Menu Monday for the week of January 27, 2008

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday 

It's time to bite the bullet. I have been caving on our New Years healthy eating plan. Gosh, it's everyone making those darn crescent rolls!
I need a better plan. I am starting the South Beach diet. Honestly, I don't know if I can do phase one. So I may end up with something between phase one and phase two. I don't have that much weight to loose anyway so going without phase one is not that big a deal. 

I've been using some of the recipes all along so why not just be on the whole diet.
I found a really great blog with tons of South Beach resources
here. So many of the recipes are already gluten free, but there are some here and there that would have to be converted.
The one thing I will not be doing from the South Beach diet is using artificial sweeteners. I don't like them and would just prefer to do without. I also won't use fat free replacements for foods. There are just too many chemicals and fake ingredients in them. I would rather eat as pure a food as possible. 

Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy is the host for Menu Swap this week.  The ingredient of the week is vanilla.  She has a lot of interesting facts about vanilla.  My favorite vanilla is bourbon vanilla from Trader Joe's.  There is no bourbon in the vanilla.  It's just a particular type of vanilla and it's really wonderful! 

This weeks menu, with the exception of one of the days, will be South Beach diet friendly. The one that is not South Beach friendly was from over the weekend. We had company and I made cheesecake. I have to include it because the whole meal would be a great super bowl party supper. I know a lot of you are planning for that. 

Weekend company meal- (See recipes below) 

Taco soup, veggies and dip, cheesecake 

Monday- Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli, Salad 
Tuesday- Flank steak, mashed cauliflower, green beans with almonds 
Wednesday- Fish with Caesar glaze, roasted veggies, salad 
Thursday- Indian Chicken, roasted sweet potatoes (I know it's phase two food), salad 
Friday- Balsamic salmon, roasted veggies, slaw 

I did not get a picture of my taco soup. I had company. They were friends of my husband's from when he was young. I did not know any of them and would have felt rather silly whipping out my camera and taking pictures of my food! But trust me, this is yummy soup. It's great to make for company because everyone likes it and it so quick and easy to make for a large or small group of people. I served it last year on super bowl Sunday when the Colts won. This year we will be eating something different and cheering for a different Manning. 

Taco Soup 

2 pounds ground beef (or you could use turkey) 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 can 28 oz. tomatoes (I use crushed tomatoes) 
1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce 
1 cup water 
1 can 15 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
1 can 14 oz. corn, drained 
1 package of gluten free taco seasoning (I used Old El paso) 

In your favorite soup pot, cook ground beef and onions. Drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least an hour on low heat. Serve with your favorite toppings. We use cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, fresh chopped cilantro and corn chips.
One recipe will easily feed six people. I doubled the recipe and fed eleven people and still have plenty of leftovers. 


I think this cheesecake is one of the best I've made. I found the recipe in The Bon Appetit Cookbook. I have found I love to make cheesecake for dessert because it's so easy to make gluten free. I have some helpful hints in making cheesecake.

  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature
  • When you are ready to bake your cheesecake, place a pan of water in the oven on the rack just under your cake. The steam from the water will help keep it from cracking while baking.
  • If you want nice edges on your cheesecake when you cut it, use a sharp, wet knife. Wash it off with each cut but don't dry it.
  • Cheesecake is best eaten at 2:00 in the afternoon with a huge cup of coffee or at about midnight when everyone is sleeping πŸ™‚
  • Leftover cheesecake freezes really well. There is a piece in the freezer right now with my mom's name on it. Won't she be happy!


Triple Cherry Cheesecake 


3/4 cup dried tart cherries 
1 1-pound bag frozen pitted Bing cherries, thawed, drained, juice reserved 
1/2 cup cherry jam 
2 tablespoon brandy 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 


1/3 cup whole almonds 
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Jo-sef brand gluten free. You could use any gluten free cookie.)
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 


3 8-oz. packaged of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature 
1 1/3 cup sugar 
4 large eggs, room temperature 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For topping: Combine dried cherries and reserved juice from thawed cherries in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 20 minutes.
Mix cherry jam, brandy, and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Stir into dried cherry mixture. Add thawed cherries. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold. 

For crust: Finely grind almonds in processor. Add cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter; process until clumps form. Press into bottom of a 9 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes. 

For Filling: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and next 5 ingredients in mixer or processor just until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until edges of cheesecake are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Refrigerate cake uncovered overnight.
Serve with cherry topping spooned over top. I won't tell anyone if you sneak some at midnight!


Filed under Beef, Desserts, Menu Monday, Soup

6 responses to “Menu Monday for the week of January 27, 2008

  1. Lea

    Yumm! That cheesecake looks devine. I haven’t made cheesecake in a long time. I might have to this weekend. It’s my husband’s birthday this weekend, this would be a nice treat for him.
    I love taco soup. I have a really good chicken taco soup on my website (I think it is still on there) it takes cream cheese. I will have to give yours a try.

  2. Kati

    hmm… i like your photos :] and i didn’t know you put our weekly dinner up here… now i know ahead of time for when i really want to be home for dinner this week πŸ˜€

  3. I’ll be there for the cheesecake in about half an hour…:-)
    Seriously, YUM. I love taco soup. We put hominey and ranch dressing in ours. And we top with tortilla chips.
    Have you ever been to the Penzey’s in Indianapolis? If not, you should plan a trip. The best spices ever.

  4. Glutigirl

    Lea- I say you must make your husband cheesecake! Oh it’s so good. I will go check out your recipe. I think it would be great with cream cheese!
    Kati- My young Gluti Girl! Now you know what’s for dinner every night. I’ll expect you home!
    Ginger – I would love to feed you cheesecake! Hominy sounds good too. There are so many different ways to make taco soup!
    I have not been to Penzey’s but I have ordered from them online. My mom has been ordering from them for several years and loves their spices. All the good shops are on the other side of town from us!

  5. Kathy

    Melanie, we had a recipe for Taco Soup at my last Weight Watcher’s meeting that was very identical to yours. They also use a can of chile beans AND a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (in addition to the taco seasoning.)
    I am looking forward to trying it. I don’t know if the Ranch dressing is gluten free…so ya’ll may want to check on that.
    I have never thought that taco soup sounded good before, but I copied the WW recipe and after seeing your post, I figure it’s an omen! I will let you know what I think…also, I am thinking about substituting shredded cooked chicken breast for the ground beef as I am not crazy about beef. Have you ever tried that?

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