My Initial List of GFCF Menus

I’ve been reading with a voracious appetite this past week. My libraries seem to be well stocked with gluten-free information, but only a few books on gluten-free, casein-free. They have a couple of others on the topic but they’re currently checked out. I am not ashamed to say that I have brought home 20+ books on Celiac and GF and have devoured them for information. I have a pretty good handle on how to do my first shopping trip. I’ve learned to read all labels. Also, there is a law that started (or starts) this year, requiring manufacturers to clearly list any ingredients from the 8 main causes of allergies-wheat, milk, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, peanuts & fish. Apparently these 8 account for 90% of America’s food allergies.

I’ve chosen familiar, well-liked menu items for our first 2 weeks. The menus are incomplete. I’ll add meats, fruits & veggies as available, to fill the menus out. I wanted to know what Tom would be eating specifically, so these are mostly geared towards his taste choices. I’ve read that after implementing the diet, children who self-limit their food choices, like Tom does, become more willing to exand their horizons. I would really enjoy that, cause it would make him much eaiser to cook for.


  • Grits

  • Chocolate Soymilk & Protein Drink Mix Smoothie

  • GFCF Pancakes & Syrup

  • GFCF Toast with Vegan Margarine & Bacon

  • Rice Chex with Soymilk


  • Refried Beans & Corn Chips

  • Pasta with Spaghetti Sauce

  • Mashed Potatoes & Vegan Cheese

  • Bean Burritos (corn tortillas)

  • Caesar Salad with Bacon Bits (no cheese & no croutons)

  • GF Macaroni & Vegan Cheese

  • TVP Sloppy Joes

  • CF Cheese Sandwiches & GFCF Tomato Soup


  • Pinto Beans & GF Cornbread or Muffins

  • Lentils & Rice—Mexican

  • Lentils & Rice—Italian

  • TVP Tacos

  • Taco Salad

  • GFCF Lasagna—Add veggies & tofu

  • GFCF Pizza—Add pepperoni

  • Fried Rice

  • Stir Fried Veggies, Rice & Shrimp (maybe)


  • Preacher Cookies (Quinoa or Kamut or Rice flakes instead of Oats or GF Oats if available)

  • Brownies (Rice flour)

  • Muffins—Blueberry

  • Fruit Juice Gigglers

  • Fruit—Lots

  • Veggies—Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers etc.

  • Vegan Ranch Style Dip for Veggies

  • Celery Stuffed with Peanut Butter

  • Soy Yogurt

  • Cookies as I experiment

  • Vegan Gourmet Cheese & Other Vegan Cheeses as available

  • Marshmallow Rice Chex Bars (like Rice Crispy Bars)

  • Maybe Carrot Juice (from juicer)

When shopping I’ll get lots of fresh fruit, because that’s a family favorite. I’ll also look at the GFCF pre-packaged snacks to see just how expensive they are. I’m almost afraid to find out. Meanwhile I’m looking though my library books to get some simple baking recipes like for pizza crust, muffins, yeast bread, cornbread, brownies & pancakes. I’m also looking for GFCF cookie recipes, which seem to be in abundant supply online.


I have a few fears about Vegan Cheese. last time I tried them they were rubbery and tasted more like ill-prepared tofu than cheese. I have a couple of cookbooks in my collection with some Vegan Cheese recipes, and I plan on experimenting with them too, until I can find a cheese substitute that works for macaroni & cheese. I’ve read good things about Vegan Gourmet cheese and hope it turns out as good as described. If not, I’ll just keep looking.


For shopping I’m looking at 3 sources–My local Natural Foods Co-Op. They have a lot of really interesting foods there. Also GNC which has a moderate selection of gluten-free items. And finally Kroger, we have 3 of them within 3 miles, and they all have well-stocked natural and dietetic food sections. I’ll also do my regular shopping on Tuesday at Wal-Mart, but probably won’t be buying too much there. Luckily the GNC and Krogers are all very close together so it won’t take much gasoline. The Co-Op is about 15 minutes away, which will eat into my gas some, but they have the best prices and are likely to have the best selection, so it’s worth the trip.


