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Easy gluten-/casein- free recipes for son's lunch. (Gluten Free - School Lunch)

My son's lunch needs to be beefed up a little more.  He has many allergies/food sensitivies: gluten free, casein free, no soy, peanuts, & can only have rice or oats (even GF) occasionally as he's sensitive to those.

I wish I could find another simple one like this - http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/9650?printer=yes  (I use puffed millet for the cereal as he's sensitive to rice & ghee for the butter) If I wasn't already using it for breakfast, this would work for lunch as something else to add.  But this is one of several breakfast foods he eats.

Do you have any ideas of something pretty easy to make that I could add to what he already takes to school for lunch--I'd love to be able to add something more to fill him up better--But I've been adding GF/CF/allergy-free foods to my recipe arsenol one by one...slowly over 6 months time & so it's not been a quick process.  Even one more idea is a great "find" for me!
I'd give him more of the GF muffins I make, but those are so time consuming to make (I add chopped up spinach & shredded carrots to it, adding veg's)--if I added more, I'd be making them more often...

Any thoughts & ideas will be appreciated.

Beth

What sort of foods is he already taking for lunch?

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Could you make a quadruple recipe of time consuming things and then freeze them.  One food item a weekend for four weekends could net you months worth of food that you could rotate, so it's not too much of one thing.

Can you make something like crimini mushroom burgers?  Or bean burritos in a gluten-free tortilla?  How does he feel about avocado?

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What sort of foods is he already taking for lunch?

Right now he takes an almond butter sandwich (the GF bread I make is pretty small) plus a muffin twice a week.  The other days he takes 2 gluten free chicken sausages plus a muffin for lunch.  He says he gets content most days, but sometimes he's still hungry.  When I pack his lunches they look too light to me.  He's 13 yrs old-a teenager, plus he's pretty thin, probably in part due to his light lunch fare during school.

He's not a meat fan at all--so burgers wouldn't work.  He doesn't like burgers.  The only kind of meat he likes is fish.  The others he can't stand.  For some of them it's probably the texture, as meat is hard to chew & he doesn't like that.

I know-it's daunting to figure out what to give him with the diet restraints.  Any new grains I'm open to as long as they're GF & not too hard.  He has oatmeal once a week for dinner & rice once a week for dinner, so he could have a rice day & an oatmeal day, but if I made an oatmeal side for his lunch (for his lunch on oatmeal day) I'd not be able to use it again for a whole week.  (if it'd freeze good that would work, though--I freeze his muffins & take them out for lunches)

Actually the diet rotation is once every 4 days, but because the week isn't even-7 days not 8, I prefer to stay with once per week as we do it differently on the weekend when my husband's home so every four days messes my schedule up--I stick with once a week for the foods he can have on a rotation basis.

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Unfortunately I dont know what grains have gluten and which ones dont, but use what you can in place of my suggestions if they dont work.

What about whole grains like quinoa or amaranth?  Maybe make them into a kind of cold salad with veggies and a vinegar based herb dressing.
Rice noodle salad with a ton of Asian veggies, beans and a dressing from Tamari, lemon and hot sauce.

I am thinking salad-esque to keep the lunch portable without refrigeration or heating needed.  You could get a thermos and warm it in the morning and put in hearty things like rice and beans, soups and stews.
Along those ideas:
Make a chili with beans, veggies like onion, bell peppers and corn, with some barley to give it bulk
Make a minestrone soup and use GF pasta
Make a thick stew with pureed beans, potato, veggies and spices

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an easy way to go is get fruit and veggies into his lunch, it doesn't seem like he eats a lot of those right now.  Hummus is filling and has protein , veggie sticks or GF pretzels, which are vegan as well are my preferred dippers. I make sun butter out of roasted unsalted sunflower seeds with a little maple syrup, great on apples or pears if he needs incentive to eat fruit. what about coconut milk yogurt.  if he has access to a microwave at school, or put this in a thermos like dish to keep warm, what about a taco Esq layered dip? you could use mashed beans, salsa, veggies of preference, and tvp taco crumbles, my kids like them and we use carrot slices as chips to dip it.

