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Menu Plan – Week of August 29

For this week’s menu plan, I’m taking back Italian.  For the most part, I have steered clear of one of my favorite cuisines since going dairy-free (and mostly grain-free) earlier this year.  But now I’m ready to re-define my definition of Italian goodness.  With the exception of lasagna, I think most Italian recipes can taste equally as good without cheese as they do with cheese (assuming your brain is able to wrap itself around this crazy notion).  For instance, can you imagine a pizza without cheese?  Neither can I, but surprisingly enough, it actually tastes pretty good even if it’s not exactly visually appealing.  And yes, I know they’re are many dairy-free “cheeses” out there (and I use that term loosely), but I’m just not ready to go there yet.  I think it will take a looonnnngggg time before I’m able to embrace most cheese alternatives (I have found some that are quite good, but not a casein-free cheddar or mozzarella because casein is what makes cheese…well, cheese!).

The key is looking for authentic Italian recipes where cheese is not center stage (and can therefore be eliminated without completely altering the end result).  By kicking out the ooey-gooey, stretchy casein glue (a.k.a. cheese), the bold Mediterranean flavors of oregano, thyme, and basil will be center stage.  And my belly (and behind) will thank me for it. :-D

Printable Menu Plan

Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (I will use canned coconut milk instead of the cream) and Zucchini Carpaccio

Tuesday: Shrimp wrapped in Prosciutto and Lentils with Tomatoes and Onions

Wednesday: Italian Wedding Soup in the Crock Pot (recipe to come), Green Salad

Thursday: Zucchini Pasta with Parma Sauce (I will use coconut oil instead of the butter and canned coconut milk instead of the cream)

Friday: Chicken Scaloppine with Marsala (recipe to come), Green Salad

Saturday: Braised Lamb Shanks, Green Beans and Eventually Instant Mashed Potatoes

Sunday: Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce (I will use my recipe for Allergy-Friendly Pasta Dough, and I will omit the cheese altogether and use coconut oil for sauteing and casein-free ghee for the sauce) and Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing (I will use Soy-Free Veganaise, omit the granulated sugar altogether and olive oil)

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Comments

  1. Wendy says:

    We have enjoyed the "meetza" from Mark's Daily Apple. There are some recipes online for a coconut flour pizza crust we have also tried. It can be very filling so you must roll it very thin. I just top with sauce and roasted veggies, no cheese needed. Also, I cook GF spaghetti meat sauce for my kids, but I stuff eggplant (eggplant, olive oil, onions, bacon, any other veggies I may have (mushrooms, peppers), sauted and re-stuffed in to the eggplant shell, baked in the oven) and dump my meat sauce on top of the baked eggplant. I do this with stuffed zucchini's also, dump meat sauce on top.

  2. Sounds like a delicious week, Heidi! Cheese sort of masks all so when you omit it, you do actually taste everything else. ;-) Cheese is so addictive. My Asian accupressure guy told me to steer clear of only one food … you guessed it–cheese!

    Have a great gf/df Italian week, Heidi! xoxo,

    Shirley

    • I hear ya sister, I'm still licking my wounds over the loss of cheese. Gosh, I had it bad for dairy, I think I was more addicted to dairy products than I ever was with gluten (gotta love those opiates). I remember my mom always saying to me when I was a kid, "If I know one thing for sure, you will never develop osteoporosis" (I used to drink roughly a GALLON of skim milk a day). Little did she know the crazy irony behind that statement. ;-)

      Enjoying some good sun time? So jealous!

      xoxo,
      Heidi

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