Lunch Wrap Up #9

I don’t remember the last time I felt this good. I think my body heals with every passing day, but this week I’ve felt especially good. Being gluten-free and dairy-free agrees with me. I’ve lost about 6 pounds in the 11 weeks since I stopped eating school lunch. I’m almost at my pre-pregnancy weight.

Mornings this week have been crazy as usual. My priority is my son and his lunches so I have less time and attention to devote to what I’m going to eat for lunch. I just throw something small together. One of the main reasons is that, just like my students, I have so little time to eat at school. I bet many of you have looked at my lunches and thought, “That doesn’t seem like enough.” Believe me, it’s a very short lunch period and what I pack I can’t always finish.

So we made kale chips. They blew my mind. We used this recipe for kale chips. I can’t stop stuffing my face. They don’t look very appealing in my photos, but they are unbelievable. My son just crams them in his mouth. In fact, we were playing together on the couch and I pretended to nibble him (toddlers are delicious!) and he turned to me and pretended to eat my arm and said, “Eat you like kale.” I almost fell onto the floor.

And I made purple coleslaw. I had never made coleslaw before, but when I was at the store I bought a purple cabbage. I chopped up half a cabbage, one apple, and one carrot and used this Honey Lime dressing. My husband said it was the best coleslaw he ever ate. It was another one of those things I just couldn’t stop eating.

Click below to see our lunch pictures (I’m putting jump breaks into these posts so people can avoid photos of my boring lunches when they land on my blog):

MY SON’S LUNCHES
(we’re both gluten free, dairy free)
MONDAY
Chicken kabob (shredded), applesauce, mac and chreese, yogurt,
mandarin orange, purple coleslaw

Last weekend we went out for dinner to a place that had a gluten-free menu. So I ordered chicken kabobs and shredded one piece for my son’s lunch. When I realized I only had one broccoli left in the mac and chreese (also a leftover), I packed some of the precious purple coleslaw (far right). He ate everything per daycare, which I think means that he ate most of the food. Daycare menu: American cheese sandwich, chicken noodle soup, applesauce, peas with fruit and ice cream as snacks

TUESDAY 
Salmon, rice, kale chips, strawberries, pita bread,
chocolate coconut yogurt, kiwi slices
The daycare folks said he ate everything, but he told me that he didn’t eat the rice, which doesn’t surprise me since he’s not a big rice eater. I planned this meal without the daycare’s new monthly menu because it wasn’t available the night before. Hello March! Daycare menu: Diced ham, rice, orange wedges, green beans with fruit and yogurt as snacks.
WEDNESDAY
Fish sticks, blueberry pancakes with syrup, strawberries & yogurt,
mashed sweet potatoes, sliced kiwi, bar

I caved and gave him the gf fish sticks that we bought on sale at Whole Foods. The other kids were eating chicken nuggets and I wasn’t sure how thrilled he’d be about the pancakes. At home he’s not much of a pancake lover. He doesn’t eat as well at our dining room table as he does around the table at daycare. Even though he’s eating different foods than the other kids, peer pressure still works great. Well, the daycare folks said he ate everything. Daycare menu: Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, diced peaches, diced carrots with fruit and yogurt as snacks.

THURSDAY
Pasta, sauce, and peas with daiya “cheese”, applesauce, kiwi, cupcake,
egg and kale chips

We have discovered daiya! It was on sale at Whole Foods, but regardless wow does that taste like cheese. Our son loved it. Also the kale chips are back. I made them the night before, but they wilted in the fridge so I baked them again in the morning to crisp them up. He ate everything. Daycare menu was: Ground beef, pasta, bread, diced pears, peas with fruit and blueberry muffins as snacks.

FRIDAY
Bacon, blueberry pancakes, roasted carrots and onions, yogurt,
egg, sliced apple, bar

Pancakes again because I figured that since he liked them earlier in the week, I had a chance that he would eat them again. I roasted simple veggies the night before and he like them, even the onions. They say he ate everything. Daycare menu: Pasta and meat sauce, mandarin oranges, green beans, with yogurt and bread with soynut butter as snacks. – Pasta two days in a row on the daycare menu — strikes me as odd.

MY LUNCHES
MONDAY
Quinoa & chicken crockpot leftovers, purple coleslaw,
mandarin orange, kiwi, chunk of chicken kabob

This is what happens when you have less than five minutes to assemble lunch. Random and weird, but it fed me just fine.

TUESDAY
salmon and rice, kale chips, strawberries, KIND bar

In a word: delicious!!

WEDNESDAY
Crockpot chicken, rice, beans, and spinach, bag of kale chips,
mandarin orange, banana, KIND bar

I decided to try to make my own crockpot meal (translation: no recipe) with red rice, chicken, chicken broth, pinto beans and spinach. It was very, very plain. My husband and son didn’t care for it so I took it for lunch for three days in a row.