also wondering about the type of GF bread you make, many use white flours, rice, potato starch, tapioca starch as bases, and they make good bread, but aren't the most filling.  You might try using a bean flour mix, or quinoa flours which have a lot more protein in them and I find make a hearty bread that keeps me full a lot longer than the old flour mix I used to use.  Living without magazine and website has links to flour mixes and they work great, also a great resource for allergy free, GF recipes, some have meat in them, but it sounds like you son eats some meat, so thats OK.
http://www.livingwithout.com/guides/food_allergy_substitutions.html

smoothies are easy to pack and you can add fruit, veggies and protein powder to them, great for snack after school or a quick breakfast too. I would try hemp protein powder since he can't have soy, I use rice protein powder if he can use that occasionally.

what about dried fruit, other nuts, seeds like a trail mix. I make that for my kids and I melt some enjoy life chocolate chips, which are vegan, GF and allergen free and drizzle over the mix to raise their intrest.  they love chocolate.

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Thanks for the ideas. 
I didn't have success with GF bread at first so, my oldest son suggested:  take out the sugar from the GF cookie recipe I was successfully making & use those as sandwiches! (they're small, flat & round shaped).  He actually gets two of these on "sandwich" days.  I call them his cookie sandwiches (they're without sugar).  In between the two cookie pieces he has almond butter & honey.  I put two of these sandwich cookies into a tupperware.  That's the bread I came up with, as he can't have yeast & my early attempts didn't come out very good. 
Since starting that for his lunches--I've progressed to knowing how to make my own GF tortillas & if I was to begin the school year again I might consider using one of those tortillas for his bread--they're heartier, more filling.  I use a GF flour mix to make the tortillas, which they get for dinner once a week on taco night.  My son likes to stick with what he's used to, so a switch to the tortillas wouldn't go over.  Adding something new might, but switching--I don't know/if he confessed to feeling terribly hungry every day maybe he'd say Ok...

He's good about fruit for an after-school snack.  He has either a smoothie (I can add cabbage to the berries & get another veg this way, too) or an apple.  The veg's he gets with dinner are carrots & lettuce.  He's getting spinach in the muffins, cabbage in the smoothies.  He used to have celery with almond butter until--he got braces.  I think they might break off the braces, so I don't give that to him now.  He can't have peas or broccoli right now, which he used to eat, before we had him tested for allergies.  I know--this sounds quite sparce especially being on vegweb!  He doesn't like roasted zucchini, which I've tried & his brother likes.  I tried cauliflower potatoes & none of use liked that, experimented with spaghetti squash, but it didn't work out either.

I haven't tried GF pretzels, I'll have to look into that.  There are mixes probably, but again--they all have rice in them.

At HOME for lunch, he LOVES, LOVES Amy's Lentil soup from Whole Foods!  He eats the entire can.  (For a time I tried making my own homemade soup, but they bombed.  He loves this though.  He said he didn't want to take that to school & I didn't push because I've not done the thermos thing & don't have one, don't know the type to get.  Also--I want him to have something he enjoys when having lunch at home & if he gets that every single day at school he'd get sick of it.

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You didn't mention anything about tomatoes so I don't know if this will work....but you mentioned he like Amy's Lentil soup.  I am wondering if snobby joes can be altered to suit him?

http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=2059

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Will he not eat anything different/new? That doesn't sound like a lot of food. I pack more for my preschooler.  :P Hoe about a tortilla roll up with almond butter and jam, or a nut butter and shredded carrots? A pasta salad made with GF pasta and whatever veggies he chooses? I got a nice thermos at Target for my daughter for 10.00. I fill it with boiling water for 10 min, then dry it and add hot food. This is a big hit, and I'm sure you could use a GF pasta http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7487.0  Raw veggies and dip? My daughter Looooves hummus, and you could also fill one of your tortillas with hummus, avocado, veggies, etc. What about snacks? Lara bars are, I believe, GF. Fruit? Coconut or rice youghurt? Garbanzo bean "tuna" or "chicken" salad on lettuce? Bean burgers? Good luck!

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Yes-he'd probably like that (if I could cook it to come out correctly--I'm not that good-just trying to feed the kids as best I can...).  He does like chili & he does like sloppy joes (just it's not served on top of bread for him--just the sloppy part without putting it on bread), and he also likes spaghetti--buckwheat spaghetti per his allergy/sesitivies.  These are different dinner meals he gets. 

