In Praise of Lunch in a Jar

beet and cottage cheese lunch in a jar

I’m a big fan of bringing lunch in a jar to work. If I’m not motived to make an elaborate salad or sandwich, I just pile fruit, yogurt or cottage cheese, and granola or something crunchy into a jar. Lately, I been on a beets kick—especially raw, shredded beets (messy to make, but delicious to eat). Last week, I made this gorgeous concoction for my lunch:

beet and cottage cheese lunch in a jar
beet and cottage cheese lunch in a jar

I piled shredded beets on cottage cheese with apple chunks, peanut butter, cinnamon and honey. The color is insane and I loved the spiced/sweet/earthy combo.

This morning I decide to make the kids’s lunches in jars. Of course, they had to be made to order, because they didn’t want the same thing. Lily got a yogurt, applesauce, banana and granola parfait, and Iain wanted the Elvis Special (yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and honey).

lunch on 6 Feb 2017: yogurt lunches in jars
lunch on 6 Feb 2017: yogurt lunches in jars

More Homemade Yogurt: This Time with Muesli, Coconut and Plum Jam

lunch on 21 Nov 2013: yogurt with muesli and plum jam, sunflower seed butter an apricot jam sandwiches and satsumas
lunch on 21 Nov 2013: yogurt with muesli and plum jam, sunflower seed butter an apricot jam sandwiches and satsumas
lunch on 21 Nov 2013: yogurt with muesli and plum jam, sunflower seed butter an apricot jam sandwiches and satsumas

Since my crock pot yogurt making experiment, we’ve been consuming lots of delicious yogurt. I’ll post a crock pot yogurt recipe once I’ve perfected the technique. I’m still experimenting with homemade yogurt, because I am a yogurt fanatic and could eat it everyday. I had a little yogurt this morning for a snack after helping out in my daughter’s kindergarten class. Working in a kindergarten class is exhausting. Seriously, I don’t know how kindergarten teachers do it. They are truly amazing. Next time you see a kindergarten teacher, be sure to thank them for their incredible contribution to society.

For the kiddos’ lunches today, I made a little yogurt and muesli parfait with plum jam and shredded coconut. The sandwiches are filled with sunflower seed butter and apricot jam. I may have also snuck in a little Nutella. I’m indulgent that way.

 

First Lunch of Summer Vacation: Parfaits and the Pool

yogurt parfaits
yogurt parfaits
yogurt parfaits

Yesterday was the first official day of summer vacation for us, since both kiddos are now done with school. We ate the first of what I’m sure will be many lunches to come—at the pool. How summery is that? Our neighborhood pool has a lap swim from 11:30 until 1:30 every day, pretty much year round. And the pool is outside. Yep, sometimes life in California is good, although I’m such a wimp that I have a really hard time swimming outside in the winter. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s cold when you’re dripping wet and it’s only 60 degrees outside. During the mid-afternoon lap swim, the kiddos can swim in the small, warm therapy/tot pool with grandma while I do laps in the big pool. The only problem with this glorious summer lifestyle of a slacker academic is that the kiddos are ravenous after two hours in the pool. And, you better believe they want to spend the entire two hours swimming. That means I have to pack a nice snack or small lunch so they can eat it immediately on the pool deck when they get out. Yesterday, I brought these lovely little yogurt parfaits to the pool: plain yogurt layered with peaches, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries and Crazy Good Granola. I packed the parfaits in little jam jars, which I realize might not be the best travel container (glass—yikes!), especially for smaller kids. I have a small insulated bag that is just big enough the hold 3–4 jars with two ice packs, so they don’t jostle around too much. You could also use a plastic or stainless steel container if you are more sensible than I.