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Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Favorite Make-Ahead Lunches and Snacks

Recently, I have been making the girls' lunches the night before.  It saves time and sanity once lunch time rolls around.  I hand them their "special container" and done and done!

That definitely frees me up a bit but then I'd get hungry and not leave time for me to grab something halfway decent to eat.  Some days I'd end up eating lunch around 2pm after the older two were napping.  Not exactly ideal.  

So for the past couple weeks, I've been preparing food for myself ahead of time too...as much as possible.  It's been working out really well!  

One thing I'm having to still get out of my head is that lunch doesn't have to always include a sandwich.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.  

1.  Egg salad...can be put on a sandwich or just with some lettuce or spinach or greens of your choice.  Things I put in my egg salad: mayo, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and a splash of pickle juice.
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2.  Strawberry and Egg Salad.  This has become a new favorite of mine. It was born out of leftovers I wanted to use, a Google search, and some adaptations.  Hard boiled eggs, strawberries, and greens with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.  Dressing is equal parts apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil.  

3.  Faux Cookie Dough (kid approved).  This came from FamilyFun Magazine.  It's a good alternative snack with a protein punch!  
In a food processor, blend 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas, 6 Tblsp brown sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 3 Tblsp oats, 1 Tblsp milk, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp salt and baking soda.  Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips - great on apple slices or other fresh fruit.  

4.  Zucchini Spaghetti (kid approved) Just shred zucchini ahead of time and put in an air-tight bowl.  At lunch add sauce and cheeses and anything else you may have in the fridge that may taste good with it - shredded chicken or red beans perhaps?  My kids also gobbled this up for dinner one night. I just told them it was spaghetti.  


 5.  Whole Wheat Corn Muffins by The Happy Housewife (kid approved).  Don't let the whole wheat throw you off.  These are sweet and oh so delicious!  A friend of mine brought these with a meal after Logann was born and I asked for the recipe and have made them several times since!  


6. Black Bean Salad.  This was a combination of leftovers and trying to reproduce something I'd had at a friend's house.  This particular one is black beans, corn, avocado, and feta cheese with lemon juice (can do lime too) and sea salt.  


7.  Baked Brie.  So I must admit, this is the best when it's fresh out of the oven but the leftovers are still a very close second.  I used a pie crust instead of a puff pastry.  I still can't get the cheese to not leak out but I just all that gooey goodness on top.  Red grapes and apples are my favorites to eat with this.  Your favorite cracker would also be good.  

Please share any favorites you have.  I'd love to add them to my rotation!!!


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