Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu for a week

    Okay, I have to tell you, I think I have finally reached food fatigue with eating what I call 'kid cuisine'.   I was sick of rotating between kiddie favorites-- meatloaf, salisbury steak, tacos, taquitos, spaghetti, chicken noodle and turkey noodle soup, and pizza.  So this past week was dedicated to eating new foods, and so everything we tried this week was  a new recipe for us.

Pork Stew
Shrimp Soup
Ginger Sesame Salmon
Celery Root and Pear Puree

Ginger Sesame Salmon

Free of: Gluten, Corn, Dairy, Nut, Peanut, Egg, Shellfish
1 1/2 pounds of salmon
1/4 cup GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger grated
2 tsp extra light virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
5 dried apricots
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, olive oil, and garlic.   Set aside.  Put 5 dried apricots in a microwave safe dish.  Pour in 1/2 cup of water.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes until plump.  Place apricots with the water, and brown sugar into the blender.  Blend until their are no lumps.  Add the soy sauce mixture to the apricot mixture, blend again until thoroughly incorporated.  Pour sauce onto salmon and let marinade for fifteen minutes. Sprinkle on as many sesame seeds as you like.   Bake at 400 for approximately 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.

*This makes more sauce than you may want to use on your fillet.

Celery Root and Pear Puree

    I was trying to expand my side dish recipes and tried this recipe.  It was the second recipe in the December 2009 issue of the Food Network Magazine, that I tried.  I have never cooked a celery root before, so this was a new experience for me.  It actually wasn't difficult and I really liked the dish.  Once I tasted this dish, I see why they add celery root to mashed potatoes.

   I do have to say though, that this may be more of an adult side dish.  However, four out of our eight kids liked it.  So for me, I would make it again.  So here is the recipe link below.

I made a few substitutions to the recipe.  I used rice milk in the recipe.  I also used extra light virgin olive oil instead of butter.

Shrimp Soup

Free from: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
    This recipe is from my mom's folder of recipes to try.  It came from a small magazine called Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads.  The recipe was submitted by Eddie.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 clove of garlic minced
3 cups of  original V-8 juice
1 (8oz) bottle clam juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
3/4 pound uncooked fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined
Hot sauce to taste

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic until tender.  Stir in V-8, clam juice, and water.  Add seasonings-thyme, basil, bay leaf, and salt.  Bring to a boil and stir in rice.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in shrimp and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Add hot sauce if desired.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  

Pork Stew

Free of: Gluten, Corn, Soy, Dairy, Egg, Nut, Peanut, Fish, Shellfish
     I grew up on beef stew and I always liked it.  Of course, when I made it for my own kids, they wouldn't touch it.  So for years now, beef stew has vanished from my house.  I only enjoy it when my mother makes it and she saves me a bowl.
      I tried stew again after all these years with this recipe, hoping that maybe they wouldn't recognize it as a stew.  I proudly called it Pork soup.  (Doesn't sound nearly as appetizing with that name.)  Well, I cooked up a batch, and surprisingly, five out the eight kids loved it.  They even went back for seconds!  I got the recipe out of the December 2009 Food Network Magazine, but it is also posted on their website.

I made some ingredient changes to make it gluten free:

  • Instead of flour - 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • I didn't have a can of diced tomatoes- so I used fresh tomatoes and diced them.  This avoided the citric acid that could be derived from corn in the can of tomatoes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Free of: Gluten, Corn, Egg
I warn you, this is another one of those 'loose' recipes.  There is no right or wrong here, just what your taste buds like.


Pork Loin ( as much as you want to make up to eat)
Garlic powder (optional)
GF Soy Sauce (optional)

Place pork loin in a crock pot and cover with water.  I like to shake in garlic powder and soy sauce.  Not to much, just enough to give a little flavor.

I cook the pork loin on high for about seven hours.  When it is done, it will fall apart.  Drain off the broth and finish pulling the meat apart.

Add your favorite salsa to the pulled pork, to create a thick meaty paste.  Taste meat mixture, and add salsa until you like the way it tastes.  


I use rice tortillas, but use what you like (depending on which kid I am feeding).  Use a skillet and place a small amount of oil in the pan.  Once heated up, place the tortilla in the skillet and warm up the tortilla.  Flip it over and do the same on the other side.  This make the tortilla soft and pliable.  Put as much filling in the tortilla as you wish, and roll it up.  Note:  If you are not allergic to cheese, this is the point where you can add cheese on top of your meat filling and roll up.  I have not mastered the ultra skinny, pencil thin roll ups, but my kids like them anyway I roll them, skinny, fat, or medium sized.  I don't believe in perfection here. 

Once, I have a stack of rolled tortillas, I fry in them in a skillet of heated oil.  I fry them just until they are browned on both side.  Drain on a paper towel and serve.

