Finding gluten-free lunches that kids love is so much easier than it used to be.
As all moms know, it's that time of year when we're getting really tired of figuring out: what's for lunch?! Whether you're packing up a lunch for your kids each day or you homeschool like us, the kids need to be fed and we all get into a rut!
I feel for you moms who have kids with food sensitivities because your choices are especially limited, but at least you have much more help and many more options than you did even a few years ago…
Renee Kohley, a local blogging friend, wrote a super helpful and inspiring cookbook with all gluten-free lunch recipes. (She's pictured with me above when we met in person before she spoke at our local Weston A. Price chapter a while back.)
So I handed this cookbook to Kasey one day and told him to pick the ones he wanted to try. These are now our favorites:
Crispy Fish Stick Dippers:
Grilled Cheese Dunkers:
Chinese Take-out Sweet and Sour Chicken Wraps:
And this Bow Tie Pasta Salad (see the full recipe below!):
Fast-Prep Gluten Free Bowtie Pasta
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or distilled wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch dried thyme
- 1 pound bag of uncooked gluten-free pasta (see instructions for the recommended brand)
- 1-2 cups diced summer sausage or kielbasa
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1 cup diced bell peppers
- 1 cup frozen peas (see note)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, raw cheddar cheese, or goat cheese (optional)
- Fill a large pot with water and set it over high heat to come to a boil while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil to the water. Add the pasta (this is the GF pasta we recommend) to the boiling water, and cook it until it is al dente (the pasta needs to have “bite,” because it will soak in the dressing).
- Drain the cooked pasta and immediately add it to the dressing in the large bowl. Stir the pasta to coat it evenly with the dressing. Fold in the summer sausage, tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, and peas.
- Chill the pasta for at least 2 hours if you want to serve it cold, stirring the Parmesan cheese (if using) into the pasta salad once it is chilled. (This salad is delicious warm too. If you choose to serve it warm, stir in the Parmesan cheese immediately so it can melt.)
- This pasta salad lasts for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
More you might like:
- Make life even easier on yourself: let my friend Katie teach your kids how to cook
- Have you checked out my revised and expanded book yet? Real Food for Rookies has everything you need to know so you can confidently navigate your grocery store and easily switch ingredients in your favorite foods to the healthier versions. No one will know, but you'll be drastically kicking up the nourishment in the food you're feeding your family!
Recipe and photos reprinted with permission from The Little Lunchbox Cookbook by Renee Kohley, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Becky Winkler.