Wow! What a great response to our first Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox Love linky party! Thank you to everyone who submitted links to great lunchbox menu ideas, and thanks to all of you who stopped by and browsed through our inspiring submissions. By popular demand, we will definitely be running this link party every Friday... I guess it's not just me who needs new lunchbox ideas!
The post that received the most views from readers was "Pack Your Lunch," submitted by Andrea at From Seed to Stomach. Andrea shared a whole list of ideas to fill lunchboxes with quick and healthy choices...she sounds super-organized and completely on top of the whole meal thing... something I aspire to be, but frequently fall short :)
Today I'm sharing one of my boys' favorite lunches... Meatball Wraps. I use my grandmother's recipe for meatballs (updated to use ground turkey instead of beef), and I found some surprisingly tasty gluten-free tortillas to use for the wraps (La Tortilla Factory Ivory Teff Wraps). The boys have access to a microwave at school, so luckily they are able to heat the meatballs... they taste so much better that way. This week I rounded out their meals with a little green salad and some sliced figs. I love how the figs count as a fruit serving, but are so sweet they feel like dessert!
This meatball recipe is very quick to put together, but takes 3 hours to cook on the stove, or 6 hours in the slow cooker, so plan ahead. I like to make a big batch and use them for lunches all week, but you could certainly freeze some instead. It's kind of funny that my Irish grandmother passed down such a delicious Italian recipe, but I think someone told me she got it from a neighbor :)
3 lbs ground turkey (or a mixture of veal, pork and beef)
1 Tbsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used white rice flour)
2 (24-oz) jars or cans of tomato puree
2 jars or cans of tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
Start the sauce by combining the tomato puree, tomato paste, onion, pepper, garlic, sugar, salt and oregano, either in a large pot on the stove or in your slow cooker. Add one 24-oz can full of water. Heat on medium on the stove, or turn your slow cooker on to high.
To make the meatballs, mix together turkey, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roll into 1.5" diameter balls, then roll in flour and drop into sauce. When the sauce starts to boil, turn it down to low and let simmer, covered. On the stove, cook for three hours, stirring about once an hour so the meatballs don't stick to the bottom. In the crock pot, cook for six hours on high. Makes at least 25 meatballs, depending on how large you roll them.
Now let's party! You can link up a whole lunchbox, or a recipe that's lunchbox-friendly (as many as you like). Your submissions don't have to be free of all allergens, just the ones you're avoiding.
(Shared with the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life As Mom and Inspiration Friday at At The Picket Fence and Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans and the Gallery of Favorites at Premeditated Leftovers and Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health and Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home and Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now and Friday Flair at WhipperBerry and the Creative Genius at Creative Paige and Weekend Wrap Up at Tatertots and Jello and Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sister's Stuff and Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal and Whatcha Got Weekend at Lolly Jane Boutique and Once Upon A Weekend at Family Ever After and These Chicks Cooked at This Chick Cooks and Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Melt In Your Mouth Monday at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Tuesday Confessional at Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom and Gluten Free Wednesday at the Gluten Free Homemaker and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.