So yes--this is a style of food he likes.  and he can have it!!  allergy tests showed no problem with tomatoes.

Thanks.

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nmpixie:  I looked at the link & it sounds so easy!  GF noodles are all rice based, though & he can only have rice once a week...so there's those allergies in the way again.  Does anyone know of something else I could substitute to put in a recipe like the one given above? There is buckwheat spaghetti & he eats that, but they only cut it in the spaghetti type strips.

Yes--you're so right--his lunch is sparce.  He says he's fine with it, but if I could figure out more to put in it, I would.  Hence the question(s) here...

They get a brunch break at his school & he brings something similar to a Larabar for that.  He brings a vegan "organic food bar"-cranberry.  That's the only one of that group which didn't have something which he was allergic to, but he likes it.

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I know I have seen a Quinoa and corn pasta that comes in elbows and spirals and spaghetti, can't remember the brand, I also know DeBols makes corn pasta in a number of shapes and have seen potato and bean pastas too, all in dried form.

Lara bars are GF, as far as I have seen.  I also like Bumble Bars, they are made with sesamee and are very dense calorically.  good for teen boys. 

I know I have seen  bread recipies that are not rice based and are yeast free from Bette Hagman's books, will check mine after the kids go to bed tonight.  It would be nice to give your son the same bread options as the rest of the family, and would make dinners much more filling, plus once you find a recipie that works, you can easily make it in bulk, freeze and then just toast or microwave as needed.  I also pre make my own mixes in plastic bags, everything except yeast, if needed, and wet ingredients and store in the pantry.  Then whipping up a loaf is easy since the prep work is already done!

I would check out the Gluten Free Trading Co website.  This store is in milwaukee and everything is GF.  many items are also vegan, casien free  and allergen free.  I know they ship too.  Cake mixes, pasta, it is a dream for anyone who's GF.

http://www.gluten-free.net/

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This is a book you may want to take a look at or purchase.

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, by Bette Hagman has a chapter devoted to yeast free breads, and most use her four bean flour mix, which she gives directions on how to mix up.  The recipies are not vegan, if that is important to you, but you can use ghee, like you mentioned, hemp or almond milk, and flax for the eggs.  I had my local bookstore order a copy for me, but your library may be able to get it for you, or borrow it from another library.  As far as I can tell, these recipies meet your son's dietary restrictions. 

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and have seen potato and bean pastas too, all in dried form.

  Oh! This would be so great--if I could find pasta in bean or potato!  He'd see it as entirely new choice for his lunches, especially if it was in a shape other than spaghetti noodles.  Even if it was only in spaghetti form, that would still be good--if we were traveling to in-laws it's something more "normal" appearing which they'd be able to make, so still a good "find'!  I haven't seen quinoa in any other form than regular & also in dried flakes-not at Whole Foods, anyway (I tried the dried flakes place of oats for a time & it was so-so/not too great).  We have "regular" quinoa as a side once a week/I add apples to it & my boys like it.

He can't have corn, unfortunately.  He breaks out in red blotches on his arms the next day.  Even without seeing the lab results, I know that's one we can't even use rotationally.

We don't eat bread with meals too much & he's not fond of bread (although it would help to have something like a roll to add to fill him up).  I make banana bread for him (and his brother gets some too, because he likes it) to eat with soup, on soup night.  I bake it in small mini-loaf pans & it comes out all right.  It tastes good to the boys, even though I keep it low sugar/high bananas help that, they like it.  Baking powder is the only rise agent in it & even so it comes out with a huge air bubble every time.  But it's something I've mastered for at least that one meal (in mini-loaf form).

I'll look at the Gluten Free Trading Co. website as soon as I get a chance.  I'm off to pick up my boys from school & then comes other things.

Thanks so much for the ideas.

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I highly recommend the following blog http://www.elanaspantry.com/.  It is gluten- and dairy-free and every recipe is taste-tested by her sons.  She rarely uses rice flour, she almost exclusively uses blanched almond flour.  She recommends a specific brand and apparently it is almost absolutely necessary for the recipes, but it may be worth it if you like any of her recipes.  She has a lot of snacks, including cookies, bars, crackers, etc. that would be perfect for rounding out a lunch.  High in protein and people rave about the recipes.  It might give you some ideas.

