Adult Lunch Box: Shrimp and Avocado Salad

2 Oct

Well, the good news is that my daughter’s new lunch box, a Laptop Lunch Box, arrived! The bad news? It’s still too heavy for her to carry in her back pack. What does this mean? It means that I have a new lunch box, of course! For the rest of this year we will just pack our daughter’s snack in her soft Dora the Explorer lunch bag in our leftover take-out tupperware and she will re-inherit both her Planet Box and her Laptop Lunch Box when she’s a little bit bigger.

So, here is my Laptop Lunch debut! What I like about it is that the containers are deeper than in the Planet Box. However, it’s plastic. Planet Box is not. Also, the Laptop Lunch Box has its own built-in cutlery and is microwave-safe. Major win!

Check it out:

Lunch Box Contents:

Sugar Snap Peas

Shrimp-Avocado Salad – from this recipe on Kaylin’s Kitchen, modified by using homemade mayo a la this recipe. Calling it tasty does not do it justice! This compartment has a lid, I should mention :).

Baby cucumbers (the Laptop Lunch Box is deep enough to hold TWO baby cucumbers!)

Delicious Farmers’ Market Paleo Crackers (sunflower and flax seed)

Please look for a post offering a full comparison between the Planet Box and Laptop Lunch boxes in a little while – once I’ve had some hands-on experience with the new box!

Adult Lunch Box: Paleo Fish Sticks!

25 Sep

Ever since I went back to school, my husband has been the chef of the house. He’s recently been experimenting with almond flour breading for chicken and fish. Last night he made absolutely delicious fish sticks with Perch from our local Farmers’ Market. They were so satisfyingly crunchy with a hint of spice to give them a more ‘adult’ flavour. The best part of these fish sticks is that they were just as delicious eaten cold at lunch today as they were right out of the oven last night!

Today’s lunch box was somewhat depressingly bland, colour-wise, but it was one of the yummiest lunch boxes I’ve had in a while.

Lunch Box Contents:

Sunflower & Flax Seed crackers from the Farmers’ Market – I will miss these crackers SO much when the market ends for the season. They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and they make both raw vegans AND Paleo eaters happy!

Avocado Slices

Sliced Ham

*note that I made mini ‘sandwiches’ using the crackers, ham and avocado at lunch time today. Crunchy and creamy!

Leftover Paleo Fish Sticks – if anyone is interested I can get the recipe from my husband and do a photo blog of how he prepares them next time he cooks. Is this of interest to anyone out there?

Recipe: Coconut Chips for Kids

24 Sep

While we wait for the arrival of the new lunch box we ordered for my daughter, I thought I’d share a recipe.

Since my daughter’s school has a nut-free policy and avocado is messy when you’re three-and-three-quarters and eating snack on the floor with your friends and are FAR too distracted to find the napkin that your mom packed for you, I have been struggling to find good FATS to pack in her lunch lately.

I determined that COCONUT was the way to go to get her some healthy fats at snack time, but my daughter has never been a big coconut fan.

Last week I tested out Clean Eats in the Zoo‘s version of The Clothes Make the Girl‘s Caramelized Coconut Chips. I loved them. My husband loved them. We ate an entire batch over the course of a Saturday of family errands. My daughter…ate a few. A minor victory, but not enough for me to start sending them in her snack box. I decided to modify the recipe to be a bit more kid-friendly (my daughter being a kid with a sweet tooth).

Ingredients:

2 grown-up sized handfuls of raw, unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon of palm sugar

(Google ‘palm sugar and paleo’ if you care to read the debate as to whether the sugar of a coconut palm is or is not ‘truly paleo’. We use it infrequently as a not-so-bad substitute for refined sugar)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

How-To:

Scoop your handfuls of coconut flakes into a frying pan (no need to grease the pan).

Turn the stove on to Low-Medium heat (about 4 or 5 on the dial).

Wait patiently.

Once you start noticing the tiny pieces of coconut browning, start moving the flakes around with a wooden spoon.

Once even the larger flakes start browning, toss your palm sugar and cinnamon in and stir it all around for a minute or two. Be careful that the tiny coconut pieces do not start to burn!

Pour your concoction out onto a plate and let cool so that the chips can harden.

Ta-Da! Kid-approved, only a tiny bit sweet COCONUT CHIPS! If my daughter is a fan, I’m going to go ahead and guess that even your picky eater will be a fan.

Snack Box: Interrupted

17 Sep

I got some very sad news at daycare pick-up the other day.

My daycare provider, who picks my daughter up from school three days per week, informed me that she needs a new lunch box.

Turns out her Planet Box was just too heavy for a kindergartener to carry around and her teacher had mentioned to the sitter that she’ll need a new one as the children are responsible for carrying their own backpacks.

Obviously I was extremely disappointed. My Planet Box has helped me stay pretty darn Paleo in spite of a gruelling academic schedule over the past 12 months. I was hoping it would be just as successful for my daughter.

But…onward and upward.

I have decided to give plastic Bento-style lunch boxes a try for the year, and we’ll try the Planet Box again next year when my daughter is a year older and that much stronger!

After much research and debate, I have decided to order the Laptop Lunches Bento Box. I will report back once it arrives and my daughter tries it out for a few days. And, of course, I’ll post pics of her Laptop Lunches!

Adult Lunch Box: First Day Simple

11 Sep

It was my first day back. It was a short day. I over-indulged all weekend at a family wedding celebration. I kept it simple and tasty. No cooking required.

 

Lunch Box Contents:

Sliced Pear
Almond Butter (in the small round container) for dipping
Baby Cucumber
Summer Sausage & Garlic Goat Cheese mini-sandwiches – what I do with these is take them apart and eat them open-faced and topped with baby cucumber. YUM!

