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Hello! Welcome back to another installment of the Gluten Free Menu Swap! This week’s theme/ingredient is chia seeds and is being hosted by Gluten Free Smiles. I have never tried chia seeds before (as far as I know), so I will be interested to see what others use them for. I know some people use them as egg substitutes and in smoothies.

Here at the BRT household, we are trying to save a little extra money for some upcoming expenditures and so I have been trying to use up what’s in the cupboards and not buy any expensive or unusual ingredients – we’re keeping it real!

Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry with Rice – using the San-J gluten free Teriyaki bottled sauce

Tacos and Slaw – I use a (gluten free) taco seasoning packet with two cans of beans, drained and rinsed, instead of ground beef, with all the fixins’

Pasta with Red Lentils and Ginger – from Vegetarian Planet – have a huge jar of red lentils in the pantry

Pizza – not sure what kind yet…homemade though

Green Chile Cheese Tamales with spanish rice – tamales are from our freezer

Be sure to head over to Gluten Free Smiles for the round-up of other Gluten Free Menus on Tuesday. As well, check out OrgJunkie for hundreds more; they are not gluten free, but most are easily adaptable!

Have a great week!

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Well, last week’s meal plan didn’t go as planned for a variety of reasons. For one, we had a lot of leftover enchiladas to eat up – they were super good! I also had an evening meeting and worked late. As well, I had to eat a modified diet and fast for some blood work. So we just kind of winged it a few nights. Luckily we had plenty to wing it with in the refrigerator. I also didn’t get to the new enchilada dish, but I hope to this week.

This week’s host for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Wendy at Celiacs in the House and her ingredient of choice is winter vegetables. Below you will find some bok choy and cabbage (slaw). Last week we had Brussels sprouts, which are also winter vegetables.

Here it is:

Brown Rice with Miso from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, with stir-fried vegetables (red bell pepper, onion, bok choy and snow peas) and possibly a few chunks of tofu.

Enchiladas and Karina’s Snappy Crunchy Coleslaw

White Beans in Tomato Sauce with Sage over Creamy Polenta

Creamy Chickpea Curry with Rice

And if I have time and/or the inclination…

Tortilla Soup and salad

I also need to come up with something to make for our monthly support group meeting. I generally like t make a main dish as so many people make sweets for these meetings. I used to make a Baked Risotto but I can’t for the life of me, been able to find the recipe, so I googled, trying to see if I could find it. Here is a similar one:

Mixed Mushroom and Pea Baked Risotto

Anyone have a great baked risotto recipe?

And don’t forget to go over to Celiacs in the House to see other yummy menus.


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Well, we’re finally back in the groove and I am cooking again. We were away for the holidays – Southern California and Disneyland! Yeah! Oh, and family too… Kidding! No, we had a great time and we’re back on track and meal planning again. I had a plan last week but it wasn’t till the middle of the week, so I missed Monday’s post. My mind was still on vacation!

The host for this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is Gluten Free Goodness and the theme is soup! Who doesn’t love soup at this time of year? I know I love keeping a few of the gluten free Thai Kitchen instant “ramen” soups around this time of year, especially at work, for those chilly days when I need something to warm me up. And in fact, we had soup tonight, a  tomato and chickpea soup. And with a bit of toasted boule, a delicious, warming meal.

And so, on with the interesting stuff!

Corn and Red Pepper Chowder with salad – chowder qualifies as soup, right? And/or maybe some of Shirley’s ‘Red Lobster’ cheese biscuits if I get ambitious (and have time)!

Tofu (Salmon for me) with vegetable stir fry and rice

Enchiladas – another variety I am trying out for you all – with salad

Pizza – Chebe crust for me, Boboli for my husband with a variety of toppings

Quinoa something-or-other, Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad, and/or Roasted Vegetables with leftover tofu and salmon

I also need to make up some dishes for a sick friend and her family…probably a quinoa pilaf and some vegetables to go along with the Bison Roast that another friend is putting together.

So, be sure to click over to Gluten Free Goodness and check out what others are making this week for a little inspiration. As well, check out OrgJunkie for hundreds of other ideas (not necessarily gf or veg).

What are you craving this week?

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Sorry for the lack of posts last week but things got pretty crazy. A lot of office work and evening meetings kept me busy and away from the farmer’s market, grocery store and kitchen. You may have noticed I didn’t put together a meal plan last week. Well, that’s because I didn’t have a plan and we weren’t eating anything spectacular last week! I made the Tex-Mex Lasagna from the previous week on Monday night so that we could eat on that all week and we had salad fixings in the frig. Of course we still have plenty of our frozen, homemade green chile and cheese tamales to pull out as well.

