Posts tagged under Lunches. Show all posts.
Welcome to the first posting of the EatSavvy Blog. We are really excited about this blog because we just love food. Hopefully you are already a dedicated follower of EatSavvy and have been trying out our recipes. Well, if you like those, you will like this blog—but don’t expect anything fancy. This is not epicurious (which we love, by the way) or Martha Stewart (not so bad either) but rather a very real account of foods that we feed our families and ourselves. You’ll hear about what was for dinner, our favourite gadgets, the best in season, what we feel like eating now and what we had for lunch (at SavvyMom HQ and at home with the kids). It’s all about food, how to make it fun, easy and real. A few tips and tricks, observations and even some behind the scenes tid-bits from the EatSavvy shoots.
Must go and get dinner ready now. We’re having our regular Thursday night fried rice filled with all the left-overs from the week. It’s always a surprise!
What are you having for dinner?
I have two lunches to pack each day, one for me to eat at work, and the other for my nine year old son to eat at school. I usually prepare extra food at dinner the night before and then use it to make the lunch-packing-process a little less daunting. The variety prevents me from getting sucked into the same old “cheese sandwich” rut. (Snacks are a whole other posting….) This morning I packed myself a couscous salad from leftovers with crumbled feta cheese, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, and a piece of leftover trout. I also included a bowl of orange segments, strawberries, and a small container of my favourite yogourt from Activia. Cameron (my nine year old) enjoys eating a hot lunch, so at least once a week I send him with a thermos of soup (occasionally homemade, but not always). I heat it on the stove just before we leave, then put it in his thermos at the last minute (he assures me that it stays hot until lunch). Today I packed him Campbell’s Chunky Chicken & Vegetable, a small container of whole grain Wheat Thins, a handful of cherry tomatoes, 100% fruit orange juice, and a homemade chocolate brownie. Cameron is an active kid, so I try to pack a snack with some protein for the afternoon—today he had a Turkey Bite pepperoni stick and shiny red BabyBel cheese ball.
That was it for me today…what did you pack for lunch, anything interesting?
Once a week I take a break from lunch in the office and pick up my kids and their two friends from school for lunch. Midweek lunchtime is always a rush (factor in removing and finding places for four sets of snow boots, snow pants, gloves, hats to dry, etc). Fortunately, the lovely March Break weather permitted us to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and enjoy a leisurely lunch out. No hats and mitts meant more time to relax. We took a vote and as usual, pizza won (I’ll allow it since it’s healthier and less expensive than most fast food alternatives). One of our favourite local pizza parlours makes their pizza on thin crust, and more times than not, whole wheat or multigrain crust. The kids are happy with tomato sauce and cheese (which can’t be that bad), while I prefer to load up on fresh veggies. Unfortunately, their beverage selection is limited. Juice and milk are sold in large bottles and cartons only and they don’t keep cups in stock. Good thing I brought along their Klean Kanteens and a couple of juice boxes from home.
If you have more time, consider having a pizza party at home with this easy homemade pizza recipe from EatSavvy.
What are you having for lunch?
Photo copyright Holly Sisson Photography
We have some exciting news on the EatSavvy blog which we know is going to make it more interesting for you as well. Our friends at Kodak have been kind enough to give us one of their M1093IS EasyShare cameras to help us chronical our food adventures around here. We were amazed with how easy it is to use—in a rush to take a picture today before I ate my lunch, we wanted to set up the camera and it only took a few seconds. Truly plug ‘n’ play. It’s also small and sleek and it comes in a few very lovely colours (we’re partial to the pink one of course). And it takes HD pictures suitable for prints up to 30 x 40 inches, should we be wanting to make a poster of any of our cooking creations. But the feature we probably will use the most is the blur reduction—most of us around here just don’t quite have the photography skills that our own Holly Sisson does.
