While we’re at home on a weekend, lunches are frequently soup and salad. When we’re on our way somewhere, though, I won’t pack soup for lunch — too messy in the car! Neither does a sandwich work, but for a different reason: my hubby carries sandwiches every weekday, so he’s willing to have something different on a weekend. I like to make something without the bread partly because it’s simpler to prepare, partly to keep our carbs down some, and partly just for the variety, to offset possible boredom from his weekday lunches.
Sometimes I’ll cut roast beef cubes from a lean roast beef like I’ve mentioned before. I especially like a round eye roast, or a bottom roast cooked the same way, since they have less waste to be trimmed and can be sliced or cubed easily once cooked and cooled. You could also slice the beef thinly and roll up the slices, if you’d rather.
Combining the roast beef with some natural cheese cubes is Al’s favorite. He likes Kraft Natural Mild Cheddar, but I tend more towards Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar. (See their gluten ingredient statement here.) If you have your cheese cut at a deli, make sure they clean the slicer in between gluten and gluten-free products, or better yet, have a dedicated slicer for gluten-free only. I often use prepackaged Kraft Natural Cheeses, without a problem. There are also dairy-free cheeses available if you don’t want dairy products in your lunch, or you can increase the amount of roast beef and leave out the cheese.
So, now that I have the beef and the cheese, I start adding whatever vegetables I have on hand that are ready to eat. I try to keep in the refrigerator radishes, cauliflower, celery, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers, grape tomatoes or broccoli already cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces, so I put a little “relish tray” in the lunch. Sometimes I want a dip, but not necessarily, and my husband doesn’t bother with those, either, when he’s not at a table. There are ways to carry dip or dressing (like your favorite gluten-free ranch dressing that won’t splash or drip), but when packing lunches I think hard about whether I want the flavor badly enough to deal with the potential mess.
There’s always room for some crackers, like Blue Diamond Nut Thins or rice cakes, like Lundberg Farms rice cakes. We take plenty of bottled water, too. With a lunch like this already in the car, it’s hard to justify stopping for McD’s first! After eating this lunch, Al doesn’t think fast food sounds as interesting…for awhile.
We can all do better with some encouragement from those around us: On a weekday, eating alone, his carb- and fat-loaded lunch is what he wants, but eating this low-fat, low-carb lunch together, he’s quite satisfied, in spite of its being gluten-free, too.