Saturday, July 13, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Vacation - Part 1 - Road Trip Lunches

Hubby got an unexpected week off in between jobs, so we booked an impromptu one-night mini-vacation at Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park! They have a decent selection of gluten-free foods available in their restaurants, but at roughly $30-50 per meal (after tips and tax,) it adds up, even over just the two days we'd be staying. So I packed lunches for the drive down, and enough food for dinner that night and lunch the next day. They had a deal for their breakfast buffet if we paid in advance, and I'd bought it, figuring that we could find enough safe stuff to eat.

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Since I definitely noticed a difference when I went gluten-free, I know I'm gluten intolerant. But I decided to get tested for celiacs, just to rule it out. People who just think they're intolerant, like I do, might get sloppy about cross-contamination... like I am! And inadvertently do more damage. Plus it can be hereditary, so I owe it to my kids to find out, to help keep them safe too.
Unfortunately, the celiac tests look for certain antibodies - which are only present if you've been eating gluten. Blarg. So I was on my 10-14 day gluten torture regimen, before getting tested. Which made standing in line in close-quarters for the water slides and standing about in deeper water extra fun, if you know what I mean! (And if you don't, trust me - you don't want me to explain it!)
Dye-free Jordan almonds, PB-honey sandwich (all gluten-y!) salad w/spinach and mixed baby greens,
tomatoes, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, raisins, Caesar dressing
I got to use Hubby's soft mouth-melty whole wheat bread for my sandwich, as my dose of gluten for the day, so I wouldn't have to worry about it. It's harder than you'd think, to eat gluten again. I'm just so in the habit of avoiding it these past few months! Plus I don't want to eat it in front of the girls, because the younger one doesn't understand why she can't have any, and the older one is starting to rebel!
*Note: the sandwich was too big for the lid to close, but since I was carrying it straight to the car where I would begin eating it straightaway, I didn't need one. I was able to just bring four lids total and re-use them as needed.

I was thrilled to find dye-free Jordan almonds at Whole Foods, so I haaaaad to buy them! I love Jordan almonds! My grandma used to take me to see old movies at a classic theater near her house. I remember seeing The Purple Rose of Cairo (and another Woody Allen flick - it was a double feature) and The Black Cauldron with her. And probably a Muppet movie. But mostly boring grown-up classic films. And like my dad, she wasn't going to indulge me with sweets. But she was a grandma, and still wanted me to have a treat. So I could choose Raisinettes or Jordan almonds, since they had "healthy food" inside them. And I could usually cadge one or two Mentos off of her each time, both at the movies and at the Children's theater plays. And a coating of her lip moisturizer. It was all sleek and molded like lipstick, and had that two-tone thing going, with the lighter color in the middle. It was the closest I got to make-up for quite a while, which made it a treat!

So anyway, these special times with my grandma instilled in me a love for Jordan almonds (they took longer to eat than Raisinettes, so I usually opted for them.) Even though my gold "pirate teeth" have a hard time crunching through them anymore.

GF PBJ bites, Mini Pops popped sorghum, organic cherries and kale chips
Out of three slices of gluten-free bread, I managed to make 32 squares with my FunBites Cube It, so I turned those into 16 mini sandwich bites and split them 60/40 between the girls.

I had gotten some Mini Pops popped sorghum in one of my foodie subscriptions boxes, and it was a big hit with both girls. Somehow they didn't manage to finish off the whole bag that time, so I divvied up the rest into silicone bear cups for these lunches.

The kale chips were baked the night before, since I had two bunches of kale from our weekly organic CSA farm share from previous weeks, and I wanted to use them up before they went bad. I had planned on using them for smoothies, since they weren't the ruffly kind I prefer to use for kale chips, but we'd be going back to the farm the day after we returned, and I didn't need three bunches of kale sitting around in my fridge! So these are a mix of dino kale (Lacinato) and Red Russian kale (flat like dino kale, but the leaves go in and out around the edges, like oak leaves. And they don't have that bumpy lizard-skin texture.) I've only ever burned them in the past, so I turned the oven down to 325 instead of 350, and they were done at 10 minutes, versus 14-17 for my usual kale chips.

We had gotten half a pound of cherries in our CSA share the week before, and I had bought another half-pound or so from their farm store, but these were all that was left by Monday morning, when I was packing lunches. Since Baby wastes them by only eating the stems and pits, then throwing the flesh onto the ground, I didn't waste any on her. She could have the "bone yard" after Big Sis was done, if she was going to get into a snit about it. Which she didn't. She slept most of the way. Huzzah!

GF PBJ bites, Mini Pops popped sorghum, organic kale chips and apples
Same stuff as Big Sis, only in smaller amounts, since she tends to be a little jerk in the car and chucks her food over the side when she's done. So I don't like to waste as much on her anymore.

And she got apples instead of cherries, since she actually likes apples. And these few slices wouldn't fit in the little container I had the rest of the apple slices in, to take with us for their bedtime snack. (I sloshed them in some water with Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning. But apple or lemon juice works too. Just not as well.)

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