But back to the food…as a dedicated office-lunch-bringer, I always like to be creative with my lunch and today I am enjoying one of my favourite creations to date. Last night I grilled flank steak and a few vegetables (red and green bell peppers, brown mushrooms and zucchini) for dinner. The flank steak was delicious, tender and juicy, but much too big for me and my two boys. So, this morning as I began my lunch-packing routine, I decided to use my leftovers and make a flank steak burrito to take to the office. I laid out a large whole-wheat tortilla on the counter, put four thinly sliced pieces of flank steak down the middle, arranged the peppers, mushrooms and zucchini on top, and then crumbled some feta cheese on top of that. I then folded the sides of the tortilla in and both ends underneath. Finally, I added a small container each of sour cream and guacamole (the store-bought kind—I usually keep some in my fridge at home) to my lunch bag, as well as a piece of fruit. At lunch time I popped the burrito into the microwave for a minute or two and thoroughly enjoyed a gourmet lunch (with little preparation) at my desk. Easy and delicious—yum.
What did you pack for lunch today?
As the school year winds down, so does my lunchbox packing creativity and my son’s enthusiasm for eating it. Fortunately, the grocery stores and markets are brimming with fresh food options in June, so in lieu of sandwiches and soups I have decided to switch to a Bento Box-style packed lunch for the duration of the school year. On many occasions, my son has come home from school with food left in his sandwich container or lunch bag. When I ask why, his usual response is “there wasn’t enough time to eat it”. I know that my son is very social, especially at lunchtime, and will talk himself through an entire meal.
So, I figured one solution for this would be to provide him with a lunch that he could eat in pieces, thereby allowing him a natural break in between courses to continue a conversation. The tricky part of packing a Bento Box-style lunch is finding the correct sized container for the size of the lunch bag. There are a few eco-friendly and safe plastic and stainless steel alternatives out there, but many of them were too big for our lunch bags. But you can always just use a plastic food storage box and if you want to keep the food separate, put the different bits in muffin cup liners (or the reusable silicone ones), and tuck them in the container. When packing a Bento Box, cut up any kind of meat (ham, tuna, turkey kielbasa, chicken etc.) and/or cheese (BabyBel, marble cheddar, provolone) into chunks, strips or slices, a handful of fruit (cherries, grapes, strawberries) and vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, fresh peas, beans). Include a mini bun or crackers and you have a well-balanced, litter-free lunch that took very little effort to prepare.
What are you packing for lunch?
This month is all about getting back to routines and making lunch is a huge part of that. You don’t need to be packing a lunch every day to suffer from lunch time paralysis—the affliction hits any mom who has to make a lunch every day, day after day, and make it healthy, nutritious and delicious. That’s why we decided to take a bit of a different tack this month and looked for past recipes to inspire moms to serve something that has been prepared already (it’s all about cutting back on the time you spend in the kitchen). We call it cooking efficiently (not ‘leftovers’). For example, a chicken and rice dinner doubles up as a great soup for lunch later that week, cooked pasta from Tuesday night can be covered in cheese and reheated and grilled veggies are perfect in a wrap with hummus or goat cheese. So learn to make a bit extra when you are cooking dinner and you’ll have the foundation for some more interesting lunches to break the routine and the boredom (for you and the kids).
Photo copyright Holly Sisson Photography
As publishers of our very own online food magazine EatSavvy, eating plays an integral part in our day at Savvy HQ. On any given day, we can be found swapping recipes, sharing potluck lunches, taste-testing new recipes, and trading afternoon snacks. Not to mention keeping the fridge stocked with our top two vices—Diet Coke and chocolate (any kind)!
Most of us bring a packed lunch (or the ingredients to make it) to the office on a daily basis, more for health-related reasons than anything else, and eat at our desks. Plus, if you already have the lunch packing assembly line going at home, it isn’t any more work to add one more. We have a fully-equipped mini kitchen, comprised of a bar fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle, dishware, and a varied selection of condiments here, all of which make it easier to keep fresh ingredients on hand, prepare nutritious lunches, and ultimately enjoy our lunch.
We bring in everything from leftover spaghetti, to sandwiches, soups, salads, and frozen entrees. Today, Robyn is having homemade Harira soup, Leslie popped out to the bakery for a fresh roll to accompany the fillings she brought from home, I am having a turkey, brie and avocado sandwich, and Sarah brought in a huge bowl of her favourite Quinoa Greek Rainbow Salad.
