This Week’s Gluten-Free Menu (and anyone have great gluten-free lunch ideas?)

I didn’t completely follow the menu plan last week since we were sick. I just didn’t feel like cooking at all, so we made it through Thursday and then I gave in and Jesse brought home takeout on Thursday and Friday evenings. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do and not feel guilty. :)

At any rate, I didn’t do my freezer cooking plan, so I moved some of that to this week.

Does anyone have great gluten-free, dairy-free lunch ideas? I feel like I’m running out of inspiration–we’ve been doing a lot of eggs, veggies, and fruit recently and I feel kind of stuck in a rut.

Breakfasts

Cereal, orange juice
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (we’ll sub the chocolate milk for homemade chocolate almond milk)
Fresh orange juice, cereal
Coconut Flour Waffles, scrambled eggs, fruit
Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins
Cereal
Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, fruit

Lunches

Scrambled eggs, carrot sticks, salad (for me), gluten-free cookies
Hard boiled eggs, sweet potato chips, applesauce
PB&J on rice cakes, carrot sticks, apple slices
Egg & Potato Hash, veggies
PB&J Milkshakes, carrot sticks
Leftovers x 2

Snacks

Fruit/veggies
Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
German Fudge Bites

Dinners

Meatloaf, potatoes, steamed broccoli, gluten-free bread
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas, fruit
Goulash, tossed salad
Crockpot Chicken Tacos (we’re going to serve the chicken over corn chips with taco fixings)
Dinner out
Dinner with extended family x 2

Freezer Cooking

Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
German Fudge Bites

What’s on your menu this week? Share details and/or your link to your menu plan in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Chandra says

    How about tostadas? You could use tostada shells, beans and veggies/cheese. We have it for dinner often, but it would be easy to put together for lunch.

    • Julie in IN says

      Ah yes, this was my first idea, too!

      Super simple to put some refried beans over a corn tortilla, top with shredded cheese (or not if dairy free) and warm them in the oven. They are done in only a few minutes; top with chopped lettuce, salsa and sour cream (again if not dairy free).

      Even quicker if you skip the lettuce and just serve with salsa.

      Taco salad would be quick and gluten free, too.

    • Sara says

      I grew up in another country and we had tostadas very often. You can make guacamole and smear that on the tostada, top it with some crumbly cheese and a bit of salsa and you are good to go!
      Sometimes we would just top the tostada with red salsa, shredded cabbage and a bit of cheese. Yum!

      Black beans were also a huge part of our meals. We were poor so my friends and I would joke that we had beans and rice on Monday, rice and beans on Tuesday, refried beans on Wed, and so on… So of course we’d put it on tostadas as well.

      Meat was something that was normally eaten only on weekends, mainly on Sunday for lunch, so we looked forward to it.

      Now I feel like a spoiled brat because a lot of times I don’t want to eat what I have at home, just because I don’t feel like it…
      Gotta go back to my roots!

  2. says

    We do a lot of leftovers for lunch. Cook once and eat twice. We make fried rice to reuse/re-purpose leftover rice, meat and veggies. Nachos are a quick fix. There are lots of Mexican/Asian inspired options that are naturally gluten and dairy free.
    Make a big batch of soup and freeze them in lunch size portions. Muffin tin lunch is a great way to use up a little bit of this and that (http://frugalfamilyfeasts.blogspot.com/2009/07/no-ambition.html).

