Boundary Waters Gluten Free Menu

Jul 20, 2012 by

Well, the boys are packed up and ready to go. The food menu planning, shopping and packaging up was a big task…I am glad it is done. I hope everything works for them. Here is the menu and links to where I got the food. The menu is gluten free, soy free (except for occasional Soy Lecithin in moderation), peanut free, cashew free, banana free, nitrate free, casing free, food dye free (except for marshmallows one night…darn that blue food dye #1.) I was able to feed the group of 8 for less than $50/per person for the 5 days in the BWCA. I thought that was pretty good! Everything was vaccuum sealed with my new Food Sealer (this was a great purchase!) Daily snacks are Annie’s Fruit Snacks (Costco), Stretch Island Fruit Leather (Costco), homemade soy free beef jerky, homemade trail mix that is nut, gluten and soy free. When they catch fish, they can batter it in Better Batter’s Seasoned Flour. When traveling to and from Ely, the troop will be stopping at Gordie’s in Cloquet for lunch. Fortunately, the Subway stores in the northern region (Duluth area) are one of three locations doing a trial for gluten free sandwiches. I talked to the manager of the Subway in Cloquet and they have procedures in place for providing a safe environment for Celiac diners. Yeah!


Day 1

Breakfast on the dock: prepackaged blueberry muffin from Bittersweet Bakery, gf Rice Krispies (in a sealed bowl), juice, milk, hot chocolate

Lunch: cheddar and marble jack cheese, Glutino gf cheddar crackers, Applegate Farms nitrate free pepperoni, Enjoy Life Chewy Berry On the Go Bars

Dinner: gf grass-fed beef sloppy joes, gf pita bread, organic white corn (Costco), Hershey bars and a marshmallow or two (everyone else will have smores)


Day 2

Breakfast: Egg Scramble with organic, vegetarian fed eggs, hash browns, Bar 5 chicken sausage (this stuff is awesome), shredded cheddar, Rudi’s gf tortillas

Lunch: bagged chicken, Rudi’s gf tortillas, Trader Joe’s dye free relish, Enjoy Life Bars (see link from Day 1)

Dinner: grass fed steak from Farm on Wheels, baked potatoes, organic green beans (Costco), Pamela’s Mini Ginger Snapz


Day 3

Breakfast: pancakes (made with Better Batter flour and organic applesauce in place of eggs), Three Rivers pure vanilla maple syrup, grass fed Coleman bacon (Costco)

Lunch: Laughing Cow cheese, Glutino gf cheddar crackers, Applegate Farms nitrate free pepperoni, Enjoy Life Chewy Berry On the Go Bars

Dinner: Jamaican black beans & rice (dehydrated and with minor recipe adjustments, using the bagged chicken), Indian flatbread, Organic mixed veggies (Costco), applesauce squeeze tubes (Costco)


Day 4

Breakfast: pancakes (made with Better Batter flour and organic applesauce in place of eggs), Three Rivers pure vanilla maple syrup, grass fed Coleman bacon (Costco)

Lunch: bagged chicken, Rudi’s gf tortillas, Trader Joe’s dye free relish, Enjoy Life Bars (see link from Day 1)

Dinner: Colorado Campfire Chicken Stew using Savory Choice Chicken Broth packets, Indian flatbread, marshmallows, Schar shortbread cookies


Day 5

Breakfast: gf oatmeal packets

Lunch: bagged chicken, Rudi’s gf tortillas, Trader Joe’s dye free relish, Enjoy Life Bars (see link from Day 1)


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Grass Fed Beef vs Conventional Beef

Jul 16, 2012 by

You decide, which ground beef would you prefer to eat?

So, yesterday I browned ground beef for sloppy joes for the BWCA trip. Because Austin doesn’t tolerate conventional beef well (and needs gluten free,) I made two different batches of sloppy joes. One pan had a pound of grass fed beef from Whole Foods. The other had 4# of 93% lean beef from Cub Foods. Honestly, I never imagined there would be much of a difference when cooking it up. Was I ever surprised! As expected, the grass fed beef was very lean and cooked up with less than 1/2 tsp of grease (barely enough to even drain off.) The other beef was just plain gross. It was extremely greasy. It was just nasty the way it foamed up…yes, there was a white foam on top of the bright yellow pool of grease. After I browned the beef, I poured off two full soup cans of grease…can you believe that with 93% lean beef! Needless to say, I won’t even need to think twice when I pay $4.99/pound (on sale) for grass fed beef.

Really, what made the white foam appear in the beef when browning, what exactly is in that beef?


Conventional Beef; does it look good?

Grass Fed Beef

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Beef Jerky & Indian Flatbread

Jul 15, 2012 by

So, in planning for the BWCA trip, I was challenged with the task of doing grass fed beef jerky with no gluten, soy or nitrates. In searching for a recipe, I ran across this recipe from the blog Jen’s Gone Paelo. Austin really liked the flavor of the jerky and appreciated that it wasn’t as salty as the traditional jerky. It was painful to purchase 3# of grass fed beef from Whole Foods ($30), but I did end up with 5 hearty packages of jerky all vacuum sealed and ready to go. I am thankful for all those on the internet who have shared their recipes. It has made the food planning for my son’s trip so much easier.

