Gluten-Free Lunches for Busy Moms

YES, I still put fabulous photos in my posts. I don’t know why the photos are not showing up in email or RSS, and I haven’t had any luck fixing it. Please click over to see the photos!After visiting my sisters this past weekend (one with a 2-week-old and the other with a 16-month-old), I realized that I have no excuse not to feed myself in the middle of the day. I don’t have anyone underfoot! No matter what’s keeping you busy, it’s very easy to ignore your own needs and forgo a healthy lunch. It’s especially difficult when you’re eating gluten-free and can’t just grab a sandwich or other traditional lunch fare. Here are some gluten-free lunches for busy moms that really work for me:

Leftovers

If I’m thinking ahead, one of the easiest things to do is just pull out a lunch serving from dinner before I serve it to the family. Then, I know I have a healthy lunch waiting for me. No stress, no mess! Some of my favorite recipes that reheat well the next day are Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup and Italian Spinach Pie. Anything I make in the slow cooker is usually a large enough recipe for leftovers.

 

 

Green Smoothies

I’ve been testing this out as a lunch option recently. By adding spinach, flaxseed, and protein powder to a fruit & yogurt smoothie, I get plenty of fiber and feel full for the whole afternoon. I like this recipe at The MotherLoad; then I added the flaxseed and protein for extra nutrition. This Tropical Green Smoothie by 52 Kitchen Adventures has pineapple and mango–yum! By using frozen fruit and keeping other items on hand, it’s easy to pull together for a quick lunch, and you can feel good about what you’re eating.

Eggs

At least once a week, I find the time to “cook,” and I make an omelet, scrambled eggs, or something similar. I love saving a few chopped veggies from other meals throughout the week–things like green peppers, mushrooms, and onions–and making a Veggie Scramble like you’d get at a restaurant. Just saute your veggies until soft, then add eggs and scramble up. Very healthy!
Image from Taste of Home

 

Trader Joe’s Convenience Foods (or similar)

This is my version of “fast food,” since there’s no real “drive-through” for GF eaters, I stop by Trader Joe’s once in a while and stock up a few quickie lunch items. One is the Mushroom Rice Noodle Soup Bowl. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world (high sodium), but it takes 3 minutes in the microwave and is just .99. I also like their prepared salads. For $3.99-4.99, I can get a veggie-only or salad with chicken breast. These are great when I know I’m headed somewhere and need to pack a lunch, or if I’m going to an event and don’t know if they’ll offer a GF option.

Taco Bowls

Some weeks, I’ll just make a batch of Black Bean & Corn Salsa and use that for lunches during the week. It’s great on top of rice, mixed in with quinoa, or even on salad greens (and less healthy, on top of corn tortilla chips!). In a pinch, I’ll do my quickie version–just a can of black beans, can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes, and microwaved frozen corn with some shakes of cumin. Not as flavorful as the full recipe, but pretty good.

 

  What are your favorite quick lunches?

This post is linked up to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Comments

  1. Great ideas! I try to keep some cooked chicken and/or ground beef in the freezer to thaw quickly so we can have either taco, or chicken ceasar salad for a quick lunch. It’s surprisingly filling with lettuce, meat, cheese, boiled eggs, beans (for taco salad) etc.

    • Elise–Love your idea to keep cooked chicken around. I mean to do that when I’m cooking for dinner, but sometimes my son has extra helpings and it disappears! I’ll need to set it aside first.

  2. Leftovers are always the best. I usually try making extra dinner so that I have them to “recycle” or re-purpose. Grilled Chicken, beef, pork is always good over fresh greens the next day. The kiddo’s love if I cut up the chicken breasts or thighs and make chicken fingers and serve with fresh veggies like baby carrots or cut up veggies. Sometimes we switch it up and add cut fruit and cheese to it and have a picnic style lunch.