Today’s lunch is full of kid favorites: peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with pomegranate jelly from the farmers market—yum!), sweet yogurt, carrots, Parmesan Goldfish and grapes. This is actually the last lunch I have to pack until after Thanksgiving, because tomorrow is class party day and the kiddos have the entire week off for Thanksgiving holiday (craziness). So next week, I can devote my energy entirely to Thanksgiving preparations. I just love a big Thanksgiving feast!
I made salmon and tuna salad sandwiches for both kid and grownup lunches today. I added chopped sweet jalapeños and cherry tomatoes from our garden, plus lots of sweet and dill pickle relish, and a little bit of mayo to a can of salmon and a can of tuna. The salmon and tuna combo makes for a great sandwich spread. For the grownup sandwiches, I also added a nice pile of salad greens. Some veggie sticks, Parmesan Goldfish, dry roasted peanuts and grapes finish off this lunch rather nicely.
In the process of cleaning out my pantry, I found a jar of cookie butter hiding in the back of a cupboard—which reminded me of how delicious cooke butter is spread on apple slices. Hence, today’s lunch: a bagel thin sandwich with thinly slices tart apples and cookie butter. It’s downright decadent. Half a granola bar, some veggies and a sweet tangerine are the perfect accompaniment to a cookie butter apple bagel sandwich.
What’s better than blueberry pancakes? Blueberry pancakes turned into peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. Enough said.
I do love me a good ham and cheese sammie. This one has some fancy gruyere + cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s, lots of dill pickle relish, a little bit of mustard and crunchy leaves of romaine lettuce (I hope the lettuce is still crunchy after traveling to school in the lunch box). Sides today are pretzel thins, dry roasted peanuts, and two kinds of apples: Pink Lady and Fuji.
I whipped up a quick batch of flat enchiladas yesterday for dinner: corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce, layered with cheese and crock pot beans, and served with a fried egg on top. For today’s lunch, I made quesadillas filled with cheese, beans and a little smear of enchilada sauce. Yum! I used this quick and easy enchilada sauce recipe by Emeril Lagasse. It’s much tastier than canned and you can customize the spiciness—always important when cooking for kids.
This is comfort food all the way: a peanut butter, Nutella, and apricot jam sandwich on soft and slightly sweet potato bread. Yummers. Fruits and veggies today are: celery sticks, purple carrots, sliced persimmon and tangerines.
I made a quick, easy and relatively healthy chocolate peanut butter chia pudding for today’s lunch, which also has a cereal mix, fruit + veggie strips cut into bite-sized pieces, apple slices, half a kiwi and some smoky almonds. I get a brief break from lunch packing, because the kids have a four-day weekend for my birthday—no, wait, I mean for Veteran’s Day (which, as luck would have it, coincides with my birthday). We’ll be celebrating with a mini holiday to Disneyland. Even though we live within driving distance to Disneyland, we have never taken the kids to experience this important cultural touchstone of childhood. Disney princesses, here we come!
Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
- 1-1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk, but any milk will work)
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Mix all ingredients together except the chia seeds. I find that carob and cocoa powder are difficult to mix without using a blender or an immersion blender. Once everything is blended together, stir in the chia seeds and let rest in the fridge overnight. The next day, voilá: thick, rich, reasonably healthy chocolate chia pudding.
Yesterday’s lunch had a small helping of blueberry honey yogurt with cheesy bread, sweet pepper slices, apples and persimmons.
Today’s lunch has a big portion of yogurt which I loaded up with homemade apricot jam, blueberries and granola. Those dark little carrots between the cheese and crackers are little purple baby carrots that I got at the farmers market. Purple carrots?! Who knew?
Lunch on Monday was a colorful extravaganza with purple carrots, persimmon slices and little tangerines. I had some leftover beef tri tip from dinner, which I chopped up and put in the small compartment. The kid-approved little cheese sandwich is Dubliner Irish cheddar on King’s Hawaiian sweet bread.
I made a little caprese-esque salad—tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, and salami with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper—for today’s lunch. I also make another little cheese sandwich, this time using fresh-baked whole wheat challah, which I made while working at home yesterday (mmm, bread).