Well, yesterday I made it to the farmer’s market and came back with a great haul. It was a beautiful cool morning with the smell of roasting green chile in the air. I found Poblano peppers, shishito peppers, tomatillos, yellow finn potatoes, garlic, a pie pumpkin, Anasazi beans, peaches and baby bok choy. I will be sad when the market ends, and although there is a winter market, it isn’t as bountiful. My allergies are ready for a good frost to kill off the allergens but my taste buds want the good food to stick around!

Our own garden is still producing; mostly cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and some okra. The 2 (only!) pie pumpkins and 4 little butternut squash are still hanging on the vines in the sun, curing. And with the cooler temperatures, the Swiss chard has taken off so I need to harvest and cook some up.

So here I sit now, trying to figure out what to do with all the great food we are so thankful to have. Also on my mind is a little road trip coming up next weekend. I am trying to keep in mind how much food we’ll eat this week, how much time I’ll have to make it and what can be left in the refrigerator over the weekend. I know there are some great gluten-free-friendly places to eat around Phoenix so I am not too concerned with getting enough safe food, but I always like to take food with me, just in case. As well, eating breakfast out is typically hard for me since I can’t eat scrambled eggs or an omelet these days. So I definitely like to take breakfast foods along with me. I will let you know how things go next week!

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness and the theme is cinnamon. Cinnamon is definitely a wonderful fall flavor. I don’t use cinnamon a whole lot since I don’t do a lot of baking but I recently made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and they have cinnamon in them. If you want some more cinnamon ideas, be sure to check out the compilation post over at Gluten Free Goodness; Cheryl already has a few cinnamon recipes linked up on her page and others will follow.

And for us this week…

Smoky Mexican Lasagna from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons – I made this tonight – wonderful with the smoky chipotle pepper flavor.

Indian Stew from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons – to use up the okra from our garden.

Poblanos Rellenos from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

Green Chile and Cheese Tamales with sautéed Shishito Peppers

Can you tell what my new favorite cookbook is? So many recipes in here and so many that sound great. I grabbed this cookbook off of Paperback Swap.

Also, I harvested and shelled some of our homegrown Anasazi beans this weekend after picking up a big bag at the market. This was the first year we have grown them. Have you ever cooked with them? The man at the market that I bought them from said that I will be sorry that I bought them, but only because I will want more! When I asked him what the best way to make them was, he said he makes them just like he makes pinto beans, which is very New Mexican. I don’t know how to make New Mexican pinto beans, so I guess I will go out trolling the interwebs for some ideas. In the picture below, the ones in the jar are from the market and the ones on the plate are from our garden. I need a bigger garden to plant more of these beauties – and unlimited water! I have Steve Sando’s Heirloom Beans cookbook but most of the recipes rely heavily on meat, so I am looking for any vegetarian ideas you may have!

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Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I have done any serious meal planning. We’ve been eating a lot of whatever-we-can-come-up-from-the-cabinets and frozen stuff, not to mention the tamales in the freezer. I have been off my regular grocery shopping schedule. And I haven’t had any time to go to the Farmer’s Market. Boo. But this next weekend I am already planning to go to the Farmer’s Market and then I was hoping to head up to Dixon’s Apples, but it looks like they are already out of my favorite apple, the Champagne. They have only been open since Thursday! Wow! I knew I should have gone up today but alas, I needed to go into the office. Oh yeah, that’s the other thing that has been wreaking havoc on my meal planning. Unexpected overtime and late meetings.

Okay, enough whining already and on to the main purpose of today’s post – a meal plan! But first, one more thing…I recently got a few new cookbooks. Of course, this one:

Gluten Free Girl and The Chef by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern

I haven’t made anything from it yet but I will be sure to let you know when I do!

I also recently joined Paperback Swap and have a wish-list a mile long. (I love to read instead of watch TV.) I also love to browse through cookbooks. So I have wish-listed just a few cookbooks… This is one of the ones I recently received:

Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

There are a lot of wonderful ideas in here. In fact, we have one of them on the schedule for this week.

And this one:


Fast Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman

So, you’ll probably be seeing some renditions of items out of these cookbooks. There are some great ideas in all of them.

Okay, for real, the menu plan. This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is pears. Unfortunately I don’t like pears. So no pears here this week. But there are lots of other yummy things on the list this week! If you do like pears (and even if you don’t), go check out the other ideas at the Menu Swap. This week is hosted by Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness.

