Variety and Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

lunch on 17 May 2017: teriyaki pork tenderloin, cheddar cheese, pretzel thins, donut peach, apricot, kiwi and purple carrots

I just love our new Monday morning routine in which the kids pack their own lunches. This week, I asked Lily to pack me a snack and she made me a beautifully organized container or cherries and carrots, complete with an encouraging “You’re Awesome” Post-it note. I love that kid.

Lily making her lunch and a snack for mom
Lily making her lunch and a snack for mom

Lunches for the rest of the week were full of variety. For Tuesday’s lunch I made little salami pizza’s on honey whole wheat English muffins.

lunch on 16 May 2017: English muffin pizza with salami, carrots, grape tomatoes and kiwi
lunch on 16 May 2017: English muffin pizza with salami, carrots, grape tomatoes and kiwi

Wednesday’s lunch contained lots of fruit along with cheese, pretzels and leftover pork tenderloin. I love how fast pork tenderloin cooks. I marinated two pork tenderloins in teriyaki sauce (Soy Vay®) and roasted them in a 500˚F oven for 20 minutes (be sure to line a baking sheet with parchment paper or you’ll be left with a sticky, burnt mess when cooking at this high temperature). They were perfectly tender and juicy. With rice and some quick sautéed mushrooms and sugar snaps, it was a perfect dinner with plenty leftover for both grownup and kid lunches.

lunch on 17 May 2017: teriyaki pork tenderloin, cheddar cheese, pretzel thins, donut peach, apricot, kiwi and purple carrots
lunch on 17 May 2017: teriyaki pork tenderloin, cheddar cheese, pretzel thins, donut peach, apricot, kiwi and purple carrots

On Thursday, the kids requested a “sandwich tasting” for lunch. These little King’s Hawaiian rolls have 1) Nutella, 2) butter and strawberry jam, and 3) crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow Fluff.

lunch on 18 May 2017: mini sweet sandwiches, pistachios, carrots, cherries and mango
lunch on 18 May 2017: mini sweet sandwiches, pistachios, carrots, cherries and mango

The last lunch of the week has some oranges that I picked last night in the dark (ripe, luckily), kiwi, carrots and a mini sandwich with mortadella, pork and cheddar. What a yummy end to the week.

lunch on 19 May 2017: pork and cheese mini sandwich, oranges, kiwi and carrots
lunch on 19 May 2017: pork and cheese mini sandwich, oranges, kiwi and carrots

A Week of Lunch Inspiration

lunch on 10 May 2017: little turkey, cheese and dill pickle sandwiches with mini bell peppers, honeydew, Goldfish and pistachios

This was a pretty good week of lunches for the kiddos: lots of variety and plenty of delicious fruit. We got some particularly delicious mangoes and a big, sweet honeydew that the kids have enjoyed throughout the week.

Lily makes here lunch: pita with edamame hummus, purple carrots and grilled chicken, salami sticks, more carrots, orange slices and chunks of mango
Lily makes her lunch: pita with edamame hummus, purple carrots and grilled chicken, salami sticks, more carrots, orange slices and chunks of mango
lunch on 9 May 2017: pizza bread on King's Hawaiian sweet rolls, mango and carrots
lunch on 9 May 2017: pizza bread on King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls, mango and carrots
lunch on 10 May 2017: little turkey, cheese and dill pickle sandwiches with mini bell peppers, honeydew, Goldfish and pistachios
lunch on 10 May 2017: little turkey, cheese and dill pickle sandwiches with mini bell peppers, honeydew, Goldfish and pistachios
lunch on 11 May 2017: rice salad with ham, tofu, cherry tomatoes and butter lettuce with seaweed, honeydew and Goldfish trail mix
lunch on 11 May 2017: rice salad with ham, tofu, cherry tomatoes, edamame, and butter lettuce with seaweed, honeydew and Goldfish trail mix
lunch on 12 May 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and bananas on flat bread with mango and honeydew
lunch on 12 May 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and bananas on flat bread with mango and honeydew

How to Make Lunches for the Whole Family Without Going Insane

lunch for the whole family on 3 May 2017: fluffernutters with honeydew and veggies for the kids, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for the grownups

I actually don’t possess the secret for making lunches every week without going insane. Some days it seems impossible to balance work, kid activities, exercise, cooking, and errands/chores. Typically, my lunch-making strategy is to pack lunches while I’m cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. That way I’m not making a mess twice. I always have more energy for packing lunches early in the week—by Thursday night, I’m often a hopeless mess. But, miraculously, work gets done, the kids do their homework, dinner gets on the table, and the lunches do get made. I even occasionally get motivated to make decent lunches for the adults in the house.

kid lunch on 1 May 2017: chocolate chip brioche rolls, salami sticks, watermelon and colorful carrots
kid lunch on 1 May 2017: chocolate chip brioche rolls, salami sticks, watermelon and colorful carrots
lunch for the grownup on 1 May 2017: sandwiches made with leftover grilled pork, smoked turkey, cheese, and butter letter; roasted potatoes and watermelon salad
lunch for the grownups on 1 May 2017: sandwiches made with leftover grilled pork, smoked turkey, cheese, and butter letter; roasted potatoes and watermelon salad
lunch on 2 May 2017: fruit salad (watermelon, mango, strawberries, and apples), pancake muffins with jam and chocolate chips, and Goldfish trail mix
lunch on 2 May 2017: fruit salad (watermelon, mango, strawberries, and apples), pancake muffins with jam and chocolate chips, and Goldfish trail mix
lunch for the whole family on 3 May 2017: fluffernutters with honeydew and veggies for the kids, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for the grownups
lunch for the whole family on 3 May 2017: fluffernutters with honeydew and veggies for the kids, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for the grownups