Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lunches and a crockpot dinner

I pack lunch for the Mr. and the minis everyday.  After breakfast, I feel that lunch is the most important meal of the day for the minis.  I don't know about your minis, but by dinnertime, mine are often too tired to really eat a good meal.  They'd rather read and do their homework.  Ah, not really...just thought I'd put that out there in case any of their teachers are reading.

Here's today's lunch.  Now, before you look at the picture, I am equally appalled as you are over the amount of plastic bags I used for today's lunches.  Wow, fail.  I need to get one of these but at $44 a piece, yikes! 

Today's lunch is plain greek yogurt with frozen raspberries (which will defrost by noon) to mix in.  I have gotten emails regarding greek yogurt....I know it's a tough one to get kids to switch too.  I suggest putting small amounts of plain greek yogurt in their flavored yogurt and gradually reducing the amount of flavored.  My kids love plain greek yogurt, which I guess makes me lucky.  It must be that "there are starving children in Africa that would do anything for this $1.19 cup of yogurt, so you better eat it and then lick the bottom of the cup when it's done.  And, no I don't care if you get in trouble at school for licking the bottom of your yogurt cup" lecture that I gave them.  Seriously though, on my to do list this week is to make homemade greek yogurt because that stuff is expensive!  I'm about to make my oldest mini get a paper route just to cover our yogurt budget each week.

Also in their lunch is a tortilla with homemade hummus and diced bell peppers and cucumbers, all rolled up.  I also included a grapes and yellow grape tomatoes.  If your kids don't eat tomatoes, I highly suggest you try giving them yellow grape tomatoes.  They are amazingly delish and my minis love them.  Just a warning, don't eat the entire 2 lb package at one time.  It can give you kanker sores and GI issues that may lead to embarassing moments on the treadmill at the gym later in the day. 

I also put in their lunches some grapes, a pumpkin muffin, and for dessert, dried mangoes.  And, much to the dismay of my minis, I do not put oreos in their lunch...even though they insist every single kid at school besides them, get oreos for lunch.

And tonight's dinner has been cooking since 6 am this morning.  I got this recipe from my sister back when I was a new bride and realized I had a man that thought dinner was a frozen pizza and Doritos.  This recipe is what she calls Italian Beef.  Basically, you put a roast in the crockpot with a can of peppercini peppers (check the ingredients, remember your peppers shouldn't have more than 5 ingredients).  I decided to get fancy this morning, and heated some oil in a stainless steel skillet, sprinkled salt and pepper on my roast and then seared it before putting it in the crockput.  I also threw in a few cloves of minced garlic.  When the roast is finished cooking, shred.  You can serve it over mashed potatoes or on homemade wheat bread/hoagie.  My plan is to serve it over mashed cauliflower with raw carrots and bell peppers on the side.

Mashed Cauliflower from about.com
  • raw cauliflower- a medium head makes about a pound of florettes
  • any combination of butter, milk, cream, or whatever you use when you make mashed potatoes - about 1/4 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • parmesan cheese
1.  Break the cauliflower up into florets, or just chop. I like to cook it in the microwave in a container that I prepare and serve it in, but you can steam it. Cook it until it's tender -- a fork should easily pierce it.
2.  The easiest thing to do is to add the rest of the ingredients to the container the cauliflower is cooked in, and then use a stick (hand) blender to put it all together. Or you can put it all in a regular blender or food processor.

I've had a few people ask how the minis are doing with the changes and do they really eat what I cook.  The answer is they're doing good, and nope, they don't always eat what I cook.  I tell my kids I respect them and their opinions regarding their food preferences, however, I do not cater to picky eaters.  They get a plate full of the same things I have on my plate.  They need to try everything.  If they find something so horrible that they can't possibly eat it, they are welcome to find something else to eat...however, they must choose food from the bottom 2 drawers of the fridge.  So, on nights where they can't bear to eat my dinner, they usually will have an apple, banana, peppers, cucumbers, and some cheese and peanut butter.