Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Week of {Easy} Gluten Free Lunches

I have always struggled with packed lunches, more so because of scheduling and time then of what to eat. This year, amongst other things, I would like to be better about planning and getting my lunches together ahead of time so I'm not running out the door thinking "crap! I forgot about lunch!" Maybe I will be better when I'm making my son his lunch too, but for now his day care provides his, so I'm on my own.

I start by planning out my grocery trip and figuring out what we will do for dinners for the week, I rarely ever think about lunches. A lot of times my lunches are just leftovers from dinners so it works out. Every now and then I get the idea of making my lunches ahead of time, either the night before or on Sunday.  Well, that rarely ever happens, nights are usually hectic and I just want to sit once my son is in bed and Sunday's well it is all and good but I usually get caught up with something else or just forget.  So, I somewhat planned and am sharing my weeks worth of easy GF lunches.  

Dilly Tuna Salad Sandwich with a small side salad

2 slices of Udi's White Sandwich bread, or what ever your preference is
1/2 can white albacore tuna, in water
1/2 tsp (or so) of dried dill, use fresh if you have it!
1 tbsp mayonnaise, adjust to your liking

Mix tuna, dill  and mayonnaise in a bowl. Easy peasy! (I am sure you have made tuna salad before at some point so I am sure I didn't need to tell you how it works.)

For the side salad, use your favorite greens and toppings, the options are endless.  If you didn't want to make a sandwich you could always just add the tuna to the salad.  Here is what is in my salad, I just used what I had on hand: Chopped romaine lettuce, carrots, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chia seeds with a dressing of equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar with just a pinch of salt and pepper.

Loaded Salad with celery sticks and peanut butter and strawberries

For this salad I used red leaf lettuce, carrots, cheese cubes, yellow pepper, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds and shaved turkey with a olive oil and balsamic dressing. 

Chicken & Vegetable Stir-fry over Rice with a few "lunch box" snacks and carrots & hummus

This was a dinner left over, made by my wonderful husband (not the best picture though).  The night before I prepped everything he needed so he was able to just throw it together for dinner.  I also added just some quick grab and go snacks, a cheese stick and fruit snacks.

3 chicken cutlets, sliced into about 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
1-1 1/2 cups each of:
  broccoli florets
  shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  zucchini, sliced
  peppers, sliced
  snow or snap peas
1/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup water chestnuts 

Cook Chicken and set aside.  Add vegetables to a hot wok, starting with the longer cooking.  Carrots, broccoli, peppers, peas, zucchini and then mushrooms.  Add the chicken and the water chestnuts, stir in sauce.  Serve over rice.

Sauce (makes about 1/2 cup)
1/8 cup tamari soy sauce
1/8 cup (or less depending on your taste) sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 heaping tbsp smooth peanut butter

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, set aside until ready to use.

Turkey & Cheese Sandwich with strawberries and a cheese stick

Ok, so you may have noticed that I don't put my sandwiches together before hand, there are a couple reasons why I would rather assemble on-site.  One, I like to toast my bread (especially since switching to GF) and two, I can't stand soggy bread.  The only sandwich I will make an exception for is a good ol' peanut butter and jelly, but that is it.

Vegetable Fried Rice

So this lunch was the result of a fridge raid, I just grabbed some things and threw them together.  We had leftover rice and peas and mushrooms. In a wok I heated olive oil, added minced garlic and the mushrooms and some chopped onion.  Cooked that for a bit, then added the rice and peas.  I added some GF soy sauce and a scrambled egg for some protein. Viola! Simple and done in like 10 minutes.

I hope you like my easy lunches, I would love to know some GF lunches that you enjoy!