Last week I put a call out on my Facebook pageasking readers to list topics they would like to see me cover here on This Lunch Rox. It seems there is a lot of interest out there regarding "quick-and-easy" lunches as well as allergy sensitive lunches. I've made note of all of the suggestions and will make it a point to sprinkle posts related to these topics (along with many other great ideas shared by my readers) over the next few months.
Today's lunch is a gluten and nut allergy-sensitive lunch. If you're like me I've had a hard time wrapping my brain around the overwhelming increase in food allergies in our society. I feel incredibly lucky that neither of my children suffer from food allergies, but a number of their friends do and I'm amazed at how much planning and preparation their parents must do to keep their child safe & healthy. This has prompted me to do a lot of reading and research on the topic of food allergies. One of the best resources I've come across so far is this "Ted Talk" by Robyn O'Brien. In this video she explains what has happened to our food over the years and could very well be the link to the rise in food allergies in our children.
As I mentioned above, my children don't have gluten allergies but we do try to limit the amount of wheat they consume on a daily basis. Over the years our society is consuming an extraordinary amount of wheat. The average American consumes appx 67% of their calories from just THREE foodscorn, soy and wheat. To put this in perspective, the caloric intake from these ingredients by our ancestors ranged somewhere between 1-5%. My kids do love sandwiches on wheat and lavash bread and I haven't found a gluten-free bread option that my boys will eat. Until we can find a good bread alternative I've been limiting other convenient, pre-packaged foods that contain some derivative of corn, soy and wheat (high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, wheat flour, soy protein, etc), to keep the percentage of calories consumed from corn, soy and wheat more in line with our ancestors than todays average American. If you are interested in this topic you can read morehere.
Over the weekend I experimented with lettuce wraps and was thrilled to find that both of my boys gobbled them up without a word about the missing sandwich bread!
I started with a large piece of butter leaf lettuce:
Then I placed nitrite/nitrate free lunch meat and a slice of white American cheese in the center:
Then I simply rolled it up, cut off the ends & secured the wrap with a toothpick:
Viola!! A quick-and-easy gluten free "sandwich"!
Today's lunch includes: ham & cheese lettuce wrap, strawberries/blueberries, Ellsworth cheese curds, cucumbers/hummus, nut-free & gluten-free brownie(if your child is allergic to almonds you will want to replace the almond milk in the recipe with whatever milk option is safe for your child)