The reason I’m willing to shop 3 stores (and maybe 5) is because this excursion is for educating myself just as much as for purchasing actual products. I’m intend to limit the number of items I buy to those needed for our 2 week experiment. Then, if the experiment is working, I’ll consider making other purchases.


Oh, I just remembered, we have a UKrops (local to VA) and they have massive variety of hard to find items. I may go there and the Co-op on one day. Then Kroger(s) and GNC on the second day. I’m afraid of the sticker shock waiting for me, but am moving forward with faith. I have prayed that the Lord stop me if any of this is’t His will. I’ve also prayed for a clear understanding of His desire for me to keep heading in this direction.


I’ve explained to the kids that they may get headaches the first few days of the experiment, and that they may feel anxious or unhappy, but that these are symptoms of letting go of the gluten and casein. My oldest is still cooperative. My youngest is a little leary, but since everyone in the family is doing it, he’s not going to complain yet.


This afternoon I visit with my Mom and Granny and will explain the situation to them and my Dad. I’ll need their cooperation and I’m not sure how I’ll handle the meal that the Boys eat with them on Wednesday Nights. Maybe pre-make a couple of pizzas and take them with me, with instructions on how to bake them for Mom. I’ll also bring some snacks like candy-cookie things. Mom already buys soymilk, so that’s a plus.


Tomorrow Mom and Granny are coming over to help with the boy’s room some more. We’re about half-way into it, and hope to start painting tomorrow.



Filed under Budget, GFCF, Grocery Shopping, Health

20 responses to “My Initial List of GFCF Menus

  1. Chomama

    Is brewer’s yeast an option for you? I haven’t tried it yet, but if you Google “vegan uncheese mix” you’ll find a recipe for a cheese sauce substitute. You might also check out “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,” which got some good reviews on Amazon.

  2. I know I got vegan cheese sauce in a packet mix, called “Chreese”. You have to be careful with a lot of vegetarian cheeses or ones marked soy as they often contain casein.
    If you find a good vegan cheese recipe please share it!!!

  3. JDM

    I’m so glad you read labels! I didn’t when I started with the non-dairy cheeses, and accidentally bought one that had milk in it. (Kinda defeats the purpose–lactose intolerant kid in the house, and he can’t eat the non-dairy cheese I just bought him!)

    IIRC, Bryanna Clark Grogan has a free non-cheese nutritional yeast recipe on her site. I believe brewer’s yeast is different than nutritional yeast, but can’t remember where I read it. I’ve tried Bryanna’s melty pizza cheese recipe and it was alright. Yeast-based cheeses take a bit of getting used to.

    The non-dairy cheeses are not the same as milk-based cheeses, but I found them tolerable. Used to be they weren’t very good.

    Would “Follow Your Heart” brand work for your family? Ingredients here:

  4. Billie

    Joanne Stepaniak’s book “The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook” has some uncheeze recipes too. One I tried when I was experimenting with veganism was a sort of melty cheese that was similar to mac & cheese. I can’t remember the recipe, but it really did taste pretty much like cheese. I had to sort of fool myself at first, because since I made it, I knew what was in it and none of it was cheeselike, lol.

    You probably know this, Maggie, but for those reading, nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are two totally different things!

  5. JJ

    I guess you kinda live near me if you’re talking about Ukrops (although I know they have opened a place near Blacksburg now (in Roanoke maybe?) [I live near Richmond].

