Lunch Wrap-Up: Week of Sept 5th

Loving my job and new surrounds. School meals are the same, exactly the same. BUT!! I’ve been waiting to tell you something… The kids get a recess! What a revelation! More later on that development…

Here’s what I packed (four day week):

My son’s lunches

Homemade dairy-free mac and cheese, applesauce, eggs (from the farmer’s market), crunchy green beans, peaches (farmer’s market)

To make the sauce, I found her recipe online and used it as a guide. My kid ate everything, but left some of the mac and cheese. One of you guys reminded me that I should use egg molds. I bought and used them back in December (during the Eat Along Challenge) and promptly shoved them in the back of the silverware drawer. They are a huge hit. Also — “day care” or “daycare” ?? — every week I can’t be sure! Day care menu: Chicken cacciatore, pasta, mixed veggies, peach applesauce and rye bread.

Half of a bagel with goat cheese, peaches (farmer’s market), tomato soup, tomatoes, breadsticks.

My son saw the baby tomatoes at the grocery store and told me he wanted to buy them. I don’t like to refuse him veggies he requests, but I should have. He only ate two of the four. Day care menu: Mac and cheese, salad with French dressing, and apple.

Bacon, broccoli (CSA), cheesy mashed potatoes, peaches (farmer’s market)

Too small of a lunch. He was ravenous when I picked him up from daycare. Those potatoes were terrible! Whoops! Day care menu: Turkey hot dog, au gratin potatoes, peas, banana, and wheat bun.

Goat cheese cracker sandwich, broccoli (CSA), egg, pickled beets (farmer’s market), peaches (farmer’s market), pepitas

Big hit of a lunch. Only the pepitas came back. Day care menu: Chicken marinara, pasta, “winter blend,” peaches, Italian bread. A lot of pasta and bread on their menu for the week, eh?

My lunches

Homemade dairy-free, gluten-free enchiladas, peaches (CSA), corn muffin (corn kernels from CSA), carrot (CSA)

I used corn tortillas and ground bison for a twist. I also used the sauce I made myself. My husband was in heaven. My son? Not so much. Just ate the bison meat. I couldn’t send it in his lunch because I didn’t want him to waste the precious enchiladas.

Repeat! If it ain’t broke…

Bacon, broccoli (CSA), mini-KIND bar, carrot (CSA), mashed potatoes, peaches (farmer’s market)

Not enough food! The potatoes were so bad that I couldn’t eat them.

Crockpot FAIL, egg (farmer’s market), peaches (farmer’s market)

I have decided that rice is a permanent FAIL in the crockpot. I tried to mix up potatoes, squash, wild rice, and pinto beans (with water, etc) in the crockpot and cook it all day. It turned out TERRIBLE. I could get through it all. Mark my words, I will never do rice in the crockpot again!

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15 Responses to Lunch Wrap-Up: Week of Sept 5th

  1. Justine September 19, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    This look so delicious!
    I can’t wait to see your new book!

    Just Better Together

    • Mrs Q September 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Justine!

  2. Amanda September 19, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    Try buckwheat (I believe it’s gluten-free) instead of rice. holds up much better!

    • Mrs Q September 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      I’ll have to try that! I’m sure I can get it at Whole Foods, right?

  3. Aleria September 19, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    For rice, nothing beats a rice cooker. Some of the slightly higher-end models have timers, so you can put the rice and water in and set it to go off when you need it.

    • Mrs Q September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      We have a rice cooker, but it’s crappy — no timer. I hate it because it really doesn’t cook rice well at all.

      • PDXBekko October 16, 2011 at 4:20 am #

        Take the plunge. Buy a good rice cooker. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Any of the “fuzzy logic,” induction-heat ones by a Japanese maker (Zojirushi, Panasonic/National, Tiger, etc.) are great. You’ll thank me later when you wake up to the fragrance of freshly, and *perfectly*, cooked rice. Or oatmeal!

  4. Stacy September 19, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Yumm!!!! Looks great. I agree with you, rice is awful in the crockpot. Maybe its me but yuck! I like to make the topping in the crockpot (general tso’s chicken, cream chicken, beef and veggies, chili) and serve over my own fresh prepared rice.

  5. Kayla September 19, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    In college I was an Early Childhood Major and I was always told that it’s not politically correct to call it Child Care, because you’re not caring for days, you’re caring for children. But, it’s really all the same to me.

  6. Chrissy September 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Buy a rice cooker! So fast and easy, and most steam veggies as well. I wouldn’t make rice any other way.

  7. Melissa V September 20, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    Check out this blog, she explains when to add rice to the slow cooker so it doesn’t get all mushy and gross.

    http://www.onedishdinners.com/2011/05/when-to-add-rice-to-the-slow-cooker-one-dish-dinners-tips-and-tricks.html

    Hope this helps.

  8. Karen September 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    The problem with rice in a crockpot is that rice requires a pretty specific ratio of rice to water for success. Since the crockpot requires at least a small amount of extra liquid to cook with — which is absorbed into the rice and makes it mushy (and possibly makes everything else cook less well, since the liquid is gone)– it’s better to cook the rice separately. Just FYI.

  9. Tacomamama September 23, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I agree with Karen. Don’t try to combine rice with anything else unless it’s on the stove and the whole thing can be cooked within rice’s usual cooking timeline. Otherwise it turns to mush. I have made this mistake too many times.

    Make the rice ahead, and then spoon it into your soups or stews (bowl by bowl) when you serve. Comes out much better. The same trick works really well for noodle soups.

  10. Jennifer September 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi! I enjoyed your blog quite a long time ago when you had first started taking pics of the school meals. I’ve been away for a while and just happened back and I love the new format and the weekly wrap up. A few quick questions: Where did you get those cute little lunch containers? And how do you cook the eggs? They kind of look hardboiled but then they kinda looked poached. Never thought about possibly bringing poached eggs to work.

    Thanks,
    Jennifer
    Diesel Stomping

  11. Virginia September 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    A quick tip on the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. I’m thirty one and if presented with a cherry tomato in a salad will refuse to eat it. Mainly because I am afraid I will squirt someone with all the seeds. But if it is cut in half I would probably eat a bushel of them.

    Maybe he will eat them better sliced open.

    When I eat them at home I sprinkle a little garlic powder, pepper, evoo, and balsamic vinegar on the sliced tomatoes, soooooooooooooo yummy!

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