My Grain-Free Menu Ideas

Grain-free-SymbolAs most of you probably do not know… We decided to try going grain-free for the month of Jan. The boys have been having lots of ‘issues’ with their health and character, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with it. I have known about GAPS for a long, long time, but could never just bite the bullet and do it with them. GAPS is limited dairy, no grains and no starches, limited sweeteners, and limited fruits, LOTS of broth and probiotic. And more ‘rules’.

I had done another Master Cleanse in Oct. And followed up with doing the GAPS intro diet for the next month. I really felt good through the whole thing and felt like it did me a lot of good. I have stayed off grains ever since. (Well, I should say, I did try eating oatmeal, as that was the hardest for me to give up. And that really backfired. So no more oatmeal!!!) And I discovered I am very allergic to soy!! Namely soy lecithin in chocolate!! I haven’t really played around with other foods to see just what it is, as I don’t like soy in the first place. It is hard on your hormones, not to mention 99% of it is GMO. So I like to buy the Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, for our chocolate treats now and then. It is soy free, gluten-free and a natural sugar. And tastes REALLY good!!!!

So anyway, we told the boys that if they would follow the GAPS diet for 4 wks, we would take them somewhere really fun!!! Here we are on day 15 and they ate soup for supper (so now this was last night, didn’t get it posted when I thought I would). That may not seem like a small claim, but it was not taco or chili soups, which has been the only soup they will eat in a long time!! But rather it was a butternut squash soup, with carrots, onions and lots of seasonings. They knew soup was coming and were not really excited, until they sat down. Collin right away pipes up, ‘But it doesn’t really even look like soup.’ I just smiled!! I knew how I needed to do, I was just building up to it in baby steps. And tonight, they LOVED it!!! Rylen even ate 2nds. (Jevan did need a bit of prodding, but he did it!!) How did I do it?? Cooked the squash, onions & carrots in broth until really soft, puree it all, and then added the meat. I put in some seasoned pork. But any cooked meats will do. So it was a thick goop with meat chunks.

It looks like we are well on our way to going somewhere fun next month. And my goal is to remain pretty much grain-free for a long while. And maybe one day do the GAPS Intro diet with them. Until then, we will just keep playing around with being grain-free as much as we can.

I will add in here, we are not 100% grain-free or 100% following the GAPS diet. I am doing the best I can for right now and letting their bodies absorb all the nutrients it can right now. It’s so hard to be 100%, but I would say that we are close to 90% or more!!

We did a parasite cleanse the first week of Jan. Of which my boys dislike greatly, but they do an awesome job at plugging their noses and taking nasty taking stuff. (Not that they really do plug their noses, just metaphorically speaking, they pretty much do hold their breaths though.)

So here are some of the meals we eat around here now…

Breakfast Ideas:

Banana Pancakes – This is 1 banana & 1 egg mashed together and fried in fat. I have added cinnamon, vanilla & salt. Another way to remake and stretch it is to add coconut flour, squash and more eggs. Here is the recipe use, from Kitchen Stewardship.

Breakfast Cakes – I started making different flavors of breakfast cakes this month. We had a routine of Baked Oatmeal on Sunday mornings. And other times when they really wanted it, as it is/was a favorite!!! So the Breakfast Cakes made a good G/F replacement. You can find these recipes on my Pinterest GAPS Board. The ones I have made, are marked with a date.

Eggs – Of course we eat lots of eggs. Scrambled, fried, omlets & custards. We had a new one yesterday, Banana Coconut Baked Custard. It doesn’t seem as filling, but I think I will make sausage patties or some other side of meat to add for breakfast. (Btw, how do you get your chickens to lay more eggs?? I know mine are getting a bit older, but they should still be laying better than 3-5 eggs or less a day!! And I have about 20 birds. I keep telling the boys they need to squeeze those chickens harder. One day I was scared they were gonna actually gonna do it.)

Smoothies – We love smoothies. And they are easy & simple, and yet filling.

Coconut Flour Crepes – We LOVE these!!!! And even use them as tortillas now & then. They are super, simple and very good!! I sorta combined a few different recipes… so if you wanna check out other recipes it’s fine with me.

This is the one I have been using. 2 TBS Butter or Coconut Oil, 6-8 eggs, 1 tsp Honey – optional. Blend with stick blender. Add a dash of salt, 1/4-1/2 tsp Vanilla, 1/3 C. Coconut milk or Milk, 2-4TBS Coconut Four. Blend with stick blender again. (Coconut flour tends to be clumpy, so the blender works best.) I say the honey is optional, because if we use them for something savory use we don’t want it sweet. Anyway, melt coconut oil or butter on frying pan. Pour about 1/8 c. batter on pan. Swirl pan to spread it really thin!!! Let fry until lightly brown, just a minute or 2. Flip and fry a half-minute or so more.

We butter one side. And serve with my sugarfree jams and apple butters, adding some homemade yogurt and maple syrup now & then. It is also good with fresh fruit. Or you could make a berry syrup to serve on it. (Sometimes they roll them up, other times eat them as a pancake.) It takes a lot to fill them up.

Tropical Traditions has a recipe about like mine.

