This is one of those Mom’s healthier version of Lunchables type lunch. I just love all the different colors and flavors and textures in this lunch. I actually planned this lunch around the amazing energy bars that I made last night from this Oh My Veggies recipe. The bars contain oats, almonds, chia seeds and shredded coconut all held together with salted “caramel” made with maple syrup, dates, coconut oil, and almond butter. These are definitely my new favorite bars, even if they are a bit on the decadent side.
The rest of the lunchbox is filled with kid favorites: tuna salad (heavy on the pickles), crackers, pretzel thins, slices of gouda, grape tomatoes, dried apricots, almonds, pink lady apples, cucumbers and baby sweet peppers. And let me tell you about the almonds: they are the most incredibly delicious almonds I’ve ever tasted and they were a gift from a student last quarter. Several years ago, I had a student who’s family owned a farm full of almond trees. He used to bring me gallon bags of fresh, shelled almonds. Best. Gift. Ever. When he graduated, I was somewhat bereft as he was an amazing student, talented designer, all around gentleman, and, of course, my almond supplier. Fast forward to finals week last quarter and another student shows up in my office with a vacuum sealed bag of almonds tied up in a pretty satin green bow. My first question: “Does your family happen to own an almond tree farm?” Yes, yes, oh, yes. Then I thanked her profusely, immediately cracked open the bag and started eating almonds with wild abandon. Coincidentally, this student is also talented and motivated and polite and respectful and dedicated. Maybe there’s some sort of almond connection: high almond consumption leads to high levels of creativity and all around niceness.