Menu for a week

Having been snowed in, I have spent more time outside shoveling that doing serious cooking.  This week we had quick meals.   I have added my recipes for Tacos and Taquitos below. So, the meals for the week were:

Pesto Pizza

Taco seasoning recipe

Free of: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn
I think everyone knows how to make tacos.  Take a pound of meat, crumble, and brown it in a skillet.  Add your seasoning, a little water if you want, and you are ready to heat up your taco shells and eat.

We are the kind of family that likes to use two meats, turkey and sausage, or buffalo (it used to be beef, before I found out about allergies) and sausage.

The one thing I do, is make my own taco seasoning.  I didn't do this because I had an abundance of time.  I did this again because of allergies.  Many of the packets contain hidden corn ingredients.  I got this from somewhere... but I can't remember where. Sorry I can't give the proper credit here.

Taco Seasoning:

1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

*When I was on the Feingold Diet, we omitted the chili powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika, and added ground fennel.  Luckily, my kids still liked the tacos with that mixture.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rambling about Evaluations

Creative daydreaming by Frits Ahlefeldt

Got a postcard from the County last week.  It was a reminder that Homeschoolers need to make sure that they get their evidence of progress in by August.

This is the time of  year that I reflect on how we have done homeschooling this past year, and where we are going this upcoming year.   So, I wanted to share my favorite resources that I used this past year.

It is a purchasing co-op that  lets homeschoolers have the purchasing power that school systems have.  It is FREE!  I have been a member for four years now and I buy regularly.  They offer a lot of neat stuff.

Discover Education Science and Streaming
I purchased this from the above, homeschoolersbuyers co-op.  It has thousands of videos to supplement your lessons.  All my kids love this, and it works well with our special needs kids as well.

Rainbow Resource
I love this catalog because they have thousands of resources for homeschooling products.

Beyond Play
This has great products for early intervention products up to the elementary years.  I buy products here for my Down's and Autistic children.

Baby Signing Time
I know most people will not need this resource, but if you have a need to teach an alternate system of communication, for a language delayed child, this is a great set of videos.  All my kids enjoy them, and use the signs readily around the house.

Another special needs resource for kids with hip abduction.  These really work!  If you have sewing ability you could probably make these your selves.

Handwriting without Tears
I have used this with all my kids.  It may be too juvenile with kids that are more advanced, but I have kids that really like things broken down into sequential components.  Works well with my special needs kids.

Key To Curriculum Series
If you scroll down, you will see the Key to Series of Algebra, Fractions, etc.    I own all of these and they are again for kids that like things broken down into the smallest steps and like to take things sequentially.  Love these.

Starfall (preschool and early elementary website)
I use this website for the interaction with the alphabet.  My Autistic son loves this one.

We use this with our kids so they have a certain amount of independence with their school, and then they have school time with the teacher (Me!).   It allows me to have them doing an online lesson while I have classroom time with other kids.  My kids really like it and  I like the fact that I can track their work.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rambling on about Slippery Elm Root

I have this little brown bottle of Slippery Elm in my homeopathic cabinet.  It keeps amazing me at what it can do.  About two years ago, I learned from my sister's co-worker that her mother used this liquid when she was growing up.  Her mother used it when ever she had a rash, pimple, or any other skin aliment that just wouldn't go away.  The first time  I tried it was on a pimple sized wart on my son.  It wasn't a wart but it was big, and unidentifiable.  I started applying slippery elm and within two and half weeks it was completely gone and did not come back.  The next time I used it was on a diaper rash that would not go away.  We tried every homeopathic ointment for that under the supervision of a doctor.   It didn't go away with the ointment alone.  I started applying the slippery elm and then the ointment.  Sure enough--  it went away.  So here I am again this week, looking at another skin problem.  My daughter has eczema that flares in the winter.   It has been a real struggle this year.  She scratches her skin to the point of tearing the skin.  I went to the doctors again.  We went on the homeopathic meds and ointments. (We use Unda numbers, calendula creme, and Unda 270 ointment.)  It still didn't seem to be enough and she was struggling.  Now you have seen a picture of my cabinet here on my blog--  surely I should have something for this.  I had forgotten about my slippery elm because it had gotten moved to the dark recesses of my cabinet, making room for all the new Unda numbers we are on.  I have been applying it all over the inflammed, rough leathery skin, followed by applying the two ointments alternately.  It has been three days and her skin is finally softening and it is looking tremendously better.  It is not completely healed yet.  I find with homeopathic, things take longer than the traditional methods of using steriods.   I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will heal completely as we continue to try and find the cause of her breakouts.

I have a link here to a description of slippery elm root.

