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Weekly Menu Plan – Week of April 25 (and a Giveaway!)

It’s going to be another crazy week for me as I prepare to leave for Chicago on Thursday to attend the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. This will be the first time that I’ve left my brood since embarking on “Operation Leaky Gut” and I have to admit that I’m a little nervous as to how it will play out.  There aren’t any easy convenience foods for my husband to fall back on while I’m away, so I will need to be sure he’s well stocked with leftovers.  Not only to make things easier on him, but to save my kitchen from an inevitable culinary disaster! 😉

So, the plan for this week is to pull out a couple of my crockpots (yes, that is a plural…I have 7 slowcookers of various sizes, thanks to my friend Stephanie O’dea of Make It Fast, Cook It Slow fame…she got me hooked back in 2008 when she started her awesome and hilarious blog, A Year of Slowcooking).  I love my crockpots, especially my Crock-Pot Trio, it is absolutely perfect for large gatherings, be it the holidays or a summer barbecue  (in case you are wondering, I store it on a shelf in my garage, that sucker is HUGE!).

My absolute favorite slowcooker though is the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, it’s my workhorse.  When I know I have busy days ahead, especially now that my oldest son is in Cub Scouts or has a baseball game, I prep my slowcooker the night before and place the crock insert in the fridge so all I have to do is plop it in the heating element the next morning and dinner is as good as done.  Healthy “fast food!”



Breakfast: Don’t Be Afraid of the Green Smoothie Monster from She Let Them Eat Cake, Maple Apple Breakfast Sausage from Gluten Free Goddess (I made enough sausage for the entire week)

My boys’ Lunch: Leftover Ham with Homemade Mustard from Allergic Adventures, Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas with Hummus, Fresh Strawberries

Dinner: Split Pea and Ham Soup from Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen (using leftover Easter Ham), Salad

Dessert: Sarah’s Applesauce from (I use coconut sugar, which is low glycemic)


Breakfast: Green Goddess Smoothie from Gluten Free Life with Jen, Breakfast Sausage

My Boys’ Lunch: Leftover Split Pea and Ham Soup, Homemade Sweet Potato Chips, Homemade Applesauce, Strawberry Cupcakes from Elana Amsterdam’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour
(my friend Ellen from Gluten-Free Diva shared the recipe here). 

Dinner: Crockpot Vietnamese Roasted Chicken from A Year of Slowcooking, Thai Stir-fried Vegetables with Garlic, Ginger and Lime from (I will use arrowroot instead of cornstarch)

Dessert: Fresh Blueberries with Coconut Whipped Cream from The Gracious Pantry


Breakfast: Coconut Mango Smoothie with Lime from Daily Bites, Breakfast Sausage

My Boys’ Lunch: Applegate Farms Turkey Bologna Rollups, Homemade Pickled Green Beans, Marcona Almonds, Honeydew Melon

Dinner: Crockpot Peppercorn Steak from A Year of Slowcooking, Garlic Green Beans from The New York Times and Tangy Apple Cole Slaw from Confections of a Food Bride (I will omit the vegetable oil and will use a combination of coconut sugar and liquid stevia instead of the white sugar)

Dessert: Sweet Potato Pudding with Stevia Sweetened Coconut Whipped Cream from Ricki Heller’s Anti-Candida Feast E-Book (This pudding is excellent!)

Thursday:  I’m off to Chicago!

Breakfast: Squashberry Smoothie from Lexie’s Kitchen, Breakfast Sausage

My Boys’ Lunch: Roasted Tomato Soup from Go Dairy Free, Grain-Free Almond Crackers from Caveman Food (I’m going to try using ground Macadamia Nuts this week), Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey Breast Rollups, Watermelon Slices

Dinner: Crockpot Barbeque Beans and Weenies from A Year of Slowcooking (I will use my homemade BBQ Sauce and Cut Up Applegate Farms Hot Dogs)

Dessert: Leftover Strawberry Cupcakes


Breakfast: Lucious Pina “Greena” Colada Smoothie from Gluten Free Easily, Breakfast Sausage