On those days when getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door in snow gear is more than we bargained for or we just happen to have a craving for something new, we have lots of options for take-out or dining in the neighbourhood where we can grab something to eat. Today Minnow is enjoying her favourite take-out lunch of homemade mushroom soup and fresh bread from Epi Breads, while Myra’s favourite indulgence is a slice of cheese pizza from Pizza Pizza.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when I don’t need to pack a lunch. It’s our monthly photo shoot for our January edition of EatSavvy, so there will be lots of delicious food to dine on. We are very excited about this month’s EatSavvy, so don’t miss it.
What do you take for lunch?
Have I mentioned how much we love to eat at Savvy HQ? I don’t know if it’s because most of us love to cook and are proud of our culinary skills, or that we’re publishers of an online food magazine, or maybe it’s just because we receive so many food samples to test. Whatever the reason, we seem to do a lot of taste testing, sharing, and recipe swapping at lunch time. And we like it.
Just before the holidays we organized a Holiday Bake-Off. And, since our Bake-Off was such a success, we decided to put our cooking skills to the test with a Mid-Winter Soup-Off.
In preparation for an upcoming EatSavvy edition, we asked anyone wishing to participate to submit a sample of their family’s favourite soup recipe. The criteria were as follows: all recipes must be kid-friendly, not too labour intensive, healthy, and not too spicy. Robyn was first to submit an entry—Mexican Pozole Soup (a huge hit), Sarah brought in a heart healthy (and low-carb) white bean and chicken soup and Minnow keeps talking about an asparagus and pear soup (not yet tested).
All of these delicious soups (and more) will be reviewed and tested for possible inclusion into EatSavvy next week, but not all of them will be selected. Stay tuned and be sure to open your edition of EatSavvy this month to find out.
What is your favourite family soup recipe? Send it in and it could be selected!
My lunch today at the office was delicious. Denise Smith, our SavvyEditor was kind enough to share some of her leftovers with me from the weekend and turned some lovely barbequed sirloin into a sumptuous steak salad. We topped some fresh baby spinach with grilled peppers, sliced steak and cherry tomatoes. A little bit of Newman’s Own balsamic dressing finished it off beautifully. And that wasn’t even an EatSavvy testing day (even though this is one of our favourite EatSavvy recipes). I just got lucky…sometimes I really love this job.
Try out our Flank Steak Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe—it’s a great steak salad option!
One of the best things about being away last week was a reprieve from the monotony of packing school lunches for the kids. But they go back to school in a few days, and there are still 60 or so more school days this year, so I’m determined to keep refining our school lunches to get them made more easily and get them eaten more often. With those goals in mind, I’ve found a few great tips to make school lunches better:
What are your favourite school lunch tips?
Everyone at Savvy HQ is really into food. Obsessed, you might say. Some of us are trying to be healthy, some are trying to diet (ahem), and others can’t stop eating the chocolate that is always in the kitchen (ahem, ahem). But when you look around the office, it’s like the Olympics of food here…dishes from all over the world are being enjoyed and shared among all of us. Every day the question gets asked with serious concern: “What are you having for lunch today?”
Robyn Burnett, our Assistant Editor, who always wins the Most Exotic Recipe Award, brought in an Ethiopian dish (who knew?) called Shalan Foul (pronounced ‘ful’). It’s made with mashed fava beans, chopped onion and berbere spice (which has quite a kick). Topped with chopped tomatoes, sour cream and avocado, it looked like this and made for a hearty and healthy lunch:
Denise Smith, our resident foodie and EatSavvy Editor, was busy testing out recipes at lunchtime for next month’s edition of EatSavvy. She was enjoying a beautiful French-inspired soup that I’m pretty sure you’ll be reading about soon so I can’t tell you all the details. But I can tell you that you’ll love it. (Hint: it’s delicious and nutritious.)
Myra Thompson was hard at work at her desk in the sales department enjoying a classic Italian fave—a Pizza Pizza veggie slice. She’s so Euro…
Leslie McCormick can usually be found eating Thai food on the days she’s too tired to bring in her lunch. She loves the spring rolls and wonton soup, which always smell delicious.