THURSDAY
Chicken and rice crockpot thingy, kale chips, strawberries,
mandarin orange, KIND bar

I used to have to avoid eating too much citrus because I thought it gave me canker sores. Nope. It was the gluten. I haven’t had a canker sore since I stopped eating gluten and now I can eat all the citrus I want.

FRIDAY
Chicken and rice crockpot thingy, apple, mandarin orange, KIND bar
Repeat lunch, but satisfied my taste buds.
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13 Responses to Lunch Wrap Up #9

  1. Justine March 5, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Can you pack me lunch too!? This looks so good!

    Just Better Together
    come check out my giveaway

  2. Liz March 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I find that the kale chips stay crispy if you just leave them on a plate, uncovered. I typically keep mine in the microwave so they're not sitting out. I also make each batch to order. I don't think they keep well otherwise.

    One time I made them for dinner but totally forgot about them and left them in the oven. The next day we went out of town for 4 days and when we came home, I found the pan with the kale chips still in the oven. They were still good! I couldn't believe it. My husband said I'd get sick if I ate them (he's a chef and is very cautious about food and food storage) but I was starving and ate them anyway. I was fine!

  3. Anonymous March 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I worked in a day care center that required all children to bring their own lunch. The policy there was that any uneaten food had to be sent back home so that families could see exactly what/how much their child had eaten. It seemed weird to me at first, but actually makes a lot of sense! Have you considered asking your center to do that? You might get a better feel for what they mean when they say 'he ate everything'. 🙂

  4. Tina March 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    My 5yo daughter's school does the same thing as the previous poster. I also thought it was strange that they sent the food back home, and sometimes her lunch box is a total mess. She puts it back in herself so she doesn't always properly close food containers with uneaten contents. However, I find it really helpful. I always know exactly what she's eating.

  5. Anonymous March 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    That's funny, because most moms I know ask their kids to bring their food back from school. A) it makes sure containers actually come home, but B) it lets parents see what's actually being eaten. It seems like Mrs. Q requesting the same would help the daycare, if anything,since they wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up his lunch things.
    That salmon and rice looks awesome!

  6. Anonymous March 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Check out Green Valley Organics lactose free yogurt if you get a chance – amazing!

  7. Anonymous March 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    To be honest, I tried Diaya from Whole Foods and it was so gross I threw out the whole package.

  8. Marisa March 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Awesome to see the red rice! I've noticed in your lunch posts you eat a lot of white rice, which is basically pure starch. There are so many amazing whole grain rice options out there, such as wild, brown, black, forbidden, red, you name it! Since I switched to whole grain rice I was missing risotto (could not find whole grain arborio anywhere online!) but found I could make it with a short grain brown rice instead!!

  9. Anonymous March 7, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Curse you Mrs. Q!!!!
    I'm officially addicted to kale chips, and it's ALL YOUR FAULT! Haha.

    I was the self-declared kale lover back whenever you posted the recipe for kale chips (I said I'd live off it if I could), so once I saw that recipe, I knew I had to give it a try.

    I just finished chowing down half a head of kale. hahahaha. Wow! Those things are crazy addictive!

  10. Mrs. Q March 7, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Insert evil laugh!!!! They are addictive aren't they?? Now we share the same addiction! 🙂

  11. Anonymous April 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    As with any institution, school is a buisness. Do the cafeterias in Chicago make all these food products on their campuses? I think Not! Contracts, deals, money (kickbacks?)this seems the reason to me.

    Parents the State knows better than you about your kids, especially if somebody is getting rich somewhere.

    Welcome to Socialism.

  12. Anonymous April 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Psyops? Shcill? Damage control? Danged change agents….

  13. Anonymous August 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi, just found your blog, and support your ideals. Please know that some school districts are doing their best to improve things. In our school in Rapid City SD,
    lunches were made more healthy (and are made at the schools, not contracted out) largely at the urging of parents. Each lunch at my school (I'm a teacher) now must contain whole wheat bread or roll, fresh fruit (often berries and melon-not just apples and bananas) fresh veges
    (usually raw carrots, broc, caulif, etc.) and protein. I have to say that most parents are very impressed with the new healthful lunches. However, since many students aren't used to eating like this (at home or school),the majority of the lunches are thrown away with only a few bites eaten. In fact, the number of students bringing lunchables had dramatically increased as parents feel "at least their kids will eat them." It's discouraging as we have large numbers of students who we know don't get anything healthy at home and sometimes don't get meals at all! Anyway, changes take time and we're not giving up, despite the outcry from students (and some parents) for deep-fried corndogs and fries. I hope this gives some of your readers hope. Unfortunately in our society, many parents aren't concerned with healthy eating. It's nice to see so many that are. It truely makes a huge difference in the classroom.

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