My Boys’ Lunch: Mediterranean Tuna Antipasta Salad from Eating Well (I think this might be a flarp with my kiddos, but I guess they will eat it if they’re hungry, LOL!), Cucumbers and Carrots with Hummus, Home Roasted Sunflower Seeds, Watermelon Slices

Dinner: Leftovers from the week

Dessert: Leftover Strawberry Cupcakes


Breakfast: Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cherry Smoothie from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, Breakfast Sausage

Lunch: Leftovers from the week

Dinner: From the Freezer: Meatloaf Muffins from Cook IT Allergy Free (I used coconut sugar, blanched almond flour instead of the bread/cracker crumbs and a chia ‘egg’), Baked Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans

Dessert: Leftover Strawberry Cupcakes


Breakfast: Kale Cranberry Smoothie from Celiacs in the House, Breakfast Sausage

Lunch: Leftovers from the week

Dinner: Dinner and Dessert at Nana and Papa’s House

For more menu planning ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday over at I’m an Organizing Junkie (FYI: not all menus and recipes are gluten-free).

I don’t return home from Chicago until late Monday night, so I will post next week’s menu plan sometime on Tuesday. 😀

**This giveaway is now closed**

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie O’Dea in person not too long ago and she is even cuter and more funny in person than she was on the several Good Morning America and Rachel Ray Show appearances I’ve seen her on.  Stephanie’s laugh is positively infectious and let me tell you what, that girl knows how to budget, organize and plan!  Have you see her new website, Totally Together Journal?

I’m so excited that get to see Stephanie later this week at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo (Stephanie’s daughter has celiac disease), as well another dear friend of mine, Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily.  Speaking of which, have you seen the following video of Stephanie interviewing Shirley?  I loved it! 😀

Okay, okay…back to the giveaway!

I would like to personally give one of my wonderful readers a FREE copy of Stephanie O’Dea’s two slowcooker cookbooks: Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking AND More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: 200 Brand-New, Budget-Friendly, Slow-Cooker Recipes!


To enter for a chance to win this giveaway, just leave a comment answering the following question:

What’s your favorite slowcooker recipe?

I will announce the winner on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011, Good Luck! 😀


  1. Wow! You impress me! I cannot believe how organized you are. My Mom is coming to stay with the boys. Luckily she cooks like me so I am thinking I am going to let her go wild. Mike is a lucky boy to have you take care of all of this for him!! Thanks for including my meatloaf muffins in the cut! LOL!!



    See you in 3 days, missy!

    • We loved your meatloaf Kim!

      As for Mike and whether or not he actually uses the leftovers I prepare…we'll see. Somehow I have it in my mind that he is going to go hog wild while I'm gone and break out the potato chips and every other forbidden food from the past few months! I should install a "hubby spycam," LOL!

      See you in just a few short days, I can't wait!!


  2. My favorite crock pot items is pulled Pork. Throw a pork shoulder in with some onions, chicken broth, cilantro, and garlic and set on low. You can spice it up for some pork tacos or mix it with BBQ sauce for BBQ Pulled Pork. Love it on baked potatoes.

    • That is a great idea Rhonda, to top baked potatoes with BBQ Pulled Pork!!! I think I will try that next week…only on a sweet potato, how do you think that would taste? 😀

      • Done that too, and it's awesome. BBQ Pulled Pork on a baked potato is a big thing here in Texas. I cheat and use Stubb's BBQ because it is gluten-free.

  3. Rose Hawley says

    My family's favorite is the good ole pot roast. Always a winner!

  4. Wow, I'm amazed at that menu plan. So many yummy dishes–I imagine you have been/will be busy in the kitchen! And glad you liked the sweet potato pudding. 😀

    Hope you have a fantastic time at the Expo. I'll be with you all in spirit and eagerly reading all the reports on your blogs and via twitter! 🙂

    • Ricki,

      That pudding of yours has been the number one staple in my house for the past week, LOL! I was so excited when I read the recipe and it only called for teff which is the only flour (besides arrowroot, bean and nut flours) that I can use right now. My kiddos love it!