Sarah and I went across the street to enjoy Japanese at our local fave, Fukui Sushi, where we often host lunch meetings. And since we are like an old married couple, we’ve reached the point where we order the same thing on the menu. We chose the rainbow roll with a bowl of edamame to start.
What’s your favourite international cuisine when lunch rolls around? I’d love to know.
It’s not unusual for moms to put the needs of their children first, and when it comes to weekday lunches, I am definitely one of them. The kids are always out the door in the morning with bags properly packed for the day, complete with healthy lunches and snacks, but I don’t always manage to pack myself a healthy lunch to bring to the office.
That’s why I was so excited about the Tuna and White Bean Salad recipe in Real Simple’s Meals Made Easy special edition (more cookbook than magazine), which is available now. It’s a salad of tuna and white kidney beans (you know I love them), roasted red peppers, capers and lemon zest, tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. The beauty of it is that all the ingredients can easily be found in a jar and kept on hand (or in the cupboard, actually). Open a few cans and jars and you can mix and match in whatever combination you like. Add fresh veggies such as cucumber, parsley or chopped tomato or even substitute the ingredients with other things such as chickpeas, olives or artichokes.
So we’ve stocked up the cupboards here at Savvy HQ with everything we need to put this lunch together, leaving me with no excuse to go get a veggie slice.
What do you like for lunch?
I’ve mentioned before that I love looking around our office at lunchtime to see what’s on the menu for lunch. Since most of us are busy moms, we like to eat in if there isn’t a lunch meeting to attend. That means there is usually a wide variety of preferences as well as leftovers from dinner the night before. I especially like to see what Denise Smith, our food editor brings in for lunch (because sometimes she shares with me) and what Robyn Burnett, our assistant editor (a self-professed foodie) brings in.
Yesterday while I sat and ate my takeout sushi rolls, they dined on the following:
Denise nibbled (as she does) on a very healthy roasted turkey, cucumber and Jarlsberg cheese sandwich—on a whole wheat bun, of course. I know she doesn’t eat mayonnaise so my guess is that the condiment was some kind of aioli she whipped up while packing her kids’ lunches for camp that day. Note that this is the most basic of lunches for Denise and she was hoping I would include the incredible salad she made the day before but I ate it before we could take a picture. We’ll keep you posted on more of Denise’s creations from whole wheat buns to super salads weekly.
For Robyn, the exotic eater (last time I wrote about her Ethiopian dish), it’s curry chicken salad filled with lots of yummy and nutritional ingredients. Look at the big juicy grapes in this salad—delicious with cooked chicken or turkey. She added diced red onion, diced red pepper, mixed greens, chunks of almond and the sauce was a combo of plain yogurt, a couple of spoons of mayo, a teaspoon of honey and two teaspoons of curry powder. Now that’s a salad for a low-carb diet to get excited about.
What did you have for lunch today? We’re always looking for good ideas, so please share with us. We might publish it in our newsletter.
When preparing lunches and snacks for kids to take to summer camp, I’ve been working to make a conscious effort to ensure that perishable food contents stay cold until lunchtime. Most camps don’t provide refrigeration for their campers, so packed lunches are often left outside in the heat for long periods of time. Harmful bacteria multiply in warm temperatures, thereby increasing the risk of food spoilage and food poisoning.
Here are a few tips I have picked up over the years that come in handy:
If you are looking for some great lunch ideas, take a look at one of our archived lunch articles.
What did you pack in your child’s lunch today?
I pretty much want to buy every single thing in our recent Lunch Essentials Guide but I think I will start with the sandwich-related items. Making school or camp lunches is definitely low on my list of ‘likes’, and the fact that the only kind of sandwich my kids will actually eat is the verboten peanut-butter kind makes it even more disheartening, as every sandwich combination I try to send comes home uneaten.
But maybe it’s not the filling, but the shape of the sandwich that is a turn-off. So armed with the Lunch Punch Sandwich Buddies, I will be able to magically transform that ham and cheese into a princess, a butterfly or a train. And then I will nestle the sandwich into its own Fuel Everest Sandwich Box to keep it pristine until lunchtime. Hopefully I will never see the sandwich again after that (as it will be eaten right up).
What were your faves in the Lunch Essentials Guide?