Disclaimer: the above text is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to take the place of a doctor’s diagnosis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Salisbury Steak with Gravy

Free of: Gluten, Corn, Soy*,Dairy, Nut, Peanut, Egg
I modified this recipe that was in a Simple and Delicious Magazine.  It was submitted by Danelle Weiher.

1/2 cup rice milk or hemp milk
14 gluten free crackers  crushed
1/2 small onion chopped
2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 pound sausage
2 Tablespoons GF Ketchup (and free of any other allergy you have)
2 teaspoons Gluten free Worcestershire sauce ( I use approved soy sauce here)*
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-2 teaspoon of my favorite meat seasoning. Something like along the lines of a favorite steak seasoning.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, crushed crackers, onions, parsley.  Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the cracker absorbs the milk and swells up.   Crumble the beef/turkey and sausage over the mixture, add worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and favorite meat seasoning.  Mix well.  Don't over work the meat or it makes it tough.  Shape into four patties.  Place in an 8 x8 inch pan that has been greased.  Top with the gravy you have made.

Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

*Soy free if you choose a soy free product.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Menu for a week

I said I would try to share more main courses,  and what I menu planned for a week.  So here it goes.
Note:  I try to cook at least three meals a week and eat left overs a couple of days.

Monday:  Yak
Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Wednesday:  Greek Shrimp Quesadillas
Thursday:  Pork Fried Rice
Friday:  Left overs

The recipes for the Yak and Greek Shrimp are below

Grilled Greek Seasoned Shrimp

Free of: Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Corn, Nut, Peanut, Fish
This is a quick dish with very little prep.  You can serve it up any way you want.

1 1/2  pound of shrimp shelled
2 Tablespoons Greek Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Pour olive oil over the shrimp.  Add the Greek Seasoning and toss.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Cook on the grill over medium heat  for 5 minutes or until they just turn pink.

****I serve these up as the main dish just the way they are and add my favorite side dishes.

****Use these shrimp and make them into quesadillas.  Use rice tortillas, place the shrimp on one tortilla, and add buffalo mozzarella cheese (or your favorite cheese substitute), top with another rice tortilla and grill them.   ( Add your favorite veggies to them if you want-- sauteed onions, green pepper, or mushrooms).

**** You can use these shrimp and add them to pasta (fetuccine noodles) and add a few dollops of pesto.  Stir together, heat up and serve.

**** If you like it Greek then add a Greek Yogurt sauce, tomato, and  cucumber and wrap it up in your favorite bread, or make it in a lettuce wrap.

For the Yogurt Sauce: Use a yogurt you can use (goat, coconut), 1 garlic clove minced, add 3/4 teaspoon  of each- mint, oregano, 2 teaspoons lemons juice and pepper.  Mix up and let it chill to blend the ingredients.

Yak (Pork and Noodles)

Free of: Gluten, Corn, Dairy, Egg
This recipe is a family recipe that was handed down from my father when he was stationed in Japan.  There is no written recipe for this.  I learned this recipe by watching him cook it.  No measuring.  I did my best to measure but this recipe is one where you cook it to your taste.   I like less soy sauce than my father, so I cook mine with less.  We both like ours a little tangy and spicy, so we add vinegar and hot sauce at the table.  Some days, dad adds water chesnuts at the end of the cooking stage, and I love the crunchiness that it gives.  So add or subtract what you personally like.

1 package of pork chops, cut up into cubes
1/2 package of gluten free spaghetti noodles cooked
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
Salt and Pepper  (to taste)
1 can of water chestnuts chopped (optional)
Gluten Free Soy sauce

Fill a 5 quart pot with water.  Add the cubed pork, onions, and celery.  Bring to a boil.   Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer.  Cook about 30 - 40 minutes until the pork is cooked and the vegetables tender and translucent.  If too much of your water has cooked out, then just add more water.  Add  in your noodles.  Add soy sauce to taste (this is about 1/2 cup or more).   Taste again, and adjust the soy sauce.

If you have left overs:  The one thing I notice about this recipe when it is made with rice noodles is that it loves to soak up the juice in the pot.  So if not served immediately, and is packaged for leftovers, many times you must add more water to thin it back out.

Note: You can also adjust how much noodle to broth ratio that you like in your meal.  Like I said, this is one of those dishes that you adjust to your taste buds.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Gluten Free Kid Chef

 I mentioned in a earlier post about how my son was feeling like a misfit in social settings because of his food allergies.  I finally finished helping him create his blog.  We have been working on making a brownie that is more cake like, and vanilla pudding.  So, we have added these recipes to his blog.  Check them out if your interested in those recipes.   I don't think I will ever get out of the kitchen now :) !  I have to say on a positive note though ... that his cooking and sharing of his blog is giving him the confidence to share, in a postitive way that having food allergies isn't so bad.     He thinks this whole thing is so cool!  Enjoy!