  3. T says

    You are probably going to start feeling pretty deprived if you don’t break out some gluten free bread on occasion and have some sandwiches. We like Udi’s sandwich bread best. We eat soups. We like an organic tomato one made with water, and there are some chicken and rice soups available…and of course homemade soup. Occasionally I will splurge on gf crackers–they are pricey. They make some yummy gf graham crackers too (I don’t look for dairy as an ingredient on some things–we aren’t that sensitive, so you may need to look at cookies). Mi-del cookies make gf types, and they have some like animal crackers–these are fairly inexpensive. Chicken and tuna salad. My kids can’t have dairy in general, but can tolerate yogurt okay. You can buy soy yogurt as well. We cannot tolerate the greek yogurts though. You may test yogurt later on once things are resolved more. Popcorn makes an okay side, and there are lots of ways to season popcorn. Veggies and hummus. Leftovers from supper–I quite often will make twice as much for supper and then serve it for lunch the next day or even for a few days. I know this isn’t lunch, but we eat a lot of rice at breakfast…it helps replace the wish for bread. We eat “duck” type sauce on it like you’d eat at a Chinese restaurant and accompany it with eggs and veggies. You could try turkey pepperoni and gf crackers with veggies. I have not found a soy cheese that doesn’t bother me yet, so I just stay away from it–it all has caseine if you look–as do most dairy-free items such as cool whip and coffee creamer. Parmesan grated up fine however, does not seem to bother us too much. It’s all experimentation. We sprinkle parmesan cheese on our mashed potatoes and brown them in the oven since we can’t eat gravy unless we make it from scratch. They make tofu sour cream and cream cheese that are good substitues for the real stuff. You’re going to notice a difference, but eventually you get used to it.

    Being gf and dairy free is a lot of work–no doubt about it. It is definitely easier and cheaper when we just eat leftovers.

  4. Michelle Haviland says

    You can make “wraps” with corn tortillas OR lettuce leaves, using the fillings of your choice (chicken, lunchmeat, avocados, etc.).

    For breakfast, Indian pudding is a change from regular oatmeal or hot cereal. It’s basically cornmeal pudding with spices. There are tons of recipes out there – I know you’ll find one where you like the blend of flavors.

    Polenta with a veggie or meat-based sauce (Italian or Mexican in flavor) served with salad. You can make chilled salads with cooked quinoa, cooked rice or cooked barley instead of macaroni noodles. Barley is fabulous in pilaf – my family has a wonderful recipe. I’ll try to find it (sorry, my recipe file is a disaster!). Cooked millet is another grain that was recommended to me when I went GF. You can serve it simply with melted butter and salt or add it to soup or… endless possibilities.

  5. Deborah says

    Soup is wonderful for me (I’m not on a restrictive diet, but still). I frequently make a big pot of Veggie-Rice, or Beef-Vegetable, Squash-Carrot, or Ham-Lentil (the possibilities are endless) on the weekend, and then eat as leftovers for a week. Soup is one of those foods that are better the 2nd & 3rd days.

    Even better is to get a rotating soup “archive”. Make a different kind every week, and freeze one day’s worth from every batch. In a few weeks, you’ll be eating a different soup 3-4 days a week from the freezer.

  6. Joanna says

    My kids love rice noodles with a gluten free asian sauce, and rice paper rolls. We also love to eat Italian wedding soup without the pasta or we add gluten free pasta as well. We also make gluten free cornbread and add cut up pieces of hot dogs and bake them in muffin tins. My kids also enjoy alot of indian dishes made with chickpeas. Their favorite is a chickpea spinach dish in a tomato sauce.

  7. says

    I second what T says! We love Udi’s bread, the kind in the green labelled bag. I forget what it’s called. We also eat lots of leftovers for lunch and enjoy Boar’s Head hot dogs and Boar’s Head deli meat (sliced at the deli counter, after requesting the deli person to clean off the slicer for us) on occasion for a treat. We love quesadillas (soy cheese, maybe, for you?) with corn tortillas and soups, too. Hummus and veggies, cheese and fruit with crackers, peanut butter with veggies are all snacks that we sometimes will eat for lunch, rounded out with some leftovers or soup.

    My daughter is gluten intolerant and I am lactose intolerant, so I feel you with trying to get creative at meal times. I have found that I can tolerate cultured dairy, like yogurt, and hard cheeses, like cheddar (but not mozzarella), so experimentation is key.

  8. says

    We do a lot of PB&J’s at our house for lunch. But when we don’t have bread, we eat peanut butter or yogurt with apples and bananas or make ants-on-a-log. Mac & Cheese with brown rice pasta is quick to make and gluten-free. And last but not least, quinoa! I found a yummy way to make it as a southwestern salad, but there’s a lot of other ways to eat it. Here’s my recipe: http://www.alighterjourney.com/2012/02/07/southwestern-quinoa-black-bean-salad/
    Hope you find some inspiration!

  9. Kristen says

    Veggie frittata, omit the cheese and use coconut flour or brown rice flour as the flour in the recipe. Any frittata recipe will do! YUM.