    Anyway, the Vegan Gourmet cheese (by Follow your Heart) is ok. Don’t go into it expecting it to be cheese and you’ll be ok. I think of it a bit more like cream cheese and I’m ok. I made pizza for friends when we were trying vegan for my health (couldn’t sustain it unfortunately) and they liked it well enough. It doesn’t really melt like real cheese though, but if you broil it it will brown. Don’t expect to be able to eat it plain, it’s better with stuff. Apparently there is some new stuff coming out that is supposed to be tastier and melts better, but I haven’t seen it yet (It’s on the West Coast and I’m sure you can order it) so I can’t comment on it yet. Oh, and just so you know, even though it says not to freeze on it, it’s ok….they do freeze ok. Kinda like real cheese – they don’t slice as well, but since I’m usually crumbling them on something like pizza I don’t mind. And since I’m only heading into the health food store once a month or less (it’s a 30 minute trip for me one way) I’ll stock up and freeze it.

    Oh, and we do better with the vegan type meals (and this might help with the GFCF meals – not sure) if I was able to find meals that were already that way instead of always trying to mimic our regular meals.


  6. Lorie

    Hi Maggie, Great Blog and I love the new FA site!

    Just curious, what about all that food that is in your food storage program? (I love that section of your website) If this diet works out for you will you be able to donate it someplace?

    Praying God will continue to guide you and that you will find health and peace.

  7. Mrs. Ol' Lady

    Dear Maggie,

    I have benefitted tremendously from your former website and also from your newer Frugal Abundance. I say, good for you as you search out a dietary regimen that makes you and your family feel better. We Americans are truly blessed to have such a wide variety of food to choose from. As a secondary matter, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that make use of my pantry storage foods. I’m looking forward to hearing about your vegan cheesemaking results!

    You look very nice in the pictures modeling the new jumpers. They are a comfortable and forgiving alternative to skirts and blouses, which always seem to creep out of control on my figure, anyway.

    Don’t get discouraged re: the diet regimen. There are a whole lot o’ folks out here in cyberspace rootin’ fer ‘ya!

    Best wishes from,

    Mrs. Ol’ Lady.

  8. speaking for the cats of the world

    I have found that there are lots of good recipes on 7th Day Adventist sites.
    Now, most are NOT gluten free, but there are a lot of vegan recipes there, & suggestions for substitutions for cheese & the like. I like them, because they tend to taste more like “real food”, unlike some of the other sites I have looked at, for cutting back on dairy. (Now that I know that lactose intolerance can run in the family, I am educating myself a bit).

  9. Miss Maggie, you’re probably overwhelmed as it is, but I thought this website was interesting: .

    Also there’s a little book called No Wheat? No Way! that has family-friendly GFCF recipes.

    Best wishes to all of you.

  10. Excellent Article Mama Squirrel. Thank-You.

    for anyone else looking into GFCF, the article above has good info and is a relatively easy read. About a family with 3 adopted kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome who responded very well to GFCF diet. Also mentions Autism. Written by the Mom.

  11. JJ wrote—-
    Oh, and we do better with the vegan type meals (and this might help with the GFCF meals – not sure) if I was able to find meals that were already that way instead of always trying to mimic our regular meals. —-

    I’ve found this to be true when preparing vegetarian meals as well. Substitutes work well in some applications, but in others they just don’t cut it. This is one of my main concerns using cheese substitutes. I would have prefered to plan menus that limited cheese substitutes, but I have to start somewhere. Tom has a very limited palate for the moment, so I’m accomodating it as best I can. With God’s Grace he’ll be able to open up to other foods as we break the “addiction” to Gluten and Casein.

    Yes the new Ukrops is in Roanoke. It has bi-level parking and escalators to get to the store. They even have special “cart” escalators that are made to truck the carts up and down the stairs. It’s pricey on some things, but reasonable on others. They sell lots of local products, natural and organic meat products and have a massive natural foods section. Not as big as the Co-Op, but significant none the less. I’ve heard they treat their employees very well too.

  12. Miss Maggie–glad you liked the article.

    Do you have the recipe posted somewhere for your Lentils & Rice–Italian version? We’ve eaten your Taco version for several years now (I enjoy it, the kids tolerate it) but it would be nice to have the other variation.

  13. It’s a variation to “Homestyle Lentils & Rice” on the HBHW site. I’ve recently updated all of my Lentils & Rice Recipes, and see if I can post them next week. Glad you’re enjoying them, they are family favorites.

