Greek lunchbox meatballs – gluten free, low carb and paleo-friendly

I hear there’s this Greek saying:

“Μ’ένα σμπάρο, δυο τρυγώνια.”

It translates to something like:

“One shot, two birds.”

Which, to me, meant:

“I have this mince that’s going to turn bad soon, and this mint is looking a bit dodgy. I really need some protein for tomorrow’s lunchboxes, too. I know! Make the Greek meatballs you made often early in your marriage.”

And that’s how these Greek meatballs became Greek lunchbox meatballs.

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Easy dairy-free yoghurt

Originally published 2nd February, 2015 as Easy Peasy Coconut Yoghurt.

Dairy allergies and intolerances can seem like a really big pain sometimes. Dairy-free replacements for milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream often contain weird non-food ingredients and taste nothing like the real thing.

I’ve spent some time dairy-free at my doctor’s request and it was a pain, so I can imagine how hard it is trying to feed a toddler or child who absolutely has to cut out dairy.

Nectarines with cream is one of my favourite desserts. I love love love a Mexican bowl loaded with cheese and sour cream. And cappuccinos. Oh, the cappuccinos.

When I went dairy-free, I really needed a replacement for a few of these things, and being a fan of real food, I wasn’t about to try any weird mock replacements full of goodness knows what. Coconut yoghurt seemed like a good place to start, so I gave it a crack.

There are heaps of different methods online. Many aren’t 100% dairy free, require weird thickeners or only seem to specify how to make coconut yoghurt with fancy equipment. I remember reading once about using probiotic capsules as a starter for something, so I thought I’d try it with yoghurt.

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Christmas snowballs

They’re sweet, they’re chewy, they’re minty and they’re chocolatey. Best of all – they’re easy to make, contain no refined sugar, and they’re kid approved and lunchbox friendly. They’re my Christmas Snowballs!

These Christmas bliss balls are so delicious they were gone in less than 24 hours the first time I made them. Both the kids and hubby were grabbing them straight from the freezer and eating them without waiting for them to thaw!

Like most of my recipes, these freeze really well. You can put them straight into lunchboxes frozen, eat them straight from the freezer, or put a few in the fridge to soften as you want them.

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Healthier sticky date muffins

These muffins are SO DAMN GOOD. I’ve never had a complaint from my two kidlets about them, and they’re just as delicious for grown-ups!

So many paleo and gluten-free baking recipes use almond meal which rules them out for lunchboxes with most schools, but these ones use coconut flour. It’s my favourite gluten-free flour to bake with and I’ll tell you why.

Coconut flour is about as good as it gets. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats, while being low carbohydrate, low calorie, low GI, and free from gluten, wheat, soy, legumes and nuts. Great for those with gut issues and diabetes, and great for little kidlets who need some extra nutrition in their lunchbox without the insulin spike you get from wheat flour. Sounds pretty good, right?

Its only downfall is that it’s super thirsty, which means you can’t substitute it 1:1 in recipes. If you’re wanting to give it a shot, look for recipes that specifically call for coconut flour… like this one!

 

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Grain-free banana muffins

The kids will love these healthier banana muffins made with no grains, gluten, dairy (if you choose), and no refined white sugar. YUM! The sweetness in these muffins comes from honey and banana – still sugars, so don’t go crazy with them now!
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Crap-free curried sausages

Growing up, curried sausages were a regular on our menu. Along with devilled sausages and apricot chicken – three meals that taste like my childhood.

Most of our meals consisted of sausages. They were cheap and easy and we all enjoyed them. Once I started trying to lose weight in my teens, I started to avoid sausages because they were high in fat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they were meat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they are mostly full of crap fillers, preservatives, sugars, and god knows what else.

Ah, but hallelujah! The age of a healthier sausage has come. The demand for real food has brought about the rise of the traditional sausage. Sausages as they once were, in natural casings with minimal ingredients, have started popping up all over the place. When I found out a local butcher was offering sausages made from 100% beef, Herbamare and Vital Greens and nothing else, I jumped at the chance to recreate a healthier version of my mum’s curried sausages.

This might be the least glamorous recipe I’ll ever post. But if you’re looking for a meal the kids will love that’s:

  • easy, without the need for a meal base
  • that’s spicy and sweet, without any added sugar or sweeteners
  • that’s saucy and gravy-like, without the need for any starches to thicken it… 

…well, my curried sausages might just be what you’re looking for!

This makes a great weeknight meal, but it’s also perfect in the lunchbox in a thermos for a warm meal during the colder months.

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Green eggs and ham

These green eggs and ham rolls make a great lunchbox alternative to sandwiches. With eggs, cheese and baby spinach, they are full of protein, good fats, and vegetables, with no nasties added for colouring. You can wrap these in cling wrap for later use, pack them into the lunchbox immediately, or wrap in a paper towel and then cling wrap to freeze. These last up to 8 weeks in the freezer.

Green eggs and ham

 

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Healthy jelly lollies

These healthy jelly lollies are a great treat to put in the kids’ lunchboxes. They’re a sweet treat, but they’re also really good for them!

If you make them with a high quality gelatin like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes, they’re also a really good source of amino acids and your kidlets won’t even realise they’re healthy! The protein found in a good quality gelatin is easy for little ones to digest and especially useful for kids who don’t enjoy eating meat or eggs. Read on to find out how these healthy jelly lollies can help improve your kids’ overall health.

Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
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KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets

From what I can gather, everyone seems to love KFC. I did too when I was a kid. So long ago that KFC used to deliver. But I can’t stand the stuff these days. Still, people love it. Maybe it’s that the Colonel has a certain allure with his top-secret herbs and spices? Well… Sorry, Colonel, I’m about to blow the lid on that. I’ve managed to finally perfect a KFC-style batter that is so delish, my husband need never crave KFC again. And it’s paleo-friendly! Introducing my KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets!

Gluten free chicken nuggets your kids will love
These nuggets are grain-free, gluten-free and highly addictive!
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