Even though I have not been posting pictures and recipes every day, I have still been enjoying participating in Project Lunchbox, hosted by the lovely Marla of Family Fresh Cooking.
I have made Sandwiches cut into cute shapes with fruit,
Ravioli and Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip,
Garlic Bread Cubes with Pizza Sauce,
And, Honey Mustard Chicken with Rice, to name a few.
Mostly, I have just been using leftovers to create a fun, fresh, healthy lunch. And, the boys have certainly appreciated adding some diversity into the plain ‘ole sandwich routine.
I linked up at the following:
Grateful Belly for What’s New Wednesday
Lil’ Luna for Lil’ Luna’s Link Party
Polkadots on Parade for Wow Me Wednesday
Lady Behind the Curtain for Cast Party Wednesday
Naptime Creations for Tasty Tuesday Party
Simple Living for Foodie Friday
It has been a great week to cook for my kids while participating in project lunchbox. While I almost always pack lunches for the littles, this week has given me a new perspective on it as I looked for new, healthy, more exciting things to pack.
For this lunch, I packed garlic bread cubes, pizza sauce, pepperonis, pineapple, grapes, and apple slices. It took minutes to put it all together, and I knew that the boys would enjoy every bite.
There is nothing spectacular about any of the lunches. Most of them are just made by putting together a little bit of leftovers with some fruit and vegetables. What has made them special is the extra little effort of coming up with something new, different, and fun for them. Because, as much as the school year wears on me, it does the same thing to them. We need to encourage each other. And, sometimes something as simple as a fun lunch is all the encouragement that they need.
Garlic Bread Cubes with Pizza Sauce
For the Garlic Bread Cubes
For the Pizza Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preparing the Garlic Bread
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Using your hands, spread out the pizza dough into a rectangle, making sure to leave it thick and fluffy. You do not want to roll it flat like a pizza.
- Spread butter on the dough, and then sprinkle it with garlic salt.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cut into slices. Then, cut those slices into cubes.
Preparing the Pizza Sauce
- Pour the olive oil into a small pan, and heat over medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion powder, sugar, and Italian seasoning.
- Cook for at least 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste preference.
- Serve the garlic bread cubes with the pizza sauce for dipping.
While it is fun to have different, creative lunches to pack for the littles some days, there are definitely days when a sandwich is easy, healthy, and fun, too. There are many days that, given different choices, a sandwich and chips is what they request. And, when I cut the sandwich into fun little shapes, they really do seem to enjoy eating it even more.
Although I certainly allow many homemade desserts to enter our bodies, I do try to control many of the things that I do not consider healthy for us. Chips are one of those things that I am a little pickier about. When we have parties or special occasions, I am all about buying whatever chips that they want. However, when it comes to everyday lunches, I try to stick to plain corn, tortilla, or potato chips. They are usually made with 2-3 ingredients, and, in many cases, less is best.
So, on the days that we pack sandwiches, I typically also pack chips or popcorn and a fruit or vegetable to go with it. They still get grain from the wheat bread, protein from the peanut butter or turkey, and fruits and/or veggies from the carrots, apples, grapes, etc. In the end, it is not about what is the fanciest or most creative, it is all about what they will eat that is healthy and can give them the brain power that their little bodies need for a busy day at school.