It’s Come to This: Peanut Butter, Nutella and Banana Sandwich on Burger Bun Bottoms

lunch on 21 Mar 2014: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with berry yogurt, trail mix, cantaloupe, carrots and grapes
lunch on 21 Mar 2014: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with berry yogurt, trail mix, cantaloupe, carrots and grapes
lunch on 21 Mar 2014: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with berry yogurt, trail mix, cantaloupe, carrots and grapes

Last night, I discovered that we were low on bread. The yogurt molasses bread that I made at the beginning of the week was gone. The whole wheat Trader Joe’s British muffins were gone. We had exactly four pieces of bread: a stale slice of whole wheat bread, the butt of that whole wheat loaf and two whole wheat burger bun bottoms. So, the burger bun bottoms it was. I made a peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich on those not-so-fresh burger bun bottoms. I’m sure the kiddos will love this sandwich; they’d eat a slice of cardboard of it had Nutella on it. Thankfully, this is the last lunch of a long week. Love and Lunch will be on hiatus next week for spring break. Yippie! We’ll return on March 31st with fresh bread. I promise.

A Crazy Busy Week, but still Lunch Goes On

lunch on 19 Mar 2014: blueberry lemon yogurt with ham and cheese slices, yogurt molasses brown bread, grapes and almonds

This week has been utter chaos as I attempt to wrap up the quarter, dig myself out from under a seemingly insurmountable pile of grading, start planning classes for next quarter, and attend super boring meetings I don’t want to be at, all while continuing to feed the kiddos in the manner to which they have become accustomed. In other works, lunch must go on.

lunch on 18 Mar 2014: sweet potato black bean quesadillas with veggies, apples, cheese puffs and pretzel thins
lunch on 18 Mar 2014: sweet potato black bean quesadillas with veggies, apples, cheese puffs and pretzel thins

And so it did. Here is Tuesday’s lunch of sweet potato black bean quesadillas, with carrots, cucumbers, apples and assorted delicious crunchies from Trader Joe’s.

lunch on 19 Mar 2014: blueberry lemon yogurt with ham and cheese slices, yogurt molasses brown bread, grapes and almonds
lunch on 19 Mar 2014: blueberry lemon yogurt with ham and cheese slices, yogurt molasses brown bread, grapes and almonds

I think this is my favorite lunch of the week: plain yogurt swirled with blueberries and lemon curd, sliced ham and Dubliner cheese, almonds, grapes and the new kid-favorite bread—yogurt molasses brown bread. I made the bread for St. Paddy’s Day to go with our corned beef and cabbage feast, because even in the midst of insane weeks, St. Patrick’s Day must be celebrated properly.

lunch on 20 Mar 2014: pizza bread, sugar snap peas, carrots, pear slices and grapes
lunch on 20 Mar 2014: pizza bread, sugar snap peas, carrots, pear slices and grapes

Last night in a burst of motivation, I made pizza bread on whole wheat hamburger bun tops. I also mustered the energy to slice up some carrots and pears. Thankfully, grapes and sugar snap peas require no slicing. One more lunch to go and then it’s spring break.

Holy St. Paddy, There’s a Lot o’ Green in that Lunch

lunch on St. Patrick's Day 2014: green oats, edamame, sugar snap peas, Irish oatmeal biscuits, and pear slices
lunch on St. Patrick's Day 2014: green oats, edamame, sugar snap peas, Irish oatmeal biscuits, and pear slices
lunch on St. Patrick’s Day 2014: green oats, edamame, sugar snap peas, Irish oatmeal biscuits, and pear slices

In honor of the great patron saint of Ireland, today’s lunch is decidedly green. First, there are green Irish oats with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. Actually, the oats aren’t Irish at all—they’re just green. I made a green smoothie with vanilla soy milk, frozen bananas, spinach and a little maple syrup, which I soaked the oats in overnight, along with some chia seeds and roasted flax seeds. Yum, I love green oats: they are sweeter than they look. For another blast of green, I added some edamame and sugar snap peas to this lunch. A sliced up pear completes the green theme. And the two shamrocks are actual Irish oatmeal biscuits. I think a little leprechaun threw in the gold coin. Although, strangely, it’s a gold quarter: definitely not Irish.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hard Boiled Eggs, Two Ways

lunch on 13 Mar 2014: crumpet pizza, hard boiled egg, kiwi, and veggies
lunch on 13 Mar 2014: crumpet pizza, hard boiled egg, kiwi, and veggies
lunch on 13 Mar 2014: crumpet pizza, hard boiled egg, kiwi, and veggies

