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Quick Breakfast Ideas Week

This week's gluten-free menu:

Sunday - Sirloin Steak , Asparagus, Rice
Monday - Jambalaya
Tuesday - Lentil Soup, Green Salad, Crispy Corn Tortillas
Wednesday - Sausage, Sauerkraut, Boiled Potatoes
Thursday - Pecan Crusted Catfish , Broccoli
Friday - Tacos


This August the themes for The Gluten Free Menu Swap are all centered around gluten-free ideas for going back to school. This couldn't be a better fit for us, because our son is starting kindergarten in just a few weeks! I have also recently started a new job so gosh - I really need to be organized! This week the theme is quick breakfast ideas. Some of our favorite gluten-free breakfasts are :

Gluten-freeda Oatmeal Packs
Scrambled Eggs
Gluten-Free Chex Cereals
Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Cereal
Yogurt and GF Granola
Bob's Redmill Quick Cooking Oatmeal
Smoothies
GF English Muffins

Here are some of the mentioned products found on Amazon :



Also muffins can be such a treat during the week and are very fast if they are made ahead of time. I love banana muffins and always seem to have unused ripe bananas at the end of the week. I also save bananas that I haven't used at the end of the week in the freezer. They're really useful for banana muffins or smoothies.

About This Week's Menu
I've tried to keep this week's menu easy. I'm going to cook the jambalaya in the crock pot by cooking the meat and vegetables during the day and just making the rice when I get home. I'm also going to try to prep the vegetables for the lentil soup ahead of time so I can just throw everything in the pot when I get home without having to worry about chopping. The rest of the week seems pretty easy. I'm just going to broil the sausage which only takes minutes, fish always cooks quickly, and tacos are a very easy meal. We had a very busy week last week so we'll be glad to have some easy meals and hopefully a more relaxed week! Have a good one!

Summer Squash

This week's gluten-free menu:

Sunday - Lasagna , Green Beans, Green Salad
Monday - Chicken Fried Rice
Tuesday -Lamb Burgers with Yogurt Sauce, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Rice
Wednesday - Baked Salmon , Rice Pilaf, Sauteed Squash
Thursday - Turkey and Squash Pasta
Friday - Baked Chicken Taquitos, Quacamole


What to say about summer squash? First of all, what is summer squash? Summer squash are types of squashes that are harvested when they are young and the rind is still tender and edible. Zucchini and yellow squash are among these squashes. Okay, now that I understand what summer squash is, I can say that I do cook with them!

Two dishes I cook with squash are Turkey and Squash Pasta and Minestrone Soup. I also like to saute them with a little olive oil and some basil or herb de Provence.

About This Week's Menu
This week's menu starts with Lasagna. This is a great meal to start off the week because it creates extra food for leftovers. Sometimes when I come home from work I'm really tired and a night off of cooking is welcome. Lasagna usually takes me over an hour to make so I'm going to make it on Sunday while there's more time allotted for cooking. Monday night an old stand-by, chicken fried rice, is on the menu. Tuesday is a family favorite - Lamb Burgers. I serve this with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and rice, and make a lot of yogurt sauce that we put on everything in the meal. Yum! The Yogurt Sauce definitely makes this meal. Wednesday we will have salmon and sauteed squash. Thursday we'll have Turkey and Squash Pasta. Friday we'll relax with some finger food with Baked Chicken Taquitos.

Check out the Gluten Free Menu Swap hosted by Celiac Family this week.
Or check out OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday (not all gluten-free).

Peaches Week

This week's gluten-free menu:

Sunday - Pork Tenderloin with Peaches, Green Beans, Red Potatoes
Monday - Chicken Salad, Summer Fruit Salad
Tuesday - Turkey Pasta
Wednesday - Almond Crusted Salmon , Rice Pilaf, Asparagus
Thursday - Chicken and Rice Soup, Apples and Cheese
Friday - Gluten-Free Pizza


Last week I went for a walk in our neighborhood and I saw a beautiful tree filled with fruit. I said to my husband excitedly, "Is that a peach tree!?". My neighbor who owned the tree heard me and said they would be ready in a few days and that I was welcome to come back and take some then. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly where he lived, but it is evidence that peaches are in season!

