Surviving September – 4 weeks of easy gluten-free dinner ideas

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 31, 2014

in Main Dishes, Menu Plans

Surviving September - 4 Weeks of Gluten-free Dinner Ideas that are quick and easy!

As our schedules fill up in September, it can be harder to gather as a family for a healthy dinner. Today, I’ve gathered with 3 of my blogger friends to help you with quick and easy gluten-free dinner ideas. All of these meals can be either prepared early in the day in the slow cooker, or cooked at dinner time in an hour or less.

Everyone I’ve talked to says their September calendars are quickly filling with back-to-school nights, club and team meetings, and fall sports practices and games. Like many of you, we really try to have a sit down dinner together as a family every night. Some nights, we have to eat at staggered times to work around after school stuff. I love having easy dinners for busy nights!

All four weeks of dinner ideas are tried and true recipes that appear on our dinner tables regularly. In fact, I recently did the exact 7 day meal plan that I added here!

Our families love these recipes and we hope yours will too!

Week 1 – brought to you by me (Michelle of My Gluten-free Kitchen)

Day 1: Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos – serve with Garlicky Guacamole, your favorite toppings, and safe corn tortilla chips

Day 2: Nachos with the leftover shredded chicken and other leftover toppings: Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Cover pan completely with corn tortilla chips, overlapping. Sprinkle with cheese, shredded chicken, and black beans. Broil on low until cheese is melted. Top with your favorite toppings.

Day 3: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork, serve with a fruit salad and sweet potato chips

Day 4: Skillet Spaghetti, serve with a salad

Day 5: Chicken Broccoli Lo Mein

Day 6: Buttermilk Pancakes, bacon, applesauce, Raspberry Peach Smoothies

Day 7: Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken, grilled veggies, fruit salad. For dessert, grab some vanilla ice cream and serve with this Homemade Hot Fudge.

Week 2 – brought to you by Megan of Allergy Free Alaska

Day 1: World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans in Gluten-Free Spinach Tortillas, topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese, or Daiya Cheese {for dairy-free} – If you don’t have time for making your own tortillas, you could use store-bought corn tortillas.

Day 2: Lazy Mom’s Tomato Basil Soup {dairy-free}

Day 3: Dairy Free Macaroni & Cheese with GF chicken sausages

Day 4: Lemony Cedar Planked Salmon with Garlic & Dill and Berry Spinach Detox Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Day 5: Sausage & Veggies and Naturally Sweetened Mango Sorbet

Day 6: Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Soup (dairy-free, Paleo)

Day 7: Zucchini & Sweet Potato Hashbrowns with Fried or Scrambled Eggs

Week 3 – brought to you by Jeanine of The Baking Beauties

Day 1: Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies.

Day 2: Turkey Lasagna Soup

Day 3: Caprese Pasta Salad

Day 4: Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches served with a side of fresh veggies and Dill Dip.

Day 5: Ultimate Pumpkin Waffles, perfect served with maple syrup and toasted pecans with a side of fresh cut fruit.

Day 6: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry, serve over rice or thin rice noodles.

Day 7: Beer Battered Fish, perfect to serve with baked potato wedges and coleslaw.

Week 4 – brought to you by Wendy of Around My Family Table

Day 1: Apple Chicken Salad with Honey Poppyseed Dressing

Day 2: Grilled Cumin Lime Chicken and Salad

Day 3: Creamy Coconut Shrimp with Rice

Day 4: Quick & Healthy Baked Ziti

Day 5:  Spinach Mini Quiches

Day 6: Grilled Salmon Salad with Warm Blueberry Vinaigrette

Day 7: Healthy Bean Sausage Soup with Gluten-free Soda Crackers

The beauty of these four weeks of dinner menus is that you can pick which days you assign the meals to, and swap as needed to work with your family’s schedule. If you have other food allergies or intolerances that make any of these meals not work for you, feel free to search around our blogs for another recipe that will work for you! You can also check out my Pinterest board full of Gluten-free Main Dishes if you need more!

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Salad in a Jar {Gluten-free}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 27, 2014

in Guest Posts, Salads

I’m thrilled to have my friend Cindy, the blogger behind Vegetarian Mamma, guest posting here today. She’s sharing her vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, easy salad in a jar! I love this idea!

