Gluten Free Snacks (dairy free and sugar free too!)

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I get a lot of comments in my real life about how hard it is to have gluten free kids, how the (insert bleep here) do we do dairy and sugar free as well? A lot of people struggle with snack ideas that are quick, kid approved, and healthy. I did. For a long time I agonized over what to feed these kidlings between lunch and dinner. Even BEFORE gluten free, I still preferred healthy (ish). But they’re right, it is hard. So here’s a list to help a little bit. We have some definite favorites such as the one pictured but really they are all pretty popular around here. There are some listed that I’ll be posting links to in a bit, but many are pretty self explanatory. Enjoy!

  • Frozen grapes
  • Homemade Fries
  • Paleo Apple Spice Muffins
  • Strawberry Sunshines (pictured)
  • Ants on a Log (Peanut butter on celery with raisin “ants”)
  • Paleo Jerky
  • Veggies with homemade ranch
  • Fruit Salad
  • Onion Rings (a bit more work and some littler kids aren’t super fond)
  • Apple Rings
  • Homemade “push pops”
  • Smoothies
  • Watermelon Pizzas

I’ll come back to this idea in a few months since we are always coming up with more snacks! And the paper plate? They were given to us. I have no idea if they are compostable or organic but I doubt it. They WERE however going to get thrown away but we saved them. Some days you gotta do what you gotta do. Shrug. ;)

 

Zuppa Toscana ~ an Olive Garden favorite….redone.

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We used to LOVE Olive Garden. I’ll admit, if we ever went out to eat, it might still be on the bottom of the list of considerations. My FAVORITE thing there is the Zuppa Toscana. But gluten free, I don’t think it is. Sugar free, I know it’s not. Dairy free, nope. DEFINITELY not. So I set out to re do it. My way. Oh is this good. I recommend making a big batch every time. This will serve anywhere from 4 to 8 people depending on how you serve it (and how big the appetite’s are!). We serve it as a main dish, and our dancers can out eat truckers regularly, so it serves four.

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Remade Zuppa Toscana

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 lb gf, sf sausage (preferably organic, I usually make my own)
  • 3 slices chopped bacon (optional)
  • 3-6 potatoes, sliced (6 if they are smaller, or red. 3 if they are big ones)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (either homemade OR 1 carton original Kitchen Basics brand plus 1 carton salt free)
  • 2 cups almond milk (I should point out that I ALWAYS use unsweetened)
  • 2 cups fresh, chopped kale
  • salt and pepper to taste (I actually don’t use any salt at all)

Saute the onions, garlic, bacon (if using) and sausage in oil. Add the sliced potatoes and broth. When the potatoes are soft, add the almond milk and kale. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.

Serve and ENJOY! SO good!

 

 

 

Strawberry Cream Oatmeal (GF, DF, SF)

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I know in my meal plan it originally said Apple Cinnamon but as it turned out, we ran out of apples pretty quickly this week. We did, however, have strawberries. Yummmy. So, I switched it up. This is very common around here. I am including the directions for Apple Cinnamon as well.  It’s a very filling breakfast!

 

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Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups gluten free, old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup – 1 cup coconut sugar (To taste. I’m not certain I even use 1/4 cup but my husband uses a full cup when he makes it)
  • 1 cup hulled, chopped strawberries

Bring water to boiling. Add oatmeal. Turn off heat and cover for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove lid and add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Serve. ENJOY!

To make it the original Apple Cinnamon, omit the strawberries. Peel and chop 2 – 4 apples, add 1 TBSP cinnamon. :)

Happy Hump Day!!

Monday Meal Plan

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The weather is all sorts of weird around here lately. This morning it snowed, leaving only about an inch, but still an inch. Now, as I look outside, it is sunny, the snow has melted and the temperature has risen twelve degrees. In two hours. Saturday it snowed heavily but yesterday was 65 and sunny. The ten day forecast predicts highs of 35 one day and 72 the next. So my whims on food are changing by the hour. Good thing my meal plan tends to be a little open.

Now that I am feeling SO much better, I have gone back to my meal planning. I get asked regularly how spend so little on groceries and avoid any take out restaurants unless it is preplanned. This is it. The meal plan. Without it (like the last couple of months) we are lost. We spend money on take out that isn’t usually exceptionally good and is expensive, plus we spend more on groceries and buy unplanned things.

