A Muted Palette of Fruit and a Bright Black Bean Salad

lunch on 27 Sept 2016: raspberries, grapes, baby carrots, peanut butter and Nutella roll-ups, and veggie sticks
lunch on 27 Sept 2016: raspberries, grapes, baby carrots, peanut butter and Nutella roll-ups, and veggie sticks
lunch on 27 Sept 2016: raspberries, grapes, baby carrots, peanut butter and Nutella roll-ups, and veggie sticks

Aren’t the colors in this lunch so soft and pretty? I especially love the pale raspberries and the fancy little Riesling grapes that I got at the farmers market. Just like yesterday, the kiddos are suffering through a hot day at school: 107˚ the last I checked!! My plan for dinner on this wretched hot day is a nice black bean salad:

black bean salad
black bean salad

I piled all sorts of goodies into this big salad bowl: black beans that I cooked in the Crock-Pot yesterday, corn, peas, sweet red lipstick peppers, scallions, rice, and cilantro. The salad is dressed in a little olive oil and fresh lime juice with lots of lime zest. For spices, I used cumin, smoked paprika, chile powder, and a healthy sprinkling of salt + pepper. Yummers!

It’s a heat wave, so it’s fruit for lunch.

lunch on 26 Sept 2016: grapes, cantaloupe slices, mini Nutella and jam sandwiches, and cheese sandwich crackers
lunch on 26 Sept 2016: grapes, cantaloupe slices, mini Nutella and jam sandwiches, and cheese sandwich crackers
lunch on 26 Sept 2016: grapes, cantaloupe slices, mini Nutella and jam sandwiches, and cheese sandwich crackers

It’s been really, really, really hot here on the Central Coast, and today might be the worst day yet. The kids typically don’t eat much for lunch on super hot days, so I try to pack lighter fare with lots of fruit. Today, I threw in some little grapes from the farmers market and some nice, cool slices of cantaloupe.

lunch on 23 Sept 2016: fruit salad with strawberry chia yogurt and peanut butter filled pretzels
lunch on 23 Sept 2016: fruit salad with strawberry chia yogurt and peanut butter filled pretzels

On Friday, I made a fruit salad with cantaloupe, grapes, and green plums. For sides, I included a yummy mix of chia seeds, strawberry jam and plain yogurt with some peanut butter filled pretzels. We’ll be powering through the week with more fruit and crunchy snacks from Trader Joe’s.

Peanut Butter + Nutella + Raspberry Jam = Yum!

lunch on 15 Sept 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with granola bar, veggies and a little apple
lunch on 15 Sept 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with granola bar, veggies and a little apple

Today’s lunch has another delicious sandwich in it: peanut butter, Nutella and raspberry jam. This lunch is similar to Monday’s except I threw in a Trader Joe’s Raises the Bar chewy granola bar and a few more veggies: carrots, lipstick peppers and sugar snap peas.

Super Simple Monday Lunch

lunch on 12 Sept 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with carrots, strawberries and tiny grapes
lunch on 12 Sept 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with carrots, strawberries and tiny grapes
lunch on 12 Sept 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and jam sandwich with carrots, strawberries and tiny grapes

This is an “I’ve got five minutes to pack lunch” Monday morning special: peanut butter, Nutella and raspberry jam on homemade egg bread. All the produce is from the Saturday Farmers Market: sweet baby carrots, strawberries, and Champagne grapes. Can you call them “Champagne grapes” if they are grown right here on California’s Central Coast?

Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter, Chia Seeds and Strawberries

lunch on 30 Aug 2016: peanut butter oats with strawberries, colorful carrots, figs, and mango applesauce
lunch on 30 Aug 2016: peanut butter oats with strawberries, colorful carrots, figs, and mango applesauce
lunch on 30 Aug 2016: peanut butter oats with strawberries, colorful carrots, figs, and mango applesauce

Last night, I whipped up a yummy batch of overnight oats for the kiddos’ lunches today. I just love overnight nights: so fast, easy, and delicious.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Put all the above ingredients in a jar and stir it up. Let set in the fridge overnight. Give it another good stir before serving with fresh fruit or jam on top. Yum!

Lunchmaking and Seattle Fun

lunch on 29 Aug 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and raspberry jam on sourdough bread, colorful carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, applesauce, and Goldfish with peanuts

The first week of school was light on lunches because the whole family traveled to Seattle for TypeCon, the ultimate typography nerd fest. When I say “typography nerd” I mean it as the ultimate compliment. There’s no people like type people.

