Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: The Lunchbox Files

In my time as a blogger I've often stayed away from memes, especially a weekly one because then you know, I'd have to remember to be consistent and actually do it more then once. On Thursdays. Every Thursday. Heck, I have a hard enough time to remember to take out the garbage every Friday!

But in the search for new and fresh things for this blog, I think this could be interesting. Play along if you want! I'll even link to you!

So to kick off my first Thursday thirteen, I thought I'd offer some lunchbox ideas by telling you the last thirteen things that were in our lunches...for real!

1. Maple Blackberry Oatmeal muffins: Being Canadian, it's genetic to like maple. I love maple flavored things, and have been extremely disappointed that our local Starbucks doesn't carry maple lattes anymore. But then, what do you do about a place that also deprives you of whipped cream if you order a non fat mocha? Anyhow-back to the muffins. They are really this recipe, which I changed by using maple extract instead of vanilla and omitted the lemon rind. Next time, I'd add a bit more of the flavoring to bump up the maple-goodness to a more acceptable level, it was a little weaker then I'd like.

2. Chicken Fingers: Actually leftovers from dinner tonight, and the recipe is here. They are tasty with plum sauce or ketchup. You can't re-heat these in a microwave or they'll go mushy..but are really good just cold.

3.Trail Mixes: Kevin loves a mix I made up this week with pretzels, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and roasted almonds. He loves it even more that I can't pilfer it at night while blogging-that is, unless I'd want a visit to the ER because I can't breathe.

4. Pretzels or veggies and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: I love salty snacks, and this totally fits the bill with a garlicky, peppery hummus and the salty pretzels. Plus it has lots of protein! Don't breathe on anyone after you eat this. Seriously. Even the hamster runs away.

5.Veggie Wraps: These were inspired by some colossal, and incredibly delicious, veggie wraps that we got at the Peace Tree Cafe in Moab, Utah last summer. In fact, we're planning to re-visit this cool little place in July.

Take a tablespoon of spreadable cream cheese and mix it with 1/2 tbsp low fat mayo. Spread it all over a 10 inch flour tortilla. In the middle of the tortilla, mound up about 1/4 cup chopped broccoli, 1 thinly sliced mushroom, 2 tbsp chopped sweet red pepper, 1 grated carrot, 1/2 sliced avocado, and 1 chopped green onion. Roll it up and eat, or wrap in plastic wrap for later. YUM! Also good if you a bit of shredded cheddar to it.

6. Chocolate Ganache Cookies: From Canadian Living Magazine's 2007 Holiday Edition, these are the most yummy bits of chocolate decadence to have in a lunch bag. You will have to beat off your co-workers. I baked them for Jake's teachers for Christmas, and they are still thanking me for them.

7. Sushi: "Mom, all the kids wanted my sushi at lunch today!" Funny thing-they used to make fun of him in grade three, now they all want to trade him for it. California roll tops our list of yummy sushi to make at home.

8. Focaccia Sandwiches: Homemade rosemary garlic focaccia (add 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the flour), toasted and stuffed with sliced deli roasted chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, red pepper rings, lettuce, avocado, and sliced green onion. Mmmm...

9. Pizza: Just mini ones, sometimes we top our own. We had leftover from a pizza night.

10. Turkey Bean Burritos: Take 1 lb ground turkey and saute it along with 1/2 onion and 1/2 chopped red pepper until no longer pink. Toss in about 1 tsp cumin and 2 tsp chili powder. Divide a can of re-fried beans among 8 whole wheat flour tortillas, spreading it in the middle of the tortilla. Top with cooked ground turkey and 2 tsp chopped black olives. Top with a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased baking dish and cook at 350 F for 15 minutes, or until browned. Serve topped with sour cream, avocado and tomato slices. (These are really good in lunch boxes as leftovers if there is a microwave available for re-heating them)

11. Perogies: Jake likes them boiled, then sauteed in a tiny bit of non-hydrogenated margarine and topped with Montreal Chicken spice. I know-chicken spice on perogies? Try's yummy.

12. Fruit: Okay, this is a boring one but I'd be lying if I didn't include it. In the winter I sometimes buy those fruit cups, but last week I took one look at the sugar content and put it back on the shelf. We've been eating a lot of mandarin oranges, bananas, mangoes, and Jake likes apples. I never have to encourage Jake to eat fruit, he just loves the stuff.

13: Yogurt: I love yogurt! I've been suspecting that Jake has some type of allergy/intolerance to milk products though, and so I bought some soygurt for us to try. Jake's assessment? It was "gross". I think we'll be doing smoothies this weekend just to get rid of it...

What's your perfect lunch box? Do you pack lunches, or do your kids pack their own? Do they just buy lunch at school? Let me know in the comments!

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