I usually MAKE the menu on Friday since we shop on Saturdays. I try to avoid the store any other time during the week. I look at what we already have, and what is coming in the Bountiful Basket, then I plan the menu to include those things, adding to the list only what is needed after that. I plan breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I plan seven lunches and dinners plus three or four of the others, expecting to repeat a couple of times throughout the week. I also keep carrots, celery and various fruits on hand at all times to supplement the planned snacks.

These are NOT all Paleo, though many can be altered that way. These ARE all gluten, corn, soy, and refined sugar free. Many are also dairy free.

Breakfast

Lunch

  • Tomato Soup (with melted cheese rice cakes)
  • Black bean soup
  • Mediterranean salad
  • Beef Stir fry
  • Egg Salad
  • Zuppa Toscana

Snacks

  • Irish Apple Cake
  • Homemade fries
  • Push Pops
  • Ants on a log

Dinner

  • Grilled Burgers with Potato Salad
  • Steak Diane
  • Bangers and Mash
  • Beef Stew
  • Roast Beef
  • Fettucine Alfredo (this is the child’s choice for HER cooking night)

I know, you are all counting those and saying, but that’s only six, not seven. You are correct. We always have leftovers of some of those things so day seven will be Repeat Diner night, where each person chooses a leftover or mixes them up or whatever.

I will post recipes as the week progresses but keep in mind that not all is always as it seems from the title of the recipe ;)

Enjoy your week my friends!

 

 

Bangers and Mash (sorta)

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So I have had this serious aversion to chicken this pregnancy. Actually, up until about a week ago, I’ve had an aversion to pretty much EVERYTHING. But now that I am starving instead of sick, I am craving comfort type foods. Still no chicken though. Icky.

I don’t know if it is the baby channeling generations past or what, but I’ve REALLY been craving Irish food. Done my way. This is a dish that is a stand by, though if you are eating strictly Paleo, you’ll want to leave out the mash. Usually I also include yummy cabbage but alas we had none.

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This really would be JUST fine without the mashed potatoes but I am in love with them anyway.

Bangers and Mash

  • 3 organic, fresh, sausages (any kind. I use pork bratwurst)
  • 1 medium onion, siced
  • mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • oil of choice (I like grapeseed)
  • 6-7 red potatoes, quartered
  • almond milk
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes. Meanwhile, saute the onions, mushrooms, and sausages in oil. Add in water as needed. Make sure it’s cooked until no longer pink.

When potatoes are soft, mash with milk, garlic and salt and pepper.

Serve together and enjoy!

 

Exciting news and I’m back!

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After taking some time off to grieve the loss of my nephew, I’m finally ready to get back to work, and the swing of things. The last month has been a flurry of traveling, press, family, friends and doctors. I loved being home for as much as we were, but I hated the circumstances. In the dark, though, there is light. After years of trying, we found out we are expecting our new baby to join us in early October!

That being said, I have some weird cravings, even weirder aversions, and ridiculous night sickness. Dinner time has been fun, because most food makes me sick at night. The only thing I could stomach tonight, for example, was plain white rice. Go figure. I PROMISE to only post recipes that the whole family enjoys. I also promise to stick with the clean eating, I have noticed that processed foods sound the WORST to me, so I appreciate that. I was afraid I would only crave the crap I grew up with. But no, fruit is what I crave the most.

I’m excited for this new chapter in our lives (our ‘baby’ will be 11 when this one is born, so we are starting over). I am also excited to get back to work! Thanks for sticking with me!

Patience..please.

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I know I haven’t been on here much and I’d like to ask for some patience. We left home two weeks ago to go on a joyful holiday ‘back home’ for Christmas. It was great. Until Christmas night. That night our world changed. Four days later the world lost a joyous, spunky five year old angel. All from the flu. Some other child will gain life with his organs. His mother made the decision to save others’ lives when her baby was taken, much too soon, due to brain death. I am very proud of her.  We are grieving but I will begin posting again soon. Thank you.

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Auntie Jen loves you little Ronan. Rest peacefully buddy, we’ll see you again.