Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Gluten-Free Menu Swap (Dec 3 - Dec 7) and How to Open a Pomegranate

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

This week I have the honor of hosting The Gluten-Free Menu Swap! If you would like to know more information about this great weekly blogging event, please visit Natalie's GF Menu Swap Headquarters.

For the 1st week of December, I have chosen the pomegranate as our signature ingredient!

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Pomegranates

In the world of natural healthy fruits, the pomegranate is a super hero!!
The seeds and surrounding pulp (also called the "arils") are the edible parts of the fruit. Each fruit contains around 600 edible arils. The pomegranate is a natural source of antioxidants which fight free radicals that damage cells in our body. Free radicals come from a number of sources including the air, fried foods, pollution, and even naturally from our bodies during metabolism! Pomegranates are also an excellent natural source for vitamin C (providing 16% of your daily requirement per serving!), vitamin B, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and potassium!

For information on the amazing history and cultivation of the pomegranate, click here.

How to store a pomegranate:
  • Fresh pomegranates which have not been opened, will store at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or more, but make sure to keep out of direct sunlight.
  • Unopened pomegranates will keep for a month or more in the fruit section of your refrigerator.
  • Pomegranate arils (the individual flesh and seeds) can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for several days.
  • Pomegranate arils can also be placed in the freezer in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to a year! So you have no excuse not to enjoy them all year long!

How to open a pomegranate:
  • Here's how I do it! Basically you cut off the top of a pomegranate with a sharp knife.

Kinda like a fruity horror show!

  • Then score the pomegranate into four sections for easier removal of the arils.

  • Then simply fill a bowl with cold water, place the pomegranate in the water, and pull apart the quarters. The arils will pop out easily (and you won't stain your counter-tops with their powerful red juice!) The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the white chaff will float to the top.

  • Simply rinse off the arils and enjoy!


Gluten-Free Menus of the Week:

  • Mary Frances, of Gluten Free Cooking School has posted her menu! She will be making black bean enchiladas, spaghetti with mushrooms and fava beans with a rosemary sauce, and already has many breakfasts and lunches planned! (I'm jealous Mary Frances! I'll never be that organized!!)

  • Esther at The Lilac Kitchen, also her GF menu posted! Esther will be serving homemade chicken kievs (and I sincerely hope she will share her recipe!) with a wonderful sounding rice, feta, and pomegranate salad! She also will be baking cranberry muffins, and preparing finger foods for a party!

  • Ornery's Wife at Thoughts from Miller Manor has posted her menu this week. I love how she admits that she didn't make a thing that she planned last week. OW, I think all of us have the plan hoping we can stick to it, but rarely do for the full week!! (At least that's how it goes at my house!) She will be serving Baked Wild Buckeye Salmon, Chicken Enchiladas, and Hobo Dinners! She's also going to be baking some fabulous looking gluten-free cookies just in time for the holidays!

  • Silly Beggar Girl also has her weekly menu up at One Beggar's Bread. (I just love the name of her blog!!) She's another one of those super gluten-free bloggers who has her entire breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus all ready! I'm impressed!! She will be making a Beef and Kale soup, Chicken Enchiladas (somebody didn't send me that memo!), Grilled Tuna Steaks, and a Lentil Soup with Sausage! Those soups sound incredible to me!! Thanks for joining our swap gal!

  • Sally at Aprovechar has posted her menu for the week, which is amazing considering how busy her week will be! She has LOTS of huge events going on this week! Sally will be making (and included her recipe for) roasted winter squash, which sounds completely yummy! She will also be making a vegetable stir fry, vegan almond thumb-print cookies, and a Curry Simple Thai lasagna which she just might post for us if it turns out! (And I sure hope it does!) Thanks so much Sally!! I hope you do get a breather this week!

  • Natalie, at Gluten-Free Mommy (and founder of the GF menu swap) has posted her weekly menu as well! She will be serving up Spicy Shrimp Penne, her excellent Paella recipe, and Mustard Chicken with Brussel Sprouts! Sounds like a wonderful week of dinners Nat! Jude has the right idea! I just want to be outside on these lovely cold days that have finally arrived!!

To list your gluten-free menu in the roundup this week, simply email me at: gingerlemon_girl(at)yahoo(dot)com


Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Pomegranates

This Week's Menu

Roasted Chicken
Karen's Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup
Romaine Salad with dried cranberries and fresh pomegranate seeds

Natalie's Pantry Beef Casserole
(made with leftover chicken instead of beef!)

Boneless Pork Chops sauteed with Pomegranate Molasses
Spiced Apples
Broccoli with Mustard Cheese sauce

Homemade Vegetable Soup
Kate's GF Biscuits

Amy's Pecan Chicken
(carried over from last week)

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus

Baked Goodies and Breakfasts
Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Cheesy Rice Crackers (baking practice for Christmas!)
2 Chocolate Walnut Pies (for a Holiday Luncheon at work!)
Double Recipe Cranberry Cobbler (for a Holiday Luncheon at work!)


For more weekly menus of all diets see:


Check back later this week to see how to make pomegranate molasses
and cheesy rice crackers!

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