Need some ideas for how to use your peaches? Here are some gluten-free recipes that I found online that looked good:

Peach Melba
Grilled Peaches
Peach Margaritas
Peach Smoothies


About This Week's Menu
This week's menu includes peaches in the Summer Fruit Salad and cooked with the Pork Tenderloin. I've tried to make the rest of the week fairly simple and light because it sure is getting hot in Texas. Enjoy your week and stay cool!

Be sure to check out this week's Gluten-Free Menu Swap hosted by Celiac Family.
Or check out Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie for other menu planning ideas ( not all gluten-free ).

Eating Out on Summer Vacation

Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie , Broccoli
Monday - Chicken and Mango Salad
Tuesday - Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Wedges, Green Beans
Wednesday - Baked Salmon , Rice Pilaf
Thursday - Swimming Angel Chicken
Friday - Tacos

We tend to eat out a lot when we're on summer vacation. Eating out in general can be tricky for someone on a gluten-free diet. It has, however, gotten so much easier than it used to be. The first thing you can ask is "Do you have a gluten-free menu?". This may not work everywhere but it's common enough now to give it a try. Many restaurants either have a gluten-free menu or mark gluten-free options on the menu.

There is a bit of skill involved in navigating a menu that does not cater to people on a gluten-free diet. One trick that seems to work well is to order a basic entree such as steak, grilled chicken, or fish with simple sides. Of course, always make sure to ask if any sauces are used and ask about soy sauce in particular. Also if you think that bread may be served with your meal ask for them to leave it off or if someone else in your party wants it make sure that they serve it on the side and don't put it on top of the meal.

Mexican restaurants have a lot of gluten-free options. Most Mexican restaurants have a corn tortilla option for fajitas and tacos. Indian restaurants also have a lot of gluten-free dishes. Pretty much everything but the bread or naan is gluten-free. Greek and Mediterranean restaurants also have a lot of gluten-free entrees with rice being a big part of the diet. Sushi works well if you bring your own soy sauce. We've ordered our own gluten-free soy sauce packets in the past. They are inconspicuous and easy to put in a purse or pocket before heading out to sushi. Make sure to avoid imitation crab that is used sometimes in the rolls though as it contains wheat.

You can buy the soy sauce packets online. Here are the links :



For more ideas on the topic Eating out on Summer Vacation check out the round up at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap hosted by Celiac Family this week.
Or Check out the Monday Menu Planning round up at OrgJunkie ( not all gluten-free ).

Grilling Week

This week's gluten-free week :

Sunday - Hamburgers , Corn, Green Salad
Monday - Lentil Shepard's Pie, Steamed Asparagus
Tuesday - Chicken Mango Salad , Crispy Corn Tortillas
Wednesday - Hobo Packs
Thursday - Fish Tacos, Black Beans, and Rice
Friday - Chicken Kebabs , Rice

Grilling
The weather has warmed up and people are out in their backyards grilling! There are so many wonderful ways to cook up a meal on the grill. One of my favorite grilling books is License to Grill. The recipes are so delicious. The results are amazing. It's not a gluten-free cookbook, but it's easy enough to make modifications, like using gluten-free barbecue sauce. Barbecue sauce is one of those products that is not always gluten-free. It often has modified food starch in its ingredients which is made out of either corn or wheat and often doesn't clarify on the label. Stubbs Barbecue Sauce and Sweet Baby Rays are among those that are actually labelled gluten-free. Another gluten-free grilling issue that could come up is using a communal grill. If you are gluten intolerant and using a communal grill at a park or at an apartment or condominium complex this could pose a problem. People often cook their bread directly on the grill. One way to solve this problem is by cooking hobo packs. You make hobo packs by putting meat, potatoes and vegetables in individual aluminum foil pouches and throwing them on the grill. We have also used a grilling wok before. This would also solve the problem of grilling on a communal grill and is also just something different to try.

