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This week’s {mostly} gluten-free menu

Green Monster Smoothie–it was a huge hit with everyone in our family, including Jesse!

We’re starting our second week of a gluten-free, dairy-free experiment for one of our children. We’ve been amazed at the improvement in their health issues in just a short while of eating this way. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but overall so worth it. We’ll see how this week goes.

Here’s the menu plan:


Granola Bars
Green Monster Smoothie
Fresh carrot/orange juice, scrambled eggs
Green Smoothie
Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins
Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Blender Waffles, Fruit


Lunch at Cracker Barrel
Gluten-free pasta, hamburgers, steamed broccoli, apple slices
PB&J on rice cakes, carrot sticks, apple slices
Refried beans, rice, carrot sticks
Tuna salad, carrot sticks
Sweet potatoes, baked chicken, steamed broccoli


Healthy Chocolate Mousse
Black Bean Brownies


Hamburgers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, fruit
Baked chicken, tossed salad, mashed potatoes, fruit
Meatballs, steamed veggies, fruit salad, rice
Frito Chili Pie, fruit, brown rice
Goulash, tossed salad,
Dinner at Valentine’s Banquet at church
Breakfast for dinner: Blender Waffles, scrambled eggs, fruit

Freezer Cooking

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Blender Waffles

What’s on your menu this week? Share details and/or your link to your menu plan in the comments.

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    • says

      Nicole- It’s delicious- I recommend just about anything from that site!! I mentioned it in my comment below but I just want to mention that not all coconut milks are created equal and many of them will not make a nice thick mouse- Katie recommends Thai Kitchen and I would definitely recommend it- it does make a big difference (otherwise, it may be more like the texture of melted ice cream).

      • Heather says

        And you can experiment with this base – added chopped fruit to it instead of cocoa powder and plain liquid stevia. (and yes to the canned cocount milk – I have had some brands that were awful – the Whole Foods 365 brand has also worked well when I couldn’t get Thai Kitchen)

    • Celena says

      I don’t think it would be good with frozen. The texture would be quite a bit different, plus the majority of the nutrients would be lost because frozen spinach is cooked first. I’d say to just stick with the fresh stuff. Hope that helps!

    • robyn says

      def. NOT frozen spinach that you buy pre-boxed and frozen.

      HOWEVER, we do use fresh spinach that we’ve frozen. i often buy the 2lb organic spinach that comes in the plastic containers when they’re on markdown and to avoid the spinach spoiling fast we throw the whole container in the freezer for smoothies and just grab and break apart by the handfuls.

    • says

      I use kale that I have frozen for the green monster smoothie – so delicious. You could always try the frozen spinach and see how you like it. My daughter (19 months old) loves the green monster smoothie. her fave!

  1. Jeni says

    You may already know this, but certified GF oats are a must. Oats get contaminated by other grains during growing, distribution, and/or processing. Certified GF oats are grown in their own dedicated fields and are tested for gluten. Some celiac/gluten intolerant folks can’t handle oats in any form. When I ate grains, I could handle certified GF oats, but I am feeling so much better since going Paleo and removing all grains and dairy from my life! :)

  2. says

    I have been seeing those green smoothies pop up everywhere. I need to try one. Also, I have been wanting to make and freeze a goulash for awhile now. I am going to check out that recipe.

    Here is my menu plan for the next two weeks. I also included make ahead instructions for most of it.


  3. Ginger M. says

    So glad you’re sticking with this, Crystal. It is a bit different in the beginning, but it quickly becomes the norm and you wonder what took you so long to make the switch. I just had some dairy for the first time in a while and am feeling SO congested and stopped up in my ears, nose, and throat.

  4. says

    I don’t know if your little ones are going with you, but Cracker Barrel is outstanding for understanding gluten-free and contamination. It needs to be explained, and the choices are just a few, but my daughter has been to a few of them around the country and they have all been great! Also – we just learned Uno Grill has gluten-free pizza on the menu!

    • Melissa says

      Ohh, thanks for the tip, Sandy! Been gf for 3 years and didn’t know that!!! I had been told the opposite about the Barrel. Yay!

    • says

      I was just going to post a warning about them. Please be careful at Cracker Barrel and speak with a manager before ordering. If they do not understand, eat somewhere else. I have heard conflicting reports about their gluten awareness. It isn’t worth the risk of being glutened!

    • Meredith says

      If you live near a Mellow Mushroom, all of their crusts on all of their pizzas are gluten free. They also have vegan cheese as an alternative on any pizza. Not to mention they have a huge selection and it is super yummy!

      • Britny W says

        You just made my week, Meredith! I am vegan, and there are not many places to eat around my town in Mississippi that are vegan friendly! I usually cook, but pizza is what I miss the most!!!

