Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mommy & Daddy's Lunch: 7.1.10

Daddy has half a taco pizza (folded over), some watermelon, and some carrots.

I have half a taco pizza (folded over), some watermelon, and some zucchini and summer squash leftover from the other night.

Great in our Easy Lunchboxes!

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Recipe: Taco Pizzas

I guess you could call these open faced taco-quesadillas, too.  Whatever you want to call them, they were yummy, and went over like gangbusters with the kids! 

I have leftovers for Daddy's and my lunch - half each.  A whole "pizza" is about 500 calories, so half is good for a lunch.

Taco Pizzas

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 small can corn, drained and rinsed

1/4 c taco sauce
1/4 c pizza sauce

1/2 c - 1 c shredded mexican blend cheese

Whole wheat tortillas (6)

In a frying pan, brown the beef and drain off any excess fat.  Stir in beans and taco seasoning, mashing the beans to incorporate into the meat more.

Preheat oven to 375 F. 

Put tortillas on baking sheets.  Stir taco sauce and pizza sauce together and spread evenly over 6 tortillas. 

Divide corn between the tortillas and spread evenly.  Top with meat mixture.

Sprinkle cheese on top of the tortillas.  Bake for ~20 minutes and serve with salsa.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Toy: Farm Animal Silver Dollar Pancake Skillet

I saw this the other day and had to get it - a Barnyard Silver Dollar Pancake Pan!

I found that it works best to brush the pan with oil (Non-stick spray is NOT recommended; it can leave a nasty residue on non-stick cookware.  Save it for stainless items), cook them on one side in the patterned pan, and then flip them (using a wooden skewer or chopstick, to prevent scratching the non-stick on the pan) into a regular skillet.

They are totally adorable and would go great in bentos!  For now, I am keeping them in the freezer for quick breakfasts. 

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Mom's Lunch: 6.29.10

I have leftover tuna cakes, leftover peas in a cream cheese parmesan sauce, some watermelon, and a chocolate covered strawberry dipped in crushed biscotti (made them for a party this weekend - delicious).

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Recipe: Mini Tuna Ranch Cakes

I got a couple new toys!  One is this mini-burger patty maker (made for sliders), and I just couldn't resist trying to make tuna cakes in it.  My son doesn't like mayonnaise, so I used ranch dressing in these, and it was wonderful.  The carrots add some nutrition and the cheese just works.  Cheddar would be delicious, too.  I happened to have some muenster hanging around, so in it went!

And, happily, the kids loved them!

Mini Tuna Ranch Cakes

1/2 c shredded carrots
2 cans tuna, drained
5 slices Muenster cheese (or your favorite cheese), torn into small pieces
4 Tbsp ranch dressing (I used fat free)
2 tsp dehydrated onion (could use some green onions or regular onions chopped)

Panko bread crumbs, for coating (around 1/2 c)

Mix all ingredients but panko together until it forms a ballable "dough."

Press into small patties (I got 11) and coat with panko. Put on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, and lightly spray the tops.

Bake at 350 until browned, about 20 minutes.

Serve with ranch dressing or tartar sauce.

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Daddy's Lunch: 6.28.10

Daddy had leftover tortellini, with sauce in a little container, watermelon, and some little sausages leftover from a party this past weekend.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recipe: Carrot Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

 I wanted to make some muffins using some carrots, and the kids really like chocolate chip muffins when my mother-in-law buys them, so I thought I'd combine the two!

Carrot Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk (I used whey from draining my homemade yogurt)
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot (I shredded mine in the food processor)
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine carrots, whey (or milk), oil, vanilla, and sugar.  Stir in the remaining ingredients, folding in chocolate chips last.  Scoop into lined mini muffin pans, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Recipe: Egg in a Nest

I saw this recipe and needed to give it a try, because it was so interesting and easy.

I'm glad I did.  It was super quick, and yummy!  I did not use sweetened cereal, because I think that would have been very odd.  I used rice and wheat flakes, but bran flakes or corn flakes would also have been good, I think.

