Going gluten-free? Here are some simple yet yummy gluten-free lunch recipes to add a little pizzazz to your child's lunchbox.
Cauliflower Crust Lunchbox Pizza
Pizza can be tricky for those with gluten allergies. The crust is full of the offending gluten, which is a total bummer for pizza-loving kids. Instead of traditional pizza, pack them a Cauliflower Crust Lunchbox Pizza, like Keeley McGuire's.
- 3/4 head cauliflower
- 1/2 of a large beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb (grinder) seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 can pizza sauce
- Toppings of choice
- Chop the cauliflower head into small pieces. Use the florets only and discard the stems and leaves. Run the florets through a blender until they have a flour-like texture.
- In a large glass bowl, microwave the cauliflower mixture on high for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add egg, seasoning and cheese to the cauliflower mixture and combine the ingredients with your hands.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form two mini lunchbox-sized pizza crusts, approximately 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Lightly spritz the crusts with cooking spray and place them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Pull them out of the oven and top them with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings of choice.
Note: You can also pack the pizza toppings in your child's lunchbox and let them build their own pizzas at school.
Tacos are a great gluten-free kids' meal. Most standard taco fixings are naturally gluten-free. But tacos are too messy for lunchboxes, so make Taco Muffins, like Kirsten Helle's Taco Muffins, for a perfect alternative. This recipe makes 12 muffins, plus a bit leftover for a snack.
- 2 teaspoons oil or fat of your choice
- 20 ounces lean ground turkey, 1 pound ground grass-fed beef/buffalo or ground chicken
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 bell pepper, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add oil and swirl to coat.
- Add the turkey, vegetables and seasoning. Sauté, stirring often, until the turkey begins to brown.
- Pour into a large bowl with the brown rice.
- Add the eggs and cheese, stirring gently to combine evenly.
- Pack mixture into an oiled muffin tin.
- Bake for 20 minutes until brown and crispy.
- Run a knife around the edges and remove each muffin.
- Serve with sour cream and salsa.
Berry Good Wraps
Swap traditional tortillas for gluten-free ones and you'll have an endless array of gluten-free wrap options. For something fresh and light, try Laura Fuentes' Berry Good Wraps (as featured on Momables, a website service that helps parents make fresh school lunches their kids will love. From their members-only access site, you can download menus weekly, shop and follow recipes.)
- One 8-inch gluten-free tortilla
- 2 Tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- Small handful of baby spinach
- 3 strawberries, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette dressing
- 1 slice nitrate-free bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Spread whipped cream cheese over tortilla.
- Layer spinach, sliced strawberries and crumbled bacon.
- Roll tightly and cut wrap in half.
- Place dressing in a side container for dipping.
Gluten-free Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
If tortilla wraps aren't your child's thing, then how about lettuce wraps instead? They are a simple way to add some healthy greens into your child's diet. Much like tortilla wraps, there are countless options. You can start with Simply Gluten Free's Allergy Free Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps recipe and see if your little ones love lettuce wraps as much as mine do.
- 1 head lettuce
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 fresh pear, diced
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free, dairy-free mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup pistachios or cashews, optional
- Remove the core from the head of lettuce with a knife.
- Gently remove eight to 12 leaves, keeping them whole.
- Rinse and wrap in paper towels to dry. Place two to three leaves per person in separate resealable plastic bags.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
- Divide the salad among four individual-sized storage containers.
- At lunchtime, your child can scoop some salad into the lettuce leaves and enjoy.
Crustless Mini Quiche
Since not all children are super-adventurous eaters, try something everyone can love: Crustless Mini Quiches, like the ones at Childhood 101. The quiche iself is pretty simple, but all the filling options make this a super-adaptable recipe. If your child loves bacon, add bacon. Are they a sausage fan? Add some sausage. The combinations are endless.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/8 cup and 1 Tablespoon gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup cheese
- 1/3 cup of fillings of your choice. (You can play it safe with ham and cheese or get a bit fancier by adding a combination of any of the following: lightly sauted leek, chopped tomato, fresh or canned corn, spinach, feta, bacon, smoked salmon and mushrooms.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Break eggs into a bowl, add milk and lightly whisk with a fork.
- Add the flour, cheese and filling and mix until combined.
- Spoon mixture into a greased, mini muffin tin; fill each about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned.