This year’s Halloween lunch features a cheese pizza monster, a banana ghost, banana muffins (with peanut butter chips!), purple carrot sticks and a few Halloween candy treats. Wishing you a safe and reasonably healthy Halloween weekend. Let the trick or treating begin!
My kids are really good veggie eaters. They’re even decent salad eaters, although the lettuce is always their least favorite part of the salad. So, why fight it? Behold: the lettuce-free chopped veggie salad. I put all sorts of good things in this salad: baby cucumbers, sweet red peppers, carrots, tomatoes and kidney beans, because I always love a salad with kidney beans. The kids are rather ambivalent about salad dressing, so I just sprinkled some salt and pepper on the chopped veggies. That salad looks so colorful and delicious—I wish I had made enough for my own lunch today.
I just love sloppy joe’s. It’s a comfort food thing. Sloppy joe’s are a great way to get kids to eat their veggies, because you can load up a good sloppy joe mix with all sorts of stuff, including: sweet peppers, carrots, onion, celery, kale, corn, kidney beans, lentils, etc. I pretty much throw in whatever veggies are in the crisper drawer. And leftover sloppy joe filling can easily be transformed into a yummy lunch. Roll up some sloppy joe filling and shredded cheese in a tortilla, back until crispy and pop it in the lunch box. A quick and easy dinner turns into a quick and easy lunch: it you’re organized, you can make the taquitos while making dinner.
Yesterday I was working at home, so I had the forethought to whip up a little chia bowl for today’s lunches. I stirred four tablespoons of chia seeds into about a cup of vanilla soy milk, but any milk would work. Then I added some chopped strawberries, pomegranate seeds and a couple of tablespoons of rolled oats. The pomegranate seeds I painstakingly removed from a nice big fruit I got at the farmers market. If any one knows of some secret method to remove pomegranate seeds, please let me know, because I always manage to squirt pomegranate juice all over the kitchen while I’m digging out those stubborn little seeds. And, because it’s Halloween week, I went crazy indulgent and made a trail mix with cereal, mixed nuts, and crack cocaine, um, I mean Reese’s pieces.
I love me a good slice of pizza bread. And, so do the kiddos: they both ate every single bite in their lunch boxes today. It helps that I stocked up on sweet and delicious fruits and veggies at the farmers market on Saturday. I got some teeny tiny cucumbers that are amazingly crisp and juicy. They would make awesome pickles. I also re-stocked our supply of red lipstick peppers, which are the current favs of both kids. Grapes are also in season, and man oh man, are they good.
Last night while staring at the cupboard trying to figure out what to pack for the kiddos’s lunches today, I got a burst of motivation and decided to make a little Lunchables, but healthier, snacky lunch. I sliced some salami and cheddar cheese, so the kids could make little cracker sandwiches. I also cut up a purple carrot and a couple of kiwi fruit. Then I combined mixed nuts, smoky almonds and two kinds of cereal to make a sweet and salty trail mix. I think the kids are going to love their fun Friday snacky lunch.
Yesterday’s big crock pot full of black bean soup made it into today’s lunches. I love that thick black bean soup can be used in all sorts of ways: spread on a quesadilla, as a warm dip for chips, and poured over a baked potato and topped with lots of shredded cheddar and hot sauce (today’s dinner). Both kiddos must have enjoyed this lunch, because it was a total clean plate day. And aren’t those red lipstick peppers gorgeous? Who wouldn’t want to eat them? The sweet ladies who sell them at the farmers market always give out freebies to both Iain and Lily, who walk around the market eating peppers like apples. Mmm, sweet pepper love.
This lunch is one my favorites: homemade granola with yogurt, honey and blueberries. I could eat granola and yogurt every day. Some crunchy rice rolls and sweet grapes complete this quick, easy, and delicious lunch.
Leftover grilled chicken is great to have around for both kid and grownup lunches. On Monday, I made some little pumpkin pancake sandwiches spread with pumpkin cream cheese (my current favorite pumpkin condiment). I was thinking of that classic combination—chicken and waffles—when I packed some shredded chicken to go with the sweet pancakes.
For Tuesday’s lunch, I made grilled chicken and pesto gouda (super awesome cheese from Trader Joe’s) sandwiches on whole wheat sourdough. I threw in a date and some smoky almonds with the sandwiches. I finished this lunch with a purple and white theme: grapes, purple carrots and slices of jicama.
Yesterday, I whipped up a big rice and quinoa salad for a friend who desperately needed a healthy care package. As I was making the salad, I set aside a little rice and tossed it with frozen peas and corn. I made a citrus dressing for the salad and sprinkled a little of that, along with some chopped ham, on the rice I set aside for the kiddos’ lunches: super quick and easy rice bowl. This rice bowl could easily be made vegetarian by using canned beans or baked tofu for the protein. I just happened to have two random slices of Canadian bacon in my fridge, and what else was I going to do with two slices of Canadian bacon? Inevitably, an end of the week lunch involves some sort of fridge cleanout; that’s why I’m eating coconut chia pudding with yogurt, a small slice of frittata and a pumpkin bagel for lunch today. I may have had a rice crispie treat for breakfast. Shh, don’t tell.
The kids’ lunches have been all about fruit and veggies lately. Yesterday’s lunch included a string cheese and veggie tray with celery, sweet lipstick peppers (that red would make a great lipstick color), and purple carrots. Mmm, those veggies look healthy! For some sweet treats, I threw in a pumpkin chocolate chip oat bar, grapes and slices of persimmons.
Today’s lunch is a fruit-filled extravaganza. The sandwich is loaded with peanut butter, homemade apricot jam and banana slices. The little tin has coconut chia pudding with mixed berries and honey. There’s also half a coconut apple bar, persimmon slices and apple slices in this fruitilicious lunch.
I don’t know when the whole Halloween tradition of BOOing your neighbors began, but I love it. You wrap up a surprise treat, leave it at a couple of neighbors’ houses and include instructions on passing on the BOO to two more neighbors. Two nights ago we were BOOed with a little bag of cake pops (!). Cake pops?! Super elaborate for a BOO bag. I have no idea who BOOed us—that’s part of the fun. I felt the pressure was on after the cake pops, so I wanted to make something particularly awesome for our BOO bags. Behold, Candy Corn Crispie Treats:
Good thing the recipe made a double batch.