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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Bulk Cooking & Lunches

As we continue our gluten-free (GF), dairy-free (DF) trial, we've rediscovered our love for bulk cooking. Our general approach to cooking is that Dave and I each cook one bulk meal per week. We eat some that night, keep some in the fridge, and freeze some to create a versatile freezer rotation. By combining fresh meals, leftovers, and freezer meals, we can eat all week despite only cooking twice. It's a great plan, but life with two tiny kids had made even that difficult. But, going GF/DF encouraged us to re-prioritize cooking. Our kitchen is messier now that we are back to cooking this amount, but we're enjoying some yummy, healthy foods without breaking the bank.

Here's what we've been doing: if we cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker, it gives enough meat for that night's dinner as well as leftovers for chicken salads (like Asian Chicken Salad) and general lunch munching.

Recently, we cooked a whole ham in the oven and that gave of loads of meat for dinner, lunch leftovers, a potluck, the freezer, and ham and bean soup. Amazingly (sadly), this was the first time I've ever had ham that wasn't injected with saline. Thank you J&L Green Farm for bringing us delicious, forested, unmodified pork.

Another week, we cooked a beef roast and utilized that in different ways through the week.

Toddler's plate with I-can-do-it-myself-sized portions.
Beef roast with potatoes and carrots, salad with cranberry vinaigrette, and a lot of mustard.

Another great bulk meal was shepherd's pie. Dave made this one up using ground beef, whatever veggies we had on hand, and a topping of mashed squash and chipotle peppers. The kids alternated thinking it was too spicy and shoveling it in.

For pizza night or easy lunches, it is easy to whip up a large batch of Mini Egg Pizzas (this was our first baked item with the frozen eggs.)

With all of these leftovers, coming up with GF/DF lunches isn't as overwhelming as I expected. Here are several ways we've combined things to create yummy bento lunches:

Bento Lunch 1 
squash shepherd’s pie

Bento Lunch 2
corn chips (one processed food I am not ready to give up)
blueberries (the one berry we are not restricted on)
dried apricot
sprouted spicy thai trail mix
thin-sliced turkey

Bento Lunch 3
squash pancakes
pine nuts
 bell pepper
 homemade cornbread with apricot preserves
 beef roast with potatoes and carrots
What do GF/DF things do you eat for lunches on the go (or for other meals)? We are hungry for ideas, as this is all very new to us.

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