Our plan:

Peanut Noodles with Tofu (we had this tonight – recipe to follow soon)

Tex-Mex Lasagna with Salad

Penne with Red Pepper Sauce and Broccoli from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

Tortilla Soup with Tamales or Salad

Sushi Bowls

Tofu with Spicy Vegetables and Rice

Unfortunately there is a lot of tofu and pasta on the menu this week. I usually try to avoid eating tofu more than once, maybe twice, a week, as I like to mix up my protein sources. But apparently I wasn’t paying attention when I wrote this up and then went to the store. I am sure we’ll be fine this week but next week we probably won’t be eating too much tofu!

What’s on your menu this week? Any new cookbooks that you are enjoying?


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This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap theme is zucchini and summer squash and it is being hosted by Scrumptious of In My Box, a blog about how she uses up all the goodies that show up in her weekly CSA box. (CSA = community-supported agriculture. Check this out for more information.) Scrumptious and I would love to be neighbors since we’re always ooing and aahing over each others meal plans. We’d be eating at each others homes all the time. I think we could learn from each other too. Too bad we live 1100 miles apart. Perhaps some day when we have our ‘commune’, we’ll invite Scrumptious to come live with us as we seem to be kindred spirits. (Yes, we dream of our own little co-housing community of like-minded folks with chickens, bees, goats and alpacas. Weird, I know.)


Here at the Beyond Rice and Tofu household, we don’t care for zucchini or summer squash, so we won’t be participating in the theme. Although, we do have quite a few cucumbers to eat – they are in the curcubit family and gourd family, similar to squash, so does that count?

When we first moved to New Mexico we frequently found calabacitas on the menu, especially in New Mexican dishes. Since we didn’t want to look like a couple of Midwestern gringos, we didn’t ask. Well, it only took once to discover that we don’t like calabacitas – zucchini, squash and often corn together and frequently used as a filling for burritos or as a side dish. We just don’t care for the summer squashes. But we are beginning to enjoy winter squashes and luckily we have a few butternut growing in the garden this year. So, now that we have the issue of squash out of the way…

This week will be a short one for us as we are heading out of town to visit friends. So I did not go to the farmer’s market this weekend. Boo. And I am also trying to use up what is in the frig and not make too much so there aren’t too many leftovers. But if we get really desperate, there are more than 4 dozen tamales in the freezer for us (but I think we may be tamale’d out for a couple of weeks).

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables and Rice from The Complete Book of Thai Cooking by Linda Stephens – it’s becoming an old standby.

Spicy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Edamame – a new-to-us recipe that I had bookmarked a while back . I will use gf spaghetti instead of soba noodles as I have yet to find 100% buckwheat noodles. Most are made from a mixture of buckwheat and wheat. (BTW: Buckwheat is naturally gluten free, and is not wheat at all, unless it’s mixed with wheat of course.)

Veggie Burgers and Cucumber Salad with Spicy Thai Lime Vinaigrette – we had this salad a couple of weeks ago and it was fabulous!! A few minor changes for us, we omitted the carrots and instead of fish sauce I used GF soy sauce. Delish!

And if we need it – Red Beans and Rice with some added leftover vegetarian chorizo.

Well, that’s it for us this week! I hope to have some fun pictures and gluten free info from our travels this coming week. Over and out!

This meal plan is linked to OrgJunkie and the Gluten Free Menu Swap. Check out both for a ton of meal planning ideas!

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Last week’s meal plan got derailed by a trip to the Farmer’s Market as well as time to finally make something we’d been wanting to make for a while now – tamales!!! About a year ago we bought the book, Tamales 101 by Alice Guadalupe Tapp. We have both read through it multiple times and drooled over the recipes. Last Christmas, we thought we might make them but I don’t have a stand mixer and the mixing of the masa by hand was a bit intimidating. But I knew that other people make them without, it was just an excuse for a mixer! But still I refrained from buying one and so we didn’t make them. Finally, when my in-laws were here a couple of weeks back we thought we might make them then since four pairs of hands seemed better than two. But we ran out of time.

So this weekend, my husband was determined. We made two kinds, Green Chile and Cheese (vegetarian) tamales and a dessert tamale, Raspberry Chocolate pecan. They were both wonderful!!! Both recipes were from Tamales 101. It’s a great book. And it isn’t really very hard, once you get the hang of it. My handy-dandy hand mixer also managed the challenge just fine. Here are some photos for your drooling pleasure.

A giant bowl of masa.

The mess of assembly.

Green Chile and Cheese tamales steaming in the pot.

Green Chile and Cheese on the left and the Raspberry Chocolate Pecan on the right.

Between that and  trying to take care of the things in the frig that needed to be eaten or ‘dealt’ with and impulse-buying at the farmer’s market, I really don’t need to buy much at the grocery tomorrow.

