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Continuing with the gluten-free experiment this week.  I am still avoiding most baking and definitely avoiding all weird ingredients (gums, starches, garbanzo bean flour, etc.) just because I do not want to incur the expense or invest my time learning a bunch of new skills if this isn’t a permanent way of life for us.

So, I haven’t really answered the “Why gluten-free?” question.  Mostly because the post would actually turn into a rambling series that would induce sleep in most readers.  Basically, I have had digestive issues since I was old enough to remember constant stomach aches when I was little.  And headaches.  I also weigh less than I would like – I know, terrible, right?  But, it does both concern and annoy me that I cannot seem to look like a grown-up.  There are other little things that seem to possibly be gluten sensitivity related.

And, my middle daughter (who turns five today!!) also has several issues that could be gluten related.  So, why not try?  See if we feel better.  See if we look better.

I have found several great blogs that have some amazing gluten or grain free recipes.  And, with a little creativity, but not too much effort, avoiding gluten has been pretty pain-free.

So, here is this week’s plan:

BREAKFASTS:

Still in a healing phase from “Breakfast Burnout”.  This choose-your-own-adventure thing is a little more work, but a lot less complaining.  I’ll take that trade.

  • Eggs
  • Smoothie
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola
  • Apples and PB
  • Cheese
  • Fresh Fruit

LUNCH:

  • Lettuce Wraps (PB & J or veggies and hummus), fresh veggies
  • Sloppy Joes (no buns for the gf gals), steamed corn
  • White Bean Chicken Chili, green beans
  • Bean Bowls (Refried beans with fixin’s), corn chips
  • Egg salad, fresh veggies
  • Leftovers x 2

DINNER:

Have you tried any new recipes that you loved lately?  Calico Beans are definitely one for me! Have a yummy week :)!

Join me at Menu Plan Monday for more inspiration!

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Česky: Pšenice. Deutsch: Weizen. English: Whea...

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I have said in previous posts that we are really blessed to not have any medical reasons to avoid wheat at our house.  But, we are also trying to avoid creating any medical issues when it comes to wheat.  I have been reading quite a bit lately about the negative effects of over-consumption of wheat, and I have been inspired to cut back.  Not cut out, just not overdoing it.

I have found that wheat can be fairly easy to avoid at breakfast time, as we tend to keep it simple with yogurt, oatmeal (gluten-free oatmeal is available here) or homemade granola with fruit most days.  Dinner is still pretty easy if we are eating a meat main dish or soup.  It is lunch that seems to be the tricky meal for me.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the wheat-less, easy lunches we have been enjoying.

1. Vietnamese Fried Rice – or any quick version of fried rice, this recipe just happens to be insanely delicious :).

2. Lettuce Wraps – These are really versatile, and we honestly do not miss the bread one bit.  Fill them with refried beans, tuna salad, chicken, veggies, cheese, leftover fried rice . . .  And here is the weird one, but I’m telling you it is worth a try – PB & J!  Or PB & honey if you prefer.  Ooooo – and add sliced bananas!

3. Soup and smoothies – I make soup quite a bit during the cooler months, and the leftovers make a fantastic, quick lunch.  Just make sure you plan ahead and double your recipe so you actually have leftovers at lunch time :).

4. Ants on a Log – Classic.  Just plain fun.

5. Baked Potatoes – These can be really versatile as well.  Try topping them with chili, pizza sauce and cheese, taco fixin’s, veggies and ranch dressing, broccoli and cheese . . .

6. Eggs – Scrambled, Over Easy, Omelets – all quick, easy and nutritious.

7. Beans and Rice – Or why not just beans?  A bowl of pinto or black beans topped with cheese, lettuce, salsa and guacamole is so yummy.  Or just top with shredded cheese and chopped tomato to really save time.

8. Lentils and Spinach – This recipe really is tasty.  Much more so than its boring name would lead you to believe.  I usually make a huge pot with lentils and brown rice.  Top with fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.

9. Cottage Mac and Cheese – This is my box-less version of a kid favorite.  Make with brown rice pasta.

I would love to hear from you now!  Help me add to my repertoire – what are your wheat-free favorites?

To see one of my gluten-free menu plans using simple foods we all recognize, click here!

Join me at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays for more ideas!

This post is also linked to Real Food Wednesday and Works For Me Wednesday

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This is a hands-down, far and away, off the charts favorite at our house.  I have a bigger problem with this stuff than I do with dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s.  And that is saying a lot.  There is a reason I only make this at Christmas time.

One of the best parts is how stinkin’ easy it is.  I have no clue where this recipe originated, but it certainly wasn’t with me!  The original recipe called for Saltine crackers and brown sugar – but these slightly healthier ingredients work just as well.

Ingredients for Cracker Toffee

Easy Cracker Toffee

https://blessedrootsblog.wordpress.com

2 sticks of butter (ignore the fact that there is only one in the photo :))

1 cup of Sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 sleeve of Social Snackers crackers from Trader Joe’s (or saltines)

1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, or 1 1/2 cups

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 Super cute baby eating empty butter box (optional)

Optional Ingredient

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Line a 10 x 15 sheet pan with foil, and butter the foil.  (Tip: Use the wrappers from your sticks of butter)

3.  Melt butter and Sucanat in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  It takes a few minutes for the two to come together, so be patient.  I’ve put my pictures in there so you know what you are looking for:

Butter and Sucanat Starting to Melt

Butter and Sucanat Starting to Come Together

Butter and Sucanat Ready to Boil

4.  Once the caramel mixture is boiling, stop stirring and set the timer for 3 minutes.  Let it do its thing while you place 1 sleeve of crackers on the pan and chop the nuts if you are using them.

Boiling for 3 Minutes

Crackers on Buttered Foil

5.  After the 3 minutes is up, stir the caramel and pour it on top of the crackers.  Use an offset spatula (or a butter knife) to spread it around evenly and cover all the crackers.  Put it in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Fresh Out of the Oven

Sprinkle on the Chips

7.  Once the chips have melted, use your offset spatula to evenly spread the chocolate over the toffee.  Sprinkle on the chopped nuts, if you are using them, and gently press them into the chocolate.

8.  Place the pan in the refrigerator to harden.

Done!

9.  Once the chocolate has hardened (this will take several hours), break the toffee into pieces.  Try not to eat it all as you go.

I guarantee you will love this, and so will everyone you share it with – enjoy!

This recipe is shared with:

Sweet Tooth Friday with Alli-n-son

I’m Lovin’ It with Tidy Mom

Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

Sweets For a Saturday with Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Meatless Mondays with My Sweet and Savory

12 Days of Christmas Goodies with Mom’s Crazy Cooking

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