Friday, October 4, 2013

The Week in Packed Lunches

I packed gado gado for myself, husband, and both children.  It was left from Sunday, so there was no additional prep to do. Gado gado is meant to be eaten at room temperature - perfect packed lunch!  I put a layer of brown rice, roasted carrots, green beans with sesame salt, diced cucumbers, chopped red bell pepper, and bean sprouts with a dollop of peanut sauce on top.  Dessert was a black bean brownie.  Pretty, travels well, and nutritious.

Packed my husband's in a quart jar with the peanut sauce on top.  By lunchtime, the peanut sauce has gone nicely throughout, and he ate it from the jar.  I only had a very cutesy jar cozy for a quart-size jar, so I whipped up a plainer felt one that evening.  I put a handle on it because the felt/jar combo was quite slippery.

Gado gado for the kids again:  rice, broccoli, red peppers, bean sprouts, cilantro, peanut sauce.  Wasabi peas on the side (the kids are currently in love with them).  I rarely pack the same lunch in a row because we usually don't have that many leftovers - curious to see what they say.

Last week's shepherd's pie and an apple for my husband.  In the tiffin. I picked this up at a local discount store for $11 a while back.  It's great: doesn't leak, no plastic, and travels well.

I'm not telling you what I ate at home - I eat weird scraps and read novels, very happily, when I'm alone.

What happened with the same lunch for Genevieve on Tuesday is that she didn't eat it. So I gave her the choice of eating her gado gado for supper or Wednesday school lunch.  She chose today. I'm not saying this is the ideal way to handle this, but we talk about how we don't waste food.  Also, carrot cake muffin for her.
For Ben, hummus sandwich, grape tomatoes from the back yard, carrot cake muffin.

Kids:  red beet egg, hummus sandwich, applesauce
Adults: red beet egg, sourdough bread, Swiss cheese, apple (and someone bought ice cream during her work day)

Children want to get school lunch pizza on Fridays.  That's cool.  For one day a week, I don't mind a break and the school-lunch crap.

Husband: leftover taco beans from taco salad supper; rest of rice from gado gado. Green salad with 1000 island (down the side!). Blueberry muffin from freezer.  Apple.

Thanks to Carrie for the original idea of the week in meals!  I thought a real snapshot of packed lunches would be helpful to us all.  I'm going to try to write more about packed lunches on the blog - they're a big part of our week and we could all use ideas and tips.


Eva Girl said...

Sounds the felt bag. Heard once of a guy who always brought his lunch in a quart jar. Veggies on top, meat/main in the middle, and dessert on the bottom. He just ate his way through the meal in the jar : )

Jo said...

I love seeing what other people have for lunch! School lunch creativity is absolutely the worst part of sending my previously home-schooled kids to school.

jenny_o said...

When our kids were in school they mostly came home for lunch, which had challenges all its own (time was short, I didn't feel comfortable leaving the stove or oven on while I was picking them up - we lived quite far from every school - and I always had to be home for that middle part of the day), but it was better than packing lunches! Now I pack for my husband and it's sandwiches every every EVERY day and I just rotate among leftover roast, egg, cheese, cucumber, tuna and salmon, plus fruit, and he's happy. I think if I were taking a lunch, though, I'd be happier with leftovers. At home I eat weird things, too, Margo - not only my favourite, oatmeal, but things like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter, an egg on toast, pancakes (they're good cold, too, and I make them with one or two ripe mashed bananas added to the batter so there's some fruit in there and they can be eaten without syrup), a dab of several different leftovers which reminds me of potluck suppers in my childhood community, a slice of meat plus raw vegetables, a small zucchini diced with Parmesan cheese and microwaved for 30 sec to 1-1/2 min ... I love eating alone because I can have these odd things.

Just thinking about how much work will be expended this weekend for our Canadian Thanksgiving meal ... very different from my meals-for-one ... but so looking forward to having all my family under one roof for a meal again.

Sorry - got off on a tangent there.

Polly said...

I need tips, too! We only have to pack lunch one day a week but I dread it every single time. What is up with that??? It's like an insurmountable obstacle to peace of mind for me. The gluten-free factor + the messy factor + the toddler factor = insane. I am thinking leftover salmon burgers (I make a huge batch about once a week) might be my next attempt. But then there's the ketchup issue. Oh, and so it goes!

So I read these posts with great interest! Thank you!

Llllllll.l said...

Two little boys in my daughter's class call her a 'world eater' because she takes things like leftover curry, spaghetti, and avocado, cilantro and cream cheese wrapped in a tortilla and cut up like sushi. One time she made up her own recipe - a peanut butter, cheese, and apple sandwich. Good work on the creative lunches! (I'm running out of ideas already!)

Hazel said...

I definitely need packed lunch inspiration. Sadly the older children are more conservative now they are at secondary school because of peer pressure, which is a challenge. I refuse to pack the junk their friends eat, so it's a constant balancing act to keep us all happy.

Margot- I love to know what your family eats as although we have similar opinions on food and eating, the actual meals we cook are very different; I find it fascinating!

I read your shepherd's pie post- about the only thing in common with the British version is the potato topping :) It's interesting how the same name/recipe evolves in a different country.
A British shepherd's pie is based on lamb- originally diced or minced leftover roast lamb (or more probably mutton) but now usually fresh minced lamb. A cottage pie is the same but based on beef.
Authentically it should not contain tomatoes, only onions and maybe some carrot, but nowadays you'll often find something like an Anglicised Ragu under mashed potato.
I often add veg to stretch the meat, but it's still essentially a meat pie with vegetables, rather than a meat flavoured vegetable pie...
And that is the end of todays lecture on British culinary history... ;-)


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