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

Classic Yum: The Pizza Bagel

lunch on 2 Dec 2014: pizza bagel with Goldfish, whole wheat pretzels, kiwi and Hello Kitty fruit snacks
lunch on 2 Dec 2014: pizza bagel with Goldfish, whole wheat pretzels, kiwi and Hello Kitty fruit snacks

Both kiddos were in the clean plate club today, and I’m not surprised, because: who doesn’t love a pizza bagel? My mouth is watering just thinking about pizza bagels. I made the pizza bagel on a whole wheat bagel, so it’s not completely decadent. Lately, the kids have been really into eating kiwi halves with a little spoon. This is great, because peeling kiwi is a total pain in the butt. With the Jedi mind trick, I managed to convince them that scooping little bites of kiwi out of the fuzzy skin is a much more fun way to consume kiwi fruit.

Kid-Packed and Photographed Lunch: Raspberry Yogurt, Juicy Fruit, Dried Apricots and Plenty of Cheese

lunch on 23 Jan 2014: yogurt with raspberry jam, fruit, and cheese-filled crackers with even more cheese
lunch on 23 Jan 2014: yogurt with raspberry jam, fruit, and cheese-filled crackers with even more cheese
lunch on 23 Jan 2014: yogurt with raspberry jam, fruit, and cheese-filled crackers with even more cheese

The kids are still in their “I want to help pack lunch” mode. Usually, they decide this after they are already snug in their beds. They wander out to the kitchen saying: “I wanna help.” It’s all a ploy to stay up late. Why do kids always want to stay up late? Most parents would be happy to go to bed at 8:30 if there weren’t lunches to make, dishes to clean, laundry to fold, bathrooms to clean, emails to answer, work to do, glasses of wine to consume, episodes of Breaking Bad to watch (for people like me who are always way behind) etc. I vaguely remember wanting to stay up late, but it’s a way distant memory.

As for lunch, the kids decided a nice tin of mom’s homemade yogurt swirled with raspberry jam would be just dandy. Then, they started getting into the kiwis. As I was peeling and chopping them, the kids were consuming them. Iain grabbed one and started eating it like an apple (skin and all—yuck!). Kiwi skin is not delicious. After the kiwis, it was decided we also needed to pack some tangerines. By this point, I just wanted them to go to bed. “How about some cheese crackers?” I’m not proud of those little processed nuggets of orange cheese, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. And, because cheese crackers don’t actually contain real cheese, we packed some slices of actual cheddar.

Veggielicious: Veggie Burger with Cheese, Baby Carrots, Celery, Hard Boiled Egg and Kiwi

lunch on 22 Jan 2014: veggie burger with cheese, hard boiled egg, kiwi, carrots and celery
lunch on 22 Jan 2014: veggie burger with cheese, hard boiled egg, kiwi, carrots and celery
lunch on 22 Jan 2014: veggie burger with cheese, hard boiled egg, kiwi, carrots and celery

Today’s lunch is a protein-packed, colorful extravaganza. Each kiddo got half a veggie burger (my favorite: Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers) with cheddar cheese and ketchup. I got ambitious after dinner last night and boiled a few eggs, which Lily helped me peel. The rest of lunch came from the farmers market (yummy kiwi, carrots and celery) and a cute little candy store in Cayucos (the Valentine’s Day mix, which includes some awesome pink candy corn!).