        • Meredith says

          Your welcome! You may too check out “wood fired” pizza places too. I know several of our local ones use vegan cheese. We have about five or so options in our town. (I live in Charlotte, nc so kind of a big place though) I’ve traveled and noticed a lot of those style places use Daiya.

  5. says

    I do my freezer cooking a day at a time with our regular meals. Today we had lasagna. The recipe makes a huge pan, and since it’s just the two of us, I make it into 2 smaller pans and then freeze one for later. It’s nice to have the extra meal in a few weeks and it means we don’t have to eat 10 days of leftovers!

  6. Sarah says

    Kudos to your healthier eating plan, Crystal. I have been so encouraged to see the juicing and the smoothies here, in particular, as well as the gluten-free. Thanks also for sharing recipes!

  7. says

    I tried the Healthy Chocolate Mouse last week (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chocolate Covered Katie!!) FYI, she recommends Thai Kitchen Coconut milk and I would definitely second that recommendation. I tried other brands and couldn’t figure out why my coconut whipped cream wasn’t getting thick the way it was supposed to… then I tried Thai Kitchen and discovered that its consistency is completely different from any other brand I found. Also, make sure you buy a full fat version.

    My favorite part of my meal plan this week is “Make Your Own” Muffin Tin Taco Salads- a big hit and it will be frequent “visitor” to future meal plans!


  8. mary martin says

    we are also doing dairy free – I loved the deal you got on the almond milk – sweet!! on FB go to the Feingold page – it is a group that deals with elimation diets – we are members -https://www.facebook.com/groups/19355996898/
    you can join the feingold plan but its $80 a year to be on the member boards its pretty interesting – if you have kids do yourself a favor and check out feingold –

  9. Amy says

    Food Allergy Mama’s Baking book has some awesome diary/egg/nut free recipes. I’m thinking you could adapt some to GF.

  10. Abigail says

    Those blender waffles are fabulous!! I have used that recipe for years and they are so tasty. They are only good fresh, though, right off the waffle iron. Enjoy!

  11. Tami says

    Crystal… I am not just gluten free but I am sugar and grain free. It isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it. Lots of great recipes out there. I use coconut flour and almond flour for baking. I made homemade MIM’s (google Muffins in a minute, low carb for recipes) and Oopsie rolls. (made from cream cheese and eggs)

    Eating this way over the last year has allowed me to completely reverse my Type 2 diabetes as well as some other health issues.

    • robyn says

      we’re grain and sugar free too (also dairy free), and my favorite is coconut flour. also love almond flour (but not the cost)! would love your muffin recipe, will google!

      • Tami says

        This is my basic recipe for MIM.

        1T coconut flour
        1 large egg
        1tsp oil
        spices to taste. You can make it a more savory type of biscuit with italian seasoning, add pumpkin puree and spices, chocolate, banana and nuts… You can make it taste like anything you want.

        Mix in a coffee mug. Microwave for 1 minute. Pop out of coffee mug, let cool on a wire rack. Cut it in half. You can toast it, if you want. Eat it like a muffin or use it for a sandwich.

          • Sara says

            Thank you for sharing the recipe. It sounds soo good and easy, which is a must for me since am not a baker 😉

            Do you have a blog? I’d love to hear more about how you reversed your Type II diabetes with diet, as I am going through the same right now. I’ve started working out and trying to eat right but am lactose intolerant and have a very strong feeling that gluten is the one making so sick as well.
            Thank you!

  12. says

    I LOVE that chocolate mousse. I’m glad you changed the name, “chocolate shots” is misleading and I for one am very glad there is nothing alcohol related in this amazing dessert. Definitely try the organic Thai Kitchen coconut milk, it’s much creamier (thicker) than the non-organic for some reason.

  13. Amy says

    We do a lot of smoothies with greens here. My kids’ favorite variation that actually looks green is pineapple (fresh or canned, with juice), frozen banana, and greens. Sometimes I toss in some oranges, too. My kids call it Swamp Juice.

  14. says

    I’m so glad to hear it is helping your family. It is so amazing how the food that we eat can impact how we feel entirely. Once I stopped eating gluten it was like a huge weight had been lifted that I didn’t know I was carrying. I hope the trend continues for you all. I’ve shared a few gluten and lactose free recipes that hopefully make menu planning a little easier!

    Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon: http://glutenfreesupper.com/?p=366

    Veggie Spring Rolls: http://glutenfreesupper.com/?p=389

    Asian Style Chicken Meatballs: http://glutenfreesupper.com/?p=156

  15. Melissa says

    Here’s our gf/ df menu for the week:
    Carob banana muffins (gluten free girl)/ boiled eggs
    easy granola
    scrambled eggs/grits
    fried eggs/toast (gf toast for two of us)
    simple fried rice (eggs & rice)
    buckwheat pancakes (Hodgson Mill recipe)

    Rice and black beans
    tuna salad on rice cakes
    pb on rice cakes and smoothies
    apples/pb and popcorn
    lunch meat sandwiches (Have to spend extra for the day we are packing )
    refried beans and tortilla chips

    Italian Vegetable Soup (all recipes)
    Taco Salad
    Curry Chicken (Mamababylove freezer to crockpot recipe)
    Baked chicken/ potatoes
    Chicken salad w/grapes
    Chicken Tetrazzini (gluten free goddess recipe and fabulous!)
    gluten free pizza (and dairy free for some – still delicious, but they eat more!) (I use Bob’s Red Mill mix from Amazon for the crust)

  16. says

    I am so impressed with how well you are falling into a gluten free diet. I put my son on one starting in Sept and it was such a shock to my regular mode of thinking that it took me months to recover. You, however, are diving right in and coming up with some wonderful alternatives that I have never thought of. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

    • Melissa says

      It is for some specific health problems. It was quite a transition for me to cook gluten free, and took extra time upfront, but now it is second nature.
      If you have some health issues, you can research signs of gluten intolerance and celiac online to see if it might possibly be an issue for you. I didn’t have the classic gastrointestinal difficulties, but was surprised to have more energy without gluten, and I did have several markers for gluten intolerance in the quizzes I took online.
      So it’s not really a necessary diet if you don’t have any problems with gluten. :)

    • Heather says

      If you are new to cooking, gluten-free is not the easiest way to start. Get a basic cookbook, like Better Homes and Garden or Betty Crocker.

      The benefits of gluten-free: If you have celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities, you must avoid gluten to preserve your health. See a doctor if you think you have those conditions.

      Gluten-free diets tend to be lower in sugar and processed foods, since white flour is an obvious no-no, so they are healthier. But it is quite possible to cut back on those things without cutting out gluten. Grains have many health benefits, and I don’t think they should be removed from the diet lightly. And I don’t mean to offend any paleo-diet people.

      • KimH says

        I think its funny.. I think eating gluten free is completely the easiest diet in the world.. you eat meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, & seeds.. just what God put on this earth for us to eat.
        We humans tend to complicate our lives by adding recipe upon recipe and scattering our tastebuds all over the place. Mankind did not get here by eating that kind of diet.

  17. Michelle says

    I love the idea of a Green Smoothie, but I hate bananas (yes, I’m probably the only American who does!). Wonder if I could substitute somethine else? Like maybe pineapple? Anyone have any thoughts?

    • says

      You can’t really taste the bananas in it. However, I’d think you could substitute frozen berries in place of the bananas. The color wouldn’t be as a green and it might look more brown, but it probably would taste great!

      • says

        If you don’t like bananas, substituting with berries won’t give you the creaminess that smoothies are known for. I have another suggestion. Try something else creamy like part of an avocado. Also, bananas are a sweet fruit. Berries, not so much. I love berries in my smoothies, but I have to balance it with another sweet fruit, if I’m out of bananas. I use mango (sweet and creamy) or pineapple (sweet) or grapes. If I don’t have much in the way of sweet (apples could suffice too), then I add some dates or a little stevia. You could use honey, but it tends to overpower the taste of the smoothie.

        I just thought I’d add my two cents to the discussion. I make green smoothies every day for our family of four. No two are the same. This is better explained by reading my posts about making dairy free smoothies. You can read how I make them over at my blog: http://veganfootprints.blogspot.com/

        Have a great day! =) ~Blessings

    • says


      I just left a comment and realized after, that I’d replied to Crystal instead (below your comment). Please read my comment to answer your question. =)

      • Katie says

        Replace banana with 1/2 an avacado! The texture is similar. I hate bananas as well, so I use avacados a lot. They are also very good for your skin!

  18. Wendy says

    Hey Crystal, have you tried subbing quinoa for rice? It’s a complete protein and gluten-free, and a nice change-up if you’re getting bored with all of the rice. Also, I thought I’d mention that the crockpot365 blog’s recipes are all gluten-free. And if you need more ideas of things to cook with other grains, you might check out Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks/websites- not all of the recipes are gluten-free, but many of them are since she does an AMAZING job of using all sorts of grains and flours in her food. As a bonus, it’s all really delicious and healthful. Good luck with the transition- a friend of mine is going through it right now and it’s been a tough one, but well worth it for her.

  19. Meredith says

    Can I just ask what kinds of issues was your child having that made you even think of going gluten free? I don’t know much about it.

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