      I wish you were going to the Expo too, I really want to meet you! Maybe next year? 😉

  5. I love to use my crockpot to cook a whole chicken.

  6. I have to say my favs are pulled pork or a simple roast with potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, onion, etc.

  7. I also have multiple slow cookers and LOVE them. My favourite recipe is a roast chicken. Take one organic whole chicken (it can be frozen!), put it on top of 6-7 one inch balls made from aluminum foil, pour some olive oil on top, squeeze a couple lemons worth of juice over the top and sprinkle some sea salt and dried oregano. Set to high for ~5 hours. Delish!

    • MamaKate,

      My mouth is watering, your chicken sounds great! I have to ask you though…what's the purpose of the foil balls? Does it help brown up the bottom of the chicken? 😀

      • It's to keep the chicken off the bottom of the crockpot. That way the chicken doesn't stick and it's more like an oven. We make it a lot in the summer when it's too hot to use the oven.

  8. Thanks for including my recipe! Hope you enjoy the dessert!

  9. I have Shirley Braden's Special Turkey Breast cooking in my crockpot right now. First time making it, but from the smell and Shirley's description, I think it will be my favorite!

  10. Wow, you truly are organized! We have a two earner household so its difficult for us to plan much of anything. Thanks for all your effort and given our busy-ness…we'd love to win the cookbooks! 🙂

  11. I haven't experimented much with the slow-cooker – but I would love to, and cookbooks would be a big help! Growing up, my grandmother made renowned stewed chicken in the slow-cooker that we always ate over rice

  12. One of my favorite crock pot meals is chicken drumsticks covered in Heinz chili sauce (it is gf). I cook it all day and the meat falls off and has a mild barbeque flavor.

  13. My favorite slow cooker recipe is pulled pork!

  14. Wish I was going back to my old stomping grounds with y'all but alas, it isn't in the cards this year… Have a great time.

    As for my fave crockpot recipe, I'd have to say just plain old vegetable soup or vegetarian pho. It's a toss up!

  15. domestic diva says

    I love to make soup. I keep all sorts of meat and vegetable scraps in the freezer as we have them. then I toss them all in the crockpot, season, and cook. Simple and delicious.

  16. I would love this cook book. My sister in law has it and told me about making lazy chicken. Now I make it all the time with my homemade teriyaki sauce. I use (all GF ingredients) agave, corn starch, Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cider vinegar, pepper and let in reduce in pan-poor over frozen chicken in crock pot-there you go! Delicious! I would love to try more! Thanks:)

  17. Heidi, your amazing menu plan has been a great one to look at when I go blank with no ideas. I would definitely like to try Potato Au Gratin.

  18. Wow, I wish I could get my two youngest to eat as healthy as your kids do.

    My favorite meal in the slow cooker is my Chicken Tortilla Soup. It's my easiest one too.

  19. Natalie A. says

    I love goat stew!

  20. I have two favorites – chili and pot roast. I found the key to a good pot roast is to coat it in olive oil and minced garlic and sear all the sides in a skillet before I put it in the crock pot.

  21. You are so hilarious. Who has SEVEN crock-pots? Only Heidi. This is why I love you. Thanks for linking to my smoothie. Can't wait to see you sooooon. xo

  22. I don't want to brag, but I have more crockpots than you … I do! LOL I've got Special Turkey Breast cooking in mine today for our support group meeting tonight. 🙂 Thanks so much for the link love, dear, and linking that interview … OMG, you're too much! Sweet, sweet, Heidi! You're doing a great job taking care of the boys while you're away. See you soon and I'm so looking forward to our date in two days! 😉



  23. I have made a few recipes but my girls love sloppy joe. It doe remind me when I was a kid. I also love chili in the crock pot.

  24. Heidi, you absolutely made my day. Thank you so much for your wonderful words and for hosting a giveaway—-I'm looking forward to seeing you in a few days! Your meal plan looks phenomenal! xoxoox

  25. We love pot roast made in the crock!!

  26. I love Stephanie's recipes. I was ready to give up my slow cookers before I found her great recipes.

    I have a lot of favorites, chili and stew, applesauce chicken and pulled pork. Yum!

