Back to School and the Dreaded….Lunches

 

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It is hard to believe that the ‘little darlings’ will be back to school in a week although some may have already start back. Back to our regular scheduled routines and activities and back to the..DA DA DA…”DREADED LUNCHES”.  If there is one thing I do dread about back to school is the lunches.  It is finding something that the kids will eat but not overdo it so they won’t eat it again.  So variety, variety, variety….

With me only having one child left to worry about for school lunches, with my oldest graduating last year, I still find myself racking my brain on what to make her.

As now with being a teen, the cute little bento box idea with the assortment of food and snacks, is just not cool..:)

Now I know every year, I say ‘I am not making your lunch this year’… Well, we all know how that goes and three days into the week, there I am making lunch..Okay I may be ‘that mom’ but when I see what the kids pack or don’t pack, the holistic nutritionist in me can’t not jump in and make their lunch for them.  I know, I know they are in high school and are very capable of making their own lunch and once they graduate I won’t do it anymore. Yah, right!! ;).  But lunch really is an important meal at school as it important for brain function and energy levels..The teachers will thank me!!

So here I sit with only one child to worry about and she is the easy one to feed but still sweating over what to buy and make for lunch..  She does not like sandwiches (they get soggy) and won’t take anything in a thermos (too bulky) and some salads get wilty.  So here lies my challenge..

On previous posts, we have provided some good options for lunches: (click for links back to the original post)

But for the sake of this blog post, I am going to go with the Roast Chicken Panini Wrap..Easy to make the night before and can be eaten cold or warmed up.

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What you need:

  • Whole wheat or sprouted grain tortillas
  • Chicken ( great way to used leftover chicken but if you don’t have that, a busy moms best friend is a roast chicken from the grocery store.  It will work in a pinch)

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  • Veggie (lettuce, avocado, peppers, tomatoes.  Really whatever you can get in there and the kids will eat)
  • Cheese

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  • Some form of condiment (I used mustard with a squeeze of honey for a little sweetness)

Roll it up and place on the hot ‘Griddler’ or panini press.  Heat until heated through. place in your re-usable lunch container.  Add some fruit, maybe a muffin or healthy cookie and a water bottle and you have lunch…You may want to double up on the panini for the growing teens 🙂

We don’t always have to overthink lunch.  It just a bit of planning and prep will help to make everyone’s life a bit easier..

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We would love to hear your ideas for school lunches, so please comment below.

Danni

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A’s Power Packed Salad Bowl

I think one of the greatest apps/websites out there for moms is Pinterest.  It is my go to when looking for recipes, hacks, decor, fashion…well everything.  But mostly I use it for recipes I think my family will enjoy.

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So on my ‘surfing’ time, I happened upon this salad bowl recipe (thanks to iowagirleats) that looked amazing and I was sure my family would enjoy it as it had BACON in it!!  Who doesn’t like bacon??!!  But not only did it have bacon, it was packed full of protein and healthy greens which makes me a happy nutritionist mom 🙂

Yes, we do eat bacon in or house.  It is not a regular weekly staple but we do eat it.  I look for a great product where the animals are ethically raised and only natural ingredients.

Continue reading “A’s Power Packed Salad Bowl”

Beat them to the Drive Thru – Burritos for the Freezer

Beat them to the Drive Thru – Burritos for the Freezer

There are so many interesting issues that come up with teens in the house and their blossoming independence.  Suddenly they have a driver’s license, and either have a car, or access to one.  If they don’t, someone in their friend group usually does and I found in a blink of an eye, they were off.  Sometimes they are doing really cool things – going for hikes, meeting to play rugby at a park, or getting together at different community lakes around the city.  Other times, they are less than interesting – like hitting the mall, or any (and I mean any)  fast food joint.

I get it – the sudden ability to go places independently from your parents is a thrill – and for the first little while, I was pretty flexible with the trips to MacDonalds, or Wendy’s on the way home from school or activities.  But over the last little while, it has become a habit I am not overjoyed with. A recent phone call as my son left work:

Son:  “Mom – is there any food at home?”

Me:  “Yes, there is leftover pork chops, a salad, potatoes, fruit, raw veggies…”

Son:  “Ah, I think I’m going to stop at Wendy’s”

WHAAA??

So, in an attempt to persuade my children to eat at home when they have that desire for fast food, I am trying to fill my freezer with more “fun food” that is also healthy and filling.  My mom used to have homemade beef burritos stacked in the freezer for my brother and his friends and they were always a hit.  So – with those in mind, I created a version that incorporates some veggies.  In my experience, if I am not there to supervise, the boys very rarely supplement their meals with any sort of vegetable.  This version of the beef burrito adds in those veggies and they are none the wiser…

 

In order to do this, I created a sort of puree that gets added to the ground beef.  I would imagine you could use a variety of veggies, but I used a pack of mushrooms because of their dense, meaty quality and spinach – just cause it is a power pack of nutrients.  I love using the food processor for this.  My family does not love onion in anything, but because it adds so much flavour, I process the onion first, as fine as possible and then add the other ingredients.  Once you have your puree, just add it to the meat while you are browning it and everything cooks up quite nicely.  Also, the water in the spinach does cook off well, so you don’t have to worry that things will be too runny.

So I used Cracker Barrel Habanero cheese and a medium Old El Paso taco sauce to give these a little heat.  Of course, you can adapt for your family and their taste buds.

 

The worst part of this entire recipe is the wrapping.  A little time consuming – but if you are even vaguely skilled (which I am not) you will get through it in about 15 – 20 minutes.   This recipe makes 20 burritos.  If you are smart – you will double the recipe – cause I’m telling you, these things go like hot cakes…

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I found some old file folder labels and marked each wrap with the date – but in my experience, these things don’t last long enough for us to really have to worry about expiry.  Also, if you keep them in the freezer, they are pretty much edible forever.

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Of course, I have to include a pithy note on each bag – just cuz.  My kids would wonder if they pulled out a bag of homemade goodies from the freezer and something sarcastic wasn’t noted on the bag.   As they get older, these are my secret love letters to them – and I think they know…

…love from mom in the form of food is the bomb 🙂 

 

Beat them to the Drive Thru Beef Burritos

  • Servings: 20 burritos
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Fill your teens belly with these easy, yummy beef and veggie burritos - they will skip the drive thru if they know these are in the freezer

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 small onion

1 package of mushrooms

3 – 4 handfuls of spinach (you be the judge!)

1 envelope taco seasoning (or you can make a homemade version really easy)

2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley

1 jar of taco sauce ( I use Old El Paso, Medium spice)

1 package of shredded Habanero cheese

1 cup sour cream – you could use greek yogurt too but my kids like sour cream

20 corn or flour tortilla’s

 

In a food processor, pulse the onion first, followed by the mushrooms and then spinach.

Brown beef in a skillet – add pulsed veggies.

Once meat is fully cooked, add taco seasoning, taco sauce and parsley.

Remove from heat – add sour cream and cheese and stir well.

Wrap burritos using approx. 2 tablespoons of filling for each tortilla.

Wrap in saran, or cling wrap individually.

Freeze!

BEWARE:  with these in the freezer, you may have a gaggle of teens in your home at all hours.  I call this a Burrito Blessing…

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