Friday, August 23, 2013

Week of lunches with Applegate Day 5 {Build your own Pizza Sticks}

Well this is it.
Last post of school lunches with Applegate.
Which means last day of the first week of school for us.
We made it!
The fact that I survived the carpool lane without getting banned for life from it is my biggest accomplishment of the week.
People that thing is CRAY CRAY.

Todays lunch was another easy ready in two minutes deals.
We had made whole wheat pizza earlier in the week, when we did I made some little pizza sticks and put them aside for today.

 And for pizza toppings I added a little sauce, some Applegate Natural Pepperoni and Organic Provolone Cheese {which I cut into heart shapes to fit easier in the container}.

A drink, a GoGo SqueeZ, and some yogurt covered pretzels and this thing was a wrap.
Of course you could easily make these in the oven if you kids would rather have them that way.

Of course I had to sample, you know, just to make sure it was good
{wink, wink, elbow, elbow}

A few takeaways from this week:
- Making lunches the night before is so freeing. To wait up and not have to scramble around the kitchen at 7am trying to think of lunch when I barely had a sip of coffee is pretty epic.
- Bean LOVES school and his after school stories are the best:
"The little boy in the red shirt flicked my paper."
"Did you ask him to stop?"
"Yes, then I flicked his."
"I didn't eat my wasagna, just my salad"
5 mins later
"What do you want for dinner?"
- Applegate is truly a great company with an amazing mission.  But I knew that their food was great before this week, I just hadn't sampled such a large variety of it. It is just nice to know that there is a line of food that is working to provide a good natural and organic product and that is committed to remove GMO's. I look forward eating more and making more recipes with them.

So with the first week down, now my mind has switched to Halloween, eek.
So excited.
Things are a brewing...

Natural Pepperoni and Organic Provolone provided by Applegate

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week of lunches with Applegate Day 4 {Genoa Salami Caprese Skewers}

I think my favorite part of blogging Applegate lunches this week has been honestly how fast they come together.
Take for example todays.
Salami, tomato, cheese, stick it on a skewer and call it a day.
Pretty much that easy people.

Added a little hummus and falafel chips plus some berries.

How stinkin cute is food on a Hello Kitty Skewer?! I mean come on...

Now as for the second half of this post I to start off by saying this,
Unless they are crisped to near death I will not touch them
Mostly cause they freak me the heck out.
And poor Nolan loves them.
But once you read over Applegates Organic Beef Dog, most of my fears we set at bay to have a clear conscious of feeding him them.
But just so we are clear, I will still need them suckers BURNT.

He was stoked for what we call his "Dragon Dog"
He took him and wrapped him the castle bread.

One more day left and we will have officially concluded the first week of school, CRAZINESS!

Organic Genoa Salami and The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hotdog
provided by:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A week of lunches with Applegate {Day 3: Mini Pita BLT's}

As I sit here in day one of what I am calling my semi retirement, I have been thinking.
Thinking about the addiction or dependency I have on my kids.
Hear me out.
I am super excited to find myself in a quiet home twice a week, but it also gives me huge flood of emotions.
Everyday I count my blessings to be able to stay home with my kids.
But when you find yourself without them for a good chunk of the day, you start second guessing your importance.
Housework is always there as a friendly reminder that I am needed. 
But I find that pull to them to make me feel important.
Without someone around to ask for something, needing help, or just want a hug its hard not to feel alone.
Being a stay at home mom has its downsides.
But I think about working full time and the burdens that brings, it just is never a win there will always be something to question and wonder "What if...?"
I will find my grove with this, in due time...

Ok but back to the real post at hand,
Applegate and how they have made making lunch this week, CRAZY fun.
Today I made Buggie mini BLTs using their Organic Sunday Bacon.
After a quick round in the microwave I had two crispy slices ready for assembly.

I used mini whole wheat pita rounds, a slice of tomato, some spinach and baby kale leaves, and since Buggie has aversion to mayo I added a little spread of guacamole on it.  It was that simple.

I ended up making two extra for me to stick in the fridge for my lunch, yum.
I added a little dried apples, almonds, and strawberries to round this lunch out.  

As for Bean he got a little family of Applegates nugget chicks.
Its not creepy to eat nuggets made to look like chickens, right?

Happy lunch making...

Organic Sunday Bacon and Chicken Nuggets provided by Applegate

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A week of lunches with Applegate {Day 2 King of Jungle fun lunch and mini tacos boxed lunch}

For day two I am going to share a fun plate and a lunch box idea.
Bean is starting school today, its cool, I am ok promise.
I am mostly nervous about forgetting one of them. 
So here is what my day will look like,
I sit,
I stand,
I check the time,
I sit again,
I turn the TV on just to check the time,
pretty much on repeat until it will be pick up time.

But yesterday I made him a fun lunch while Sisty was at school.
For his plate I used Applegates organic black forrest ham and organic cheddar cheese.
Have I ever mentioned my love affair with cheese, its pretty bad.
So when I say Applegate has some of the yummiest prepackaged cheese, I know what I am talking about here folks.

I made a grilled cheese with the ham and cheese, then cut the bread in a circle. Adding some cooked frozen corn around for the mane.  

Two blueberries and some red pepper completed the face.  Broccoli florets made for some cute little trees.  The red peppers at the bottom had no real purpose other then Bean loves his "chippers" so we will pretend they are rocks.

Some hummus added a little extra for dippin his veggies.  I use squeeze bottles for this, makes it easy to write on the plates and add designs.  