Egg in a Nest

1/2 c wheat and rice flake cereal
1/4 c shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend, cheddar would be delicious)
1 egg
Salsa (optional)

Spray a small custard dish with cooking spray.  Mix cereal and cheese together, and transfer to custard dish, making a well in the middle.  Crack the egg into the well, pierce the yolk (or it could explode!), cover with wax paper or a small plate (my custard dish has a cover), and microwave for about 45-50 seconds until egg white is set.  Serve with salsa if desired.

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 6.25.10

Daddy has a turkey sandwich on wheat, grapes, and homemade yogurt with strawberry jam.

I have leftover lentil taco filling, a couple of pieces of hard bread (like Wasa), blueberries, and some homemade yogurt with maple syrup and a little ginger.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recipe: Lentil Taco Filling

I didn't have any meat thawed, and wanted tacos.  I have a ton of lentils in the pantry.  I decided to try out (and tweak) a recipe for lentil taco filling.

And guess what?  It was delicious.  The kids both loved it.  And they even knew it was lentils.

The boy (who doesn't eat much for dinner usually) at 2 1/2.

And the girl ate 4 before I forced her to stop (because they are surprisingly filling - and I didn't want her with a tummy ache later!)

It's a winner, and a healthy one at that!  I bet that the girl would love the lentils in a taco salad, which is one of her favorite lunches during the school year.

Lentil Taco Filling

2 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c taco seasoning powder
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa

In a medium sauce pan, cook the dried onion and minced garlic in oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover, stir in taco seasoning to taste, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. If desired, puree in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender until mostly smooth.  (I did this) Stir in salsa.

Use as "meat" in tacos with your favorite fixings.

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Backlog: Some of Mom's Lunches

I have a few of my lunches to post, and I'll try to get back to posting them more often!

I'm loving my Easy LunchBoxes! 

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Amusement Park Lunch in Easy Lunchbox!

We went to Six Flags this past weekend, and we decided ahead of time to pack our lunches at the cabin we were staying at and bring them in a cooler to the park.  It worked out great!

I packed essentially the same thing for everyone.

The Boy wanted a banana instead of grapes, but otherwise we had the same thing - peanut butter and jelly, half a fiber one bar, a cheese stick, and some chips.

That's a heck of a lot better than fried dough and greasy pizza and ice cream and junk food at the park.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mom & Dad's Lunch: 6.14.10

Summertime, and the living is easy.. and no packing lunches for the girl!  Strange...

Daddy and I have the same thing in our lunch - salad with dressing in a small container (I have mandarin sesame dressing, Daddy has ranch), 1/4 corn on the cob, and some slices of ham to help fill us up.  May have to add some extra to it, but I hope not!

(Shared on What's For Lunch at our House)

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recipe: Couscous Azindessi

This is my contribution to Global Table's Cook Along for Benin.  I also made a lemon flan, which was yummy, but kind of fell flat... so I won't share that recipe unless someone really wants it..

This chicken dish, with couscous, in a delicious tomato-peanut sauce, is wonderful.  I served it with some steamed spinach with a little black cumin seeds thrown in.

Couscous Azindessi (from Benin)

3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp chicken boullion powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat removed
1 can stewed tomatoes, drained.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/3 c chicken broth
3 Tbsp peanut oil
4 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1 c couscous
1/2 c dry-roasted peanuts, crushed
4 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Mix the garlic, crushed bouillon cube, ground ginger, and pepper. Coat the Chicken
with this mixture. Set aside.

In a blender, combine the tomato, onion, and 1 c of the chicken broth. Blend until fairly smooth. Set aside.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbsp of the oil. Cook the chicken, turning with tongs until browned on all sides.

Add the tomato-onion-broth mixture. Cook, covered, until the sauce comes to a low boil, about 5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter. Reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, covered, until the Chicken is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325  F. Pour the couscous into a 9-13 inch baking dish. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the remaining 1 1/3 cups chicken broth, the salt, and the remaining oil to a boil. (I boiled in a jar in the microwave). Pour over the couscous. Stir once. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the couscous is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.   Remove it from the oven, and fluff it with a fork.

