Cooking for My Kids: Project Lunchbox – Recipe: Garlic Bread Cubes with Pizza Sauce

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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.

PhotobucketFor 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.

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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

Garlic Bread Cubes with Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

For the Garlic Bread Cubes

Pizza crust

Butter

Garlic salt

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

Instructions

    Preparing the Garlic Bread
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread butter on the dough, and then sprinkle it with garlic salt.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cut into slices. Then, cut those slices into cubes.
  7. Preparing the Pizza Sauce
  8. Pour the olive oil into a small pan, and heat over medium heat.
  9. Add the minced garlic, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Reduce the heat slightly and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion powder, sugar, and Italian seasoning.
  11. Cook for at least 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste preference.
  12. Serving
  13. Serve the garlic bread cubes with the pizza sauce for dipping.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/04/06/cooking-for-my-kids-project-lunchbox-recipe-garlic-bread-cubes-with-pizza-sauce/

Enjoy!

School Lunches – Recipe: Rice Taco Bowl

I cooked food and shopped for food all. day. long.  And, it was tiring.  But, it was also so fun.

Summer helped me bake cupcakes for a birthday celebration tomorrow.

Then, we made Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats for snacks and lunch treats.

And, we wrapped up the cooking session by making lunch for tomorrow while simultaneously making dinner for tonight.

Just as I was feeling a bit guilty for having an all day cooking and shopping session, Summer melted my heart.  She went and got her apron and asked me to pull her hair back in a ponytail.  Then, she posed and said, “I look like a momma now.  I am ready to cook!”

I experimented with something new to pack in the boys’ lunches.  I wanted it to be something that was healthy, easy, and also could withstand the lunch box test – still good at room temperature.  The creation was a hit.  So much so that Ethan opted to eat it for dinner tonight instead of the stir-fry.

Rice Taco Bowl

Rice Taco Bowl

This recipe is so incredibly flexible. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients, depending on what you like. And, if you want to add onions or bell pepper, that would be great, too. I would just brown those along with the ground beef. It would give the rice bowl some additional color and flavor.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

1 package of frozen corn, cooked

2 cups cooked rice

1 cup of kidney beans

4 ounces of taco sauce

1 ounce soft goat cheese

Salt

Pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef over medium heat.
  2. Drain the grease and then season the ground beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix in the corn, rice, and kidney beans.
  4. Stir in the taco sauce.
  5. Sprinkle in the goat cheese, and mix it all together.
  6. Taste it to make sure that the seasoning and consistency is right for you and/or your littles.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/31/school-lunches-2/

Enjoy!

School Lunches – Recipe: Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Summer and I had a different kind of mommy/daughter day today.  We ran errands, which is not her favorite thing to do.  So, we started out by getting her a few things that just made her day – hair accessories and jewelry.

         

From there, we went to The Container Store.  Seriously, where has that store been all my life?  I am more of a Target kind of girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Target, and I have bought wonderful containers there.  But, The Container Store took my breath away a little.  It was just what I needed today.  Summer was in love, too.  She totally forgot that she wanted to be home because she was so impressed with the aisles and aisles of containers…even pink ones.

What I really wanted was some snack and lunch containers for the littles.  I do not like packing everything in a zillion different containers.  I wanted one container, with dividers, that would hold everything.  And, I found exactly what I wanted.

Not only that, but I found some that will be perfect for snacks, too.  They hold something cold on top and something else on bottom – yogurt and granola, apples and peanut butter, hummus and carrots.  I am so excited about all of the possibilities.

With Ethan’s food sensitivities, I have been packing snacks and lunches a bit differently this year.  Last year, it was almost always sandwiches, chips, yogurt, and fruit.  This year, I am trying to mix it up and try different things.  So, when I am making my dinner menu, I often think about how that can be turned into a lunch.  I found…and then adapted…a recipe that would do just that.

With these fun little containers, I can put a pasta salad on one side and then nuts and a fruit on the other divided side.  I can pack it up easily.  One container….and a simple, healthy lunch.  That makes me one happy momma!

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

I did not list precise amounts in the ingredients because this salad can be made according to your liking. Gabriel loves the corn, so I add more of it. You can also add tomatoes, bell pepper, or onions, again, according to what you prefer in your salad. Adapted from Our Best Bites Southwest Pasta Salad.

Ingredients

Pasta

Grilled chicken, sliced

Corn, fresh or frozen

Black beans, dried (and cooked) or canned

1 package of pasta (we used gluten free)

Goat cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing

6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)

1/4 C white wine

4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 C canola oil

1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

    Pasta
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Slice up the chicken.
  3. Cook and drain the black beans.
  4. Cook and drain the corn.
  5. Add the chicken, corn, and black beans to the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and add the goat cheese.
  7. Dressing
  8. Mix together the dressing ingredients.
  9. Drizzle onto the salad, according to how much or little you like on your pasta salad.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/24/school-lunches/

This pasta salad is a perfect school lunch food because it tastes great at room temperature.  I am so excited to come up with even more fun, tasty school lunches to pack in these awesome new containers.