Corn Tortilla Black Bean Quesadillas: Yum!

lunch on 28 Jan 2015: black bean quesadilla, celery, carrots, strawberry fig bar and trail mix
lunch on 28 Jan 2015: black bean quesadilla, celery, carrots, strawberry fig bar and trail mix
lunch on 28 Jan 2015: black bean quesadilla, celery, carrots, strawberry fig bar and trail mix

Little corn tortillas make such great quesadillas—I don’t know why I don’t buy corn tortillas more often. These little golden beauties are filled with black beans and cheese. Colorful sides include: carrots, celery, dried apricot, a strawberry fig bar, and a small container of Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cup (!) trail mix.

Peanut Butter Two Ways: On a Sandwich and In a Berry Chia Bowl

lunch on 26 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Fluff and banana sandwich with carrots, a date and apples
lunch on 26 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Fluff and banana sandwich with carrots, a date and apples
lunch on 26 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Fluff and banana sandwich with carrots, a date and apples

This week has started up with a couple of yummy peanut butter lunches. On Monday, there was the fantastic sandwich combo of peanut butter, Fluff and bananas.

lunch on 27 Jan 2015: berry chia bowl with muesli and peanut butter, crunch veggie salad, and avocado quesadillas
lunch on 27 Jan 2015: berry chia bowl with muesli and peanut butter, crunch veggie salad, and avocado quesadillas

Today’s lunch: a naturally sweet mixed berry chia bowl with muesli and a swirl of peanut butter. I combined frozen berries with a banana, a couple of dates and some almond milk to make the purplicious chia pudding. On the side: a crunchy mix of cucumbers, corn and carrots with some little avocado quesadilla wedges.

Potato Veggie Quesadillas

lunch on 23 Jan 2015: potato veggie quesadillas with apples, fig bar and chocolate ginger cookie
lunch on 23 Jan 2015: potato veggie quesadillas with apples, fig bar and chocolate ginger cookie
lunch on 23 Jan 2015: potato veggie quesadillas with apples, fig bar and chocolate ginger cookie

Last night was typical Clean Out the Fridge Thursday dinner. I made some little pies filled with mashed potatoes, spinach, peas, bok choy, and cheese. Kind of random, but totally delicious. I had some potato filling left over, which I used in these quesadillas for the kids’ lunches. I also threw in some apple slices, a blueberry fig bar, and a chocolate triple ginger cookie from Trader Joe’s.

Red Bean and Veggie Taquitos

lunch on 22 Jan 2015: red bean and veggie taquito, with crunchy snack mix, carrots and dried apricots
lunch on 22 Jan 2015: red bean and veggie taquito, with crunchy snack mix, carrots and dried apricots
lunch on 22 Jan 2015: red bean and veggie taquito, with crunchy snack mix, carrots and dried apricots

After the Nutella extravaganza of the last two days, I decided to do a more savory lunch today. On Sunday, I made a big pot of kidney beans loaded with veggies: onion, celery, carrots, corn and kale. I seasoned the beans with chili powder, because the kiddos just love their chili. For today’s taquitos, I filled tortillas with the red bean mix and some shredded cheese, and baked in a 400˚ oven for about 10 minutes. Super yum: I love baked taquitos. I also made a crunchy snack mix with holiday colored Goldfish (have to use those up), freeze-dried edamame and lentil curls from Trader Joe’s.

Peanut Butter, Nutella and Banana Two Ways

lunch on 20 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella and banana crispy wrap with carrots, celery and apples
lunch on 20 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella and banana crispy wrap with carrots, celery and apples
lunch on 20 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella and banana crispy wrap with carrots, celery and apples

I swear I can still remember my first taste of Nutella. When I was in first grade, my Dad was stationed in what was once referred to as West Germany. This meant my family moved from Riverside, California (March AFB) to Kaiserslautern. My brother, Mom, and I spent several months in St. Mary’s, Newfoundland at my Nanny’s house before moving to Germany. Don’t ask: the ways of the U.S. Air Force have always been, and will remain, a mystery. When we got to Germany, I remember two things: it was wet, and there was Nutella. Creamy, delicious chocolate spread? You put it on toast and it gets all warm and melty? That’s just craziness. Thus began my life-long love affair with Nutella, which was not widely available in the U.S. back in the 70s. Once you taste Nutella, you can never go back.

Needless to say, my kiddos are wild about Nutella. Given the choice, they’d eat it straight out of the jar for breakfast. They love anything with Nutella for lunch. As it turns out, this is their lucky week. On Tuesday, they got peanut butter, Nutella and banana crispy wraps. Or, PBN&B burritos, if you will.

lunch on 21 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella, banana and Fluff sandwiches with nuts, carrots, celery and apples
lunch on 21 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella, banana and Fluff sandwiches with nuts, carrots, celery and apples

In today’s lunch, they got the queen of all comfort foods: peanut butter, Nutella, banana and marshmallow Fluff sandwiches. I got to lick the knife. Don’t tell. There were some healthy things, too, of course.

A Sweet Sandwich on Thursday: Peanut Butter, Orange Marmalade and Nutella

lunch on 15 Jan 2014: peanut butter, orange marmalade and Nutella sandwich with celery, carrots and tangerines
lunch on 15 Jan 2014: peanut butter, orange marmalade and Nutella sandwich with celery, carrots and tangerines

The kiddos did a great job eating their lunches today: there was barely a crumb left in Lily’s lunch box. Of course, peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwiches are always a big hit. So are sweet little tangerines from the neighbor’s tree. Lucky us to live in the land of citrus!

