Friday, July 1, 2011

Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free drinks

Linda over at The Gluten Free Homemaker blog has a challenge for the month. It  is to create a gluten free drink. Most drinks are gluten free, but I thought I would add some of our favorite recipes that are gluten, dairy, and sugar free (no artificial sweeteners!)

Cranberry Juice
1 tsp Unsweetened Cranberry Concentrate (Tree of Life- is what I use)   
5/6 drops Liquid Stevia (SweetLeaf- Stevia Clear- is what I use)
Filtered Water

I make a glass at a time. I use just enough cranberry concentrate to cover the bottom of the glass about 1 tsp, 5/6 drops of stevia, and then fill the glass up with water. Mix it together and add ice. This is a great drink when you want something sweet, but don't want the sugar. It is great for the kidneys. I get kidney stones and people have recommended cranberry juice, All cranberry juice has added sweeteners, even if its apple juice, that is still high in sugar content. This is a great alternative.
 Green Smoothie
(I have never tried this recipe without a Vita-mix. I highly recommend making the investment in a vita-mix. My mother bought one for use years ago, and we use it all the time. My best friend made this recipe in a regular blender and she did not like it.)
2/3 handfuls organic baby spinach
1 banana, frozen
4-5 strawberries, frozen or fresh
2 c filtered water
1 c ice
Stevia- optional   
Put spinach in the blender. Add water. Turn the vita- mix up to high and let it blend really well for at least one minute. Slowly add frozen banana and strawberries. Once combined, add ice. This tastes like a banana and strawberry smoothie! My daughter likes to add a few drops of Stevia to her glass, but i don't think it needs it. My 1 year old son, drank my own glass the other day.

3/4 c fresh squeeze lemon juice or Real-Lemon Juice (we buy it in bulk at Sam's)
2/3 dropperful Clear Liquid Stevia (not powdered Stevia)
Filtered Water

Combine lemon juice and stevia. Fill the pitcher up with filtered water and stir. Sometimes we like it stronger than others. You may have to adjust this to your sweet/tartness taste buds. It is an easy recipe. It won't mess with your blood sugar and lemon is good for detoxing in the morning.

Meal Plan for 7/2-7/8/11

Making a meal plan is something I VERY much dislike doing. I always want to make it healthy, but also want to make food that everyone wants to eat. When you have 8 different people to please it makes your mind boggle. My husband and I know that we don't want to eat food we don't like, so we try very hard to not make our kids eat food they just do not like. They do have to try the food several times before they decide they don't like it. They can't just look at it and say, "yuck I don't like that." Grrr.... that can't make me more frustrated so my kids know better than to do that. Most of the time, they try it and like it.

This week, it took me an hour and a lot of frustration to work through, plus a phone call from hubby to help me get through this (pathetic I know! but I am so grateful for him!) So I figured that I would post my success. I know that things are going to come up and I am not going to be able to stick to this exact menu everyday, but if I can stick to it the best we can it will reduce a lot of stress & save lots more money than throwing things away or 10 trips a week to the store!

Hope posting this can help you some too. I enjoy looking at what other people are making for meals. It helps me make choices.

(Even if it doesn't say gluten-free, everything we make is gluten-free)

B: Scrambled eggs w/ cheddar cheese, homemade English muffins
L: Grilled cheese, carrots, celery, Ranch dip, & strawberries
D: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, garlic french bread, & salad

B: Waffles, bacon, & fried/scrambled eggs
L: BBQ pork sandwiches, baked beans, & potato salad
D: Steak, mashed potatoes, & steamed broccoli

B: Biscuits & Gravy
L & D: At a friend's house for a 4th of July party

B: Banana muffins & fruit smoothie
L: Spaghetti with meat sauce
D: Chicken quesdillas- kids (Hubby & I are celebrating our anniversary early by going out to dinner & a movie!)

B: Bagg-Os- bagels with butter & scrambled eggs with cheese
L: Potato Soup (my awesome recipe from Pampered Chef) or left over spaghetti
D: Baked Ziti

B: Pumpkin muffins (kids were over-the-moon excited for pumpkin muffins!) & green smoothie (organic baby spinach, banana, strawberries, ice, & 2 cups of water mixed in a vitamix. It tastes like a banana strawberry smoothie, I promise!)
L: Black beans & rice or Black beans with cream cheese on a tortilla shell w/ cheese melted on it)
D: Pizza; cheese for the kids & pepperoni & other toppings for the parents

B: Cereal (Koala Krisp) or Quinoa hot cereal
L: Tuna or Ham Sandwiches with veggies & chips
D: Ground beef tacos

PHEW.... I did it. Now to stick to it. I think knowing a head what to thaw out the night before, plus it being clipped to the fridge for everyone to see will make a difference. Hubby knows what he or I am making for dinner. He is my cook, so almost every night be cooks dinner. I planned for dinners that I can make since he has been working late a lot. The bonus: NO more "what are we having for dinner tonight, Mommy?" I can say, "Go look at the list!" :')

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My favorite blogs

Today I wanted to share with you a list of all my favorite blogs that I subscribe to. When going gluten free, it really helps to read what others are doing, how they got started, and continued support. I am always looking for new meal ideas, or new desserts. Gluten free is on the rise and more people are learning that gluten is a problem for them. I feel so lucky that I have been able to connect with some many wonderful people that are sharing their experiences and recipes with everyone. Thank you to all the bloggers for taking time to share with us!

Ginger Lemon Girl- Carrie Forbes

The Gluten-Free Homemaker- Linda Etherton

gluten free easily- Shirley Braden

A Year of Slow Cooking- Stephanie O'Dea

Celiac Family- Heather

elana's pantry-Elana Amsterdam

gluten-free goddess- Karina Allrich

These are the main ones I get as emails everyday. I do subscribe to others. I will continue to add more to the list.