  14. Me

    Miss Maggie, Is the Italian version the same as the Home Style Lentils and Rice (one of my family’s favorites) or do I have another one to look forward to?

  15. WOW! You go girl! Maggie, this looks great! I wish I could give up cheese and dairy! I have trouble with soy products, so I’m really leary about getting off dairy entirely, but I know I would be so much healthier without it. It would just be incredibly hard because there aren’t many subs for dairy other than soy products! Your menu looks fabulous and very creative! I love the creativity going gluten free inspires!

  16. Oh… I also wanted to tell you that a great starter book for the gluten free diet is Bette Hagman’s Gluten free Gourmet, the revised edition. When I’m struggling, I still turn to her amazing books! She uses more starches than I care for, but it is easy to substitute with a whole grain gluten free flour instead!

  17. Heidi Hafermann

    Please make sure you are taking a good calcium and vitamin D supplement! Even if you are drinking calcium fortified juice and soymilk, most folks, especially women, don’t get enough of those nutrients. Good Luck, and Good Health!

  18. I didn’t realize that TVP was okay! For some reason, I thought it had gluten… so I googled it and of course, found Bob’s Red Mill TVP that is Gluten Free… I’m sure there are others as well. Yay! We will be using this in our chili now!

    I have recipes for nutritional yeast-cheese sauce on my site. The kids like it just fine. I also just recently learned that went subbing rice milk for regular milk in recipes add 1 egg yolk as well! (with soy you don’t need to do this) I buy Rice Dream by the case at Costco now that it is labeled GF because it is so much less expensive than any other option I have found. We have only found two cheese subs (slices) that do not have any dairy in them Tofutti and a rice cheese. The Tofutti is the fav… but it’s pricey. Reading labels is a must on EVERYTHING. I am making a new energy/breakfast bar today… I will try to get the recipe up tonight or tomorrow. It use quinoa flakes since GF oats are so hard to come by (you can order online but shipping was pricey). I found GF steel cut oats (Bob’s Red Mill) at Whole Foods yesterday. Also, most Taste of Thai products are GF and the noodles are inexpensive. I picked up a couple bags of the Tinkyada Pasta Joy at Whole Foods as well because it was $2.99 a bag vs. $4.99 at the regular grocers natural section. Good Luck! I can’t wait to hear how you feel after the next couple of weeks!


  19. RedTartan

    Hello, Maggie, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve just started reading your blog recently and am enjoying it very much. Thanks for your efforts.

    I felt compelled to write because of your dietary struggles. It is so hard to know what is the truly healthy way to eat.

    I would like to direct you to read

    This is a traditional diet. This is the way our great grandmothers ate. You’ll find studies there that show that people with celiac disease CAN eat wheat bread IF it is made properly. The answer is sourdough. The problem we’re facing is that we are trying to eat grains without fermenting them first. Ruminant animals can eat grains, but they have four stomachs. And I can tell you that they ferment the grains too. They just do it inside their bodies. Everytime I milk my goats I hear them churning away inside. 🙂

    I’d also encourage you to “google” SCD diet. I have an ASD child as well and, after looking at all the evidence out there, I can confidently say that GFCF does not go far enough to heal the intestinal lining of these children. So many people try GFCF and it doesn’t work so they assume that diet isn’t affecting their kids. Please try SCD! The SCD diet is the one that was originally developed for people with intestinal problems. A doctor dumbed it down and came up with GFCF. GFCF is found to be effective for approximately 50% of ASD children. 100% of ASD children show improvement on SCD. This information came from a study. I’m not making it up.

    I’ve gone on too long. I’ve been hesitating to write for several days because I knew I couldn’t keep this brief. Apologies. Feel free to write me for more information if you like. I feel compelled to help mothers learn how to really feed their families.


  20. Toni

    Oh, I am so happy I looked you up again! My son needs a wheat-free diet so your old recipes don’t work for us… going to read here 🙂

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