Thursday, December 11, 2014

Easy Elephant Lunch

The Elephant Lunch Punch is one of the few that still fits the smaller gluten-free bread slices. So it's an easy option when I feel like making something cute with very little effort!

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Big Girl Elephants
GF PBJ, homemade GF/DF cheese crackers; organic cherries, sugar snap peas, and carrots
Gluten-free bread doesn't show the imprints from cutters as well (or at least Udi's doesn't,) so I traced along with some jelly and a toothpick to help the lines stand out better. Maybe I just used a butter knife... that would explain why it's so sloppy! Lol! I'm sitting here trying to remember what I did, and wondering why I would have gone to all the trouble to get a toothpick out of the high cupboard, so probably I just used the knife!
I did add chocolate jimmies for the eyes though.

I used the homemade gluten-free dairy-free "Cheez-Its" recipe from one of my favorite recipe sites, Fork and Beans. I cheated a bit and whizzed the Daiya shreds and butter together in the blender instead of using a hand mixer. Made for nice small little cheese bits, perfect for these crackers! They were a big hit with both my girls. Yay!

small flower veggie cutter made for some easy decorations with the snap peas. But I was clearly too lazy to even grab some elephant picks for decoration! Oh well. Sometimes less is more, right?

Toddler Nibbles
GF PBJ bites; organic strawberries, sugar snap peas, and carrots
Little Sis got a simplified version of the same thing. Except I used some bread scraps from a previous sandwich to make her some sandwich nibbles. And she got strawberries, since she like to swallow the cherry pits. And the stems. Ew.

Tools of the Trade

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gluten-Free LUNA Bars for Healthy Holiday Snacking!

Because they have never contained any artificial petroleum-derived ingredients, we've been a fan of LUNA Bars for quite some time! But now they're even better! ALL flavors of LUNA bars have been made gluten-free as well; even the cookie bits in the S'mores and Chocolate Peppermint Stick flavors! And of course their brand new Chocolate Cupcake flavor! (Whoa, Mama!)

Many thanks to LUNA Bar for sponsoring today’s story and creating delicious gluten-free snacks! 

My 1st Grader loves the gluten-free Lemon Zest LUNA Bar the best, but anything chocolate will do as well, and asks me every day if I can send one as her snack for school! And I gotta say, as a Mama dealing with dietary restrictions and being pulled in eleventy-three directions with normal everyday stuff plus all the holiday season stuff, it's nice having an easy healthy gluten-free bar grab-and-go option for snack... or even part of a quick Mama breakfast!

How do you fortify yourself during the holiday season? Do you squeeze in your shopping while the kids are at school? Do you have time to stop for more than a quick bite? What better way to refuel during a marathon shopping spree, a family plane trip, or the long drive to Grandma's house than a gluten-free LUNA Bar?

LUNA's gluten-free switch is still so new, so as stores transition their inventory be sure to look for the pink GLUTEN FREE label before you buy!

Other than the LUNA Protein bars, all LUNA Bars are also dairy-free, making these dye-gluten-dairy-free bars an essential in our pantry!
Additional LUNA Bar details:
- Low glycemic index
- Made with 70% organic ingredients
- NO artificial colors or flavors or synthetic preservatives
- Good source of protein and fiber

- Vegan-friendly (other than the Honey Salted Peanut flavor, which contains honey)
- Non-GMO
- Under 200 calories

My kids and I love the crunchy texture mixed with just the right amount of chewy. And unlike most protein and snack bars, LUNA Bars have almost no chalkiness! Plus these are tasty enough, my kids treat them as dessert! Win for Mama!

Since it is the holidays, I can’t end this post without a {potential} gift for you!  LUNA Bar will send a delicious gluten-free sample for one lucky winner to enjoy! Must be 18 years of age or older and live in the Continental United States.  To enter, click on over to the LUNA Bar website and check out all of their flavors, then come back here and leave a comment with the name of the flavor you are most excited about (or the one you just cannot live without!)  Contest closes on December 19, 2014 at midnight PST. 
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

School (and Toddler) Lunches!

A few days of simple lunches from last Spring! Both girls enjoyed these unconventional lunch menus!

Just Ducky
GF noodles with DF spinach "ricotta," organic carrots and strawberries, GF/DF "cheeze" crackers
I had attempted some gluten- and dairy-free Goldfish-style crackers, and they were kind of a bust. But Z kind of liked them, so I took some that I had made with a tiny duck cookie cutter to inspire a duck-themed lunch! I also had some gluten-free duck noodles and leftover dairy-free spinach "ricotta," for the perfect main dish to go with! I stuck some duck family picks in the strawberries, and done!

Ducky Toddler
Organic grapes, strawberries, carrots, and tomatoes; GF/DF pasta with spinach "ricotta"
More of the "cheezy" pasta for Little Sis. And she nibbles a lot during the day, so I went a little heavy on the fruit for her grazing pleasure.

Cheese and Olive Skewers
Organic carrots and cherries, olives with goat milk Gouda, cooked buckwheat groats
I strung some olives and small chunks of goat milk Gouda cheese on some puzzle picks for a quick and easy protein option for Z, to go with some leftover cooked buckwheat groats.

Organic tomatoes, carrots, and strawberries; olives, cooked buckwheat groats, shredded sharp cheddar
Little Sis isn't a fan of Gouda, and I had some sharp cheddar shreds left over from something. E is lactose intolerant, so sharp cheeses are okay for her. I just generally don't keep cow milk products in the house because I'm intolerant, and I think that Z has behavioral reactions. I know she did to these cheese shreds. So I used them up on Little Sis!

Fried Cheese
Glutino Table Crackers, goat milk Haloumi cheese (fried;) organic strawberries, carrots, sugar snap peas
Once discovering the magic deliciousness that is Haloumi cheese, it's hard to settle for anything else. It's a solid cheese designed for frying without melting or having the oil separated out. And mmmmm, is it delicious! I was ultra-excited to find a goat milk version at Trader Joe's (seasonal, apparently.) So I saved a few slices for Z's lunch. Paired with some gluten-free crackers as her grains option.

Toddler Lunch
Glutino Table Crackers, shredded sharp cheddar; organic carrots, sugar snap peas, strawberries;
organic salad (lettuce, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, rosemary vinaigrette, hemp hearts)
I don't bother wasting Haloumi on the toddler, as she doesn't particularly care for it. So she got more of the sharp cheddar cheese shreds that Big Sis and I can't have. And a bit of the salad mix I had made for myself. Sometimes she'll eat it.

Tools of the Trade
Food for Thought