The Gluten Free Menu Plan for Aug. 24 #menuplanning

Veggie Paella

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The last few years have been quite a journey into this mad world of food. My husband and I went from eating out often to cooking at home almost all the time. We went from eating lots of comfort food, pasta, cheesy pizzas and fried chicken to actually having a plate of vegetables for dinner on a Monday night. We are at a place where my husband truly enjoys the veggie plates and salads. We’ve shed some pounds.

We look for taste but strive to pack in nutritional value, too. We love trying new spices and experimenting in the kitchen together. And although a change in diet was forced on me after realizing gluten (then giving up the battle and accepting that casein and my beloved cheese) was making me very sick, I’m grateful for the path we took. And we are still learning and making adjustments (we use honey now in most recipes instead of brown sugar, which is refined sugar + molasses). Some weeks we eat a few more gluten-free grains than other weeks. And I won’t turn down a margarita once in a while even though I know it is packed with sugar. That’s my choice.

For the most part, we try not to replace traditional junk food with gluten-free junk food. I was excited to make a pepperoni pizza again, using dairy-free casein-free cheese, but didn’t really feel too great after eating it. And now I’m having a pop tart dilemma. My entire life I have loved pop tarts. Cherry or strawberry, no icing and stored in the fridge to be eaten cold. Lived on them while studying for the bar exam. And now they have gluten-free pop tarts.

  • But should I? I haven’t bought them yet because why go back… now I know too much about what I’m eating. Instead I snack on pistachios, nuts and dried figs. And I tried a Larabar for the first time – Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte – so good! It’s really nice to keep those in my purse.

So here is my PSA: If you aren’t feeling 100% and suffer from bone or joint pain, digestion issues, inflammation, a sticky cough, brain fog, chronic fatigue, ADHD, depression, vertigo, malnutrition, weight gain (there are many symptoms and signs) – it might be worth looking at changing your diet. Perhaps it is gluten, perhaps it is glyphosate on wheat – who knows what chemicals in our food are doing to us, but people are developing a wide variety of food allergies, sensitivities and diseases.

A lot of people are doing the Whole30 program and I think it is such a great idea – it’s pretty much an elimination diet and steep dive into eating clean. And as you re-introduce foods into your diet you can see if anything causes inflammation or digestive issues. It can really help pinpoint if certain foods bother you. Honestly, I couldn’t go 30 days without a glass of wine… but huge kudos to all of you who have done it!!!

We are at a point now that we can usually tell exactly what causes a problem. We were using olive oil that we bought on sale for awhile and I started to feel awful. After switching back to a better quality olive oil, I felt much better after about a week. The inflammation went down and my digestion improved. I’m not sure what other type of oil was mixed in with the cheap stuff, but clearly my body didn’t like it. My system is just so sensitive to certain things…

Also, make sure not to heat food in plastic in the microwave, avoid canned food and other sources of BPA, don’t use non-stick or Teflon cookware, and if you are going gluten-free you will need to replace some of your kitchen items because of potential cross-contamination. I talk about this in greater detail in The Weekly Menu I: The First Six Weeks.

Anyway, for those of you who do have to eat gluten-free and casein/dairy-free but still want to enjoy some comfort food favorites, here is our gluten free menu plan and recipes for the week of August 24:

Meatless MondayVeggie Paella

BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw Tacos

Taco TuesdayBBQ Chicken Tacos & Red Cabbage Coleslaw

Turkey Meatballs & Pasta

WednesdayHomemade Italian Turkey Meatballs & GF Spaghetti (if you don’t have time to make fresh bread, use Udi’s white gluten-free bread to make the breadcrumbs for the meatballs)

Carnitas Tacos

ThursdayCarnitas with Homemade Verde Sauce

Carnitas Burrito Bowl

FridayBurrito Bowls with Lettuce, Corn, Black Beans, Leftover Pork, Tomatoes and Cilantro (harvested in the USA)

Gluten-free Dairy-Free "Beef" Stroganoff

SaturdayDairy-free “Beef” Stroganoff

Teriyaki Chicken Salad

Teriyaki Chicken Salad

SundayTeriyaki Chicken Salad; Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

Hope you have a wonderful, healthy and happy week!

Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I’m Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I’m kind of a science nerd, too. In the ’90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook ’em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course.

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