Also, this week, the Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Celiac Family and the theme is tomatoes! Who isn’t eating tomatoes right now? It’s prime time. Last week I made white bean gazpacho with some of my tomatoes. I wish I had more tomatoes coming on than I do but we have been struggling with pests this year and both of my big, beautiful San Marzano paste tomato plants are slowly dying. But our Black Russian and Stupice varieties are beginning to come on. So we’re still hoping for more tomatoes, I just wish it was the San Marzanos.

At the farmer’s market I picked up some more beets, some okra, oyster mushrooms, leeks, tomatillos, three different kinds of fingerling potatoes and some cute little Japanese shishito peppers.

So, for the meal plan:

Mushroom and Leek Pasta with Salad – we made this tonight and it was delicious. I used the oyster mushrooms and leeks I picked up at the farmer’s market. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Jenn!

Cucumber and Avocado Soup, Sauteed Fingerling Potatoes, Oven Roasted Okra – the soup never got made last week as my avocados were not ripe. But I still have plenty of cucumbers! And thanks to Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free for the idea of roasting the okra.

Our very own tamales with shishito peppers and tomatillo salsa – I will fry the peppers in very hot oil and sprinkle with salt. And we will roast the tomatillos with some garlic and onions and make a salsa out of them. Great for dipping the tamales in!

Sesame Maple Roasted Tofu with roasted beets and stir-fried sugar snap peas

And lots of leftovers!

As for desert this week, we still have homemade vanilla frozen yogurt, David Lebovitz’s cherries in red wine sauce, Shirley’s honey cinnamon ice cream and of course, the raspberry chocolate pecan tamales. So there is probably no need for additional ice cream this week.

If you are looking for any more meal ideas, be sure to check out OrgJunkie and all the ideas over there (most are not gluten free or vegetarian).

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The Real Deal

Okay, here is my weekly meal plan. Better late than never, right?

It is cold soup week apparently…

Cucumber and Avocado Soup with corn-on-the-cob and veggie burgers – soup will be inspired by these two recipes; Cool as a Cucumber Soup by Veggie Venture and Cucumber-Avocado Soup by Not Derby Pie.

White Bean Gazpacho – although I can’t find my recipe right now….hmmm.

Spicy Tofu with Green Beans and Rice – from Complete Book of Thai Cooking by Linda Stephen – a family favorite.

Stovetop Marinara with Broccoli and Chickpeas – using Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Penne or Spaghetti and a salad on the side.

As for ice cream this week, I am thinking a vanilla frozen yogurt and perhaps this Honey Cinnamon Ice Cream from Shirley at Gluten Free Easily.

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Tricked you. No meal plan as of yet. Sorry. It was a crazy day back on a regular schedule after vacation and life threw us some curve balls, so I am a little behind. One of the dogs woke us up at 3:30 am this morning scratching, scratching, scratching his ears. He gets lots of ear infections, but he normally doesn’t scratch like this. So my husband got to take him to the vet this evening. And I went out to get in my car to go to work this morning and it wouldn’t start. Grrr. We had to jump it twice today. Double grrr. So this evening I got my battery replaced. Luckily it was just the battery. But I think it knows that we are looking at getting a new car…

So, I need to get back on track this week. Our cucumbers are producing again, both regular and ‘lemon’ cucumbers, which we planted unknowingly. They were labeled as ‘slicing’ cucumbers and we weren’t quite sure what they were when they started producing. We haven’t tried any yet but they are beginning to come on strong so I had better figure out what to do with them! Any ideas?

I think one idea for the week is a chilled cucumber and avocado soup, with the regular English cucumbers. Other than that, I am feeling less than inspired this week after the day we had. I do know I want to make some more yummy ice cream in my new maker, but I need to decide what kind. So I will think about it tomorrow and save my shopping until Wednesday evening. It’s off to bed now since we didn’t get much sleep after 3:30am… (Sigh.)

See you around later this week.

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This week I am hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap. I hope you’ll join us! Please check back later in the week too, to see what other folks have planned.

Each week there is a theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap, but you can always participate, regardless of whether you follow the theme. Since my cucumbers are beginning to come on, I figured that I needed to hear some new ideas on what to do with cucumbers and so this week’s theme is Cucumbers! I looked around myself for some new ideas for cucumbers. I found a couple of recipes which are bookmarked for later – Bavarian Potato-Cucumber Salad, Cucumber Soup and Spicy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Edamame. And I also have a couple of cucumber recipes already posted here – Spicy Ginger Noodles and Spicy Tofu with Vegetables and Cucumber Salad.

