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.
I made a small batch of hard boiled eggs on Wednesday night, so that I would have some eggs on hand for the kiddos’ end of the week lunches. On Thursday, the hard boiled eggs are served with a little crumpet pizza (crumpet pizza is a tiny bit fancier than English muffin pizza), sliced kiwi, baby carrots and celery.
For lunch today, I chopped up a couple of hard boiled eggs and made some egg salad with mayo, a little butter, sweet pickle relish, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and salt and pepper. I had some leftover wagon wheel pasta from dinner, which I tossed with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast to make a surprisingly good little snack. A few grape tomatoes, a sliced kiwi and some lentil curls and crispy pea snacks finish off this fun Friday lunch.
Yesterday I made a batch of banana carob chia pudding, because it’s always a hit for lunch. This time I added a little flaxseed oil to the pudding, just because flaxseed oil is a yummy way to get some omega-3s. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what omega-3s do, but I have heard that such essential fatty acids are really really good for you. So there you have it: a chocolatey tasting pudding that is healthy enough to play the starring role in a kid lunch. Plus, it’s vegan! And, I just love hard boiled eggs—aren’t they photogenic? Alas, they are not vegan. Fresh nectarines and strawberries from the farmers market finish off today’s lunch.
Banana Carob Chia Pudding with Flaxseed Oil
1 cup almond milk
1 banana (the riper the better)
1 heaping tablespoon carob powder
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
1 tablespoon protein powder (optional)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
small drizzle of maple syrup taste
Combine all ingredients, except chia seeds, in a blender. Stir in the chia seeds, cover and refrigerate overnight. DThe chia seeds will plump up overnight and the pudding will be nice and thick in the morning. This recipe makes enough for about two kid portions.
This is the first creative salad of the week and the third appearance of hard boiled eggs. I’m starting to accept that we may not be able to eat the vast quantities of hard boiled eggs that we colored for Easter. It’s a shame, since I hate waste. Next year I’ll have to come up with some really labor-intensive, egg dying process so the kiddos don’t have the energy to color a gazillion eggs. That being said, this protein-packed spinach salad is a great way to use up your Easter eggs. I tossed cubed cheddar cheese, green peas, hard boiled eggs, pistachios, and spinach in a little mayo with apple cider vinegar. I threw in a pinch of sugar to calm down the vinegar. This is a hearty, rich salad that’s not exactly low cal, but it’s for growing kids. And main course salads for kiddos need a little heft (all the cell division requires fuel). I also included a King’s Hawaiian sweet roll which is a totally decadent member of the processed, white devil carb family. Naturally, the kiddos love these rolls slathered with vegan buttery spread—ah, the irony. They are special occasion, once in awhile, moment of weakness at Target rolls. Consume them in extreme moderation.
I think the theme of lunch-making this weeks is: how many different ways can I incorporate hard boiled eggs into the kiddos lunches? Yesterday it was simple: straight up peeled eggs with salt and pepper. Today we have a pizza-style sliced egg panini. I layered marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and sliced hard boiled eggs on top of multigrain skinny bread, stuck ’em in the oven until the cheese was good and melty, and smashed the sandwiches under a cast iron pan to press everything together. How yummy does that sound? If my basil plant wasn’t looking so sorry, I would have put a few basil leaves in the sandwiches to make them even more pizza-y. For some crunchy sides, I included a few whole wheat pretzel twists and a couple of Speculoos cookies. Fruit today is very Central Coast: satsumas (coming to the end of the season) and strawberries (just starting to get more sweet than tart).