Today I have the pleasure of hosting the Gluten Free Freezer Swap.  If you would like to host, drop Cheryl a line at Gluten Free Goodness.

I picked pomegranate for this week’s theme ingredient.  For some ideas beyond just drinking the juice or tossing the seeds on salads, check out POM Wonderful’s recipe site.  I have made the Persian Chicken in Pom Walnut Sauce (I adapted to gluten free) from the site (tasty), the pom jelly (made with less sugar and tasty) and the pom syrup (also tasty) from the site.  I have some juice frozen and am interested in trying a couple of the dressings this week.  I might need to pick up an extra pomegranate and try some pom salsa.  Other sites with a bunch of pomegranate love are, pomegranate world, EatingWell, Whole Living and some great recipes and pomegranate facts on  How do you use pomegranates?

My kids really like to be in charge of seeding any pomegranates that end up in the house.  If you are having your kids help, just be sure they keep the fruit below water at all times and wear an old shirt you don’t mind staining (just in case) as the juice WILL stain your clothes.  Or, do as my older daughter does, and wear a red shirt when you clean your pomegranate.  Smart girl, that one…

It is pretty easy to seed a pomegranate.  Fill a wide mixing bowl half-way with cool water.  Score your pomegranate (be careful!  The juice might get ya!) deep enough that you can split it in half.  Put your pomegranate in the water.  Use your hands to separate the seed form the inner membrane.  The white membrane will float to the top and the seed will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  When you have finished removing all the seeds, skim the top to the water to remove any bits of the inner membrane and drain the seeds in a colander.  There you go.  Little rudy seeds, all ready to go!  Yum!

For more menu inspiration, see Laura at Organized Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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This week we are all done with vacation time (bummer) and getting back into the swing of things.  I still have to take down the tree.  I know, I know…  But I have one daughter pushing for it to stay up until the 12 days of Christmas are over, on January 6th.  Well, only 3 more days to go!  We have compromised by keeping up the tree, but taking a few ornaments a day off of it.  I should get the last packed up today while everyone is at school.  That will leave only the lights on the tree, but that’s the best part!   This week I will be getting the house back into shape, checking my freezer inventory, making a plan for some freezer love to fill it over the next couple of weeks (gotta restock, baby-cakes!), and working on an upcoming class.

For pomegranate this week, I’ll be trying some yummy dressing on the family and on Saturday we will have pancakes with a mango, pineapple and pom fruit salad to start the weekend.  Yum!

Monday:  Driver’s Ed begins (yikes!)/dance class for the older girl/Boy Scouts/Girl Scout leader meeting (all about the cookies)/make banana muffins today (freeze most) Apricot glazed pork tenderloin, cauliflower puree and Swiss chardTuesday: Morning jazz band at the high school/Driver’s Ed/play practice at the middle school/piano lessons (need portable dinner)

Peppers and Turkey Sausage sandwiches and salad


Wednesday: Mom volunteer in 2nd grade class/Driver’s Ed/play practice at the middle school/dance class for the little girl/youth group

Gluten Free Pasta with Roasted Veggie and Tomato Sauce and a salad

Thursday: Morning jazz band at the high school/middle school newspaper club/Driver’s Ed/Girl Scout Caddy Meeting

Chicken Spinach Coconut Curry with rice


Friday: mom in school library/Driver’s Ed

Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole (from the freezer), gluten free French bread

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Gluten Free Menu Swap

What is on everyone’s plates this week?

First up is Kristen at Adventures in Mommyhood.  She’s never had a pomegranate, but is thinking about the chocolate covered pomegranate seeds from Gluten Free Goodness.  Oh, yeah- those are so amazing!  This week they are having La Bamba Casserole, Indonesian Chicken, leftover buffet (I am a big fan of that myself) baked chicken with mashed potatoes and salad, bean soup and more.  She has a full SEVEN days planned out.  Nice!  Also, you will find her gluten/dairy/soy free adaption of Men’s Health Muscle Chow,  Chicken and Broccoli with Quinoa.

Wendy at Celiacs in the House sounds like she had just the sort of holiday break I like- lots of books, a fire place, and Dr. Who.  She has a pic of pomegranates saved for the freezer using the new handy Ziplock gadget that I have been hearing so much about.  I think I need to pick one up now that I have seen it in action in a real kitchen!  She uses pom arils on her Celery Root Soup and in berry smoothies.  This week her family is eating white bean and vegetable stew, herbed turkey loaf, rioja beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, roasted salmon and and a Moroccan lamb dish that sounds delicious.  I really need to get the recipe for the potato kale cakes and asian chicken thighs.  Please, pretty please?

Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness, queen of the chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, has been finding pomegranates a little scarce in here area.  Hopefully she can pick some up soon.  Here goal is to shake things up with her cooking this year.  I can’t wait to see what tasty things she comes up with.  This week they are eating herbed spinach blend salad (with cilantro she is growing indoors – nice~), nightshade stew, gumbo (yum!), sniffle stew (I just added the ingredients to my shopping list for the weekend – thanks, Cheryl!), hazelnut cookies and cornbread.  Sounds like great comforting food to nourish into the New Year!

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What was I cooking…?

Last year:

Menu Plan Monday – January 4, 2010

Two years ago:

January 1, 2009 – Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

January 2, 2009 – Gluten Free-zer Friday:  Cranberry Chicken

Menu Plan Monday – January 5, 2009

Four years ago:

Cranberry Upside-down Cake