Salad in a Jar -Vegan, Gluten-free, and easy lunch from Vegetarian Mamma

With school back into full swing, my days are getting even busier.  With the busyness often comes neglect.  The neglect of me!  It always happens around lunch time.

You know how the day starts…get the kids up, get them breakfast, pack their lunches, get the kids off to school, start chores, run some errands and then…whoops it’s lunch time and I don’t have lunch!  Often times it’s after lunch and I realize I’ve missed lunch!

This year as the kids go back to school, I am making an effort to be better prepared for myself and not neglect lunch time.  I have had great luck with salad in a jar before.  I prep the salad jars on Sunday evening and store in the fridge for the entire week.  I do not store mine with dressing.  I add salad dressing the day of.

Salad in a jar is easy and convenient.  You can eat the salad from the jar or dump into a bowl!  The jars are great to take along with you as you run errands!  That way you know you’ll have safe and tasty food to eat while you are out.

If you like the idea of salad in a jar, check out this fun Southwest Salad in a jar to switch up your weekly salads.  If you are looking for a homemade salad dressing idea, check out Tangy Honey Mustard Dressing and Southwest Vegan Ranch Dressing.

Salad in a Jar {Gluten-free}
You can layer ingredients one at a time in the jar, or you can mix all the ingredients. Its your salad, you pick!
Recipe from:
Serves: 1 salad in a quart jar
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup edamame (cooked)
  • 1 hard boiled egg, diced
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • ½ cup button mushrooms, diced
  1. Combine all ingredients into quart sized jar. Top with lid.
  2. Store in fridge until ready to eat.
  3. Top with your favorite dressing when you are ready to eat!

Cindy Gordon is the founder and recipe creator at Cindy shares gluten-free and allergy friendly recipes, product reviews and information on her website Vegetarian Mamma. Her family loves to spend time in the kitchen creating simple and easy gluten-free and allergy friendly meals and snacks! You can connect with her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram and google+.


My Gluten-free Journey and 3 Tips for the Newly Diagnosed Celiac

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 21, 2014

in Celiac Disease

This post has been made possible thanks to my partnership with Udi’s Gluten-Free.

In June 2010, with a new round of stomach pain and other symptoms, I was sent to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy. This wasn’t my first endoscopy, but it had been many years since my previous one. This time, they were looking for an ulcer, thinking that explained my constant stomach pain. Given the stress I had been under during the previous year, it was our best guess. At this point, I’d had 18 years of playing “stump the doctor” with my various symptoms and health issues.

About a week later, my head buzzed as my doctor talked about my endoscopy and lab results. Instead of telling me I had an ulcer, or worse, telling me they didn’t know what was wrong with me, he said words I’d never heard before:
“Your small intestine showed marked villous blunting.”
“Your tTG and IgA scores are the highest I’ve ever seen!”
“…diagnosis of celiac disease”
“You can’t eat any gluten ever again.”

I was sent home with the stack of various test results and lovely photos of my esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Umm, thanks!

Though my head was spinning, and from more than my constant brain fog, I was extremely relieved to finally have a diagnosis after so many years of doctors shrugging their shoulders. The doctor gave me no information on celiac disease or gluten, just told me to go “Google it”. I headed home and started searching the internet and checking out books from the library.

Overwhelming. That’s the word I would use to describe my first feelings as I figured out what it would mean to eat gluten-free. I’ve heard from many others that they felt the same way when they were diagnosed. It is totally normal to feel that way, and also to mourn what this change will mean to your lifestyle and your family’s lifestyle.

Thinking back on that point in time, there are a few things that really helped me get through those first few weeks. I thought I’d share them with you in hopes that they would help you with your transition.

1) Find a gluten-free mentor. Ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or doctor for the name of someone with celiac disease that would be willing to talk to you and help you get started. A friend’s celiac aunt met me at the park within a week of my diagnosis and brought me a gift basket full of her favorite products, as well as several pages worth of tips she’d written out. This was so incredibly helpful for me! Even if you can just pick someone’s brain over the phone for a few minutes, just for some encouragement and tips, it can really help. I really think this kept me from having a meltdown! An online community can also be a great source for “virtual mentors”. Great tips and helpful people can be found online in gluten-free forums like Udi’s Gluten Free Community. Getting a doctor’s referral to a dietitian or nutritionist can be helpful as well.