Stir in the peanuts. Mound the couscous in the center of a warm shallow serving platter. Surround with the chicken and top with the peanut sauce. Garnish with the chopped green onions and serve.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lunch: 6.9.10 - Last Day of School!

Thursday is Field Day, with a bbq/picnic, so this is the last lunch I am packing for the school year! (Shared on What's For Lunch in Our House)

And I couldn't bring myself to wash the Easy LunchBox containers... rough day.  So, her final lunch is packed in some of our older containers.

She has some banana cranberry muffins, blueberries, string cheese, ham skewer, granola in one animal container, dried pineapple in the other, and homemade yogurt with a little maple syrup.

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Lunch: 6.8.10

The penultimate lunch of the school year!

She has some yogurt with maple syrup stirred in, some blueberry skewers, homemade granola in the oval container, a cheesestick, goldfish crackers in the hippo, and some homemade banana cranberry mini muffins.

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 6.8.10

Daddy has a ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat, homemade yogurt with strawberry jelly stirred in, and some goldfish.

I have homemade yogurt with maple syrup, blueberries, and a ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lunch: 6.7.10

Last week of school - and there's a picnic at school on Thursday, with included food... so lunches for the girl are almost done for the year!  I'll still be blogging our lunches, and recipes, so the summer will not be dull!

Snack is provided at school, so it's just lunch!

She has blueberry skewers, rainbow goldfish, a string cheese, and a ham and cheese sandwich on a sandwich thin, cut in half, in her EasyLunchBox container.

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Mom & Dad's Lunch: 6.7.10

For lunch, Daddy has a ham and cheese sandwich, raspberry Chobani (making new homemade yogurt as I type), and blueberries, in his Easy LunchBox container.

I have a salad, some mandarin orange dressing, blueberries, and the rest of my leftover mashed carrots and sweet potato, in my Easy LunchBox container.

Happy Monday!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Lunch: 6.4.10

No snack today - the school is providing snack for a camp they do at school until the 10th (Day camp).

 Lunch is a bunny shaped hard boiled egg, blueberries, homemade yogurt with maple syrup, granola, a cheese stick, and some ham.

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Mom's Lunch: 6.3.10

I have leftover Belizean Egg & Cheese Pie, Sweet Potatoes and carrots, and lots of watermelon.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recipe: Egg & Cheese Pie

This week, Global Table is visiting Belize.  To participate in the Cook-Along, I found this interesting recipe for Egg & Cheese Pie.

I mean, sure, I could have made Rice & Beans, or Beans & Rice, or something with fish or shellfish (check out this recipe!  If I thought anyone in my family would eat it besides me, I would have made it...)  I wanted to make something that I thought people would eat, and something different and interesting, and having all the ingredients on hand was definitely a bonus!

Verdict:  It's delicious!  It's interesting!  It was easy and quick!

And I think it would have been better with curry powder.  Or onions.  And I modified it slightly to make it a little healthier.  I bet that people in Belize are not using fat free evaporated milk.

Still - it was a winner.  I served it with mashed sweet potato and carrot, sweetened with a little honey and brown sugar, and that was wonderful.  I recommend that combination whole heartedly.

Belizean Egg & Cheese Pie

6 hard boiled eggs
1/2 c shredded cheese (I used parmesan - something with more bite would be delicious)
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 c fat free evaporated milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp flour
1 c bread crumbs

Hard boil the eggs (add eggs to water, bring to a boil, put cover on, remove from heat, let sit for 10 minutes).  Make white sauce by melting butter in a sauce pan, stirring in flour and cooking for a couple of minutes, stirring in evaporated milk, and then the cheese, stirring until thickened.
Cut eggs into slices. Put alternate layers of eggs, sauce and bread crumbs in a pie plate. Sprinkle top with a little more cheese.  Bake 15-25 minutes at 350 F.

Then, you eat it all up.

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