I had more than enough left for two lunches.

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