About This week's Menu
Sunday is a grilling night. Hamburgers, Corn and Salad are on the menu. Monday is a meatless dinner, but it's hearty and satisfying : Lentil Shepard's Pie. Tuesday we're having Chicken Mango Salad. I'll serve this with crispy corn tortillas. Wednesday we're having Hobo Packs on the grill. Thursday is Fish Taco night. Friday night's meal is Chicken Kebabs. These can also be cooked on the grill.

This week the Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted at Celiac Family. Also check out Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie for more menu ideas ( not all gluten-free ).

Be sure to come back next week when The Gluten Free Menu Swap will be hosted here at GlutenFreeWeek with Picnics as the theme.

Valentine's Day Week

This week's gluten-free menu -
Sunday - Honey Chicken, House Green Salad, Corn
Monday -Love Potion Salad, Gluten-Free French Onion Soup
Tuesday - Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Broccoli
Wednesday - Almond Encrusted Halibut, Spinach
Thursday - Chicken and Oysters Gumbo
Friday - Filet Mignon, Red Wine, Asparagus, Finger Potatoes, and GF Double Chocolate Brownies

At GlutenFreeWeek it's Valentine's Day all week long and we're going to make things interesting.  According to this article (and various other internet articles) these foods are all aphrodisiacs :  pomegranates, basil leaves, avocados, oysters, almonds, red wine, garlic, asparagus, honey, and chocolate. So this week we're going to try to put as many of those foods as we can into our menus! On Sunday we'll start things off with a sweet and easy Honey Chicken Recipe.  On Monday we'll get things going with a Love Potion Salad.  This has as many aphrodisiac ingredients that will go together into one bowl including pomegranates, basil, and avocados.  On Tuesday we'll have Spaghetti and Meatballs.  What's more romantic than Lady and the Tramp sharing a bowl of spaghetti together?  We'll make sure to put lots of fresh garlic and basil in the sauce!  On Wednesday we'll keep the theme going with Almond Encrusted Halibut. On Thursday we'll have Chicken and Oyster Gumbo.  Not only are oysters supposed to spice things up in the love department, but they are full of nutrition too!  And on Valentine's Day itself, the grand finale, we'll have Filet Mignon, Red Wine, Asparagus, Finger Potatoes, and Chocolate Brownies.  Whew!  It's getting hot in the kitchen!

This week GlutenFreeWeek is participating in Organzing Junkie's Menu Planning Monday and by Heather in the Gluten Free Menu Swap hosted by Celiac Family.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Week

This week's Gluten Free Menu:
Sunday - Stuffed Bell Peppers
Monday - Rotini with Salsa Crude
Tuesday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
Wednesday - Grape and Craisin Chicken Salad and Fruit Salad
Thursday - Steak and Pear Salad
Friday - GF Chicken Sausage and Cauliflower Potato Mash

This week the Sunday meal is Stuffed Bell Peppers.  This meal always takes me a while to prepare but is a great traditional meal that is easily converted to a gluten-free dish. I'm excited to try a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.  Hopefully I can find ways to make this recipe simpler so that it can be an easier work week meal.  I'm also making Cranberry and Chicken Salad.  I like to make extra for sandwiches to take to work or school for lunch. I'm also serving Steak and Pear Salad, Rotini with Salsa Crude, and a very simple Friday meal with Gluten-Free Chicken Sausage and Cauliflower Potato Mash.

Blueberries Week

This Week's Gluten-Free Menu :

Sunday - Chicken Soup
Monday -Tacos
Tuesday - Crock-Pot Pulled Pork, Vegetable Medley
Wednesday - Salmon, Rice, Spinach
Thursday - Simple Weeknight Chicken, Broccoli
Friday - GF Pulled Pork Sandwiches

About This Week's Menu
This week is another simple week. We're using the crock pot for pulled pork and have a lot of family favorites on the menu. Generally trying to keep it simple. On Friday we're going to us leftovers to make pulled pork sandwiches or maybe we'll try to make pork quesadillas instead to make it more fun.