    Simple stir fry with either rice or brown rice pasta noodles.

    Homemade Chicken Salad with tortilla chips – easy using canned chicken or canned tuna. I like to eat it on Tapioca flour buns…I buy Chebe brand. Yummy, too.

    Truthfully, I mostly just eat leftovers from the night before. I get a lot of my recipes from http://www.cookingtf.com/ most of her recipes have gluten/dairy free option in how to cook them. They are yummy, too.

  10. Julie in IN says

    Can you serve corn because I just remembered grits is a delicious dish served with scrambled eggs. Some people like to fry up their leftover grits.

    Chili would be on our lunch menu a couple days a week at least.

    Chicken rice soup would also be on our soup rotation.

    Fried rice? Rice with eggs and veggies–yum!

    Have you made meringue cookies? Macaroon cookies? So easy and yummy, too! http://glutenfreeeasily.com/coconut-meringues/

  11. Kim says

    A good friend of mine is on the Paleo diet and everything that I eat that she makes is super yummy! She is getting most of her recipes from Pinterest. I am sure if you just search for Paleo on pinterest tons of great recipes will come up!

  12. Beth says

    We love quinoa, too. I just made a quinoa mac and cheese the other night and we thought it was pretty tasty.

    Here’s a tasty recipe for taquitos; it freezes well and I only needed to use about half the chicken the recipe calls for.

    http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/04/24/creamy-baked-chicken-taquitos/

    We also LOVE this Indonesian rice recipe from Stephanie at KOTH! I could eat it for lunch every day–the peanut sauce puts it over the top. You could keep it vegetarian or add a little chicken for some extra protein.

    http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2008/07/nourishing-frugal-food-main-dishes.html

    Hope these help!

    • Beth says

      OK, so I realized after I posted this comment that you wanted gluten-free AND dairy-free recipes. :-) So, the rice one would work, but the other two ideas are only good for people who are just gluten-free. Maybe there’s some sort of substitute for the cheese…? I really admire the mommas who, on top of the daily challenge of getting food on the table, have to make these adaptations for themselves or their families. It looks like there are some great ideas on this post!

  13. Melissa says

    Corn taco fritters from heavenly homemakers is on my to make list for lunch. I read that they are just as good without the cheese.

    Johny cakes (from allrecipes) very fast and simple and just like Laura and Mary used to eat! (Serve with maple syrup, and beans or a little meat on the side)

    Rice and beans…

    A YUMMY home made bread. It takes so many ingredients, so I mix up dry batches of it and then freeze them. Then it can be made in the breadmaker on the quick bread setting. Sandwiches are a treat now that we are gluten free! Here is the link for the bread: http://glutenfreemommy.com/baking-gluten-free-bread-millet-oatmeal-bread/

    I am still looking for an inexpensive source for xanthum gum… Does any one know of any?

    Every couple weeks we have soup from leftover stuff we froze plus spices for lunch. (veggies, tomato sauce, beans, whatever has collected)

    • Melissa says

      Reading through the comments is getting my brain working…

      Someone prepared chili over rice for us. It doesn’t sound that great, but it is DELICIOUS! You put a large scoop of rice in a bowl and then chili on top. I’m thinking I might try that for lunches as it would stretch the chili out.

    • Angie says

      Just found a new xanthan gum today at our Dillons. It was in a box in asian section by Hodgen Mills. Cost was around $7 and had individual tablespoon servings. Actualy came to about 1/2 the cost of buying one larger pack I usually get per ounce. Sometime we use unflavored beef gelatin (1 tablespoon gelatin replaces 1 tsp xanthan gum) and it works well to bind muffins and cakes together.

    • says

      Unfortunately, xanthan gum is just plain expensive, from what I know. It costs a lot, but one package lasts for quite awhile…

      The only possibility I can think of for making it a bit more affordable is to use Subscribe & Save on Amazon. Just don’t forget to cancel before your next shipment!