See? Simple. The kind of simple that anyone can implement after a weekend away (where we missed our chance to hit the market and didn’t even make a run to the grocery store!) that still hits all your protein, fat and some carb-goodness :).

Kindergarten Snack Box 2: She Did It Herself

6 Sep

Today’s Snack Box was 100% designed and implemented by my almost-4-year-old!

As soon as we got home from home care after her first day of school (!!!) we headed straight to the kitchen. She helped me wash out her Planet Box and then opened the fridge and cupboard and selected the contents of tomorrow’s box. The whole thing took about 15 minutes, and it was a great opportunity to spend a little bit of quality time together after her super busy day.

Lunch Box Contents:

Hard Boiled Egg Whites – today she decided she “doesn’t like the yellow part”, so she peeled the eggs (I sliced them in half) and popped out the yolks (I ate one and shared the other one with the dogs)
Strawberries – She even cut the stems off, with my help
Baby Cucumber – again, she insists they taste better whole; these baby cucumbers have taken the place of granola bars in our household…they’re not terribly filling (but neither are grain-laden granola bars), but they really are satisfying to crunch away at when water won’t cut it!
Rice Crackers & Raisins – for a reminder as to why my mostly-Paleo kid gets rice crackers, read this post 

I have a feeling the raisins are here to stay for a while. I’m hoping to find a way to ‘sneak’ egg yolks into her diet soon. That’s my next research project :).

Kindergarten Snack Box 1: All Her Faves

5 Sep

The day is here. She starts Junior Kindergarten tomorrow at 8:45am.

In Canada, there is a NUT FREE policy at the schools, which makes packing a filling Paleo lunch box challenging. However, since she is only in half-day school this year and next, the school asks that we pack them a snack, rather than a full lunch. So my kiddie lunch boxes this year will all be SNACK BOXES. My adult boxes will still be LUNCH BOXES. I start back next Monday and I have a few ideas for this year’s boxes with KEEP IT SIMPLE as my motto for the year :).

Snack Box Contents:

This Snack Box was inspired by a picture out of Sarah Fragoso’s children’s book Paleo Pals. My daughter was flipping through the book this morning while I was packing her bag up and insisted that her first lunch box look like the one in the recipe section of Paleo Pals :).

Lunch Box Contents:

Hard-boiled egg
Purple Carrots – my daughter HATES carrots; she LOVES purple carrots (which taste EXACTLY the same). I suspect it will be a long carrot-free winter as the purple ones seem to only be available at the Farmers’ Market, which ends in October.
Baby Cucumber (I’m not a lazy mom who didn’t want to slice the cucumber, she likes to eat them whole)
Apples & Raisins

As you can see, this isn’t a terribly filling box. However, school is only 2.5 hours long and she’ll have lunch at her home care shortly after school, so this box provides her with snack options that are tasty and appealing enough to her that she can snack on stuff in her box throughout the day. And it’s nut free!

Happy Back to School!

First Kids Lunch Box: Nothing But Basics

1 Jul

Well, the day has come! My 3.5 year-old is starting her first session of summer camp. It will be a little bit scary (no naps at camp!), but a great ‘trial run’ for when she starts school in September. And it will be our first time sending her out for the day with a packed lunch (her daycare provides lunches). 

So….here is her first lunch box. We try to feed our daughter Paleo, but have had trouble getting buy-in from others in her life, so we allow rice crackers as a bit of a compromise. What I love about the Planet Box lunch boxes that she and I both use is that they come with adorable magnetic ‘decorations’, which also allowed me to note that she is GLUTEN FREE for her camp counsellors, in case any of the children share food…hopefully it’s a helpful reminder (and it makes me feel better!).

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Lunch Box Contents:

Hard-boiled eggs (cut in half because sometimes she only eats the “white part” ;))
Sugar snap peas (opened for her since she can’t get them open. We call these ‘green candies’ and she has NO idea they aren’t ACTUAL candy!)
Summer sausage slices with rice crackers
Strawberries

Note: ALL contents in this lunch box were purchased from the farmers and producers at our local farmers’ market! Nothing makes me happier than market day, aside from knowing that my kiddo is eating food from people we know personally and trust with our health.  

 

English Bacon & Purple Sweet Potatoes!

13 May

Purple sweet potatoes are the sweetest, according to the farmer who slipped us a few for free after we bought a few pounds of orange sweet potatoes at the market!

 

Lunch Box Contents:

4 slices of English Bacon (also called back bacon)
1 purple sweet potato
Summer Sausage ‘sandwiches’ filled with a goat cheese chèvre spiced with rosemary and basil…YUM!
2 hard-boiled eggs

I have learned a lesson over the past 8 months: calories DO count. I think I was over-feeding myself, thinking that because the food is all Paleo/Primal, it wouldn’t cause weigh gain. Well…it has. So I’m reigning the portion sizes in, trying to get my body back to its fat-burning awesomeness!

Sausage for Breakfast On-the-Go!

5 Jan

The cucumber sandwiches have returned! Hurrah!

This lunch box will serve a dual purpose. I have class 8:30-11:30 then head directly to my 1pm Crossfit class. Very excited to try the sausages cold dipped in a sugar and additive-free marinara sauce!

Lunch Box Contents:

Two all-natural, nitrate and gluten-free sausages, chopped up
in closed container: sugar and additive free marinara sauce from my local farm store (same store I got my sausages!)
two squares of 80% dark chocolate
Cucumber and goat cheese mini-sandwiches
Egg sandwiches made with homemade Paleo mayo and Paleo bread

 

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