I mentioned in my last post that we are doing a gluten-free challenge with my daughter because she gets headaches and stomach aches almost daily. Which you all probably know means no sandwiches, no pasta, no cookies, no flour tortillas, no dumplings, no mac-n-cheese, no chicken fingers or ice cream cones. She has been surprisingly agreeable to this drastic limitation of food choices, and it’s been nice to see her choose salads over sandwiches (this gluten-free experiment was actually her decision, so you know her stomach aches must be really bad; she is a white- and tan-food-aholic).
All was going swimmingly until school started and I was faced with the prospect of packing a gluten-free lunch Every. Single. Day. After three straight days of chopping and tossing salads at 6:30 a.m., I decided I’d need to get creative if I had any chance of maintaining my sanity for the entire school year (or until we determine she’s fine eating turkey sandwiches, whichever comes first). I know those of you have kids with celiac or other serious allergies are probably rolling your eyes at my “problem,” but this is new to us.
I needed salads — vegetables mixed with things — that keep. I need things I can just spoon into a container, because during that time in my morning, I can’t really be expected to think, create, and assemble. (During that time in my morning, I really need to be arm wrestling my brand-new, dead-tired high schooler into the shower so he won’t be late for his carpool. Again.)
Fortunately I’ve got a fairly large repertoire of salads that keep. Unfortunately, my 11-year-old daughter doesn’t love quinoa. Or rice. She’s okay with kale, but probably not every day. Then I saw a version of this recipe online and knew it would be perfect for her — bacon and potatoes are big selling points. She ate this cold several days in a row and didn’t complain. I’m making another batch for this week’s lunches. It also makes a great breakfast hash heated up with an egg or two, or I toss it with salad greens for my lunch.
This time of year I can’t get enough Olathe Sweet Corn from western Colorado, but I’m sure your state has fantastic corn, too.
Corn Salad with Bacon & Potatoes
4 thick slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the ears (here’s a nifty trick for doing this)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbs. cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
Salt & pepper