I made a small batch of hard boiled eggs on Wednesday night, so that I would have some eggs on hand for the kiddos’ end of the week lunches. On Thursday, the hard boiled eggs are served with a little crumpet pizza (crumpet pizza is a tiny bit fancier than English muffin pizza), sliced kiwi, baby carrots and celery.

lunch on 14 Mar 2014: egg salad sandwich, wagon wheel pasta, tomatoes, kiwi and crunchy snacks
lunch on 14 Mar 2014: egg salad sandwich, wagon wheel pasta, tomatoes, kiwi and crunchy snacks

For lunch today, I chopped up a couple of hard boiled eggs and made some egg salad with mayo, a little butter, sweet pickle relish, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and salt and pepper. I had some leftover wagon wheel pasta from dinner, which I tossed with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast to make a surprisingly good little snack. A few grape tomatoes, a sliced kiwi and some lentil curls and crispy pea snacks finish off this fun Friday lunch.

Super Delicious Kid-Approved Quick Bread: Whole Grain Yogurt Brown Bread with Molasses

lunch on 12 Mar 2014: yogurt molasses brown bread with butter, veggies, almonds, slice pears, puffed corn snacks and a date
lunch on 12 Mar 2014: yogurt molasses brown bread with butter, veggies, almonds, slice pears, puffed corn snacks and a date
lunch on 12 Mar 2014: yogurt molasses brown bread with butter, veggies, almonds, slice pears, puffed corn snacks and a date

Yesterday, I saw this recipe for Yogurt Bread with Molasses on Food52 and I knew that I just had to make it. So, guess what? I came home from work, made a quick dinner, and then made a loaf of this super delicious bread. I forced myself to let is cool entirely before slicing, as the recipe insisted, although it did require quite a bit of self-control. Today, the kiddos went absolutely crazy for this bread. They both had a slice for breakfast, then a couple of slices for lunch, and they had some more bread with dinner. I’d say it’s a hit and will be going into the lunch rotation.

Crazy, but Yummy Combination: Blueberry Lemon Chia Pudding and Eggplant, Ham and Spinach Stromboli

lunch on 11 Mar 2013: blueberry lemon chia pudding, apples, eggplant and ham stromboli, sweet baby pepper slices, carrots
lunch on 11 Mar 2013: blueberry lemon chia pudding, apples, eggplant and ham stromboli, sweet baby pepper slices, carrots
lunch on 11 Mar 2013: blueberry lemon chia pudding, apples, eggplant and ham stromboli, sweet baby pepper slices, carrots

Today’s lunch contains a thick and delicious serving of blueberry lemon chia pudding. Yesterday, I made a big batch of blueberry, banana, vanilla soy milk smoothies and I saved some for the chia pudding. I stirred chia seeds and a little lemon curd into the smoothie. This is what it looks like at the end of the day: the chia seeds have plumped up and magically transformed the smoothie into a pudding. Last night for dinner I made a big stromboli by filling pizza dough with roasted eggplant, ham, marinara sauce, spinach and fresh mozzarella—inspired, I know. Lucky us: we all get a little leftover stromboli for lunch today.

Super Quick Lunch: Straight Up Peanut Butter and Jelly

lunch on 10 Mar 2014: peanut butter and berry jam sandwich with a homemade energy bar, almonds, a date, baby carrot, orange slices and puffed corn snacks
lunch on 10 Mar 2014: peanut butter and berry jam sandwich with a homemade energy bar, almonds, a date, baby carrot, orange slices and puffed corn snacks

I almost always make lunches the night before, because mornings are a rat race. But, yesterday, I packed the kiddos’ lunches in the morning, so I had to think fast. Peanut butter and jelly to the rescue! I also had a few homemade energy bars in the fridge, so I threw those in with some raw almonds and a date. On Saturday, I got some gorgeous baby carrots and the farmers market, so they’ll be making several appearances in this week’s lunches. Our orange trees are full of oranges right now, so I cut up a big orange in a flash. I had one last section of the Planetbox to fill, so I loaded it up with Trader Joe’s puffed corn snacks (TJ’s tasty version of Pirate’s Booty).

