Thursday, September 22, 2011

school lunches and happy faces

I've asked Denise Molina, founder of The Honey Crew, to share her school lunch ideas with Honey Girl Kitchen fans.  Once the Fall semester began Moms everywhere were fretting about what to pack their children for lunch.   I thought Denise would be perfect on this subject...every morning she packs a lunch for her kids and husband.
My daughter is in PK4 till noon, so I make her lunch at home...however 2 weeks out of the year I will be responsible for classroom snacks for 12 beautiful babies (Carmella's my only, she is my baby).  Look for the snack blog in the next week. 
I know this special contribution from Denise will be a good inspiration to pack healthy and easy lunches for your children, your self and your spouse.  Denise thank you for sharing .  Please enjoy.

school is back in session, and i am constantly on a quest for different, simple, and healthy lunches that will excite my girls' palettes.    our lunch schedule is up on our refrigerator and broken down by main, side, snack, and drink.  there is also a place for my girls to create their own lunch.  they can mix and match the mains, sides, snacks, and drinks....or they can make requests.  i pack a school lunch for my 4 year old twice a week for her 2 extended days.  for my 8 year old, she is allowed to buy lunch once a week (she almost always chooses wednesdays, pizza day), we pick a lunch together from our lunch schedule twice a week, and she mixes and matches the other 2 days.  for this to be successful, i must be organized. i love a well thought out good old fashioned handwritten grocery list.  i love the grocery store, as long as i have my organized list.
school lunch for 9/16/11:
fresh organic baby spinach and organic carrot salad, organic apple slices, raw dried fruit and seed mix, organic hard boiled egg, probiotic smoothie, mini cheddar round

school lunch schedule adapted from kiwi magazine (love that magazine):

if you would like to have the google spreadsheet version, click on this link and request to have it shared.

3 staples:
  • i always boil at least half a dozen eggs at the beginning of every week.  my 8 year old likes them whole.  my 4 year old likes the yolk taken out.  for us, the hard boiled egg is sometimes used as a snack, a side, or a main.

  • another school lunch staple (and dinner too for that matter) is chicken noodle soup.  although i must confess, it's rarely homemade by me.  darlene - i know you are so disappointed!  it's usually homemade by whole foods.  on the occasion that i do make it, the girls always request the whole foods version saying it is "so much better".  they win.
  • lastly - the honey crew granola, of course.  my girls eat it as cereal, eat it for a snack, or eat it for breakfast on the go on those mornings that we just can't get it together in time.  it's always in my purse to provide that high protein, high fiber, energy source whenever we are on the verge of a meltdown or about to embark on some kind of activity.
3 favorite resources:
  • itty bitty foodies - great restaurant reviews and food ideas/activities when kids are in tow.
  • gwenyth paltrow's my father's daughter - i know i know.  she leveraged her fame with getting a cookbook deal.  maybe.  but it has lots of really great, high quality, simple, family friendly recipes.  i love it.  speaking of gwenyth, i also love her blog, goop.
  • whole foods, particularly whole foods park lane - so lame.  i know.  but i am here all the time.  in my post-mom life i want to work here, and i bet my husband would welcome the discount!  my 8 year old and i stroll through the aisles and come up with school lunch ideas together.  it gives her a sense of control and contribution, and i feel i can trust almost all things there without spending too much time reading labels, etc.  win win.  lately, i have been trying lots of different foods from their raw foods section, like raw cacao powder.  a chocolate lovers dream come true with amazing benefits.  try this raw cacao and mint smoothie:  1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1T raw cacao, 4 fresh mint leaves, touch of salt and a little cold water.  mmmm!
school lunch for 9/1911:
organic grapes, mixed nuts, bean and cheese burrito (reheated in my new favorite toaster thanks to darlene, stays warm until lunchtime), organic greek yogurt with a honey swirl, organic fruit punch for the 4 year old, organic strawberry milk for the 8 year old
thank you, darlene and honey girl kitchen, for the opportunity to share.  maybe you'll invite me back sometime.  :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grilled Veggies In Action

Sunday Night...Late Night Snack
Grilled veggies with Roasted Pepper and Walnut Hummus.
This hummus was a swap from the September Dallas Taste The Honey Food Swappers, made by Cindy S. It was so flavorful.  I will definitely be making this. 

Monday Lunch.  Organic Spinach + Grilled Veggies + Chicken Apple Sausage + Maple Poupon Love Dressing

Maple Poupon Love Dressing

1 T Red Wine Vinegar
3 T Veganaise*
1 T Grey Poupon
2 T Maple Syrup
1-2 Garlic Cloves
Salt + Pepper to taste

Mix, shake + stir all ingredients.  Keeps for 1 week.
 *you can substitute Mayo or EVOO



I love making my own salad dressing. I seem to be getting a bit more creative with my dressings. I normally stay with anchovies, lemon, EVOO + you can see I went wild. :) Love giving my dressings a good proper name.
Tuesday Lunch.  Same as Monday just added angel hair pasta.  So delicious.
Any grilled veggies I still have on Friday I'll puree with a homemade chicken stock.  Buen Provecho. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grilled Veggies

Yesterday we received a same day invitation to an early dinner at my girlfriend, Denise's home.  Love these type of invites.  Her words "I don't know what's gotten into my husband but he's grilling steaks and just asked if I have a food processor for chimichurri sauce, wanna come over?"...could not get "yes, what can I bring & what time?" out fast enough. 
The moment we were greeted, I smelled a familiar smell but could not pin point exactly what I was I laid down the goods I brought to share (green beans + prosecco) I said "smells so good"...Denise replied "don't lie"...I giggled because that is not the response I expected.  I looked in the kitchen and thought 'ok, I see why she said 'don't lie' the grilling has not yet begun' ...the appetizer being served was little bowls of grilled veggies, avocado and a European aged white cheddar on slate with baguette rounds.  The familiar scent was the grilled veggies...yes so simple they never demand attention, they should.  Denise had cut the veggies in sticks and grilled them on an electric flat top griddle.  Squash, zucchini and onions lightly salted and nicely browned.  On many occasions I have grilled veggies for numerous parties but always cut on the bias...I loved them in a thick stick form, seemed so new to me.  My husband commented on how he loved the veggies...seemed new to him too.

Love my all-clad griddle
The Argentina themed dinner was heavenly: a perfect grilled steak, grilled corn on the cob, grilled asparagus & the chimichurri sauce was so tasty...parsley, lemon, EVOO, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes + love...uhmm so good. 
So today I was motivated to make grilled veggies for the week:  3 Mexican calabasita, 1 zucchini, 1 red bell pepper, 2 large onions, salt + pepper.  The newness of this grill is that it is seasoned differently, I normally add 'Herbes de Provence' which is nice but I now relize it over powers the delicate flavor of the veggies.  I will use 'Herbes de Provence' once again...soon.   For now I will enjoy a simple seasoning of salt, pepper & a splash of lime on my grilled veggies.  These veggies will be enjoyed all week.  I will take you thru a photo succession of meals in which these veggies will shine.  Buen Provecho.
Thank you my friends for a lovely Saturday night family dinner.