Foodie Friday…Back to School with GFCF Bread!

I can’t believe it but it’s back to school time in our house!  My oldest starts Kindergarten on Monday, and I swear I’m having heart palpitations!  Well, not really but this is an exciting time with a lot of changes to our routine!  Both our boys are on the autism spectrum and have had them on a gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet for the last two years or so and have notices really positive results.  With back to school time comes the dilemma of what to do about lunches.  Most hot lunches don’t offer much in the way of GFCF choices so my kiddo will be packing.  Finding GFCF stuff can be hard but I have come up with some tried-and-true faves that I wanted to share.  Usually I’ll make him a sandwich, include some kind of fruit and veggie, a GF granola bar (Glutino is our favorite brand), something crunchy (veggie straws, GF pretzels, etc…), water and a fruit snack.  My guy has a pretty good appetite so I’m thankful for that.  When it comes to making his sandwich, I’ve had great luck using our bread maker and various mixes that our out there.


Ours is a Sensio brand, and I got it off Craigslist for $20, and it had barely been used. It’s so easy, and I love that I can give him fresh, yummy bread for his sandwich.

Here’s one of the mixes I like:

:gf bread mix

I just follow the directions on the back of the box for bread makers.  You can use the oven and a bread pan as well, but I find this to be easier and I don’t have to heat up my whole kitchen.  The box has everything you need except the wet ingredients, even the yeast!

baking directions

Just mix all the wet ingredients together (I use rice milk, 2 eggs plus 1 egg white, melted dairy-free spread, and apple cider vinegar) and put them in the bread pan in the machine.  Put the dry mix on top and make a little hole in the top to empty the yeast packet, almost so it looks like a little volcano:

bread ingredients

Then just select the 1.5 pound, white loaf, medium setting and that’s it!  The machine does the mixing, lets the bread rise, and the baking, all in about three hours!

finished bread

Yum!  Time to make some sandwiches!  Have a great weekend!  🙂

Foodie Friday! GFCF dirt cupcakes!!!!

TGIF, everybody!  Okay, so I have done several posts involving gluten-free/ casein-free (GFCF) recipes that I make for my kiddos.  We have done a pretty good job of being able to serve them a variety of healthy foods even on this sometimes limiting diet. That said, this is NOT an example of a healthy recipe 🙂  My son turned 5 this year and needed something to take to school for a treat. His school has a policy that birthday treats must be store bought (?!?!?!?!), so I was at a bit of a loss of what to do.  It’s not like it’s easy or convenient to stop by the local grocery store’s bakery and pick up a few GFCF cupcakes.  But, I wanted him to feel special and be able to share something yummy with his friends.  I ended up getting the OK to make just his treat at home and get store bought for the rest of the kids.  So, now, what to make?  I ended up making chocolate GFCF cupcakes at home (Betty Crocker makes a great mix), and using chocolate frosting that doesn’t contain milk (I think the brand is Duncan Hines, but check your labels).  Then I crunched GFCF chocolate sandwich cookies on top to make the “dirt.”  A gummy worm tops it off and you have a great treat and a happy kid!

For the other kids in the class, I just pre-ordered some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting from our local grocery store.  The morning of his classroom party, I picked them up from the store, covered them with the crunched up cookies and gummy worms and viola!  I also ended up putting them in little plastic cups and giving them the kids spoons to eat them.  So much easier than them peeling the cupcake paper off and taking bites.  Plus, then they could really see how it looks like “dirt” through the side of the glass.

Here’s some pics, not super detailed, but you can get the idea:


My son was so excited when he was passing out the treats, and I was so happy he didn’t have to have something different than his friends!

Have a great weekend!

Easy Gluten-Free Chicken Tacos

Here is a super yummy recipe for gluten free, crockpot chicken tacos. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

1 lb. frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins

1 -15.5 oz. jar salsa, any brand, we like medium spicyness ( is that a word?) 🙂

Put frozen chicken in crockpot and pour salsa on top, covering the chicken. Cook 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low. When done, shred chicken with a wooden spoon and mix well.

That’s it! Seriously. So yummy for
tacos, salad, or even in soup. Plenty for my family of four with leftovers. Enjoy!

Kid (and adult) friendly GFCF muffins!

gfcf muffins

So we have two kids in our house on a gluten free, casein free (GFCF) diet.  Both of our boys are on the autism spectrum, and we have found that this diet alleviates some of the behavioral “symptoms” that we had seen.  Basically when they’re on the diet we see less stemming, more functional language,  more referencing to us and others when playing, and more social interaction as a whole.  I know there are lots of opinions out there about “best practice” when it comes to raising kids on the spectrum, but we can’t argue with the results we’ve seen from this diet for our little guys.

I am always looking for new recipes of things they can eat, and a friend shared these muffins with me.  They are so yummy, even my in-laws who were visiting loved them!  Enjoy!

2 1/2 c. finely chopped almonds

1/4 c. honey

3 eggs

1/2 t.  salt

1/2 t. baking soda

1 t.  gluten-free vanilla

1. dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  I mix all the dry ingredients first (almond meal, salt, and baking soda).  Then add honey, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips one at a time.  For some variety, shredded coconut can also be added for half of the dairy-free chocolate chips.  Prepare muffin pan (I use vegetable oil cooking spray), and spoon mix into muffin cups.  Depending on how full you make the cups, the recipe will make 12-18 muffins.  Bake for approximately 28 minutes, until edges and top are golden brown.  

*My friend grinds her own almond meal, and swears by it.  I just buy it at the store (I love Hodgson Mills brand).  If  you are having trouble finding it or dairy free chocolate chips at your local grocery store, try a health food store.  Another option is to order hard-to-find groceries (pantry items only) on, and they will ship any order over $25 for free.  A lot of my friends who are gluten-free and live in Hawaii do that to save on expensive grocery items.  Best of luck!

Road Trip Snack Bags



So as I mentioned in other posts, we have been moving for the last month or so.  Lots of eating on the run, and being constantly away from home.  One thing I like to do to vary up my kids’ snacks is to make bags with a mixture of stuff in them.  I got the idea from a friend of mine and it has worked great with my kids so far.  She just takes a variety of snacks and mixes them together in sandwich bags to make her own kind of homemade “chex mix.”  

Both my boys are on the spectrum, and are pretty open to eating most things with different flavors and textures. So, I am very lucky there.  They are both on a gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet so I am always looking for new ways to make snacks for them.  I had a bunch of dried cranberries that they were just not that into.  I got the idea to put them in a bag with some of their preferred snacks (GFCF pretzels) to see if they would be more open to eating them and it worked!  It’s a great way to use up snacks when you have a few different bags with just a little bit left in them too.  They work great for lunches, road trips, or just to have on hand when your kids are hungry!  


Bag #1
1. Rice Chex cereal 2. Trader Joe’s onion ring corn chip snacks 3. Cashew pieces


Bag #2
1. GFCF pretzels 2. dried cranberries 3. Trader Joe’s rice cereal with cinnamon