Blueberries Week
Why Blueberries? Well, most of all they taste awesome. They have also been touted to soften dry skin, boost your brain, and maybe even prevent cancer.

This week blueberries are the them and I've made blueberry muffins. I tried a couple of different recipes. I'm in the camp that thinks that blueberry muffins should taste good and so I don't worry too much about them being healthy. My recipe does have a lot of blueberries in it though so they're healthful in that respect. Blueberries, it seems, can be put into salad, sauces, smoothies and all sorts of desserts. It can even be used for baby food.

Blueberry Smoothies

Gluten-Free Tart

What's the Difference Between Celiac Disease and Ileitis, Colitis, Crohn's Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

As the spouse of someone who was diagnosed with celiac disease more than 35 years ago, I will admit that becoming more educated about the subject is a continuing process. This educational process has, at times, caused confusion for me.

One area that has caused confusion is understanding the difference between celiac disease and other diseases and conditions that also affect the gastrointestinal tract. Are these diseases and conditions similar to celiac disease, and are they related? These other diseases and conditions are: ileitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

To learn more about these, I searched for the websites of any national groups, organizations, or foundations for these diseases. As mentioned in a previous blog, I am not a medical practitioner of any kind, so if you have questions or need specific information on any of these diseases and conditions, please consult your physician.

As you already know, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by an intolerance to the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. I’m assuming you are also aware of and have already visited the website for the Celiac Disease Foundation. If not, you should. It contains a wealth of information about living with celiac disease.

As it turns out, there is also a national foundation for both Crohn’s disease and colitis called the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). There is also a wealth of information on this site, but I’m only including the information that helped me better understand these diseases and clear up any confusion on my part. I highly recommend you go to the site and read all the information provided.

About Crohn’s disease, it says: “Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract... It is important to know that Crohn’s disease is not the same thing as ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD. The symptoms of these two illnesses are quite similar, but the areas affected in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) are different. Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus...Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, also called the large intestine.”
About colitis, also known as ulcerative colitis, it says: “Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers.”

In addition, the CCFA site says: “While both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are types of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), they should not be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the colon. IBS is not characterized by intestinal inflammation.”

I then decided to search for the term “’irritable bowel syndrome” on Google. I found no national foundation or website, but there was some interesting information on a National Institutes of Health website called National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House. It helped clarify several misconceptions I had. It says: ”Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, meaning symptoms are caused by changes in how the GI tract works. People with a functional GI disorder have frequent symptoms; however, the GI tract does not become damaged. IBS is a group of symptoms that occur together, not a disease. In the past, IBS was called colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon, and spastic bowel. The name was changed to reflect the understanding that the disorder has both physical and mental causes and is not a product of a person’s imagination.”

Further, since I didn’t see any information on the CCFA site about ileitis, I also searched for that term on Google. I couldn’t find a national foundation or website specifically for ileitis, but did learn that ileitis refers to inflammation of the ileum, or small intestine, as described on the CCFA site, and can be caused by Crohn’s Disease affecting the ileum. Another National Institutes of Health website says there can also be ileitis not caused by Crohn’s disease but by a variety of other diseases. Please refer to this website for information on those types of ileitis.

By now you may be asking what any of this has to do with celiac disease, or why I was confused in the first place. Since reading more information about ileitis, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome, I have learned that:

- Except for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the other diseases and conditions I was wondering about all involve inflammation in the GI tract, including celiac disease.

- IBS should not be confused with irritable bowel disease (IBD). The two are different. IBS involves muscle contraction while IBD involves inflammation.

- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both IBDs. Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere along the GI tract from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (large intestine).

- Ileitis is a type of Crohn’s disease that usually affects the ileum, which is the end of the small intestine, and also the beginning of the colon; however, there are also other forms of ileitis caused by other diseases.

- Several symptoms are common to celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis: abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue.

- Celiac disease is not classified as an IBD or IBS.

- Celiac disease is caused only by an intolerance to gluten. An intolerance to gluten is not the cause of Crohn’s disease (and ileitis), ulcerative colitis, or IBS.

I hope this will be helpful to you as well in your continuing education on celiac disease.

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