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Jul. 28th, 2008

Frugal Celiac

On a Bento Pet's bento competition!!!

I've just started reading Bento Pet's blog and invite anyone into bentos to check it out.

Currently, Bento Pet is having a bento competition to commemorate her blog's anniversary. The competition ends tomorrow, July 29, 2008. I'm trying out for it. I've never been part of a bento competition, but thought these items would be great for my baby boy.

What sets this competition apart from the types I usually see is that it's focus is on 'regular' bentos, the bento meals that I tend to make. I can't wait to see who wins and what the bento looked like. I wonder if she'll post all the submissions too (even as thumbnail images). That would be neat.
Frugal Celiac

Bento Box Meals

Mr. Frugal and I are "regular" bento packers. We use cute things in our lunches on occasion, but mostly that's in the form of a cute bento box or bag, onigiri (rice) or eggs molded into different shapes, and/or cute sauce containers. With a new baby on our hands, we just don't have the time to really go crazy with our bento meals. Mainly we make bentos to save money, use up leftovers, eat healthier, and get more variety in our meals. I do have to admit think that cute food, like molded eggs, seem to taste better. :-)

We don't limit our bento meals to just lunch. I regularly take my two bentos to work, one for breakfast and one for lunch. We also try to take bentos to my mother's house or when we go on trips or to visit friends or have events we are attending where food is going to be served. The main use them on these occasions is because of our food allergies and intolerances. These packed meals save us quite a bit of money and stress. (Though, admittantly, I do spend some of that saved money on bento gear. It's an addiction, but at least it's a useful one.) My mother, my older sister, and my fiance are now all using bentos too, which I'm proud to say I had a hand in. I've also helped a few friends start to use bentos. It's a great feeling.

I'll be posting more about bentos and related items over time.

Here are a few examples of the bentos we've made...Collapse )

This is the bento I'm eating as of posting this entry. *grin*

Top Tier: White rice, flower cut carrots, sugar snap peas. Bottom Tier: Bulgogi (korean grilled marinated beef)

Jul. 14th, 2008

gluten free

Crawley Gluten Free Group (CGFG)

I received this in a comment to my last entry. I'm posting this just in case it might be of use to anyone.

We started in Feb 2007 and now have 65 members, we are just South of London's 2nd largest Airport, Gatwick. We have a free web site www.glutenfree-crawley.org.uk, which has now been opened by 44 countries, downloading thousands of pages, so we must be helping lots of sufferers from an intolerance to Gluten.
Don Tombs Organiser & Fopunder The Crawley Gluten Free Group.

Jul. 13th, 2008

gluten free

Honey Mustard Feta Chicken - T&T, OR

Mr. Frugal made this roast chicken for us. It was superb. It was tender, held it's shape for cutting and while eating, but felt like it melted in my mouth.

¼ cps honey mustard
¼ cps feta cheese
1 tbs dried rosemary leaves
Several sprigs of fresh cilantro
2-3 dried sage leaves
1 Chicken
2 cups Potatoes (cut into ½ inch cubes)
2 carrots (cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch lengths)
Olive oil
2 tbs Dried Dill weed
Cooking twine

Preheat oven to 350-400 F.
Coat potatoes and carrots with olive oil and 1 tbs dill weed. Set aside.

Mix honey mustard with crumbled feta and 1 tbs dill weed. Place chicken on cutting board breast up. Loosen skin on breasts using the neck opening. Put ¼ of the honey mixture under the skin of each breast being sure to spread it around as much as possible without tearing the skin. Using the tail cavity opening, loosen the skin on the thighs and drumsticks. Put ¼ of the honey mixture on each thigh being sure to spread it around the thighs and drumsticks, again make sure not to tear the skin. Place cilantro, sage leaves, and rosemary leaves in the body cavity. Using the twine, tie the drumsticks together, then close as much of the cavity as possible. Truss the chicken keeping the wings and thighs tightly against the body.

Layer the bottom of a roasting pan with the potatoes and carrots. Place the chicken, breast up, on the vegetables. Any leftover carrots and potatoes can be placed around the bird. Roast until internal temp reaches 160 Fahrenheit or meat is no longer pink. Remove from oven and set chicken on cutting board to rest for 5 minutes.
piggy bank

Slightly new direction for this blog...

Why do so many frugal websites list recipes that call for heavily processed foods? I can't help but ask this question when I find so many recipes that use "cream of mushroom soup", "onion soup mix", "condensed tomato soup", and so on. I also wonder how healthy these meals really are. Not that there's anything wrong with people choosing these methods, I just don't understand the reasons.

Then again, because I have to avoid gluten, I have to avoid a number of these short cuts. Add to this that I'm attempting to support a family of three on my paycheck (which isn't a lot, considering), these 'convenience' items don't really work for me. Gluten free versions can cost a lot more. Even if I could eat gluten, I think I'd avoid these foods. The recipes I use here usually use whole foods, spices, cheeses, and so on. Not much in the way of processed foods, though I do use them once in a while. Most of my recipes also don't take much time to actually make. I just don't like to make things that are too time consuming or ingredient heavy, and I still keep my family satisfied with the flavors. (I leave the time consuming stuff to Mr. Frugal, who loves the challenge of the intricate recipes of gluten free baked goods. I'm very lucky, because he's allowed me to have fresh gluten free pizza, cheese-it crackers, graham crackers, and more.)

Are those recipes on other frugal websites really frugal? Are they really that healthy? Even when you don't worry about the high levels of sodium, are they nutritionally sound or comparable to foods mostly made from scratch? Is the use of these items simply to help save time? How much time is actually saved?

Anyways, I plan to start posting links, tips, and general thoughts on how to save on food and other household expenses. It seems like people are just repeating the same ideas, so I hope to find things that are a little more unique, at least to me. Some of these links will also be posted on my actual website, Frugal Celiac.

Jul. 11th, 2008

Frugal Celiac

A Frugal Healthy Grocery Budget

This is good blog article on how to lower your grocery costs while remaining healthy. It has tips that can be used by people with and without gluten issues.

A Frugal Healthy Grocery Budget

Jul. 9th, 2008


B&G Foods

Product allergy informaton can be found at http://www.bgfoods.com/int_glutenfree.asp

Mt. Olive (pickle products)

Product allergy informaton can be found at http://www.mtolivepickles.com/Picklemania/Gluten.html

All of Mt. Olive's products are now GLUTEN FREE. Prior to January 1, 2006 we manufactured three products that did contain gluten:




When purchasing these three items, please confirm that the Best If Used By Date is July 2008 or later.
sushi martini

Carrabba's Italian Grill

Click here to go to the Carrabbas Italian Grill Gluten Free Menu

If this link stops working ask to see their gluten free menu when you visit or go to their website.

Cook's Ham

Product allergy informaton can be found at http://cooksham.com/pages/faq/#23

Do Cook's products contain gluten?

The manufacturing objective for all Cook's branded meat products is that they be gluten-free. The fresh meat Cook's uses as it's primary raw material is naturally free of glutens, however, other ingredients are also necessary in the production of all Cook's hams and other processed meat products. Since these outside ingredients and spices represent a potential source for the introduction of gluten, Cook's specifies that these ingredients must be gluten-free. Despite this, Cook's suppliers are able to alter their spice formulations from time to time, without Cook's prior knowledge, yet still comply with federal USDA labeling requirements. Any change in an individual ingredient or its source, however, creates the possibility of gluten being unwittingly introduced. For this reason, Cook's cannot absolutely guarantee the gluten-free status of all our vendor's supplies and, therefore, cannot guarantee that all Cook's products will be 100% free of gluten.

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