Lunch Planning

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This was our menu for the first two weeks of May. I always plan for left overs. It’s so nice to not have to cook something every day. I tried some new dishes in this menu and incorporated our “changes”.

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Monday-Wednesday Lentils with spinach, carrots and hot dogs
This is a great dish that can be stretched by adding oatmeal or rice.
Sunday night: Soak 2 cups lentils in water, dice 5 carrots, 1 whole onion and 1 head of garlic. Monday morning, drain lentils. Saute carrots, onions and garlic in coconut or olive oil until fragrant. Add lentils to the veggies, cover completely with water or broth. Bring all to a simmer then reduce heat and add cumin, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 2 hours. Lastly add chopped spinach and hot dogs. Hebrew National is a great brand that can be found at Costco and Trader Joes. We use hot dogs from Miller’s Organic Farm who offers nationwide CSA membership. This is a great dish to make in a big batch and serve for a couple of days. The girls like it mixed with oatmeal along with added raisins.

Thursday and Friday Sardines, Oysters, Beets and Mac&Cheese
I work on Thursday and I need something that is quick and easy to assemble when I get home.
Wednesday night: Boil 3 medium red beets until tender. Rinse under cold running water and peel skin away with a paper towel. Dice the beets into 1 inch cubes and add balsamic or red wine vinegar along with olive oil, salt and pepper. The beets absorb all of the flavor and are excellent served cold. For the mac&cheese, I used lentil pasta from Thrive Market. Trader Joes carries rice noodles and a fun new black bean pasta. The lentil pasta holds together really well, better than the rice noodles. Next I add a grated raw sharp cheddar while the pasta was warm. Stir well to combine…Done! When we arrive home on Thursday all I have to do is open cans of sardines and oysters and add the beets and mac&cheese.

Saturday and Sunday
Elvis Sandwich with yogurt blueberries
The Elvis Sandwich is a fun lunch that is both yummy and nourishing.
Friday afternoon: make one loaf of seed bread. After I make the seed flour for the bread, I use the VitaMix to make the cashew, almond, pecan, pumpkin seed or sunflower seed butter for the sandwich. You can either slice the bread and freeze it or keep it whole and slice it on Saturday to serve. One loaf of seed bread lasts use a long time. Saturday morning I defrost a cup of frozen Organic blueberries (from Costco) in the fridge. At lunch, we assemble the “Elvis Sandwich”: toasted seed bread with nut/seed butter and sliced bananas. Serve with plain whole milk raw yogurt and blueberries.

Monday and Tuesday
Beef Heart Kabobs with mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and pineapple
I order the beef heart from my local whole foods on Tuesday for pick up on Thursday. The grass finished cow shipment comes in on Wednesday so I call one day ahead to get the fresh heart. They trim it and cube it for free. It’s wonderful! Grass finished beef for $3.99 per pound. I usually have them freeze it for me just in case I don’t use it right away. Friday night, thaw the meat in the refrigerator. Saturday morning: divide the heart between two storage bags and add the following marinade: two oranges divided, 6 sprigs of: rosemary, thyme and oregano divided, one onion sliced and divided, one head of garlic crushed and divided, 1/2 cup olive oil divided and two tablespoons of grainy mustard divided. Add all ingredients into the bags with the heart, seal the bags and gently squeeze the oranges releasing the juice and massage them into the meat.
Sunday afternoon, chop the bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and pineapple into even sized chunks. Monday morning, soak the skewers or use metal. Assemble the kabobs in a meat, veggie, fruit pattern and store in the fridge until lunch. At lunch, preheat the grill over medium high heat and grill the kabobs about 2 minutes per side. The heart cooks quickly after being marinated.
Serve with steamed rice or green salad or nothing.

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Wednesday and Thursday
Chicken nachos with tomato, avocado, olive and cheese.
I roasted two whole chickens on Tuesday for dinner knowing I would use the extra meat for lunch nachos. This is one of those dishes where I incorporated a “change”. I used Late July tortilla chips from Thrive Market for the nacho base. Next, Shred some chicken, add diced tomato, sliced olives and shred some raw cheddar cheese. Broil for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted. Top with diced avocado. Presto! Homemade healthy nachos!!

Friday and Saturday
Salmon steak with sweet potato fries and broccoli.
Thursday night defrost six salmon steaks. I buy the individually frozen wild caught Keta salmon from Costco. Soak the frozen bags of salmon in a tub of water until the bag loosens from the fish then remove from bags and thaw in the fridge over night. If you forget this step, the fish cooks up well from completely frozen. Peel and slice four sweet potatoes into “fries” and store in a ziplock storage bag. Line one large and one small sheet pan with foil and set out to use on Friday. About one hour before lunch on Friday, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bag along with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Shake bag well to coat and pour onto a pan. Roast potatoes for about 45 minutes. Serve with steamed broccoli and butter.

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Sunday and Monday
Parfait with banana bread.
On Saturday night I defrost 1/2 cup frozen blueberries in two pint size mason jars. Sunday morning I add 1 cup plain raw milk yogurt and two tablespoons of ground chia seeds. Then stir to combine. By lunch the chia seeds have gelled and the texture is similar to a blueberry pudding. I toast some coconut chips in a pan with a sprinkling of cinnamon and add them to the top for a bit of crunchy and sweet. The banana bread is extra yummy toasted lightly in the oven. It really does not need any butter…but for the active kids a good grass fed butter only adds to the nutritional value.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Black bean and lentil pasta salad with bell pepper, onion, spinach and chard
On Friday night I soak 2 cups of dried black beans in filtered water. Saturday I drain the beans and leave them on the counter rinsing them several times a day until they start to sprout. Sunday night I dice three bell peppers: yellow, red and orange along with a whole red onion and store it in the fridge ready to use on Monday. Monday morning I bring the beans to a strong simmer in either filtered water or broth along with a whole head of garlic crushed and a whole onion minced. I then reduce the heat and cook them on a low simmer for about 6 hours. Once the beans are cooked I drain the liquid and let them cool. I used the  elbow noodles from Thrive Market made completely out of lentils. It holds up nicely and has a lot of naturally occurring fiber from the bean. While the beans are cooling, I cook the pasta in either broth or filtered water. While the pasta is cooking I sauté the onion and bell pepper in coconut oil until soft. When the veggies are soft, I add chopped chard and spinach and wilt them in. The salad is now ready to be assembled. I mix everything together in a large bowl along with a splash of red wine or tarragon vinegar and fresh basil and thyme. Now I have lunch ready for four days!! Awesome!

So that’s the kid’s lunch menu along with a little strategy. When the girls were newborns I had a lot more flexibility with my time because they napped a lot more. They are 17 months now and really active. Along with their brothers, I have a lot less time on my hands and I have to be very organized and plan for every free moment. That is why I make things in stages and plan or the prep work to be done ahead of time. This makes life a lot easier. It is difficult but it can also be done. Please let me know if you have questions or want more info about anything.

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