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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
Monday’s lunch was a bright and healthy veggie extravaganza with a crunchy chopped salad and kale 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.