Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

Simple Halloween Themed Lunch

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
 

simple halloween lunch 3

I am really starting to feel the spirit of the Halloween season kicking in. So I dug deep in my lunch supply cabinet and pulled out my Halloween cookie cutters and food picks! I needed to keep it simple though because I didn’t have time to store away scraps etc. You see I waited to pack lunches until this morning and of course I woke up late! That is certainly a recipe for disaster but I wasn’t ready to admit lunch defeat!

Now I admit I was a little foggy minded as my little guy kept me up most of the night. I was still pretty happy however with this simple Halloween themed lunch that I pulled together quickly. I simply pressed my jack-o-lantern cookie cutter into one slice of bread applying pressure underneath the cutter and bread with my hand to make a good impression. I then made my sandwich and cut in half. This happens to be no nitrate added chicken breast BUT fill the sandwich with whatever you like! Your choice! I then added broccoli tucking in a spider food pick for fun. For 2 seconds I had visions of the Great Pumpkin… all you Peanuts fans know what I’m talking about!

To complete this lunch I added sliced plums and broken pieces of Mild Green Mojo Chips by Late July. I couldn’t resist adding a jack-o-lantern pick to the plums! This whole lunch took just a few minutes and was super simple! This lunch is packed in an Easylunchboxes container!

Sincerely,
Deb

Want one now? Products featured in this post (links below are affiliate links and this blogger may earn a commission on any sales):

Alternatives to Fresh

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013
 

fresh fruit alternatives

As the weather turns colder for much of the United States fresh produce becomes less available. In the NorthEast many CSAs (community supported agriculture) stop delivering shares soon and farmer’s markets will soon pack up until next year. Although the grocery store always imports produce year round much of it doesn’t taste or look the same off season. Strawberries, blackberries, zucchini etc just aren’t quite the same, at least around these parts and the prices can make them less appealing knowing they aren’t as good.

Also as the weather turns colder there is a shift in the types of food you crave. Many people move towards those richer comfort foods that “stick to your ribs” on the cold days. Let’s face it, crockpots and ovens are being turned on everywhere even as you read this post (unless your reading this next summer ha)! I mention this because often fresh produce is a huge staple for a lunch packer.

I am a big proponent that half of each meal should consist of a variety of fruits and vegetables. I miss the mark sometimes but it is something that I at least try to consider for my family’s health when preparing food. If fresh produce is less available you may have less in your refrigerator and therefore question what do I pack? So let’s consider some options that are easy to have on hand when fresh produce is less available:

 

Frozen

Frozen fruits added to the lunchbox in the morning will be defrosted to eat by lunch or bake them into some of your favorite muffins. Choose from mango, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries etc. all available year round in your grocer’s freezer section! Frozen veggies can easily be tossed into egg omelets or baked egg muffins, chilis, soups, stir fries and of course be served as is. Try carrots, peas, broccoli and corn in your lunch boxes! Bonus if you go for organic selections! ;) You may want to remember to pack a fork for easy lunch time eating!

 

Canned/Bottled

Easy to have on hand and has a long shelf life, canned items are a great year round option. Consider mandarin oranges, olives, applesauces, corn, pumpkin to bake into items, tomato soup for your thermos and so on. Most of these are available in organic options. Canned veggies are just as easy to toss into meals as their frozen counterparts!

 

Dried/Dehydrated

I LOVE dehydrated fruits and veggies! Whether a softer version like the pineapple featured in today’s lunch or something crunchier like carrot, green bean or banana chips dehydrated produce is a great cold weather alternative. The shelf life is long and the drying process generally leaves a concentrated and sometimes sweet flavor. Look for pineapple, apricots, mango, prunes, raisins, carrot or green bean chips and more. Great on its own as a snack or mixed in trail mixes. These are super easy to have on hand. Consider a monthly delivery service like Naturebox which often includes a nice selection of dried fruits and veggies.

 

Pickled

Admittedly pickled veggies is not one of my favorites but I do just love seeing those beautiful and bright summer colors perfectly preserved in mason jars. What a great way to save summer’s bounty. Pickled veggies are great right out of the jar or served on sandwiches and salads. Extra extra bonus points if you pickled them yourself!

 

Cold Weather Selection

Finally consider that there are actually great fruits and veggies that are in season or continue to be easily imported in the colder weather from more moderate climates. Beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, kiwi, celery, clementines, grapefruits, kale, winter squashes and more all continue to be readily available through out fall and winter.

I hope one of the alternates above will inspire you to keep your lunch packing up year round!

 

Packed in a Laptop Lunches Bento Box this lunch (pictured at top) contains:

  • Peanut butter & cherry berry preserve waffle sandwich
  • Cucumbers & black olives
  • Carrot & sweet potato chips
  • Dried Pineapple from Naturebox

 

Sincerely,

Deb

Want one? Lunchbox used in this post is available here (affiliate link):

Fall Fresh Lunch

Saturday, September 21st, 2013
 

fall fresh lunch with leaf details

 

Here in the North East where I live Summer has certainly felt long gone for quite some time now! Officially however tomorrow is the first day of Autumn. Autumn is my favorite season, how about you?

Autumn means it is comfortable to be outside and the leaves are changing colors. It means sweatshirts and long pants come out again. It means the kiddos have been back to school for at least a couple of weeks if not more and parent teacher conferences are on the near horizon. It means Football and Hockey are in swing again, two of my favorite sports. For me it also means a couple of birthdays come up, my daughter will be 16 and Trevor will be 4, both next month. Oh my! Busy busy!

The first day of Autumn also means it is safe to start packing Fall themed lunches again yay! The lunch featured in this post today is a harbinger of all the Fall foods and themed lunches I hope to do during this short season to come!

Packed in a Laptop Lunches Bento Box this lunch contains (affiliate links included):

  • A simple ham and cheese sandwich. I used a large leaf cookie cutter on the bread. You could also shape the ham and cheese. I just rolled them up and inserted, I like to keep things simple most days but sometimes I’ll go the extra. Don’t forget to save the bread scraps in a freezer bag to make breadcrumbs, croutons or French toast casserole later.
  • Fresh raw sugar snap peas and carrots (you could throw a veggie dip in there).
  • Red grapes with some leaf food picks added.
  • Guacamole Bites Corn Sticks by Naturebox (not an affiliate link)

What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Sincerely,

Deb

Want one? Lunchbox used in this post is available here (affiliate link):

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