Coconut Week

This week's gluten-free menu:

Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie, Coconut Ice Cream Sundae
Monday - Southwestern Salad, Tortialla Chips
Tuesday - Thai Chicken Curry
Wednesday - Beef Stroganoff, Broccoli
Thursday - Thai Coconut Chicken Soup, Green Salad, Rice
Friday - Shrimp Cocktail, Cut Veggies, Hummus, Cheese, Crispy Tortillas

If you want to be trendy then mention coconut in a conversation. It's very popular right now. My hippest friends are using coconut oil, making coconut whip, and eating coconut ice cream. There is quite a buzz on the internet too. Why has this coconut craze occurred? Well, it seems that coconut used to have a bad reputation for being unhealthy because it has a lot of saturated fat and is high in calories, and now scientists are starting to say that there are some good reasons to eat coconut. Apparently it has no trans fats but has the right kind of saturated fat according to some sources. Lauric acid found is coconut is a medium-chained fatty acid which is easier to digest, absorb and use for energy.

Coconut oil in particular is a hot item. The buzz is that it tastes good. Apparently it has a lighter taste than coconut but still some of the flavor. People cutting back on dairy really like it too. I hear people talking about using it instead of butter, or splitting the butter content in half for coconut oil in baking. Another benefit of coconut oil is that it has a higher cooking temperate than some oils like olive oil.

Coconut may have some health benefits, but mostly I eat it because I think it's delicious! This week has a few dishes that use coconut.

About This Week's Menu
On Sunday we're going to start the week with Chicken Pot Pie. This has nothing to do with coconut but my son has been asking for it all week. For dessert we'll have ice cream and fruit, with roasted shredded coconut on top. I served this for a dinner party and it was a hit. It's a very low maintenance dessert and the coconut adds a bit of sophistication as well as flavor. On Monday we're having a very easy to make Southwestern Salad. Tuesday, we're going to have Coconut Soup. This is my favorite thing to order in Thai restaurants. Oh gosh love it. Can't wait! Wednesday we're going to have Beef Stroganoff. On Thursday we're going to have another Thai recipe that uses coconut milk - Red Thai Curry. The red curry paste in this recipe can be a little hard to find but is so worth the search. Yum! To end the week we're going to have Shrimp Cocktail on Friday. It will be nice to have a relaxed meal with some finger foods at the end of the week.

Gluten Free Menu Swap
This week Glutenfreeweek is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap. I can't wait to see what everyone is making with coconut!

Mom's Plan : Dairy and Gluten-Free
Melissa at Mom's Plan doesn't have coconut on the menu this week because of an intolerance in her family but has lots of good ideas for gluten and dairy-free eaters. She has a Turkey Vegetable Loaf, Spaghetti Bolognese, and a Tuna Noodle Casserole on the menu this week.

Celiac Family : Gluten-Free
Heather at Celiac Family has lots of ideas for how to use coconut. She listed several yummy recipes that use coconut flour, milk, and other coconut products including Chocolate Crème Brulée and Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. Her menu this week includes Flank Steak, Teriyaki Chicken Tenders, and Cilantro Lime Shrimp.

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie or check out some of Glutenfreeweek's past menus. For some mid-week meal or dessert ideas check out Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten-free Homemaker.