  14. Kasey says

    Crystal,
    I am the mother of a son with multiple food allergies, two of which are dairy and wheat. Since most things have wheat in them, we just go gluten free. For lunches, my son will eat “turkey rolls” (Hormel Natural Choice Lunch Meat that is nitrate free and no traces of Carmel coloring which can be milk based) rolled up and I give him crackers to go with. I have found that the closest thing to regular cheese is a dairy free cheese called “Daiya” that is sold at Sprouts and even at my Ralphs (Kroger). It’s expensive but it melts and stretches like regular cheese. It comes in two flavors-cheddar type or mozzarella type. My son loves them both. You could do tortillas as others have suggested or use it on a sandwich. How about grilled cheese sandwiches with Earths Balance dairy free “butter” or tuna salad sandwich (or chicken salad) using Veganaise (also at Sprouts)?There are many GF/DF bread recipes or you can buy it, but it’s expensive. I find that I use the cheese in many casseroles that he eats as leftovers. I wish I had more suggestions. He is so limited as he has most of the top 8 food allergies that many suggestions by the other readers won’t work for us. So blessed to have him…such a joy! Blessings to you and your family:)

  15. Wendi S says

    We have “chips and cheese” at least once a week. It’s basically tortilla chips with melted cheese. My two older kiddos get real cheese and my little dairy free guy gets dairy free cheese. We’ve been buying Daiya at a local store, he loves the stuff but it is not cheap so I use it sparingly :)

    I totally understand your comment about feeling in a rut. My 5yo has a slight allergy to egg and dairy. I also tried removing gluten for the month of January to see if it made a difference {it didn’t}. My kiddos aren’t big sandwich eaters, but they love their cheese…it was very hard to find a replacement for my littlest guy.

  16. says

    hope you like the coconut flour waffles, coconut flour is by far our favorite “grain free” flour!

    *we do a quick crustless quiche for lunch quite often here’s the recipe i base ours off of:
    http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2009/09/27/smoked-salmon-crustless-quiche/
    (we modify it often using almonds or other nuts, we leave out the tahini and nutri. yeast… often use chicken & veg and tastes like a mock pot pie) I use a 6 oz can of wild salmon too (w/ 1/2 cup frozen peas) and it turns out great without adjusting anything else. my kids LOVE it.

    *we also use this recipe for “green” sandwich rounds and my kids (who won’t eat a “crisp” salad) love this and know it’s made of spinach. http://thisprimallife.com/2010/08/a-primal-sandwich-solution/
    it’s really easy to double or triple and refrigerate the rest. i alternate between other nuts too and haven’t had a problem, but you do need the shredded coconut for the right texture. you wont taste or notice though if it’s unsweetened (i use the finely shredded by ‘let’s do organic’)

    *my daughter also loves tomato soup so we make that for lunch often and have with fruit and veggies. I haven’t found a canned brand we like that is gluten free, so i just drain a few cans or jars of tomatoes into the vitamix and add a bit of whatever milk we’ve made for the week (usually coconut or cashew) and some s & p and blend til hot… it’s delish…no real recipe here but it’s easy and tasty.

    hope that helps, good luck.

  17. says

    Speaking from experience, eggs are great, but kids tire of them after a while. GFDF lunches are the most challenging for me, which is why I menu plan for all three meals per day. Usually I plan a starch, protein and fruit/veg.

    Ideas:
    *Leftovers: Obviously. But would need to be planned ahead.
    *Protein: lunch meat, tuna, egg salad, hard boiled eggs, pepperoni, black beans(my boys love them frozen), chickpeas, breakfast sausage, bacon, grilled chicken(grilled, sliced and frozen ready to use)
    *Substitutes for bread: corn tortillas, corn chips, rice, GF bread, muffins, cornbread, pasta, pancakes, waffles
    *Other ideas: “lunchbox surprise” my kids love this! It is simply taking bits of different things-like when you only have enough for two people- and dividing it up into muffin tins, each cup having a different item. Like a bento box, on the cheap. (oh! Look up egg molds on amazon!) a sample of what we have had: black beans, tortilla chips, snow peas, pears, diced lunch meat, choc chip/peanut/raisin mix for the ‘sweet’.

