Bailee’s Lunches 10/21 through 10/25

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Now that I am back from vacation and my kids are back on a schedule and routine, we are back to making healthy lunches! So here we goooooo…….

10-21 and 10-22

Monday Oct 21: Bailee took a tuna salad sandwich (she would eat these every day if I let her!), carrots and cucumbers with dip, grapes and a homemade pumpkin larabar cookie. For snack: a banana and a homemade chocolate chip granola bar. Bailee also took this exact same lunch to school on Tuesday Oct 22 because she didn’t eat any of it on Monday. Evidently she claims she didn’t have any time to eat, but I think she was probably being to chatty. Either way, no food goes to waste, she took it on Tuesday and it all!!

10-23

Wednesday Oct 23: Peanut Butter banana pancake sandwich, string cheese, carrots with dip, cantaloupe and a pumpkin larabar cookie. For snack: a banana and Yoplait yogurt (that I rarely ever buy because of the artificial color and flavor).

10-24

Thursday Oct 24: Bailee forgot to bring her lunch bag home Wednesday night so today she had to paper bag it. No fun lunch when you forget your bag at school! So she got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pretzels, and an apple. For snack: a banana. She was pretty disappointed with this lunch, so I have a feeling she won’t be forgetting her lunch bag again anytime soon!

10-25

TGIF!! Today Bailee got the other half of her tuna salad from Monday with Ak Mak crackers, salad, cantaloupe and pumpkin larabar cookie. For snack: homemade chocolate chip granola bar and an apple.

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Baked Chicken and Green Beans

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I recently saw a recipe on Pinterest that looked great, but had some negative reviews regarding flavor and being bland. So I decided to take the ingredients and concept of the recipe and make it my own. It turned out fabulous! The whole gang liked it! The chicken was juicy and the beans were super tender! Enjoy!
Baked Chicken and Green Beans
1 lb chicken (whichever you prefer, I used boneless skinless breasts)
1 lb fresh or frozen green beans
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp dried chopped onion (or a chopped fresh onion, I was out of onions so I just added dried and it was good)
1 tsp dried minced garlic or fresh
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish was olive oil. Add chicken and green beans. You could also add some potatoes chopped small if you like. I had some leftover mashed potatoes I served with this meal.
Pour broth over chicken and beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with onion, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cube butter and place on top. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Zucchini, Granola and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My garden produced an abundant amount of zucchini, which is great! With so much zucchini I had to get creative with how I used it. There’s the obvious zucchini bread, adding it to red sauces, muffins, cakes, frying, roasting and of course freezing what you don’t get through in time. So in my attempt to be creative, I found a recipe for zucchini cookies and made it my own. They turned out fabulous and were a big hit with the rest of the family! Enjoy!

zucchini and granola cookies

Zucchini Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

zest of one orange

3 cups of shredded zucchini (with skin)

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups homemade granola (recipe will follow)

1 11-12 oz bag chocolate chips (even butterscotch or peanut butter would be great!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add egg, vanilla, orange zest and zucchini. Mix on low until combined. Add flour, soda, salt and granola. Mix on low. Add chocolate chips, mix on low. Drop by small spoonfulls on a greased cookie sheet (I use a scoop for perfect sized cookies). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (only took 12 minutes for my oven). Cool on rack. Makes approx. 90-100 cookies.

Homemade Granola

3 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

I cup raw walnuts (or your favorite nut, mine is walnuts)

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut (found at whole food stores)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix oats, nuts, seeds and spices (first 9 ingredients) in a large bowl. Heat butter and honey in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour over mixture and stir until evenly coated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture on pan in an even layer. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Break up and store in air tight container or Ziploc bag.

Use granola for these fabulous cookies, a yogurt topping or you can simply enjoy it as a bowl of cereal with milk.

Granola recipe adapted from 100daysofrealfood.com

Bailee’s Lunches: September 16 through September 20

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Here is my weekly post of my daughter’s school lunches. I hope this is helpful for you busy mom’s stressing about lunch ideas. I was there once and I completely understand how you feel. I prep a lot of the food on weekends and prepare the night before either by setting it out or creating her lunch in my head so I know what I am doing the next morning. I will also be posting some of the recipes throughout the week. Enjoy!

9-16

Monday, September 16: Bailee had some leftover Hamburger Stroganoff with whole wheat noodles in her Thermos, a salad with cucumbers, parmesan cheese and olive oil, and an apple. For snack she had a granola bar and string cheese.