Lunch Time:

Leftovers – Our main staple for lunches. And no, I don’t have a microwave. So it takes a bit of thinking ahead. Either getting it in the oven ahead of time to warm for half an hr or more. Or in a crockpot, or just reheating on the stove top. It really is not as bad as it sounds. It took a bit for us to get used to, but now we don’t think anything of it.

Tomato Soup – It’s my own home canned. I experimented with trying a G/F version of our favorite recipe. And it is really good. My boys just really miss the toasted cheese sandwiches we used to eat with it. Maybe I should try a cheesy crepe substitute.

Cheese & Meat – We have our own summer sausage, or ham or whatever other meat is on hand, and sliced cheese.

Lettuce Wraps – This is something new for us. And one Delvyn & I like better than the little boys, Collin loves them. It’s best to use romaine lettuce (with big leaves), and add lunch meat, & cheese (may add homemade mayo if you wish.) Roll up and eat.

Other filler ideas – Egg Salad, Fish Salad, Fajita’s, Hamburgers. We pretty much just replace our bread with the lettuce. I don’t mind it so much as my hubby does. He misses his breads more than I do.

Supper Ideas:

Squash, squash and more squash, that’s what we have been eating a LOT of!!! Mostly butternut squash, and spaghetti squash, but I have fun trying other kinds as well.

Butternut Squash Casserole – The boy’s favorite!!! (I have not used this exact recipe, most times I just throw stuff in, and skip the topping. But figured you all would like a recipe. And I’ve never added sour cream, so I would say it’s optional.)

Spaghetti – With spaghetti squash. I just bake a spaghetti squash for 45-60 min. (After cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds.) Then shredding out the squash with a fork. It really is in strands, sorta like noodles. I make a meat spaghetti sauce to serve over the noodles. And a side of some veggie. I made it the other night, with the biggest squash yet and they almost ate it all!!!

Stir Fry – I LOVE a good stir fry, with LOTS of different veggies. But my boys don’t care for it that way. We had been loving it served over rice. So if stir-frys are new for you, try making it to serve that way, (unless you are going grain-free.) I have found my guys like it with a sauce poured over the veggies. Here is a simple, yummy sauce: 2TBS cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder, 1 C. Broth, 2 TBS Soy Sauce or 1 tsp Salt, 1 TBS Lemon Juice. Bring broth to boil, and add rest of ingr. Stirring constantly, cook until thickened. Pour over stir fried veggies. My boy’s veggies of choice are onions, peppers and carrots, I like to chunk squash into it too.

Roasted Veggies –  Choose whatever veggies you want, cut them up, combine oil, seasonings and veggies, tossing to coat. Then roast at 425* for about 45 min. Seasonings to use rosemary, salt, pepper, my herb seasoning mix, or whatever you wanna put on. Learn to season your foods with herbs, they will tastes so much better!!!

Fajita’s – Another favorite of ours. And I serve it on a lettuce wrap. Recipe – 3TBS Oil, 1 lb Chicken breast, cut into thin strips, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 TBS lime juice, 1 large pepper cut into thin strips, 1 large onion, sliced. Mix seasonings and pour over the chicken strips, coat well. Fry in the oil until almost done. Add peppers & onions on top of meat. Fry until tender crisp, (as I do.) Or you may steam the veggies by adding some water and covering for 5 minutes or so. Serve with lettuce, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese. Optional serving the traditional way with tortillas. (The recipe can be found in the Healthy Choices Cookbook.)

Shepherds Pie – This one would be really easy for you to get lots of veggies in a picky-eating-child. There many different versions out there. I found one that is GAPS, and uses cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, which are not on the diet. My boys seen me chunking up the cauliflower, but didn’t see me process it. So they happily ate ‘mashed potatoes’. (I didn’t bother informing them otherwise.) Recipes are on my GAPS Pinterest Board. This was one recipe my boys loved with the mashed potatoes on top.

Meats – We eat lots of meat. Chicken, pork, & beef mostly. Fish once in a while as a treat.

We also eat some fermented foods. I made my own sauerkraut. Delvyn loves it, I think it’s ok, and the boys tolerate the spoonfuls I give them each meal. Oh, I just give them the liquid, no cabbage. I wanna try more with other veggies soon.

We eat lots of fruit, and veggies. The boys think it’s great fun to peel their own carrots for a snack. And don’t cut it up, by all means. It’s way more fun to hold a big ol’ carrot.

I do tend to use Coconut Flour as my favorite grainfree/gluten-free flour. It is the most frugal that I have found. It does NOT take much flour to replace in recipes, as it is a VERY thirsty flour and a little bit goes a long ways. It has taken us a while to get used to gluten-free foods. But Sunday I had made coconut flour cupcakes and even my hubby loved them. They are more crumbly, but it was still tasty.

Here are links for grainfree eating… for those of you who asked and are looking for more ideas…

Nourished & Nurtured – There are a lot of good recipes here. And some of them are linked to in this post.

Grainfree Foodies – A blog I browse now and then.

GAPS Diet Journey – I have found some ‘keepers’ on this blog.

Elana’s Pantry – Has lots of good baked things. But more of your uncommon ingredients. I just started using her cookbook a lot.

Any more ideas you have to share in the comments?? Or more questions?? I hope this helps some of you who asked…

(This post maybe a work in progress, I’ll probably add more things as I think of them.)

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