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Ever since I can remember, lunches have been very difficult for me to serve. I never feel like doing another meal so soon after cleaning up the last one.  My kids have bottomless pits so the proverbial peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, lighter lunch type things never go over well and I feel in the end it takes more work, not less for those kind of lunches.  Also, being gluten-free and buying $6 loaf breads is not healthy for the budget and my kids haven’t exactly embraced the lettuce wrap alternative we healthy mothers choose. 😉

This week I wanted to try something different. On Monday I made 2 dishes. 1 huge Crockpot of Taco Soup (see simple recipe below) and 1 large Dutch Oven size pot of Potato Soup (recipe below).  2 soups. I buy cheese blocks because it’s cheaper that way and I grated a good amount for all.  I think divided it up between 3 mason jars. (We did Taco Soup for lunch that day so no picture is shown of the food we ate) and there we go.

3 meals all done. It took me maybe 2 hours tops.  Each day I have pulled out a mason jar of soup for the four children and they have left the table satisfied.  I also made gluten-free cornbread muffins using a cornbread recipe on Google and just substituting the flour for the GF flour blend I have.

Since I am doing Trim Healthy Mama right now, I have found alternatives for me.  Potatoes are not allowed on my diet right now.  I had a salad with tuna one day, taco soup the other, and yesterday was broccoli, beats, and chicken salad.  I think today will be a good day for tuna salad wrapped in lettuce.

Recipes

Taco Soup (Sodbuster way)

1- 1lb bag of the following beans;
Pinto
Black
Navy

Soak over night with a TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar for easier digestion. Next day cook with a bay leaf, 1-2tsp of salt, 1/2- 1 tsp cumin, chopped onion (dried or fresh, doesnt matter), 1tsp of garlic powder,  and I like to add a pinch  of cayenne.

If you start this first thing in the morning (say 7:30) then by noon you should have cooked beans.

Add to Crockpot along with;
1-2 jars of Mexican diced tomatoes (I did 1- qt jar of my canned tomatoes and 1 15oz of Mexican diced tomatoes)
1 jar of mild diced chili peppers
1 recipe of taco seasoning (I like this recipe)
1 can of red kidney beans (15-30oz whatever is handy)
1 can of corn (I left out because I am avoiding corn right now)
1 can of chopped olives.

If you want to keep this thrifty- stop here and turn on low for 5-6 hours.  Serve with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.  Also corn chips if you do corn. 🙂
However, if you have meat eaters, you can add 1-2lbs of cooked ground beef in taco seasoning. (If you do this, leave out the salt in your taco seasoning other wise it can get a bit salty.)

 

Potato Soup with added Leek
This is not my recipe. I stole it from a friend, tweaked it a bit, and I absolutely LOVE it.  I try to make it often enough without too often so we can enjoy it again and again!

 

5-6 potatoes cubed
1-32oz container of chicken broth (hint- I have found MSG free chicken broth at the dollar store… however, it does seem to be more on the salty side. If you use it, don’t add salt to this recipe until you know how salty it will be.)
8 oz milk or water
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
(I like to add about 1/2 tsp of paprika to it!)
3/4 lb kielbasa or other meat, bite-size
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken or whatever soup (gluten free option is Progresso Mushroom soup)
1 Leek washed (trust me, these things need to be stripped and washed!) cut the white end off at the root and then rinse/wash the stalks and then cut from white part to about halfway up the green. When it goes from a lighter green to a medium before it hits the darker color is about where I stop. Don’t want it too chewy.)
1/2 to 1 cup cheese (optional)
Black pepper to taste
1. Combine potatoes, Leeks, broths, milk/water, parsley, (paprika) oregano, bay leaf and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Stir in kielbasa, condensed soup, and cheese if you choose until warmed and a little thickened.
3. Season with pepper and serve hot.

Enjoy!