  27. Hello! I love your blog! Am fairly new to the gf world but am grateful to blogs like yours, have learned so much, and enjoy the recipes! One of my favorite crock pot recipes is simply chicken taco meat. For every pound of chicken breasts, use 1 cup broth/water and 1 package taco seasoning (cook all day in the crock pot). I cook enough to have taco's, enchilada's, nachos, and taco salad's for a few days. So easy and has good flavor. Thanks so much, for your time committed here, Danette

  28. My favorite slow cooker recipe would have to be pot roast!!!!!!

  29. Hi my name is Tara and I need some advice if you might have the time to reply to this e-mail. I have a 2.5 year old girl. She is 19#'s and refuses to eat. Most of the time when we try to get her to eat she takes maybe one bite if we are lucky and then screams throwing the food across the room. She would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and could not tell us why. She would walk around during the day saying her tummy hurt. I have taken her to the family Doctor several times. He did blood tests and they all came back negative. I read some where that the blood test for celiac is unreliable so I just took her off gluten and dairy about a week ago. The problem is the few things she liked had gluten and dairy. I want to do more testing, but I am not sure where to start or what to do. She has not screamed or complained of a tummy ache since we took those 2 things out of her diet, but she is not eating. My two questions are where should I go next a nutrition specialist? A gastroenterologist? Do you have any ideas of how to get a 2 year old to eat? She is drinking Almond chocolate milk and eats gluten free pretzels, but that's about it.

    Thank you so much for your time and advice

    Tara ( very worried mom)

  30. Heidi, sure appreciated your posting the video!!

    And thank you for the tips on crock potn'. I will check out your recommendations. The one I have now I just don't trust … somehow the moisture escapes and that is not good if you are gone for 8 hours!

    My favorite thing to make is simply squash. No need to prick, cut open anything. Just pop it in with 1/2 cup water and set for 4 hours or so and done!


  31. Yummy, your weekly meal planner sounds great! I absolutely love slow cooker chicken and rice. I make it with cream of chicken (from your magic mix, what a God send!). I add a few frozen baby green peas and lots of onions. They caramelize and are so good. Of course you have to add chx stock and garlic, salt and pepper. Its a classic dish that is so yummy and comforting. The best part is that the crock pot does most all the work and you can set it and forget it! : ). I'd love the cookbook for more ideas, I always seem to think of the same thing and pot roast is a standby.

  32. Pulled pork for pulled pork sandwiches.

    Thanks for the weekly menu. I am off to try the green smoothie.

  33. Love the slow cooker!

  34. I love making ham and green beans in the crock pot. I could eat it all the time!

  35. I don't have a favorite slow-cooker recipe! Thanks for all the inspiration, ladies. I'll have to try something this week!

  36. Christine says

    Pot roast was my standby crockpot meal, though yesterday we made an easy stew/soup by just tossing in some canned beans, a sweet potato (cut into pieces), sirloin strips and some beef broth. I had no idea how it would turn out since I wasn’t following a recipe, but it tasted fine and was so easy to do, so I may have a new standby.

  37. Turkey Bolognese Sauce is a favorite slow cooker meal in our family!

  38. My favorite slow cooker recipe is sweet potato chicken stew. It is very healthy with tons of vegetables and also hearty. One bowl can satisfy my hunger pains for hours. I've never tried any of Stephanie O'Dea's recipes, but have heard great things about her and would love to try them. Thank you!

  39. My fave Stephanie O'Dea recipe is her Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte. MMMM!!!!

  40. Lisa DeLong says

    My favorite crock pot meal is Italian cream cheese chicken. It's so good. 🙂

  41. My favorite slow cooker recipe is sweet potato chicken stew. It has tons of vegetables, so it's super healthy. It's also really hearty and one bowl can last me for hours. I've never tried Stephanie O'Dea's recipes before, but I've heard a lot of good things about them and would love to try them. Thanks!

