I’m continually trying to come up with ways to get my kids interested in food prep and cooking. Some days it’s easier than others and I don’t try to force it if they’re not feeling it. A few days ago, my husband decided to give Iain, who is almost 12, a little grilling lesson. This kid LOVES burgers. And, he also loves fire, so it was a perfect combination. We made sliders, which are especially kid-friendly in terms of both flipping and eating.
The best part about making sliders: serving them for lunch the next day. The kids said they were delicious cold. Too bad there weren’t enough leftovers for me to have some for my lunch.
Here at Love and Lunch Corporate Headquarters, we have had a rough couple of weeks (a month?) of sicknesses working their way through the office. As a result, I haven’t been keeping up to date with my lunch posts. But, rest assured, we have been eating. And eating quite well, I might add. I was thinking about this as I made sandwiches for the kiddos last night. I took sandwich requests (always a mistake), so I had to make two different types for today’s lunch: one with mortadella and the other with roast beef. Making these fancy sandwiches made me reflect on my own childhood of bologna, American cheese (Kraft singles), and ketchup (Heinz, please) sandwiches. Yep, that atrocious combo was my favorite. My kids definitely have way better taste than I ever did at their ages.
Of course, I didn’t grow up in California (except for a brief stint in kindergarten when Dad was stationed at March AFB), land of plenty. I mean just look at this strawberry:
My kids are so lucky to have year-round access to such amazing produce. It makes it a lot easier to pack reasonably healthy lunches when you always have delicious fruit and veggies on hand. Here is a round-up of some recent lunches. Almost all the produce is from the SLO Farmers Market. Yum, yum and more yum.
It’s always a challenge to get back into the school routine after having an entire week off for Thanksgiving break—especially when that break includes a trip to Disneyland followed by the making and consumption of way too much food. The first few lunches of the week were typical lazy mom affairs made with minimal fuss and effort.
For today’s lunch, I put in a little more effort and made the kiddos a nice hummus (edamame hummus from Trader Joe’s) and veggie lunch with multi-colored carrots, quick boiled green beans and baby bell peppers. I also included some delicious Ritz crackers, grapes, dried apricots, and Trader Joe’s adorable little mini mint chocolate star cookies.
Here is a roundup of last week’s lunches. You can see certain recurring motifs: watermelon, big green grapes, and colorful carrots (we all love little dark purple carrots). And, cheese, lots of cheese.
Iain was complaining recently that he was tired of peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. Say what?! So, I decided to mix things up with a peanut butter and apple sandwich. I also drizzled on some honey and sprinkled some cinnamon on those apples to give the sandwich an extra burst of Fall flavor.
Leftover pancakes are always a kid-favorite lunch when spread with peanut butter and Nutella. Yes, that combo is okay when sandwiched between some blueberry pancakes.
This was an easy end of the week lunch: a little cheese pizza roll up with applesauce, carrots and chunks of Asian pear.
You could call this “Mom Has a Little Piece of Leftover Pie Crust and Is Feeling Motivated Lunch.” Yep, I actually made little apple pies for lunch last week. Now the kids want more apple pies for lunch.
And, finally, today’s lunch is a merry mixup of plain yogurt sweetened with marmalade and honey, a juicy kiwi, a granola bar, a mini sweet pepper, a mini cucumber, a Hebrew National hot dog (the only hot dog worth eating, in my opinion), and a Babybel gouda. Fancy!
Is there anything as satisfying as a King’s Hawaiian sweet roll? It’s like a soft little pillow of love. The kids go crazy for King’s Hawaiian bread, so we started the week with some delicious little tuna sandwiches:
The second King’s Hawaiian sweet roll lunch has little slider pizzas (marinara sauce + mozzarella on a little roll, pop in a 350˚ oven for 10–15 minutes). Don’t those little pizzas look delicious?
Today’s yummy sandwich is tuna salad with lots of pickle relish and butter lettuce on homemade egg bread. I also threw in some baby carrots, whole grain cheddar Goldfish and grapes. This sandwich looked so good that I made one for my own lunch. Happy Monday.