2) Enlist a friend or family member to help you purge your pantry and kitchen. My husband helped me with this process. We referred to lists of unsafe ingredients that we found online and in books and went through our pantry and freezer item by item. By getting all of the “off-limits” food out of the pantry and kitchen, it not only removed any temptation from those products, but it removed any risk for cross-contamination too. We packed all of the food, condiments, strainers and toaster up and were able to distribute it to 3 families in our church. They were blessed by it, which really cheered me up!

3) Take a look at your favorite recipes and see what you can do to adapt them to gluten-free. I found this much less overwhelming than trying out all new recipes for myself and my family. Almost all of my family’s favorite recipes could be converted to gluten-free very easily by just swapping a few ingredients. We could still enjoy chicken tacos, just switching from flour tortillas to corn tortillas and making sure to buy a gluten-free broth and seasonings. We could still have grilled cheese sandwiches or club sandwiches if I picked up a gluten-free bread like Udi’s. Our favorite spaghetti dish - easily gluten-free by switching to a gluten-free noodle.

I’d love to hear about your gluten-free journey or your tips for the first few weeks after diagnosis.

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Celiac Research Study looking for participants

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 15, 2014

in Celiac Disease

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only so that my readers with celiac disease can consider participating.
CeliAction Research Study looking for participants

Did you know there isn’t a single drug approved to treat celiac disease? Currently, attempting a gluten-free diet is the only option recommended by doctors, but a clinical research study called the CeliAction Study is researching if an investigational drug improves any symptoms of the disease.
You may qualify for the CeliAction Study if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with celiac disease by a healthcare professional
  • Are attempting to be on a gluten-free diet
  • Have experienced at least one moderate or severe symptom of celiac disease in the past month

If you participate in the CeliAction Study, you:

  • Will be able to maintain your current diet restrictions
  • Will be provided with study-related care at no cost
  • Do not need medical insurance to take part
  • May be compensated for time and travel
  • Will help advance medical research for celiac disease

To learn more about this research study and see if you qualify, visit
or call 1-855-3333-ACT.

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Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp {Gluten-free}

August 14, 2014
Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp {Gluten-free}

Peach Oatmeal Cobbler, Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp, Oatmeal Cookie Peach Crisp, Peach Delight… so many name ideas for this recipe. It was hard to come up with the appropriate name for this dessert I created recently. I got the idea for a dessert like this from a friend a few years back, and then put […]

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June and July Favorites {plus a giveaway!}

August 2, 2014
June and July Favorites {plus a giveaway!}

We were traveling at the end of June/beginning of July, so I decided to put my favorites from both months together in one recap post. Make sure you enter the giveaway at the end! My favorite finds: I found so many yummy gluten-free treats during the Bay Area gluten-free bakery hop that I did in […]

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White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping {Gluten-free}

July 24, 2014
White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

I recently asked on Facebook what everyone’s favorite muffin was and a few people mentioned white chocolate raspberry muffins. While I had seen that combo before, I actually had never had them myself. To the kitchen I went, and created these gluten-free white chocolate raspberry muffins with almond streusel topping! We grow raspberries in our […]

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Rio2 Family Movie Night

July 21, 2014
Rio2 and Pop Secret Movie Night

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, Pop Secret and Fox Entertainment, but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #PopForRio2 My kids were super excited when I surprised them with a family movie night this weekend! While they were up cleaning their rooms, I got everything […]

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3 Bay Area Gluten-free Bakeries you don’t want to miss!

July 14, 2014
3 Bay Area Gluten-free Bakeries you don't want to miss!

I’ve never been so blissfully full as when I visited three incredible gluten-free bakeries in the Bay Area all in one day! Last month, when I was on my way to the CDF Conference, I planned a long layover in San Francisco so I could bakery hop. My partner in crime, Charissa, ended up needing […]

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CeliAction Clinical Research Study Looking for Participants

July 12, 2014

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only so that my readers with celiac disease can consider participating. Managing celiac disease may be more than just a gluten-free diet. A clinical research study called the CeliAction Study is researching if an investigational drug – which would […]

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