As part of my typical meal planning process, I went looking in the garden, refrigerator, freezer and pantry to see what needs to be eaten. I found some homemade pizza sauce in the freezer. And in the refrigerator I found some fresh green beans, parsley, cilantro, a red bell pepper, a few green onions, lots of cucumbers and the end of our snow peas.

Of course, today I also went to the Farmer’s Market and picked up a couple of things. First off, fresh sweet corn! Woo-hoo! The first of the season for me. And the same gentlemen had fresh, in-the-shell, black-eyed peas. I also spied some fingerling potatoes and I grabbed a bunch of beets to try. And I have quite a bit of basil that needs to be harvested and processed into something, probably pesto, which I will then freeze.

I recently harvested my garlic for the summer, but today I bought a couple more heads of another variety with the intent of planting one of the head’s in the fall. (Yes, in case you didn’t know it, garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in early or mid-summer.) This year’s harvest was of Red Rezan, a hard-necked variety from Russia. We bought it last summer from Boxcar Farm at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. I am saving a couple heads of it for planting in the fall and the rest is stored in the pantry for the year. Today I bought a variety called Inchelium Red.

Below is this year’s harvest. Not bad! They were a little small, but it is garlic!

My in-laws are coming into town later this week and we aren’t quite sure what we will decide to do while they are here, so I am keeping it flexible. I do know my Texas-raised mother-in-law will appreciate the fresh black-eyed peas I found so I will wait until she is here to make them. Plus she can help me shell them! (Hi Martha!) I am sure we will be doing the last-minute clean-up before they get here too, so I need some quick and easy dinners so as to allow us to get all that stuff done this week.

So, for this week, here’s the plan:

Fresh Corn on the Cob, Green Beans and Fingerling Potatoes and Cucumber Salad – I am like my mother in that I could make an entire meal of corn-on-the cob but I figure I should probably eat something else with it!

English Muffin Pizzas with Salad (with cucumber) – I will use the Food For Life Gluten Free English Muffins and the thawed, homemade pizza sauce I found in the freezer. Maybe some pesto.

Italian Rice Salad – we didn’t get to this last week.

Honeyed Beet Quinoa Summer Salad or Balsamic Dressed Roasted Beets on Salad Greens – our first trial of beets, we’ll see which one sounds good.

Fresh Black Eyed Peas and Tomatoes – when I saw these at the farmer’s market today, I already knew what I would do with them, thanks to Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free! Of course, we won’t be making it with the bacon, but I might sub in some of the Trader Joe’s soy chorizo instead or some smoked paprika or Liquid Smoke. And if it isn’t too hot, I might turn on the oven and make some cornbread with Talon de Gato Blue Corn Cornmeal.

Grilling – probably some tofu steaks, maybe some salmon or chicken for me and our guests, vegetables, maybe some pineapple again. Corn on the cob? We’ll see.

That’s it for me, and so for the other swappers:

Wendy at Celiacs in the House is rolling in fresh produce this week, from her own garden and the farmer’s market. I love the picture showing how to contain out-of-control squash! She too has plenty of cucumbers and they have been eating them in tzatziki on Greek turkey burgers. Maybe I need to make some Greek turkey burgers and tzatziki for my guests this week! Hmmm… She also discovered a cucumber and black-eyed pea recipe that I could use for my fresh peas. I think we were on the same wavelength this week with the cukes and black-eyed peas…

Over at I Love Nectarines, it’s Susan’s birthday and she has some yummy plans. She says she is taking it easy this week with some simpler recipes, mostly salads and leftovers, but she’s going to try making an angel food cake and a sour cream coffee cake to celebrate! We’ll be waiting to hear how it goes, Susan! The tiramisu from last year looks wonderful! I personally haven’t made an angel food cake in quite a few years, although I did make a sponge cake recently that was quite tasty and did involve whipping many egg whites. Not many cucumbers on her menu this week except in the salads, but she did suggest trying stir-fried cucumbers – and I just might!

Heather at Celiac Family is serving up Kalyn’s Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad this week, among many other yummy items. She also has another cucumber suggestion – in spring rolls, which are a fun alternative to sandwich bread, especially as a cool summer treat. They are also having some fun this week with popcorn (and other stuff) for a light dinner one night! Sounds good to me!

That’s it for this week, but again, please check back later as I will be adding links to other Gluten Free Menus as they become available!

And be sure to check out the home of the Gluten Free Menu Swap for more information and let Cheryl know if you would like to host in the future.

This menu is also cross-posted over at Org Junkie and the hundreds of other menu plans. Check it out!

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