We’re finishing off the week with some peanut butter and Nutella. For Thursday’s lunch, I made a peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich on a nice, fluffy roll.
Today’s lunch has some little peanut butter and Nutella roll ups with lots of apples (sliced and GoGo Squeeze strawberry applesauce), a baby carrot and a small serving of delicious shrimp chips. And with that, another week of school lunches is crushed. Happy Weekend!
Tortellini from last night’s dinner translates into some yummy lunches today. For the kiddos, I tossed the tortellini in a little olive oil with some grated parmesan. Tortellini always seems really filling to me, so I just gave the kids a small serving of the pasta. I also packed lots of fruit (pineapple, persimmon, and grapes), a baby carrot, and some peanut butter filled pretzels.
And here’s the grownup version of leftover tortellini for lunch:
I tossed the tortellini with some kale, shredded carrots, diced salami and balsamic vinaigrette to make a delicious and filling salad. Just call me master of leftovers. And, yes, I’m loving my EasyLunchboxes.
Today the kiddos have a rather European lunch with fancy cured meat and aged cheese: “Irresistible” salami sticks and New Zealand sharp cheddar, both from Trader Joe’s. Fruit and veggies are: grapes, a green plum and some sugar snap peas.
And, here’s a little peek into the grown-up lunch of the day:
My husband has been getting slightly better lunches since I got a set of EasyLunchboxes a few weeks ago. Normally, he grabs a random container of dinner leftovers for lunch, but I’ve been motivated to pack up those leftovers in a cute EasyLunchbox and that means side dishes! Fancy, huh? We both keep glass containers at work for any microwaving, because I try to never microwave anything in plastic after melting tons of Tupperware/plastic containers and finally realizing that I didn’t want to eat a side of plastic for lunch.
We’re having one of those Central Coast September heat waves that I’ve come to dread. On hot days, the kiddos alway request lunches that aren’t so heavy. That means that big sandwiches are out and cute, dainty sandwiches are in—like these little ham, pub cheese and sweet pickle relish roll-ups. Some nice, crisp fruits and veggies round out this lunch: carrots, sugar snaps, grapes and green plums. And, of course, a salty treat and kid fav: Veggie Straws.
Yesterday, I made mini sandwiches out of sliced pretzel rolls filled with 1) Nutella and peanut butter 2) Nutella and jam, and 3) butter and jam. The kids really love these little sweet sandwiches. And I’m afraid those bananas look a bit dodgy. I like my bananas just on the other side of green, but it’s been so warm in my house that they seem to go from green to speckled and really ripe in a matter of hours.
Today the kids get their favorite kind of lunch: snacky finger food. There are lots of yummy little bites in this lunch: a hard-boiled egg with salt and pepper (technically a hard-steamed egg since America’s Test Kitchen has taught me that steaming is preferable to boiling eggs), crackers, salami sticks, cheddar cheese, carrots, and strawberries.
How to Make the Perfect “Boiled” Egg
Choose a pot based on the number of eggs you want to cook: the eggs should fit comfortably in one layer on the bottom of the pan or in a steamer basket. Put about an inch of water in the pan and heat it until it’s nicely bubbling. Carefully lower your eggs into the hot water (if you have lots of eggs to cook, it’s easier to put them in a steamer basket and lower them all at once). Put a lid on the pot and lower the heat so that it continues to simmer. Cook for 6-1/2 minutes for the perfect soft-boiled egg. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect: the whites will be set and the yolk will be gloriously runny in the center. Cook for 13–14 minutes for the perfect hard-boiled egg. Experiment with the time until you find your version of the perfect hard-boiled egg. I like mine with the yellows just a little soft and darker in the very center. Run the eggs under cold water for about 30 seconds, peel and enjoy your perfectly “boiled” egg.
Thanks to those geniuses at ATK for doing all the work to discover the perfect way to boil eggs.