Gluten-Free Menu Plan Monday. March 14th.

Bay Bridge

The calm Bay a day after the tsunami wave passed through

It feels like a lifetime since last weeks Gluten-Free Monday Menu Swap. Since then Japan has had it’s devastating earthquake and both japan and the earth have moved. The earth moved? Oh, yes it did. Apparently the earth’s axis was shifted to nearly 25 centimetres. Wow. Maybe that explains why I smashed both a teapot and my glass blender jug in the past few days. Both when I went to put them on the kitchen counter and misjudged their placement by less than an inch, off they toppled and smashed. I found myself getting upset at smashing my beloved blender jug (new one dutifully ordered online straight away), but had to pinch myself and remind myself how trivial my breakage was in comparison to what all of those people are currently suffering in Japan, Christchurch, and all of the other major earthquakes and Tsunamis before them.

The Tsunami wave that hit us here in the San Francisco Bay was anything but destructive. We were lucky. It was actually quite a magnificent sight to see. Very surreal to see the water being sucked out of the Bay at Tiburon and watching the line of the Tsunami wave rolling back in. Strange to feel connected to a disaster that happened so far away. I felt a little guilty at being so amazed by the sight. By watching this historical moment. Across the Pacific ocean people had fled in fear of the same thing hours before. Some to be lost forever.

The disaster has affected us all in different ways. I’m part of a local moms group, that has an online yahoo group. Yesterday, one of the moms posted some interesting information about water in plastic bottles – how bad it is for us, how little regulation there really is in the quality of the water, despite it all being sold as pure and healthy. She’d just watched the documentary “Tapped” and wanted to share it with us. Her information was relevant and well intended. Just hours later another mom replied to the email, telling us all how irrelevant concerns about bottled water are in the face of a disaster such as Japan and that we should all be concentrating our energies on what is really important. Phew. Does that mean my Facebook post about lovely lemon polenta cake on Saturday  was completely irrelevant? Oh dear. Or should life go on, even in the face of crisis and disaster?

I’m a believer in the latter. There is always something awful happening in the world. People die unnecessarily every day. It doesn’t mean we should switch off to it. The opposite, in fact. We should always be aware and do everything that we can to help, even if it is just by spreading the word. But we should also learn that it is part of the world we live in and that every small step we take to make the world a better place within our own sphere of influence has to be of relevance. Right?

This week I’m trying to make my own little world a better place, by putting nutritious food on the table and hoping to give my children everything they can to help them be happy and healthy. This is the plan:

Monday: Quinoa meatballs. A recipe that I’m testing for Ali over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Hope to have enough left over to freeze and for lunchboxes.

Tuesday: Tomato risotto from the Gluten Free on a Shoestring recipe

Wednesday: Seared Ahi tuna. The tuna in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s is really good – and not expensive. Perfect for a weekday family dinner.

Thursday: Looks as if we may be heading to the slopes for some skiing. To feed the soul. ;-). This will mean a big box of gluten-free sandwiches for dinner made on gluten-free sandwich bread. If I get time, I’m planning to bake one that Ali has sent me to recipe test. I use Applegate Farms cold-cuts on days like these. Organic and nitrate free.

Friday: I’ll go to Tahoe armed with gluten-free pasta. This will most likely be our dinner that evening.


The host for this weeks Gluten-Free Menu Swap is Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness. Her theme this week is quick and easy. Please go and check her round-up of everybody’s recipes.





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  1. Thank you for such a beautiful post, Nicola. It reminds me of my thoughts after 9/11 There was such a strong sense of connection, and yet the stark physical disconnection when it felt like the world turned upside down and ‘real life’ was surreal to say the least.
    I agree with you that every day, every interaction has the power to brighten someone’s day–even our own. Tragedy can be a powerful reminder of living each day to the fullest.

    • nstockmann says:

      Cheryl – Tragedy is definitely a powerful reminder to live life to the full. I sometimes wish we could be reminded a little more gently.

  2. [...] of G-free Mom has an amazing post up on the delicate balance of emotions after a tragedy. She reflects on the [...]

  3. Thanks so much for this post, Nicola. “Going on” does not mean we care less about what has happened in Japan, Christchurch, etc. BTW, I think those breakages tend to happen when we have way too much going on in our lives, so they make sense. Hope there’s calm in your house this week. It definitely sounds like there will be good food as always. :-) I’ve actually read that in places where the trauma/drama of life is constant (like the Middle East), that moms keep their families calm with routines and exercise (mental and physical), nourishing foods, and limited access to all that unfolds each day.


  4. Wow. Nicola, your post is so poignant and true. It is hard to live life as normal when you know the disaster that is going on thousands of miles away, but you put it into words so well. We need to continue to create a safe haven for our own children so that their world does not feel upside down right now.
    Your menu looks amazing this week! And so jealous that you are headed to Tahoe. Have a safe trip!

  5. Wish I had read your wise and thoughtful post earlier in the week. You touched on all the things that have been swirling around in my head.

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