  42. Lisa Hutcheson says

    I love Peanut Butter Cup Cake and Crockpot Fried Rice! I would love to win the cookbooks. I'm on a GFCF diet and I cook all the time!

  43. I can only pick one favorite!?!?! I would have to say salsa pork chops…love!

  44. Liz Joiner says

    I love my crock pot! It is hard to narrow it down to 1 recipe that is my favorite. But, if I had to choose it would be a whole roast chicken. Set on low for 8 hours. Lay it on top of carrot and celery sticks, slather it with coconut oil, salt, pepper, lemon slices…..yum! Never made a juicier chicken before!

  45. Pot roast and pulled pork are my fave in the crock pot. Looking for some new recipes!

  46. Shari DuBrow says

    Yikes forgot my favorite recipe:

    i like all organic-cut up sweetpoatoes, parsnips,celery, carrots, leeks, artichoke hearts,kale, with green lentils,millet, a few chicken thighs, rosemary, itallian herbs , cinnamin and curry powder and enough low sodium chicken broth and water. Very easy for slow,cooker and if you have a electric pressure cooker it will work too!

  47. I don't yet have a favorite recipe since I only just got a slow cooker and haven't had a chance to use it much yet. But I'm looking forward to giving it a try. It was great seeing Stephanie at the Gluten and Allergy Free Expo. And you're right she's very funny.

  48. Could it be you had a contest and I neglected to enter? Must put brain cells on next shopping list. Live ones only though. Um, oh yeah, crock pot,for a second there I thought I'd written crackpot. Apt. You know that thing where you take a piece of pork shoulder/butt and put it in the crock pot with onions and garlic and salt and those small red peppers until it is falling apart? I don't know if it has a name. Then you add veg of your choice or slice for the best melt in your mouth sandwiches ever. It would be great with your BBQ or Woohoosauce.

  49. Eliza Evans says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I had a chance to go to the Vendor Fair this weekend and had a blast.

    My favorite crockpot recipe is pork carnitas. So delicious!

  50. Christine says

    Pulled pork…my kids favorite

  51. i love to make a whole chicken w/veggies for sunday dinner

  52. I really love Pot roast in the slow cooker. Comes out perfect everytime. I am going on a new schedule nect week. 3:30 om to MIDNIGHT! Guess I need some more slow cooker recipes!!

  53. We love the Indonesian Chicken from Stephanie's site. In fact we had it tonight!

  54. Pulled pork is definitely my all time favorite slowcooker recipe, so delicious!

  55. Heather Brandt says

    My fav would be lemon pepper crockpot chicken…just a simple whole chicken cooked in the crockpot 🙂

  56. It's SO hard to pick just one favorite crockpot recipe! One of my new favorites is Stephanie's rotisserie chicken in the crockpot – tastes just like the ones that you buy at the grocery (only better!).

  57. When I lived in Vermont I bought my slow cooker and made root vegetable "beef" stew often. It was absolutely delicious, but I need some new recipes to really make use of my awesome USA-made slow cooker!!!

  58. I love my slow cooker enchilada stacker. My five year old can help assemble it which makes it a fun meal as well as a tasty one. Love your blog. Thanks for the giveaway!

  59. Kimberly Baham says

    Um, I don't have a favorite recipe to share, have had a slow cooker since I got married in 2003 and have NEVER used it…so I am entering this giveaway to hopefully get a book full of favorite recipes to share! 🙂

  60. Rebekah says

    Found one called Beef Sandwiches Au Jus. A roast is made using soy sauce among other ingred. I thought it would taste odd, but tried it anyway. It is my new fave! It is soooo good on hoagie rolls with provolone! Mmmmmm.

  61. I haven't actually cooked in my crockpot…I use it to keep things hot. I like to roast potatoes in the oven and then keep them hot in the crockpot for potlucks etc.

  62. Michelle Peacock says

    Mmmmm, a nice split pea soup with ham. Smells so good cooking all day long. Can't wait to make that soon!