His favorite part is making up stories about his plates, this little Lion, turned into an alien Lion after he eat one of his eyes, and was on a planet with "wittle guys" carrying "wight sabers"...oh having boys is SOO different then girls, hahaha.

As for Buggie today she brought her most favorite food ever, tacos.
Applegates southwest grilled chicken is crazy good, yummy flavor and no slimy gross texture a lot of those packaged grilled chickens get.  I think my favorite part of this lunch was I could make it the night before without worry of anything getting soggy.  

Some whole wheat tortillas, salsa, guac, and greek yogurt {our substitute for sour cream} round out the tacos.  Added a little real fruit leather for something sweet and called it a day.  A filling well rounded meal that took all of three mins the night before to put together. Now I cannot wait to throw some of this chicken on a salad, yum. 

See you back tomorrow! 

Organic Black Forrest Ham, Organic Cheddar Cheese, and Grilled Southwest Chicken provided by Applegate.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A week of lunches with Applegate {Day1 Ham & Cheese Hitchhikers}

The day of reckoning is upon us,
the first day of school, bring on the flood of kids wearing backpacks in front of doors on FB.
Its been a CRAZY fast summer.
Blinked, gone.
But looking back we did squeeze a lot in.
So in the scheme of summers, I would call it a success.

But with the first day of school comes the grind of busting out lunches.
Which honestly can become an overwhelming process to make sure I am providing a variety of healthy options that aren't too time consuming.  
So I am UBER excited to team up with Applegate this week to share some lunch ideas.
If you are not familiar with Applegate and their products, its pretty simple for me, they provide a product that I can read the ingredients and know what I am about to feed my family.  But get this, it taste good too!

For Hitchhikers I took some organic black forrest ham and organic white american and rolled them up, usually just two rolls.  Then stick three pretzels in the roll and cut it make little ham and cheese bites.

I paired them with apple slices with almond butter and a hard boiled egg.
And how exciting are these Adam & Eve waters?
Water based with real juice and coconut water.

I purchased those cute little silicone dividers from Bento A Day.  They are a great little way to pick foods from mixing.

And you cannot pack up lunches the first week without a little note of love.
I reached out to Kori from Paper & Pigtails to hook us up with some super fun free notes
 {click here for download of boy and/or girl versions}.
After a quick mention to her about how fun it would be to have little convo starters at the bottom, she came through. Perfect little card to add a note, and let you kids ask their new and old friends some questions to find out more about them.

See you back tomorrow...

Organic Black Forrest Ham and Organic American Cheese Provided By Applegate

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School, love it or hate it, its coming.

I have a flood of emotions running though me as we approach the first day of school next week.
I am a bit sad by the fact that I will be missing my little buddies as they spend a good chunk of their day at school.
But that is replaced by relief, to know the bickering that has seemed to reach an all time high will be quieted for that time.
Then I am nervous, nervous we failed at keeping up with our school work this summer.  As I had started the summer with workbooks and reading sessions, those quickly turned into TV time and swimming sessions.
I am overwhelmed by the idea that Bean is starting school, granted it is only two days a week, it is still A LOT to take in.  
He is ready and I know I am ready for it, or at least I keep telling myself that.
But most of all I am excited, excited for their new adventures, their growth over the next year, and honestly a little me time.

Another thing I am stoked about, is next week my blog is being sponsored by AppleGate  to share some fun lunch box ideas and also some fun "We Play With Our Food" plates!!  So stay tuned for a post a day, wow did I just type that?!  HAHA.

See ya next week!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Turkey Meatballs with Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons {Day 3 Clean Eating}

Google and I have been BFFS this week, 
ok who am I kidding we are always BFFS, but more so this week.
I find my self googling "Is _______ clean eating?"
And not much to my surprise there is a lot of gray areas.
Based off the brand and self life, these things can REALLY change a product to clean eats.

For instance I was wondering about parmesan cheese.
Based off my google search, which lets keep it real if its online it MUST be true {hahaha}, it is in moderation.  And well duh it says to NOT purchase the shaker kind that somehow can survive outside of the refrigerated section.

So between google and the product labels I would say best advice is, buy fresh and buy items with 7 or less items listed as ingredients, and make sure they are things you know.

Turkey Meatballs with Pesto over Zucchini Ribbons:
For pesto I used Lesely's recipe, I subbed the walnuts for toasted pine nuts.
Best part is, it makes a ton and you can just have it handy in the fridge.

- 1lb organic no antibiotics or pesticides ground turkey
- 1 cage free egg
- 1/2 cup Ians Panko Wheat Bread Crumbs {this is one of those google searches from above}
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- And optional, I like to add Nutritional yeast, you can read the benefits here.

Mix all together and form balls, I usually get 8.
You can cook these two ways:
Baked at 350 for 25 mins
Pan cooked with a little olive oil, sear the sides, then add a sauce cover and cook for at least 25 mins.

While the balls cook, you can cut zucchini in ribbons, with either a veggie peeler or medallion.
Then in a pan with a little olive oil sauté them until a little translucent.

Plate the zucchini and meatballs. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of pesto, sprinkle a little fresh grated parmesan and red pepper flakes if you like a little kick.

As for the kids, they are not big zucchini fans, which I am ok with, they cannot like every veggie. So I make them quinoa pasta and a little of Gia Russa's low sodium pasta sauce. 

I cannot stop thinking of what else I can use my pesto on... possibilities are running amuck in my head.
Tonight we are heading out to eat for my BIL's birthday, fingers crossed I can rest the cake!