9-17

Tuesday, September 17: Today she had a homemade “lunchable” with ak-mak crackers, muenster cheese and turkey, watermelon, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and homemade whole wheat zucchini granola chocolate chip cookies (These turned out delicious!). For snack she had a banana and homemade whole wheat chocolate mini donuts.

9-18

Wednesday, September 18: Bailee was lucky today and had some of her grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup, salad with cucumbers, parmesan cheese and olive oil, cantaloupe and for snack an apple and homemade fruit and seed bar.

9-19

Thursday, September 19: Whole wheat banana pancake sandwich with peanut butter and honey, watermelon, carrots with ranch, and zucchini granola chocolate chip cookies. For snack she had a banana and chocolate mini donuts.

9-20

Friday, September 20: For this Happy Friday, Bailee had leftover goulash, homemade applesauce, and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. For snack some pretzels and a string cheese.

Some recipe links:

Mini Donuts: https://heathershomemadekitchen.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/french-toast-and-chocolate-whole-wheat-mini-donuts/

Fruit and Seed bar, courtesy of weelicious.com: http://weelicious.com/2010/06/07/fruit-and-seed-bars/

 

 

Bailee’s school lunches! Week 1 roundup!

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Well now that school has started and we are settling into our routine I figured it would be easiest to post a weekly menu on here for Bailee’s lunches along with recipes. I’ll try to post every Friday with the week’s lunches. This week is early because the next two days I actually let her eat school lunch (I would rather her not, but twice every 6 weeks isn’t too bad) Before I get started, I wanted everyone to know the products I use in case anyone has any questions. I use Ziploc divided containers because they are super easy and completely leak proof! I use mostly lunchskins reusable bags but have a few others brands and some bio degradable wexy bags. I also use Thermos brand water bottles and containers for warm food like oatmeal, spaghetti, soups, etc. Most of it is available at Target and Amazon. Enjoy!!

9-8

Peanut butter apple sandwich, Hard boiled egg white, homemade whole wheat zucchini muffin, cucumbers; for snack a banana and brown paper bag popcorn (popcorn made in microwave in brown paper lunch bag) and water in the thermos.

9-9

Homemade whole wheat zucchini pineapple bread, string cheese, cantaloupe, salad with cucumbers and olive oil, and homemade whole wheat zucchini granola chocolate chip cookies; for snack an apple and pretzels.

9-10

Cold taco salad with lettuce, homemade taco meat, cheese, corn, and plain Greek yogurt, cucumbers and a homemade whole wheat strawberry oatmeal bar; for snack an apple and brown paper bag popcorn.

9-11

Tuna salad (tuna and mayo), ak mak crackers, muenster cheese, carrots, cantaloupe and homemade whole wheat zucchini granola chocolate chip cookies; for snack a banana and pretzels.

And school begins….

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School has once again started!!! I have a 4th grader, preschooler and a 2 year old! Only have to pack for Bailee since maverick is home for lunch after preschool. Today Bailee had, ak mak crackers, ham, muenster cheese, hard boiled egg white, cucumbers, banana, pistachios and a piece of chocolate for dessert. For snack she has a z bar and an apple. I think her eyes might have been bigger than her stomach today! Also water in her thermos and a cute lil lunchbox note!

Crock Pot Spare Ribs

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spare ribs in crock pot

Yesterday I needed a quick prep dinner since the family and I were going to be gone most of the day, and a dinner that wouldn’t add unnecessary heat to my house since it was unbearably hot outside. What’s better than the crock pot? Super easy and doesn’t heat up the house like the oven. This recipe was super easy to prepare and turned out heavenly. I served the ribs with some garden fresh green beans and a salad. This recipe would also make a superb freezer meal. Throw it all in a freezer bag and when ready to use it, thaw overnight and put in crock pot in the morning. Voila! Here’s the recipe:

Crock Pot Spare Ribs

4 lbs pork spare ribs

salt and pepper

1 tbsp. coconut oil

2 tbsp. dried chopped onion (or fresh chopped onion)

1 tsp dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic… I was in a pinch on time so I went the super fast route)

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tsp beef bullion granules

3 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. honey

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and place in crock pot. I had to cut my ribs in half to fit in my crock pot. Tip: I use those awesome crock pot bags for super easy clean up.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour over the ribs. Cook on low for at least 8 hours.

Enjoy!

Adapted from onceamonthmeals.com