    You may also want to have a loaf of GF bread in the freezer when you just need something like pbj. :)

    Eating GFDF will get easier. Just remember, there are substitutions for everything now. And, sometimes you just have to splurge on a convenience item to relieve some of the pressure of literally having to prepare everything your family eats. God does provide though, always! :)

  18. Toni says

    Crystal,
    If you devane swiss chard and steam it for 2 minutes, then cool immediately in ice water to stop the cooking, you can wrap your favorite gluten-free ingredients and have instant lunchtime wraps. Add some cooked shredded chicken, diced tomato, grated carrot, shredded lettuce, whatever your heart desires.

    • Toni says

      p.s. you can devein AFTER steaming (just take a knife and “shave” the thickest part of the vein, thinning it out as much as possible without cutting into the large leafy part.

  19. says

    Spaghetti squash makes a very good pasta substitute. I thought it would taste squashy, but it doesn’t. Even my hubby who can’t stand winter squash taste liked it a lot :) You could try that for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunch. Also, they’re not super cheap, but Blue Diamond makes some rice/nut crackers that might be nice for a treat.

  20. Angie says

    Try Salmon patties!
    Mix canned salmon (bones removed) with an egg, mustard, salt, pepper, and rice or corn chex. Wonderful pan fried in coconut oil!

    • says

      I never remove the bones when I make salmon patties. They’re a wonderful source of calcium. Since they go through the canning process they’re super soft and you can’t choke on them. I just mash them with a fork with the rest of the ingredients. :-)

  21. says

    We do tuna fish on GF crackers. Homemade chicken nuggets (use rice flour instead of regular and add spices, works great), GF tomato soup from Fred Meyer with grilled cheese on GF bread. Corn tortillas with melted cheese inside. :)

  22. Laura says

    Crystal,
    We’ve been doing GFCF for 16 years–yikes! For us, lunch is often leftovers. Here are some quick ideas: Udi’s is the best for sandwich bread, and often have coupons. PBJ, gf deli meats are standards. Stir-fry with leftover rice, veggies and ham or chicken; gf pasta leftovers to make a quick pasta salad with veggies and chicken (or just veggies) and salad dressing; gf pasta with chicken and veggies in peanut sauce; breakfast for lunch–waffles, pancakes–my dd likes banana pancakes with pb or sunflower seed butter; tacos or taco salad; soups; burgers or hot dogs w/out buns & gf baked beans; refried beans & tortilla chips; leftover chicken and rice with tamari and veggies; make extra gf pizza dough or make the whole pizza (sans cheese) and freeze; meatloaf; quiches, etc. Since you homeschool (like we do), it gives more options than sending a packed lunch. Your kids seem to be good eaters; that is a blessing (mine have texture issues–makes for additional challenges). There are SO many more options now than there were 16 years ago; it’s a good time to be gfcf. Hang in there; it’s so worth it!
    Blessings,
    Laura

  23. Jenny says

    As a total foodie who had to go gluten free for a year, let me just say that if you don’t make things that taste familiar to you, it’ll be really hard to stay gluten free.

    Some ideas:

    -quesadillas in corn tortillas (cheese or dressed up)
    -salads (probably not the best for littles)
    -baked potatoes with any number of toppings
    -sandwiches (udi’s is a great bread–particularly the whole grain)
    -grilled cheese
    -mexican or teriyaki rice bowls
    -make your own lunchables w/rice crackers or nut thins (yum!)

    One note about gf bread–it’s best toasted or cooked in a little butter like for grilled cheese or french toast. I hope you find something you like. :)

  24. Andrea Q says

    I think the key is to think about all the foods you can eat, instead of the ones you can’t eat.

    Some ideas: beef stew, chicken and rice soup, apple crisp/baked apples (sub rice flour for regular flour in the topping), steak/chicken/pork chops and baked potatoes, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, fruit salad, fruit kabobs…

    Another easy meal: slice flavored chicken sausage into circles and bake in a cast iron pan (coat with olive oil so it doesn’t stick) with cubed potato and some baby carrots, plus seasoning.

  25. says

    Our new lunch staple is grass-fed ground beef patties prepared on the stove top with a little sea salt, and served with the kid’s favorite steamed vegetables (usually broccoli!). They also enjoy a side of sliced celery and baby carrots that they dip in peanut butter.

