Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Friday - Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad

TGIF!!  The kids have now completed a full 6-day school cycle, with today being day 1 of the 2nd 6-day cycle.  I found a recipe that I wanted to try for Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad.  I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not it would be liked by everyone.  Gage voices a displeasure with tomatoes and Scott voices the same with cucumbers.  Those are 2 big ingredients in the salad, so I was worried that Emma and I would be the only ones to like it.  I made the recipe last night in preparation for adding it to their lunches today.  When Gage came home from Cadets, I gave both him and Scott a sample to see what their thoughts were.  They both came back for more!  YAY!  Gage asked if I made it or bought it.  I told him I made it and he said he would like to see more of it.  Today's lunch consisted of Concord grapes, Mediterranean Chick pea salad, Energy balls, tuna salad wrap and a cheese stick.  I felt proud of their lunches today and want to share the recipe below.

Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad

1/2 cup olive oil (I used avocado oil)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chick peas, drained/rinsed
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives (I used a whole can)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In med. bowl, whisk together drag ingredients.

Combine all salad ingredients in lg. bowl.  Add drsg to salad bowl and stir to combine.

Allow to sit for at least 10 min for flavors to come together.

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuna Salad Wrap

I'm already behind and we're only on the 4th day of school!  Haha!  I did take this picture yesterday, so I better get it posted.

Monday's lunch consisted of a Iogo yogurt drink, milk (for Gage), cantaloupe, red pepper slices tuna salad wraps and energy balls.  The energy balls have been a big hit.

They said that the tuna salad wraps were really good, so I am going to share the recipe here:

Tuna Salad

1/2 cup tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup diced celery
2 Tbsp mayo or low-cholesterol substitute
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp chopped green olives to taste (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped scallion

Super simple and I just added a romaine lettuce leaf and wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

Today's lunch (forgot to take a picture) consisted of leftover Chicken white chili, watermelon, cheese stick and energy balls.  I'm already losing steam on ideas.  :(  This is going to be a loooooooong school year.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to School 2014-15

Gosh, it took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to post on my own blog!  It's been THAT long ago!  It also doesn't help that I'm just getting old(er), and more technologically challenged.

Well, it's that time of year again.  Back to school for the kids.  Back to making lunches for me.  It's no secret.  Making school lunches is not my favorite thing to do.  The hot lunch program is one of the biggest things I miss about the kids attending school in the States.  However, I know they are eating much healthier because of this change.  I guess that's what keeps me going.

It's probably no surprise, but I am an "extreme parent."  Yes, I AM one of thoooooooose people.  Maybe not in the same way as the crazy parents you see on television, but probably not too far off the mark.  I am an all or none kind of person.  I'm either all in, or all out.  There isn't much middle ground, but I'm working on that.  I enjoy reading books on how to be a better parent.  Much to my kids' dismay, I also like implementing the new tips/techniques that I have learned.  If I read a book or article about how much smarter my kids will be by getting more sleep, you can bet I will be all over that.  Last night's bedtime was 8:30p.  I've also read articles on how much easier it is to learn when eating a healthy diet.  Yep, I'm all over that one too.  How to limit screen time.  Read it.  I do try to use what works, and tweak what doesn't to work with our lifestyle/schedule.  That is the middle ground.  The place I prefer to be.

So I'm not sure what my "return to blogging" will morph into over time, I'm just going to "go with the flow."  Right now I want to use it to make myself accountable.  I want to stay on track with that middle ground area.  Of late, I feel like I've been more of the "none" in the all or none philosophy.  That has to change.  It has to change if I want to be the best Mom I can be.

I recently learned of a Canadian based online company that sells everything you can think of to make litter-free lunches.  It wasn't until I was challenged to send a litter-less lunch at R.W.B.B. Elementary School a few years go, that I realized how important that was.  I rarely use ziploc baggies, unless of course it's a field trip day when the kids are supposed to bring "disposable lunches."  It does make for a lot more work after school, when all of the empty containers are emptied into the sink, but I am doing my part to reduce our carbon footprint, and making the world a better place.  ( an article about that!)

We were in desperate need of some new lunch bags.  I threw Gage's away soon after the last day of school this past spring.  Nasty!  Needless to say, I was thrilled when I learned of this Canadian-based company,  Perhaps the best part, if your order qualifies, you can get FREE SHIPPING!  My order arrived in the mail just YESTERDAY!!!

The company also threw in a few free bamboo utensil sets.  I'm not sure if that's because I had to wait so long, or because I'm a new, good customer?  Either way, it excited me.  It's the small things.  Gage has challenged me to learn how to make sushi, since each set came with a set of chopsticks!  He recently discovered a love for sushi!  Ewwww!!!!!!!

Scott was also a lucky recipient of a new lunch kit!  His previous lunch bag was falling apart, and also a little gross.

Who wouldn't be excited about this??  I love the bright colors.  Lunch time is a happy time now!!

But then comes MAKING those lunches!  Over the past 4 school years, my kids have gotten quite tired of the same things over and over.  I'm going to try to branch out a little bit and try keeping them excited about looking inside to see what Mom prepared today!

Today's lunch consisted of cubed cheese, yellow pepper slices, chicken salad sandwiches, energy balls and cantaloupe.  I sure hope they like it.  It was a new recipe for chicken salad and I haven't even tried it myself yet.  Thankfully there's plenty for me as well.  My plan, for right now, is to use my blog as a place to post pictures/recipes and try to stay inspired.  You, readers, are responsible for holding me accountable.

These are the two loves of my life!  The two that keep me busy.  The two of whom I want to grow up into lovely human beings that people enjoy being around!  My world revolves around these people in a way that I never knew was even possible!  It's my job.  It's the best one in the world.  The pay is shitty, but only if you look at it in a monetary way.  I couldn't be happier making all the money in the world, than I am having the title of "Mom" to these special people.