After three busy days of type talks and sightseeing for the kids, we’re now officially back into the school routine with this colorful lunch:

lunch on 29 Aug 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and raspberry jam on sourdough bread, colorful carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, applesauce, and Goldfish with peanuts
lunch on 29 Aug 2016: peanut butter, Nutella and raspberry jam on sourdough bread, colorful carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, applesauce, and Goldfish with peanuts

The kiddos enjoying Seattle:

enjoying some fancy food (watermelon with a pipette of tomato consomme) courtesy of our friends at Adobe Typekit
Enjoying some fancy food (watermelon with a pipette of tomato consomme) courtesy of our friends at Adobe Typekit. Thanks, Adobe!
On the Pike Place Market pig.
On the Pike Place Market pig.

The Last Week of School Lunches

Last day of school: chocolate pudding with peanut butter-filled pretzels, kiwi, and white nectarine chunks

I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet that the 2015–16 school year is over. Craziness! The week started out well enough, but then poor little Lily was hit with a nasty stomach bug and actually missed the last two days of school. She was super bummed to miss the fun [completely non-academic] days, but at least she’s on the mend and can enjoy her first day of summer vacation.

As for lunches, we’ll be posting sporadically this summer, and I’ll be attempting to get the kids more involved in cooking. Expect updates on that to come. We’re off to a good start with Lily’s new found obsession with America’s Test Kitchen, the ultimate nerdy cooking show. I just love Christopher Kimball and his cute bowties!

Here are the last school lunches of the year:

lunch on 6 June 2016: three mini sandwiches on pretzel bread with fruit salad
lunch on 6 June 2016: three mini sandwiches on pretzel bread with fruit salad
sandwich tasting: pretzel bread with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, strawberry jam with butter and Nutella
sandwich tasting: pretzel bread with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, strawberry jam with butter and Nutella

We started the week with a sweet sandwich tasting: Nutella, jam and butter, and peanut butter and fluff on pretzel rolls. Yum! I also made a fruit salad out of fresh pineapple, apricots, yellow nectarines and super sweet white nectarines.

lunch on 7 June 2016: bagel with Nutella, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, stone fruit, pineapple, kiwi and carrot
lunch on 7 June 2016: bagel with Nutella, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, stone fruit, pineapple, kiwi and carrot

We kept with the fluffernutter theme on Tuesday, and I made Nutella, peanut butter and fluff bagels. It was a hot week, so the kids requested lots of fruit and I obliged with more stone fruit, pineapple, and a nice kiwi.

Wednesday was class party day, so no lunch was needed.

Last day of school: chocolate pudding with peanut butter-filled pretzels, kiwi, and white nectarine chunks
Last day of school: chocolate pudding with peanut butter-filled pretzels, kiwi, and white nectarine chunks

For the last day, I wanted to make a lunch that Iain would really love. I whipped up a batch of chocolate pudding (Jello instant, nothing fancy—made with organic whole milk) and served it with peanut butter-filled pretzels, kiwi, and white nectarines.

And, with that: Happy Summer!

Recent Lunch Line-up

lunch on 23 May 2016: snacky lunch of smoked gouda, wheat crackers, smokey almonds, fruit salad and tapioca pudding

End of the year malaise has set in: everyone is tired, it’s getting too hot outside, and the kids are ambivalent about lunch. Okay, maybe Lily isn’t. Last week, I decided to jazz things up with that super duper exciting sandwich ingredient that kids love: marshmallow fluff. It made a couple of appearances in peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. Mmm, I’m not gonna lie: I love a good fluffernutter!

lunch on 26 May 2016: peanut butter, banana and fluff sandwich with fruit and crispy rice rolls
lunch on 26 May 2016: peanut butter, banana and fluff sandwich with fruit and crispy rice rolls
lunch on 25 May 2016: banana, peanut butter and Nutella roll-ups, carrot sticks and yogurt with granola and honey
lunch on 25 May 2016: banana, peanut butter and Nutella roll-ups, carrot sticks and yogurt with granola and honey
one sack lunch and one regular lunch with peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallow fluff sandwich, nectarines, granola bar and pretzel fish
lunch on 24 May 2016: one sack lunch and one regular lunch with peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallow fluff sandwich, nectarines, granola bar and pretzel fish
lunch on 23 May 2016: snacky lunch of smoked gouda, wheat crackers, smokey almonds, fruit salad and tapioca pudding
lunch on 23 May 2016: snacky lunch of smoked gouda, wheat crackers, smokey almonds, fruit salad and tapioca pudding

Lunch with Lots of Fruit and Fancy Carbs

lunch on 20 Apr 2016: crumpets with jam, peanuts and chocolate chips, pineapple, and yogurt with honey and chia seeds

