Lunch Wrap Up: Week of Oct 17th

For those of you who are interested in gluten free diets or you are new to the blog, check out my Q and A with Central Restaurant Products.

My son and I are both gluten and dairy free. I discuss my own diet in the Q and A, but I don’t mention my son. Charlie has been dairy free since September 2010 and gluten free since October 2010. Why did I do that? Well, Charlie had chronic ear infections, which cleared up after going dairy free, but he was then diagnosed with asthma in September. I didn’t want to have to give him two daily medications per day. At the same time I didn’t know how I would toilet train a child with chronic diarrhea. So I changed his diet and there went his breathing problems and his GI issues. I regret that I didn’t get him tested for Celiac disease prior to taking him off of gluten, but the dairy test had been negative and the allergist thought I was crazy. I tried a gluten free diet only on a whim and I didn’t expect it to work at all. Instead, it changed everything pretty much right away.

 Charlie’s lunches

Mandarin oranges; bacon; carrots from our garden; spiced rice; sliced pears (farmer’s market)

We were at Trader Joe’s and my son saw the bags of mandarin oranges and he was sold. So they aren’t local, but they are a favorite. I grew those carrots though! Child care menu: Chicken Alfredo, Elbow Pasta, Winter Blend, Pineapple Chunks, Mini Wheat Hamburger Bun

Homemade pizza; sliced pears (farmer’s market); spinach (CSA), shredded carrots, mandarin oranges; applesauce,; crackers

I had a craving for pizza so I made a gluten and dairy free one. This one has beef on it, but I bought the beef at a farmer’s market. I have to say that the beef tasted like nothing I have ever tasted before. The beef had almost a “gamey” taste to it — is that true beef should taste like? This was straight from a farm in Wisconsin. My husband didn’t notice a difference, but to me it was apparent right away. I also used goat cheese and spinach from our CSA. Child care menu: Cheesy Chicken, Diced Parsley Potatoes, Broccoli, Fresh Pear, Wheat Dinner Roll

Mandarin oranges, sliced apples (farmer’s market); spinach (CSA) and carrots (my garden); hard boiled eggs; crunchy green beans; crackers

My son helped me pull the little carrots out of the ground and he was so stoked. Child care menu: BBQ Turkey, Steamed Rice, Oregon Blend, Banana, Rye Bread

Pasta with meat sauce (beef from farmer’s market); mandarin oranges; spinach (CSA), carrots (farmer’s market), yellow green beans (farmer’s market); pear sauce; breadsticks

I split the yellow green beans in half because my son likes to eat the little beans inside. Also I tried Trader Joe’s “pear sauce” but my son was not a fan. Guess you’ll be seeing those in my lunches. Child care menu: Penne Pasta & Meat Sauce, 3 Way Blend, Cinnamon Sliced Pears, Wheat Bread 

Bagel with smoked salmon; sliced apples (farmer’s market), spinach (CSA), shredded carrots, golden raisins; pretzels; apple/strawberry sauce

I was running low on ideas so the kid got apples two different ways! Child care menu: BBQ Meatballs, Augratin Potatoes, Peas, Tropical Fruit, Rye Bread

My lunches

Spiced rice with bacon and pistachios; plums; pepitas; roasted golden beets

I don’t mind eating bacon fat. I’ve decided that fat doesn’t make me fat, but instead keeps me feeling full so I don’t binge on my favorite trigger foods (i.e. cookies). Also the golden beets all turned black after I roasted them! Any hints on how to avoid that next time? I also sauteed the beets’ greens and they were better than spinach or kale prepared that same way (don’t get me wrong, I love my spinach and kale, just not sauteed in a pan).

 Homemade pizza; plums; spinach with shredded carrots

I used daiya cheese on one pizza and goat cheese on the other. I know a lot of you think that the daiya cheese is a weird non-food. When you are looking for a cheese replacement, you’ll try anything. And guess what? I left this lunch on the counter at home. I realized this on the way to work so I was able to call my husband and have him put it in the fridge for the next day. I left my water bottles at home too so I was really devastated. I could have bought school lunch that day, but I just didn’t want to go through that again. Instead I ate a lunch of almonds and rice cakes. The next day I finally ate my lunch.