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Okay, I've been sending lunches to school with my kids for a couple of years now and these are my suggestions:

1. check out the veganlunchbox blog and see if you can scroll through to see all the different things she packed for her kid over the year.  There were  a lot of good ideas.  She has since stopped blogging and published a cookbook of her original recipes, but she tried a bunch of other people's recipes over the year and, while some of the lunches were too elaborate for an average busy person to make, she did have a lot of good ideas that could be made gf.

2.  get a thermos.  you want the wide mouth kind that your kids can eat soup from.  Once I got thermoses for my children their lunch choices expanded dramatically.  You can then pack all kinds of soups, gf pasta with meatless meatballs, fried rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc.

3.  gf waffles with veggie links (if they are gf) and syrup are a fun change

4.  refried beans and chips are one of my kids' favorites

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Check out Gluten Free Quick and Easy by Carol Fenster. It's not veg*n, but has lots of good vegetarian GF recipes. I make the breadsticks regularly - I make them vegan by substituting soymilk for dairy, and omitting the parmesan cheese. (I also omit the herbs and onion powder, for a "plain" rather than "Italian Flavor" breadstick). Her book has recipes to make your own mixes, then you can just make the actual dish at the last minute. The Vegan, GF chocolate cupcakes are very good, too. I've made her pancakes vegan by subbing arrowroot powder for the eggs, soymilk for dairy, and margarine for butter. They turned out pretty good.

Her book is filled with good GF make your own mixes - and they are easy to veganize.

I also get my GF flours from the Chinese grocery -they are much cheaper than at the Health food store.

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www.fatfreevegan.com/gluten-free/index.shtml

I'm gluten free and vegan. I tend to eat the same boring lunch of salad with veggies and beans. Can you make a hummus with just garbanzo beans and give him some veggies to dip?

Another thought would be vegetarian sushi. You could make the rolls the night before. It's a bit time consuming, but he might think it's cool.

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Ghee is just clarified butter, so in my understanding it would still have casein in it....

And TVP is just soy in a different form.

What about eggplant parm? You can either 'bread' the slices in a mixture of slightly ground quinoa to give the texture of bread crumbs or just fry them plain. There is a recipe for cashew ricotta, if I remember correctly.... you can either make it in a pan where you slice into it for portions, or you can use muffin tins so you can more easily pack/freeze them for future use.

Over the holidays, I went to a potluck where the goal was to make a meal that everyone could eat every thing. We had a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten and red dye allergies to cater to. I made two quinoa bakes, a savory mexican one where I subbed some of the cooking water with enchilada sauce, layered it with a black bean filling, added more enchilada sauce and popped it in the oven @ 350* for around 30 minutes; and a sweet one, again, I subbed some of the cooking water with apple cider, added a little maple syrup and apple pie spice blend (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), sauteed some diced apples then added some more apple cider along with dried fruits (dried cherries and cranberries this time) and walnuts, took the apple mixture off the heat and covered 'till the quinoa was done, mixed it all up, put it in a baking dish and slapped it into a 350* oven for 30 minutes and sliced it up like brownies!!! Both were a big hit.

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Over the holidays, I went to a potluck where the goal was to make a meal that everyone could eat every thing. We had a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten and red dye allergies to cater to. I made two quinoa bakes, a savory mexican one where I subbed some of the cooking water with enchilada sauce, layered it with a black bean filling, added more enchilada sauce and popped it in the oven @ 350* for around 30 minutes; and a sweet one, again, I subbed some of the cooking water with apple cider, added a little maple syrup and apple pie spice blend (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), sauteed some diced apples then added some more apple cider along with dried fruits (dried cherries and cranberries this time) and walnuts, took the apple mixture off the heat and covered 'till the quinoa was done, mixed it all up, put it in a baking dish and slapped it into a 350* oven for 30 minutes and sliced it up like brownies!!! Both were a big hit.

You cooked the quinoa first, right? So it was cooked, then baked in a casserole-type thing? These sound rather delectable.

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Yes, I cooked the quinoa first.

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