Gluten Free Menu Plan: May 2015

May has been a little bit of an interesting month for us.  I’ve been doing a “Whole30” in order to reset and get back to basics.  Our menu will reflect a lot of that which includes whole/clean foods and everything cooked or made from scratch. Do not be afraid, it’s really easy in the end. Trust me.

Some of the items will be regular gluten free items as well.  Though I am not a fan of making separate meals, I did not want my kids to feel like they were missing out on their regular fare.

SAMPLE MENU PLAN FOR MAY 2015

SUNDAY: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

This month for our pasta I again used Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti because it is just the best I’ve found to date and the whole family loves it.  To make it whole30 compliant for me, I baked up a spaghetti squash and shredded it.  I have to say that I have been very skeptical of this food replacement. Super skeptical. No way is a squash pasta – NO WAY.  But I baked it up and shredded it and WOWSERS – IT WAS AWESOME.  Since I’m not a huge pasta fan anyways, this really was a great alternative for me.

For the sauce, I used the organic marinara sauce from Aldi called SimplyNature.  Again, not a huge fan of Aldi but they do have some great products that I do not mind stopping in for.  Their organic marinara sauce has simple clean ingredients: Organic Tomato Puree, Organic Tomatoes, Salt, Organic Onions, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Basil, Organic Oregano, Organic Garlic. That’s it.  No sugar or other funky ingredients and it tastes awesome!

To the sauce, I simply fried up a pound of grass fed ground beef with a diced onion (one whole), seasoned it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (from Penzey’s). Once the meat was done, I threw the sauce in to heat it up and served it over the spaghetti and squash with a nice side salad.

MONDAY:  It’s BRINNER night!  Scrambled Eggs with Sausage andToast

What’s Brinner? It’s breakfast for dinner of course.  I love to have breakfast for dinner at least once a week because it’s quick and easy.  This month, we started softball and baseball so I need to have some quick meals ready to go so we can get to the fields by 6pm.

For tonight’s meal I simply scrambled some eggs, toasted some Udi’s bread, and made up a packet of Hormel Little Sizzlers sausage which is naturally gluten free. For me to make it Whole30 compliant, I skipped the toast, and made my own sausage which I will post the recipe for soon – I promise!

TUESDAY: TACOS!

This is an oldie but a goodie for sure.  Tacos are a regular stand by around here.  Last month I pointed you to all of our favorite products for quick and easy tacos.  I made them whole30 compliant for me by baking some plantain chips (from the Well Fed cookbook) and using them with my taco salad with lots of guacamole.

WEDNESDAY: Chicken with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce and Rice

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, the danger hole of the universe that we all hate to love.  It’s from the Damn Delicious blog which is a fantastic food/cooking blog. All of the ingredients are gluten free – YAY!  Except they were not whole30 compliant – BOO!  All I had to do was swap out the “heavy cream” for some full fat coconut milk (I ended up putting in 3/4 of a cup to make up for the loss in cheese), replace the butter with ghee, and eliminate the cheese all together, and BAM, everyone got to party. I also subbed out the chicken thighs for chicken breasts because thighs – um, no. I simply served this over rice with a baked zucchini on the side.

THURSDAY: Skillet Fried Shrimp, Potatoes with Asparagus

Skillet fried shrimp is so easy.  I just defrost a bag of peeled, deveined, de-tailed large shrimp and rinse them off in a colander.  Melt some ghee (clarified butter) in a skillet and throw the shrimp in.  I season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I just toss the shrimp in the hot pan until the shrimp are pink and start to curl up.  I serve this with cocktail sauce for the family and awesome sauce (from Well Fed 2) for me.

Lastly I steam peeled white potatoes in a microwave steamer and also throw in a bag of Archer Farms frozen asparagus. As always fresh is best but really frozen veggies are a perfect second.  This asparagus is really tasty and super quick!

FRIDAY: Hot Dogs and Baked Sweet Potato Chunks

Friday has typically been our pizza night but this month I just needed to stay away, so instead I found some Whole30 compliant hotdogs which was super easy because they are everywhere and naturally gluten free.  They are brought to us all by Applegate!  You’d think these might not taste like the real thing but I assure you they do and they are kid approved. Thanks Applegate!  I served these with mustard and regular ketchup for the family and homemade ketchup (from Well Fed) for me.

The side dish is simply sweet potatoes cut up into chunks, tossed with extra virgin olive oil and salt/pepper. I put them in the oven at 425 degrees and bake them for about 20-40 minutes all depending on how big you cut them up.  My family dips these in ketchup like fries but I again love, love, love them with Awesome Sauce which is essentially homemade mayo with some spices added.  If I learned anything from my Whole30 is that fat is your friend and it tastes so wonderful!

SATURDAY:  Carnitas with Sautéed Onions, Peppers and Homemade Cole Slaw

We’ve been eating a lot of meat this month since it is the staple behind a Whole30 diet.  I got the recipe for the Carnitas again from the Well Fed cookbook.  It took a bit of planning for this as it is a stove top recipe that braises for hours, so make sure you have the time to be at home while it is cooking.  I wanted this to be like a fajita so I also sautéed some onions and peppers in ghee to go along with my pile of meat.

I used this meal to entertain my in-laws, so I figured I better have some other stuff available too.  That’s when the Well Fed homemade cole slaw recipe came in handy.  Since sugar is not allowed on the Whole30, I threw in some crushed pineapple to get that sweet taste that you are used to with cole slaw. It was fantastic!

I bet you all of this on a gluten free bun or waffle would be even better.  I’ll let you know once I make this again and I can have such things with abandon!

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