Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School: Lunches

In an effort to ease the transition between summertime stay-at-home-mom (OK, SAHM to a pup, but still...) and full-time teacher, I've been thinking this week about lunches. C started a new job a few weeks ago, and I've been testing out a few ideas on him. We'll both be taking our lunches this year as we save, save, save. (Mama wants some walls she's actually allowed to paint!) Below are a few ideas we've tried recently:

Main Dishes

  • Green Salads - Lots of different options, but our current fave is: baby spinach, grape tomatoes, red onion, baby carrots, and sliced cucumber plus either fat-free cottage cheese (for me) or cheddar cheese cubes (for C). We also add chicken. This recipe is super easy and perfect for salads but Tyson chicken strips were recently BOGO at our supermarket so we've been using those cut into bite-sized pieces this week. Love their buffalo chicken. I also add croutons to C's. 
  • Pasta salad - Current fave is a mixture of these two recipes. It's my go-to contribution to warm-weather gatherings, too. It makes a good bit and has a pretty presentation
  • PB&Bs - Peanut butter & banana sandwiches. I prefer these to the standard PB&J. Of course, C needs the J, too. He prefers the peanut butter and (grape, always grape!) jelly mixed together before being spread on the bread. Then just slice the banana lengthwise and pile it on. This is good for times when there's no time as they are quick and we always have the ingredients on hand. 
  • Left Overs -  I rely on these more as the temperatures drop. I love having my mom's hearty potato soup or this creamy tortellini soup waiting on me at midday.

Sides

  • Fruit - Lately, strawberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and grapes. 
  • Veggies - Baby carrots, broccoli w/ peppercorn ranch. I send Ina Garten's roasted broccoli sometimes, too. It's best served immediately, but we even like it cold. 
  • Greek Yogurt - This is all me since C is not a huge fan of yogurt. I love Chobani flips in the key lime pie flavor. I've been enjoying Chobani Bites (Coffee w/ Dark Chocolate Chips) for breakfast, too.The fruit-on-the-bottom options are also pretty nice.

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