The kids are still going strong with their sack lunches. For some strange reason, they really like filling up a bunch of little containers rather than using their lunch boxes with little separate compartments (?!). Here is this week’s lunch roundup:

lunch on 21 Apr 2016: banana bread with chocolate chips, pineapple, applesauce, and carrots
lunch on 21 Apr 2016: banana bread with chocolate chips, pineapple, applesauce, and carrots
lunch on 20 Apr 2016: crumpets with jam, peanuts and chocolate chips, pineapple, and yogurt with honey and chia seeds
lunch on 20 Apr 2016: crumpets with jam, peanuts and chocolate chips, pineapple, and yogurt with honey and chia seeds
lunch on 19 Apr 2016: homemade egg bread with butter and strawberry jam, applesauce, carrots and grapes
lunch on 19 Apr 2016: homemade egg bread with butter and strawberry jam, applesauce, carrots and grapes
lunch on 18 Apr 2016: apples, carrots, yogurt with honey, applesauce, Goldfish and a granola bar
lunch on 18 Apr 2016: apples, carrots, yogurt with honey, applesauce, Goldfish and a granola bar

The Latest Lunch Craze: Baggie Lunches

kids making lunch
kids making lunch
kids making their baggie lunches

At the end of last week, the kids requested a baggie lunch for Friday. Huh? “You know: like a sack lunch with little baggies filled with snacks.” Hmm. So, we have all kinds of fancy lunch boxes, but now the kids are into “baggie lunches.” Well, whatever works, as long as they contribute to the lunch making effort.

Earlier in the week, we packed our usual lunches in Planetboxes:

lunch on 11 Apr 2016: peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, sweet crunchy rice roll, pretzel thins, strawberries and carrots
lunch on 11 Apr 2016: peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, sweet crunchy rice roll, pretzel thins, strawberries and carrots
lunch on 12 Apr 2016: fruit, yogurt with strawberry sauce, dried apricots, peanuts, honey wheat pretzels, cherry tomatoes and carrots
lunch on 12 Apr 2016: fruit, yogurt with strawberry sauce, dried apricots, peanuts, honey wheat pretzels, cherry tomatoes and carrots
lunch on 13 Apr 2016: yogurt with bananas, strawberry jam and chia seeds, mango, Goldfish, pretzel thins, tomatoes and carrots
lunch on 13 Apr 2016: yogurt with bananas, strawberry jam and chia seeds, mango, Goldfish, pretzel thins, tomatoes and carrots
lunch on 14 Apr 2016: bagel with strawberry yogurt, apple slices, Goldfish, carrots and tomatoes
lunch on 14 Apr 2016: bagel with strawberry cream cheese, apple slices, Goldfish, carrots and tomatoes

The First Week Back: Lunch Roundup

lunch on 8 Apr 2016: rice cakes with strawberry jam and Nutella, apples, carrots, and cherry tomatoes
lunch on 8 Apr 2016: rice cakes with strawberry jam and Nutella, apples, carrots, and cherry tomatoes
lunch on 8 Apr 2016: rice cakes with strawberry jam and Nutella, apples, carrots, and cherry tomatoes

It was back to the routine this week after a leisurely spring break for the kids. The week was pretty busy, but the kids and I still managed to make some decent lunches. On Monday, Iain insisted that I buy a watermelon and some green grapes, so that was the recurring theme of the week (quite a nice color combo). I’m also still going strong with the bread machine. My recent experiments: cinnamon raisin bread and little dinner rolls.

lunch on 4 Apr 2016: peanut butter and jam on cinnamon raisin bread, Goldfish and pretzel thins, apples, and carrots
lunch on 4 Apr 2016: peanut butter and jam on cinnamon raisin bread, Goldfish and pretzel thins, apples, and carrots
lunch on 5 Apr 2016: mini rolls with Nutella and peanut butter, watermelon, grapes, pretzel thins and wheat thins, carrots
lunch on 5 Apr 2016: mini rolls with Nutella and peanut butter, watermelon, grapes, pretzel thins and wheat thins, carrots
lunch on 6 Apr 2016: pizza margarita rollups with watermelon, grapes and pineapple
lunch on 6 Apr 2016: pizza margarita rollups with watermelon, grapes and pineapple
lunch on 7 Apr 2016: honey sweetened yogurt with chia seeds and applesauce, watermelon, grapes, pretzel thins and wheat thins
lunch on 7 Apr 2016: honey sweetened yogurt with chia seeds and applesauce, watermelon, grapes, pretzel thins and wheat thins

Fruit, Peeps, Spring Break!

lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!
lunch on 23 Mar 2016: orange slices, raspberries, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, peanut butter filled pretzels and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 23 Mar 2016: orange slices, raspberries, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, peanut butter filled pretzels and crunchy cinnamon apple sticks
lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!
lunch on 24 Mar 2016: yogurt with berries, jam, oats and coconut, carrot sticks, apples, peanut butter filled pretzels and a Peep!

The kids are officially on spring break: yeah for them. We’ll be kicking off Easter weekend with elaborate egg dying and some Peep sushi making. Have you heard of Peepshi? Evidently, it’s a thing (of course it is) and Lily can’t wait to make it. Happy Easter!