Three Amigos

This lunch didn't start out being faces, but when I put the ham and cheese in the container, they were just begging for a face. I'm gonna tell the big chic that the ham and cheese people are she and her two besties (one's a boy and one's a girl). She'll love that!
Natural applesauce, Whole grain sandwich thin, Frozen green beans, Ham, turkey, and cheese amigos.

Mushroom Risotto...hold the mushrooms

Yesterday I was really hungry for risotto. I knew that I had a bunch of mushrooms in the fridge, so I was planning to make it with mushrooms. I normally prep everything before I even turn to range on, but I was in a hurry last night and decided to chop as I went. Well, by the time I got to the "slice mushrooms" part, I found that my mushrooms had gotten all slimy and gross. Since I was already mid-risotto, I had to wing it. I cooked up some chicken and a few slices of bacon, caramelized some onions, and chopped up some frozen grilled eggplant and voila! - smoky balsamic chicken and eggplant risotto. At least that's what I'm calling it and if the hubs asks, it was totally intentional and no I did not waste the $5 container of mushrooms that he told me I would forget about!
The chics call it "the cheesy rice". Whatever. Big chic was thrilled that it was in her thermos, I mean Lunch Jar, today. I didn't take a photo of the thermos, cause, really, it wasn't that exciting. But, here it is in a bowl ready to eat.

She took a slice of French bread, and some white grape juice with her Lunch Jar AND she's buying a yogurt from the dining hall.

Salad and Ricotta Stuffed Peppers

It seems like sometime around Winter Break the big chic's lunch turned away from the "cute" and towards the leftovers. Even when I try to send a decorated lunch, she ends up asking if she can take "some of this" while we're sitting at the dinner table. We are very lucky that she is able to heat things in the microwave in the dining hall. Otherwise, we'd probably be a lot more limited with the leftovers. Tonight's dinner was Italian salad with ricotta stuffed mini peppers.

Italian salad, red grapes, ricotta stuffed mini peppers

The mini peppers recipe came from my new Giada cookbook (it's also on Food Network) and the salad is the Olive Garden copycat salad dressing with banana peppers, Parmesan, and black olives. (Big chic LOVES banana peppers!)

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna is soooooo good, but I rarely make it because I feel so guilty eating it. The same things that make it great are the same things that make it bad for you...cheese, cheese, and more cheese! I came across a lasagna soup recipe that had all the flavor of lasagna with only a bit of cheese. It's Paula Deen's Tastes Like Lasagna Soup. I know that Paula Deen is not normally known for her healthy cooking, but this recipe is actually very healthy. I made a few modifications, though, to boost the nutritional value even more. I added a buncha spinach and omitted the mozzarella. I also added a small spoonful of ricotta cheese to the top. YUM!

I packed the soup in her lunch jar and then sent a few snacky type things in a little bento to eat with it.

Oreo, Goldfish crackers, Lasagna soup, Dried cranberries

Elvis Roll-Up

Tomorrow's lunch is a popular item with our family...okay, everyone except the hubs who insists that peanut butter and bacon is gross. But he is so SO wrong! They compliment each other perfectly! I think it's an even better combination that peanut butter and chocolate. Seriously! When I was pregnant I went through a grilled peanut butter, bacon, and honey sandwich phase. (No wonder I gained 53 pounds!) But I still love the sandwich post-pregnancy and this is a much lighter way to enjoy the sandwich.

Elvis roll-up, banana (to add to the rollup at lunch so it doesn't brown), carrot slices, Cottage cheese with strawberry.

Elvis Roll-up

1 tortilla

2 Tbsp natural peanut butter

1 banana, sliced lengthwise

1 slice thick cut bacon, cooked till crisp

1 Tbsp honey

Spread peanut butter on the tortilla. Lay bacon and banana on one end of tortilla. Drizzle with honey and roll up. (If you're feeling adventurous, try it on buttered bread and grill it as you would a grilled cheese. You can thank me later ;) )

