Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I don't "do" lunch

I have a philosophy: Lunch is meant to be easy.

You can quote me on that. If you're smart, you will emulate my genius.

I rarely "cook" anything at lunch. 99% of the time it is something that can easily be taken out and put away by my children.

(disclaimer: I know some of you have children who are too young to help AT ALL with anything like this - do not hate me. Just put it in your back pocket as a "WHOA! That's in my future! This is the time on Sprockets when we dance!")

We do LOTS of Build-a-Salad. I like to keep a lot of things in mason jars (or repurposed jars from other things) so the kids can just pour, shake or sprinkle. This requires fewer utensils. I will say, "Boys, get out things to build a salad today. Girls put it up."

* spinach leaves * diced tomato * diced red onion * salad peppers * other diced veggies * sunflower seeds * dried cranberries * almond slivers * corn kernels * black beans * walnut chunks * flaxseed * you-name-it

This week is a dip fest:

* cherry tomatoes * celery * baby carrots * strawberries * jicama slices * spinach leaves * broccoli * matchstick pieces of red, green, orange and/or yellow peppers * diced apples * grapes * you-name-it

We are mixing and matching these things on different days and then putting out "dips":

* peanut sauce * vinaigrette dressing (whatever we have in the fridge) * hummus (my kids love roasted garlic and roasted red pepper) * almond butter * apple sauce * vegetarian refried beans * guacamole * you-name-it

With all of this, you can easily make multiple combination for several days. Then, you can throw it all out with some tortilla chips the next day and do Build-a-Salad.

Note, also, that these are guilt-free meals. Yesterday I watched two of my kids grab pieces or raw broccoli (who have always turned their noses to it) because another kid dipped theirs in almond butter and was speaking of it orgasmically. I have discovered, over the years, that keeping the options healthy but providing interesting choices seems to make it easier for the leery to step outside of their box.

Nothing makes me swoon more than to hear my healing kids say, "Pass me the flaxseed, please!" Healing the whole child. Nice.


Mama Drama Times Two said...

I have not had jicama since I left CA a billion years ago! Everything sounds yummy, what time is everything "put up"--I'd hate to arrive late. ;-)

Brenda said...

I am getting ready to go run here in a sec. Im waiting for the boys to get around and decided to read your blog. I HAVEN'T HAD BREAKFAST. I had to stop half way through because I started drooling.

Jolene said...

Phew ok...I'm doing it! I'm going purely plant-based for a month. If I can make it my birthday (April 30th) then I feel like I have a good chance of sticking to it. My cholesterol is through.the.roof! Seriously, my triglycerides are flirting with the moon!

Thanks for the lunchtime encouragement I so need it! The next round of 21-Day Kickstart is coming up and I'm ready for it!

Umm...anymore ideas, recommendations, suggestions for the transition to meatlessness?

Christine said...

Jolene, you are on the right track. And the link I put on Facebook is so chock full of info.

Basically, every few weeks I do a google search for "easy vegan meals" or something similar. Gives me new ideas ... which are usually just old ideas I forgot about! :)

My searches ALWAYS include the word "easy." LOL

Shan said...

That's a cute ariel shot of five happy kids. I tend to eat this way easier at my mom's house where the delicious dips and Sam's club cheeses(not vegan I realize) and tomatoes run free. mmmm

I also enjoyed seeing your tweet to the right that said "If I pooped cash, I would pay you all to watch ["Eating" online]..." Heeheehee!

Heather said...

Love this and am so jealous. Maybe you could do a post about how you got your kids to eat like this. My little RAD man is HUGELY triggered by food. He has a list of about 10 things he will eat - pizza, waffles, pancakes, cereal, popcorn chicken, yogurt. Do you see a vegetable in that list? Me neither. I have aways wanted to feed my kids healthy food, but somehere along the way I gave up on the food issue because it seemed like a battle not worth fighting when we had so many others to deal with. Any thoughts?

Blessed said...

This is so perfect--exactly what I needed to hear! Because I had already decided to start doing this for lunch--focus on raw and real and low-carb--but was feeling a little guilty like it was not a "real" lunch and I was somehow depriving my kids. Ha! I so needed to hear another mom--esp. an all out rockin' mom--say it is a great idea. : ) so thank you, and for the extra ideas of how to present it all. We have been doing this consistently for a week now, and so far the kids do think it is a little strange but are literally eating it up!

We were just too bread-based around here for a while--after learning more about the benefits of a low-carb diet (netflix FatHead if anyone is interested for a starter) this is the absolute best way to wean us all away from bread lunches. : )

Fifi said...

I can NOT find jicama in Australia.


What a beautiful flock of Moers

Anonymous said...

Can I quote you on the part about my kids getting their own lunch? That day will be greatness.

I do 'muffin tin' lunches often for them and fill eat tin with a fruit/nut/veggie/cracker. I totally agree with the part about healthy with options.

Love your blog, as always.

Bethany said...

You have a beautiful family!

Mariza said...

Hi Christine,

This is Mariza and I have a multicultural family, too! I want to tell you that this meal thing is fabulous! Thank you for sharing that you do this because I sometimes do it and I have to confess that I feel a little guilty. I guess because I grew up having a cooked meal at every meal. But I want to move more in the direction of raw food and this is great! We are moving into an RV full time and raw meals are the way to go to simplify life even more.
Your blog is great! I'll add it to my favorites!