Colorful Lunches = Happy Lunch Eaters

lunch on 6 Mar 2014: rice cake with ham, cheese, dill pickles, cherry tomatoes and grapes
lunch on 6 Mar 2014: rice cake with ham, cheese, dill pickles, cherry tomatoes and grapes
lunch on 6 Mar 2014: rice cake with ham, cheese, dill pickles, cherry tomatoes and grapes

Lunch on Thursday was a kid-approved snacky lunch with lots of little nibbles: a rice cake, ham slices, aged gouda slices, cheddar goat cheese slices, baby dill pickles, little tomatoes, grapes, and a date.

lunch on 7 Mar 2014: tuna salad sandwich with lentil curls, carrots, sweet peppers, grapes and tomatoes
lunch on 7 Mar 2014: tuna salad sandwich with lentil curls, carrots, sweet peppers, grapes and tomatoes

Lunch today features a yummy tuna salad sandwich (heavy on the dill pickles, as always). We also have lots of veggies—carrots, sweet pepper slices, and cherry tomatoes—and a nice serving of green grapes.

Happy Weekend!

 

Crazy About Ramen. And Roasted Seaweed.

ramen noodles with pork, kale, edamame, carrots and peas in a sesame soy dressing
ramen noodles with pork, kale, edamame, carrots and peas in a sesame soy dressing
ramen noodles with pork, kale, edamame, carrots and peas in a sesame soy dressing

The kiddos are crazy about ramen noodles. They love ramen noodle soup, yaki soba noodles with grilled anything, and ramen noodle salad, which I made for this lunch. I threw some frozen veggies into the water while the noodles were boiling. Ramen noodles cook in 3 minutes and so do most fresh greens and frozen veggies, so the whole process is quite efficient. While the noodles were cooking, I cut the meat off some leftover grilled baby back ribs (oh, how I love baby back ribs). The noodles were drained, tossed with the meat and some sesame soy dressing. Can you say yum?

lunch on 5 Mar 2014: ramen noodle salad with roasted seaweed, orange slices, tangerines and grape tomatoes
lunch on 5 Mar 2014: ramen noodle salad with roasted seaweed, orange slices, tangerines and grape tomatoes

The kiddos are also crazy about roasted seaweed snacks. Mmm, salty and crispy and messy. Every time the kids get into a little package of roasted seaweed, they leave a trail of seaweed crumbs in their wake.

Liliana, Director of Quality Control, inspects the finished lunch and contemplates stealing a sheet of seaweed
Liliana, Director of Quality Control, inspects the finished lunch and contemplates stealing a sheet of seaweed

 

The Kiddos Love Variety: Several Yummy Lunches

lunch on 3 Mar 2013: chopped salad with Greek feta dressing
lunch on 28 Feb 2014: beef, potato, kale and kidney bean quesadillas with fruit, veggies, and crunchy snacks
lunch on 28 Feb 2014: beef, potato, kale and kidney bean quesadillas with fruit, veggies, and crunchy snacks

I’ve gotten a bit behind on lunch posts due to a rather insane work schedule of late. The good news is: we’re still eating. And in the midst of a crazy few weeks, I’ve managed to find the will and the motivation to pack exciting lunches that meet the exacting standards of the kiddos.

lunch on 3 Mar 2013: chopped salad with Greek feta dressing
lunch on 3 Mar 2013: chopped salad with Greek feta dressing

Monday’s lunch was a bright and healthy veggie extravaganza with a crunchy chopped salad and kale pizza roll-ups.

lunch on 3 Mar 2014: kale  and mozzarella pizza roll-ups
lunch on 3 Mar 2014: kale and mozzarella pizza roll-ups

Today’s lunch was a little on the sweet side with peanut butter chocolate chia pudding and peanut butter, jam and Nutella sandwiches.

lunch on 4 Mar 2014: peanut butter chocolate chia pudding, peanut butter and jam and Nutella sandwiches, apples and cherry tomatoes
lunch on 4 Mar 2014: peanut butter chocolate chia pudding, peanut butter and jam and Nutella sandwiches, apples and cherry tomatoes