 Tuna salad sandwich with spinach, apple (farmer’s market); carrot and yellow green beans (farmer’s market); KIND bars

I love tuna salad!

 Bagel, spinach, golden raisins; smoked salmon; pretzels; KIND bar

 I’ve always been a bagel and lox fan. Love salmon.


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15 thoughts on “Lunch Wrap Up: Week of Oct 17th

  1. “I’ve decided that fat doesn’t make me fat, but instead keeps me feeling full so I don’t binge on my favorite trigger foods “–this statement made me SO happy! I really wish that people didn’t associate “fat” with gaining weight. . .it’s just not true. And if fat on bacon keeps you feeling full longer and keeps you from binging, then you’re doing a great job of listening to your body. I know that I’ve said it before, but you’re doing a great job with your and Charlies lunches. Thanks for continuing to share!

  2. If you splash your roasted beets with balsamic vinegar it not only helps with the oxidation, but also complements their flavour beautifully.

  3. Meat will taste like what the animal eats. Wild game tastes “gamey” because of its diet. So if the cattle were out in a ill-kept pasture with lots of weeds, trees, etc., they would have a similar diet to wild game and hence, would have a similar taste. That’s a lot of the reason corn-fed beef is more popular. Since we raise corn-fed beef, I’ve never tasted grass-fed, so I can’t comment on the taste differences other than from a scientific perspective, but I live in a heavily agricultural area (southwestern Minnesota), and deer harvested in this area have a more “beefy” taste because they’re eating a lot of corn from the fields as compared to deer from northern Minnesota which taste more “gamey” because they’re eating a diet more typical of wild game.

  4. Just out of curiosity, is it possible to be dairy free and still consume goat milk products? My understanding was that dairy is not just specific to cows, but also includes goats, buffalo and sheep, just to name a few. I am certainly not trying to question the choice, just curious about proper phrasing.

  5. I think grass fed beef is slightly gamier than grocery store corn fed beef. I think this is just what beef is supposed to taste like and the corn fed is simply blander. We got used to it after just a couple of meals and it’s all we eat now.

  6. I usually roast beets in their skins wrapped in foil (@400 for 1 hour), then once they’ve cooled, they slip right out of those dark, roasted skins leaving just the pretty innards to be sliced or chopped.

  7. Your gluten-free bagels look much more like regular bagels than anything I’ve been able to find in my area. Do you mind sharing the brand?

  8. Does your son’s new d/c not offer snacks? It was always included as part of the menu for the weekly lunch wrap up’s before the switch, I just wondered if they don’t publish them or if they don’t have them

  9. We learned today in class that Illinois is the 49th when it comes to providing students the least restrictive environment, probably because it’s cheaper for the school districts. How does this play into the whole school lunch thing with no recess and so little time outside of the classroom with a short lunch? Any thoughts as a special educator?

  10. Kristina’s right. If you’re using any product made from milk (it doesn’t matter what mammal the milk came from) you’re not dairy free.

    That having been said though, some people tollerate goat milk and products made from goat milk better than cow’s milk and products made from cow’s milk. I think the same would be true about sheep milk or water buffalo. Different people have different dietary needs and some are sensitive to some things while others are sensitive to other things.

    But regardless, if it’s milk or made from/with milk, it’s a dairy product.

  11. We always eat grass fed I like it much better. When I was young I hated beef because it tasted to me like a wet rag, probably because of all the fat. To me grass fed tastes cleaner.

  12. May I ask how the Daiya cheese tastes? I’m also lactose intolerant, and I have never been able to find a substitute that I enjoy. Veggie cheeses are just awful, in my opinion, and I’d be thrilled to find a decent tasting alternative.

  13. Are you sure it was dairy causing the ear infections? I only ask because my son had MANY while in daycare and they stopped as soon as I was finished with internship, when he was home. He had seven within four months. He had the same breast and cow’s milk when he went back four months later, but with no ear infections. Kiddos are pretty prone to ear infections when in daycare. And I too thought that you would need to cut out all animal dairy for it to be dairy-free.

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