Food Revolution

I love Jamie Oliver! I've been a fan since he was a curly headed young bachelor whose show I could only watch on BBC. He's was so cute and British and his recipes were always good. Well now in addition to being cute, British, and a great chef, he is passionate about changing the school lunch system. How could I NOT love him? I don't know how many of you are watching the show "Food Revolution", but if you're not, you should be. He is trying to change the school lunch system in West Virginia and his journey and revelations are very frustrating and sad at times. I almost passed out when they informed Jamie that french fries were considered a vegetable option! His FIFTEEN vegetable noodle dish was not an acceptable lunch, but a hamburger and fries somehow met their lunch standards. Appalling! Anyway, he's made a stir fry on the show several times for the people in the community to demonstrate that food can be healthy AND taste good (shocking, I know!). I made the stir fry yesterday and big chic made sure that there was enough left to take in her lunch for tomorrow.

Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce, Bean sprouts, Fruit leather

You can find the stir fry recipe here. I used noodles instead of rice and added bean sprouts on the top after cooking. It was delish! Check out Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution by clicking the button on my sidebar. Sign his petition! And watch the show on Friday nights on ABC!

The Thrown Together Lunch

Somehow today just got away from me. It seemed like I woke up with a whole day of possibilities in front of me and somehow ended up exhausted standing in the kitchen at 9 pm with no lunch made for tomorrow. I thought about letting the big chic eat hot lunch for tomorrow, but I had already promised her that she could buy hot lunch on Thursday, so I had to stick to my guns and make a lunch.

Granola and Oreos (ya, she's gonna love me!), Ants on a log, Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries.

The Proud Mom Lunch

I let the big chic make this lunch. I didn't give her any guidance or suggestions like I normally would. I just let her go and gave her free reign of the kitchen to see what she came up with. She even picked which lunchbox she'd use. I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of her!

Spinach salad with chicken, Salad dressing and Babybel cheese, Strawberries on sugar free Hershey's syrup with Cool Whip.

The Giada Lunch

Giada DeLaurentiis has a new book out called Giada at Home. Last night, I was lucky enough to go to her book signing to get my copy signed by the one and only shiny, sparkly Giada. It was a lot like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode...have your ticket visible...move your book to the signing page...move to the right...hand Giada the book...move to the left.

Here's a photo that I took on my phone from the "photo opportunity spot" (which was NOT, btw, in the line or in any other location than that particular spot. Maybe she only likes to be photographed from her left side? I don't know.) I didn't take my camera cause I was trying to be all cool, ya know, so pardon the poor picture quality, but it's her...really, I swear! I wished I would have taken my camera cause everyone was snapping away. Anyway, my friend and I had a great time watching all the people in line and enjoying some time away from our kids!

So because I have a signed copy of the book now, I felt compelled to make something from the book tonight. The big chic flipped through it at breakfast and asked for the pea crostini, so that was one of our sides and then I decided on Chicken Milanese.
The big chic loved it all, so she is taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Seeded crackers, Pea crostini, Grapes, Chicken Milanese

I know the pea crostini looks a little questionable, but trust is addicting. AND it's healthy. It's like hummus but with peas. The chics loved it so I think we'll be making it often! She's made the recipe on her show so the recipe is actually on the Food Network site. Here it is. Enjoy!

Field Trip #6

Another week and another field trip! This time I'm chaperoning and am bringing lunch for the beloved Kindergarten teacher as well, so I've got three lunches to prepare. Fortunately, they are all going to be the same.

We are having a picnic and tomato mozzarella sandwiches make great picnic food. They just get better the longer they sit. Okay, so eventually they would get moldy and gross, but an overnight rest makes them awesome!

Tomato mozzarella sandwich, Kettle bbq chips, Homemade granola bars, Green grapes

I try to make lunch for our teacher occasionally and you should too! When I was teaching, I felt so unappreciated about 90 percent of the time and small gestures from parents went a LONG way. As far as I'm concerned they could erect a statue of the beloved kindergarten teacher and throw a parade for her and it STILL wouldn't be enough. She's awesome!

Easter Dinner Redux

Just a quick post today since we've had a busy weekend with Easter and a birthday and visits with family. Big chic wanted to take leftovers from Easter dinner for her lunch tomorrow so she packed her lunch while we were still sitting at the table!

Ham, Easter egg, Homemade dinner roll, Sweet potato