A Colorful Assortment: Mini Frittatas, Tuna Salad and Crackers, Carrots, Celery and Apples

lunch on 14 Jan 1014: tuna salad and cracker, mini frittatas, apples, celery and carrots
lunch on 14 Jan 1014: tuna salad and cracker, mini frittatas, apples, celery and carrots
lunch on 14 Jan 1014: tuna salad and cracker, mini frittatas, apples, celery and carrots

I just love the colors in this lunch: the bright yellow Opal apple slices, purple, orange and yellow carrots (who knew they came is such a colorful assortment: thanks, Trader Joe’s!), green celery and golden mini frittatas. Since I packed the little frittatas with yogurt and granola in yesterday’s lunch, I needed to mix things up a bit. So, today I included a little tin of tuna salad with some crackers. I just had a tuna and watercress sandwich for lunch today—not nearly as exciting as the kiddos’ lunches.

A Salami Sandwich and Getting Creative with Eggs

lunch on 12 Jan 2015: salami and cheese sandwich with Goldfish, veggies and apple slices
lunch on 12 Jan 2015: salami and cheese sandwich with Goldfish, veggies and apple slices
lunch on 12 Jan 2015: salami and cheese sandwich with Goldfish, veggies and apple slices

The kids started off the week with some yummy little sandwiches: salami, Dubliner cheese, dill pickles and mustard on mini brioche buns. Apples slices, celery sticks, baby carrots, and Goldish crackers were perfect on the side.

lunch on 13 Jan 2015: mini frittatas, yogurt with orange marmalade and granola, and apples
lunch on 13 Jan 2015: mini frittatas, yogurt with orange marmalade and granola, and apples

I got creative with eggs in today’s lunch. I made little frittatas in mini muffin pans with hash browns, peas, shredded cheese and scrambled eggs. The kiddos loved these. They also have a new favorite yogurt mix-in: orange marmalade. So, I whipped up some sweet yogurt bowls with granola and marmalade. Mmm, those kids have good taste when it comes to food.

Two Sandwiches to Finish Off the Week

lunch on 9 Jan 2015: smoked trout sandwich with celery, Goldfish, freeze dried edamame, apple slices, and a dried apricot
lunch on 8 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with Goldfish, crispy lentil curls, carrots and apples
lunch on 8 Jan 2015: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with Goldfish, crispy lentil curls, carrots and apples

The first school week of 2015 has been crazy busy, but we’re powering through to the end of it with some nice sandwiches for lunch. Today for lunch the kids had peanut butter, Nutella, and jam sandwiches with some baby carrots, salty crunchies, and Opal apple slices.

lunch on 9 Jan 2015: smoked trout sandwich with celery, Goldfish, freeze dried edamame, apple slices, and a dried apricot
lunch on 9 Jan 2015: smoked trout sandwich with celery, Goldfish, freeze dried edamame, apple slices, and a dried apricot

Friday’s lunch has a particularly yummy sandwich: smoked trout with dill and sweet pickle relish and a little mayo. Trader Joe’s sells little tins of smoked trout that are perfect for sandwiches and salads. I was going to make tuna sandwiches for the kiddos’ lunches, but we were out of tuna, so I grabbed the smoked trout instead. For sides, I packed some Goldfish, freeze dried edamame (a Lily favorite), celery sticks, apple slices and an apricot. I’ve been particularly indulgent with the little treat the last couple of days: a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. I blame Santa. He brought us so many treats that we’re still working our way through all the chocolate.

Egg Quesadilla with Veggies and Tangerines

lunch on 7 Jan 2015: egg quesadilla, celery, carrots and tangerines
lunch on 7 Jan 2015: egg quesadilla, celery, carrots and tangerines
lunch on 7 Jan 2015: egg quesadilla, celery, carrots and tangerines

Today’s lunch is the always popular quesadilla with egg, or eggadilla. Usually to make an eggadilla, I pour some scrambled egg right onto the tortilla and cheese in the pan, but this time I added some chopped hard-boiled egg because I happened to have some hard boiled eggs in the fridge. Some crudite, a few tangerines, and this yummy lunch was done.

Overnight Oats and Two Fiendish Helpers

Liliana and her lunch: chocolate banana berry overnight oats, with apple slices and an egg salad slider
Iain being fiendish in the kitchen
Iain being fiendish in the kitchen

Sometimes it’s difficult to get lunches made in the evening, when I have two little fiendish “helpers” in the kitchen.

Liliana and her lunch: chocolate banana berry overnight oats, with apple slices and an egg salad slider
Liliana and her lunch: chocolate banana berry overnight oats, with apple slices and an egg salad slider

My helpers love to jump in and steal food out of their own lunches. Here Lily goes for the egg salad slider. I’m surprised she didn’t dip a spoon into the chocolatey overnight oats with bananas and berries. Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to sneaking apple slices and carrots sticks out of the kids’ lunches while packing them. A love of snacking seems to run in the family.

First School Lunch on 2015: Baked Whole Wheat Meyer Lemon Donut with Assorted Yummies

first school lunch on 2015: baked meyer lemon donut, fresh mozzarella, trail mix, and pineapple
first school lunch on 2015: baked meyer lemon donut, fresh mozzarella, trail mix, and pineapple
first school lunch on 2015: baked meyer lemon donut, fresh mozzarella, trail mix, and pineapple

I don’t know what it was about this holiday break, but it seemed to be way too short. I was just getting used to lounging in pajamas with the kids all morning until I realized I had to start planning my classes. Today was the first day back for the kiddos and the first day of winter quarter at Cal Poly. Craziness. The kids jumped right back into the school routine, but I’m still dragging. Somehow I managed to cobble together school lunches this morning. I made some baked donuts on Sunday and miraculously had a couple of donuts left over to put into today’s lunches. I also threw in some cheese, trail mix and fresh pineapple. Yum!