    Don’t forget smoothies. They are great anytime and can be dairy free using coconut milk. Our favorite recipe has spinach, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, and all kinds of other goodies. http://www.justalittlewhile.com/?p=1382

  26. Lauren says

    We also eat mostly gluten free, and I like kabobs for lunch. I usually grill up 3-4 days worth of chicken, onions, peppers, etc. I eat it for lunch every day. I would also recommend coconut flour tortillas if you want to make a wrap, quesadilla, or burrito! Paleo Comfort Foods has a coconut flour tortilla recipe.

  27. Lise says

    My little girl just grew out of a dairy allergy so I’ve got a couple of good DF lunch ideas to share. Beans and lentils are a great, cheap protein source (since you’re getting less protein from milk and cheese) – my daughter will eat them straight, or I drizzle with olive oil, mix in garlic, tomatoes and basil, and warm slightly. It smells like a pizza and she loves it! Red lentil soup is creamy and appetizing (allrecipes.com/recipe/lentil-soup-with-lemon), and I second the commenters who mention that any bean or lentil soup is great served over rice!

    I think beans are really where it’s at with GF/DF since you are omitting some very nutritious and basic foods – it’s important to replace them with similarly healthful foods! Without wheat and dairy, the diet is missing fiber, protein, and calcium – all of which beans provide. Every food cuisine in the world has legume recipes, so if the ones here aren’t tickling your fancy, there are other recipes that will! Good luck!

  28. BethB says

    I haven’ t read the comments (Kids need waking in a few minutes!) so this may have already been suggested.

    My Go To lunch lately is Simple Bites baked brown rice pilaf (I mix in some other grains):

    http://www.simplebites.net/eat-well-spend-less-food-resolutions-recipe-baked-brown-rice-pilaf/?doing_wp_cron=1327525577

    My love of rice borders on the unnatural. :) I eat this with veggies or beans. Sometimes just frozen peas or limas. It’s a holdover from my single days. A big pot of rice and grains is quite versitile. No idea if that’s the kind of thing you’re sick of or not.

  29. HeatherA says

    Some of my favorites:

    Sliced tomatoes w/a brush of vinegar & oil + italian seasoning (or your favorite vinagrette), topped with shredded mozzarella. Stick these in the toaster oven or under the broiler until the cheese is melted/starting to brown. Eat them just like this or over a bed of rice or a gluten free noodle, depending on what your diet allows. (Also good with a slice of toast made from gluten free bread.)

    Diced or smooshed up avacado with a little sea salt on corn chips.

    Tuna mixed w/ a little plain yogurt , seasoning of your choice, and green onion – scooped with potato chips , eaten like a dip.
    __
    Taco Baked Potato
    (Taco toppings of your choice on a baked potato. Super complicated. :>)

    Cut up 1 of each : tomato, cucumber, small onion (or 1/2 onion?), avacado & toss in whatever dressing you’d like. This is my favorite salad.


    Egg salad (you might already have a favorite recipe, but I just kind of mix in some mayo, plain yogurt, green onion, celery, Mrs. Dash or other seasoning, a dot of mustard and a pinch of sugar) .
    This is great on gluten free toast or eaten as a dip on chips or gluten free crackers.

  30. Carla WorrellT says

    My children like “rollups”. Take a slice of lunch meat and a strip of cheese and roll it up. My boys would rather eat this than a sandwich. I serve it with yogurt and fruit.

  31. cathy says

    I think you should have a mom day and go to a barnes and noble! grab some gluten free cookbooks, plop at cafe table with a drink and look over the cookbooks till you find a couple you like–then go home and buy them cheaper off amazon:-)

  32. anon says

    Quinoa is delicious, as is barley. Kashka is wonderful, too. One thing I like to do (we do not eat gluten free but we do like to experiment) is, rather than using pasta, use spaghetti squash.

  33. HaLee says

    Sloppy joes over rice are really yummy. Also, I make a Hashbrown Quiche. Use your favorite DF quiche recipe, using hashbrowns as the crust. I have used patty hashbrowns but my mother in law uses the shreds and presses it into a pie plate just like a pie crust. Both are very good, freezer friendly, and never have any leftovers.

  34. says

    I just wanted to say thanks for posting this question! I eat GF because of my 6 year old’s allergy, and lunch is always the hardest meal. Most of my ideas are already posted in the comments above. I love easy soups too like Black Bean (in my link above) and Broccoli Cheese.