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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!

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!).

Image

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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.  

 

Lunch Box 14: Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates. Yes, Please.

4 Jan

Loving my new Paleo Cookbooks!!

I had three blissful weeks off. I ate 80% Paleo (but I did consume sugar, which is probably why I gained a good 5 lbs. Boo!). But tomorrow is back to the grind. They have found a new way to torture me this semester – my Wednesdays involve three classes back to back. That’s NINE HOURS of class WITH NO BREAK.

I made a few loaves of Paleo bread and froze them and made a double batch of the best spaghetti sauce in the world (a family recipe…I’ll share at a later date). We also received our quarter cow from a local farmer we met at our market this summer. 100% grass fed! And we even went to visit the cows earlier this fall. Very cool.

Oh, my favourite part of my three weeks off (aside from the amazing time with my daughter and family) was receiving two new Paleo cookbooks for the holidays! Today’s lunch box includes a recipe I simply couldn’t wait to try from Make it Paleo. I also got Paleo Comfort Foods. What I like about these books is that they are full of creative Paleo recipes, but simple enough that I can confidently pass them over to my husband, who cooks dinner while I’m in school, and know that he’ll be able to figure it out ;).

Today’s Lunch Box Contents:

Two hard boiled eggs, chopped up
a slight variation on Make It Paleo’s Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates topped with crushed walnuts. Like heaven in my mouth. No, seriously.
Two Paleo Bread sandwiches filled with loads of grass-fed butter!
Spaghetti squash topped with the World’s Greatest Spaghetti Sauce. I’ve always been an ‘eat the leftover spaghetti & meatballs cold in front of the fridge’ type of girl, so I’m cool with eating my leftovers in class, cold :). Is that weird?
And finally, a few squares of Camino brand 80% dark chocolate.

Here we go again……..!

Lunch Box 11: Ribs, Glorious Ribs!

8 Oct

Leftover ribs are amazing. That is all.

Another ‘idiot-proof’ lunch box thrown together by my husband. Note the paper towel wrapped around the frozen shrimp to absorb the moisture as they thaw.
 
Lunch Box Contents:
 
Frozen cooked shrimp
Handful of almonds
yellow pepper slices
2 hard-boiled eggs
Leftover home made grass-fed ribs made with a dry rub and drizzled with honey.

Lunch Box 8: Buttery Pumpkin Mash & Grass-Fed Beef Cold Stir-Fry

27 Sep

It’s FALL! It’s FALL! My Farmer’s Market was just screaming with fall deliciousness. Sweet potatoes, a spaghetti squash and a Sweet pumpkin (the green kind, not the jack-o-lantern kind) came home with us.  And made it into tomorrow’s lunch box. I have also been experimenting with ‘meal’ type foods that can be eaten cold, as I do not have access to a microwave on my long days. I think we have a winner, and it’s in this lunch box.

Pumpkin-y goodness

Lunch Box Contents:

Mini-cucumber & goat’s milk cream cheese sandwiches
Farmer’s Market (nitrate-free, naturally raised, etc.) summer sausage & pepperoni stick
Pumpkin Mash*
Grass-fed ‘good when it’s cold’ beef, cilantro and veggie stir-fry

* Chop top off pumpkin, remove seeds and throw pumpkin in the oven at 350 for an hour
Pull the orange guts out of the pumpkin and mash them up in a big bowl. Add a generous amount of butter and a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
Transfer to a pot on the stove, turn stove to medium. Add some heavy cream and more butter and a bit of coconut oil if you choose and stir until all melty and delicious.
Eat. Love. Yum.

Lunchbox 3: Ant-less Logs

15 Sep

Today is my day off. Today I spent the morning at home reading as much as my brain would allow, I hit a 1:00pm Crossfit class, went to the bank, and then came home to prepare tomorrow’s lunch box.

Tomorrow isn’t just a long day. It’s a long day followed immediately by a road trip! Six hours of classes, after which the husband and child will pick me up and we’ll head out of town for the weekend. I think this lunch box reflects the need to stay full for a long time, given the fact that the snacks that will be packed for the weekend will likely be snatched up by the husband before I can even say “gluten-and-nitrate-free-all-beef-Farmer’s Market-pepperoni-sticks”!

Lots of food for a long, long day.

Lunch Box Contents:

3 hard boiled eggs
Ant-less logs – Celery sticks filled with almond butter (so sad we don’t have raisins or cranberries!)
Sliced Prosciutto
1/3 of a peach, cubed
1/2 of a Cashew Larabar
and in the centre…2/3 of a triangle of a President’s Choice 72% Almond & Honey Swiss Dark Chocolate Bar.

The Verdict:

No verdict yet as the lunch box is currently waiting for me in the fridge and I won’t be blogging this weekend. I have a good feeling about this one, though!

Also, made the most AMAZING Paleo Eggplant Lasagne last night, using 100% Farmer’s Market ingredients. I wonder if I should start posting non-lunch box recipes here, too? Since nobody reads it but me…why not?! 🙂