3 lbs Round Roast (Grass-Fed and Finished), trimmed of excess fat (the round roast I got at Whole Foods was a bit too fatty for my tastes, I guy told me to try flank steak??)
4 Cups Organic Apple Juice
1T. Garlic Powder
1T. Smoked Paprika
1T. Smoked Sea Salt  (I just used regular sea salt)
1T. Penzey’s BBQ 3000** (I didn’t have any so I used the new Penzey’s Mitchenll St. Steak Seasoning)
  1. Partially freeze meat for 2-4 hours, until mostly solid.
  2. Slice meat into about 1/8” thickness strips (I used an electronic knife and dreamed of using the restaurant meat slicer…next time); cut against the grain of the meat.
  3. Transfer sliced meat to a large container (I used a  plastic bag).
  4. Mix the apple juice and spices in a large measuring cup or bowl and pour over meat, to marinate.  Transfer to the refrigerator. Allow meat to marinate overnight.
  5. I have a convection oven and used the dehydrate setting or 175F; if you have this setting, use it or follow the directions on your food dehydrator.
  6. If using an oven, set up racks (used for cooling cookies and cakes) over cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil (for easier cleanup). Lay strips of beef out on racks and transfer to the oven.
  7. I cooked it for about 8-9 hours flipping the meat over, as I don’t have enough racks to set them up on. Just keep checking for correct consistency. Cooking time will depend on the thickness and size of your meat slices.
  8. Once jerky is to your desired texture, it can be transferred to a tupperware container to retain moisture. If you plan to keep it around longer than a few days, package in airtight packaging (I use FoodSaver bags).


Another cool find for the trip is Indian Flatbread. Apparently, on past trips to the Boundary Waters, my son really enjoyed the packaged flatbread they cooked at the fire. In search for an option to make from scratch, I ran across this recipe from What’s Cooking America. I substituted gluten free flour and they turned out great. It isn’t exactly what I prefer to eat for bread, but my son assured me it will taste great to have warm bread with their fish or other meals.

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe – Indian Fry Bread Recipe
by Cynthia Detterick-Pineda

Recipe Type: Quick Bread, Native American
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 min


1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands


Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump. 

Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter.  Don’t worry about it being round.

In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. You can check if you oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large heavy pot. 

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook.  Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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Gluten Free Discoveries

Jul 12, 2012 by

In the search for great (or sometimes even edible) gluten free foods, we have tried many yucky things. I am thankful for the “no questions asked” return policy at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, as I have returned several items that just didn’t agree with our tastes.

My boys are leaving on a trip to Boundary Waters soon and it has been a HUGE challenge to plan a menu for a group of 9 that is compact, tasty, not too expensive and generally naturally gluten free. I will share the final menu in the future. Pita bread is an item that was on the menu of the rest of the travelers in the large group, so I set out to find gluten free pita bread that my son would enjoy. After searching on the internet, I found it! Since my family’s restaurant is gluten free friendly, with our White Bear Lake Cafe Cravings featuring a gluten free menu, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to give these pita breads a try. I ordered up 4 packages, enough for the restaurant and the trip to Boundary Waters. I can assure you that we will be ordering again. We even have a customer giving them a try on a catering order on Saturday! They are a little pricey, with shipping and all, but I really nice change of pace from little pieces of gluten free bread.

Rami, from GFL Foods called me up personally, after inquiring via email and was able to offer Cravings a wholesale price. We got them today and tried them right away. They are shipping room temperature, but he recommends they go right in the freezer and microwave or toast before eating. They puff up real nice in the microwave and made a great chicken sandwich tonight for dinner. If you are gluten free and looking for something different, these are great to try. Unfortunately, for those trying to avoid corn, they do contain cornstarch flour.



They will also eat lots of crackers with cheese on the the BWCA trip. We have tried so many crackers to find the best one that tastes the most like a Ritz (which is what the rest of the crew will be eating.) We finally found one that fits the taste buds! Glutino Cheddar Crackers are pretty darn good. Now, they really aren’t good for you; loaded with things liked modified corn starch, etc. and I am sure they have GMO ingredients in them (the Glutino web site doesn’t tell us what is GMO and not, only that some of their products are.)

But, in following with the 80/20 rule (trying to eat clean 80% of the time), these crackers work. They come in two teeny, tiny foil bags to a box. Each little bag is 2 servings, which seems about right. Austin and I shared each little bag. We are going to portion them up and vacuum seal them so he doesn’t over indulge and eat too many. I ordered online with one of my favorite shopping tools, Amazon Subscribe & Save. The price is much cheaper, free shipping and you can cancel your subscription at any time. I have never cancelled though, as we don’t typically order online unless we know we like the product. They are also available at Cub Foods or anywhere Glutino products are sold. Add some Laughing Cow cheese and you have a great snack!

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