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School Lunches – Part II

August 31, 2009

For the background info, you can check out the story here: http://bit.ly/9fY2F.

The first week of the new school lunch routine was pretty dang successful. The girls liked the salads I made for them, they dug the cut-up fruit, and they were really good about packing their own stuff and actually bringing back the plastic containers and ice packs they went to school with. Woo-hoo!

The week after that (aka last week) was slightly less structured. They still had good healthy food, but I didn’t go through all of the prep that I did the previous Sunday. Things were slightly more chaotic in the mornings because we had to pull together some things, but all in all it wasn’t bad.

But I preferred the first week. It was so great to just have all that stuff ready to go and just be able to tell them to go pack up what they want. Yeah, I wanted to recreate that for this week.

That’s all well and good, but I bit off a little more this week and I kinda wish I wouldn’t have. This week I wanted to have sort of an Asian-themed set of food for lunches. I had one salad I knew I wanted to prepare, and wanted to have some things that would work well with that. So I picked out another salad, and decided that it would be a great idea to make some dumplings to go with those. Bad call, bucko.

It’s not that they were all that difficult to make, but with the other two salads and fruit prep it just took too much time.

So here’s what’s on the menu for this week. There’s some good stuff in these!

Sesame Brown Rice Salad w/Shredded Chicken & Peanuts:
I have to thank @mikeonline for pointing me to this recipe (thanks, Mike!). It comes from Cooking Light and it was really easy to make. I actually cooked the rice like I did in this recipe, because I really like how that works for a salad (and it’s a whole lot easier). I didn’t actually measure out the lime juice, and I think I went a little overboard on it. It’s way limey, but the girls will probable love it for just that reason. For the chicken, I substituted Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips and it seem to be pretty good in it. I generally like the MS Farms products, but this one you sort of have to chop up or the texture can be a bit off.

Dang Cold Asian Noodle Salad:
This is a Guy Fiere recipe, and it’s pictured up at the top of this post. I think I’m going to like it a lot once the flavors come together. The dressing is super-good (although slightly heavy on the rice wine vinegar – which I’m hoping mellows slightly), and I just used the veggies that I had on-hand (subbing fresh spinach for the napa cabbage and cucumber for the bean sprouts). I’m looking forward to tasting this tomorrow.

Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings:
This one’s Alton Brown’s. I’m actually confused by what happened here. The recipe has a yield of 35-40 dumplings, and I went 50% larger on it. You’d think that would give me 50-60 dumplings, wouldn’t you? Well, I ended up with 28. I don’t think I was overstuffing them (I mean a won ton wrapper will only hold so much!), so I’m not sure where the difference was. Ah, well, at least they’re good. They may be a little salty for me (but I don’t like a lot of salt), but it should be ok since I won’t be sending any dipping sauce for them.

The fruit:
Well, I didn’t have it in me to make a huge fruit salad by the time I got through with everything else. I did cut of a whole seedless watermelon, so that should get us through pretty well. My honey even suggested using some of it to make a granita, and I’m thinking that’s a pretty awesome idea…

The kitchen is all cleaned up, I’ve blogged about the experience, and now I’m worn out. So what will I make myself for dinner after all that? I’m thinking that the frozen pizza that I’ve had for a couple of months is looking pretty good right now…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael McKisson permalink
    August 31, 2009 2:07 am

    What about making double batches of some of your dinners and throwing them in the freezer? You could pull them out i a few weeks when the girls won't complain that they are eating the same things they just had for dinner. Of course it won't work for everything you make, but it might cut down on some of the meals you have to make.

  2. Jameil permalink
    September 1, 2009 3:51 am

    Wow! I can't imagine either of my parents sending me to school w/a themed lunch when I was a kid unless the theme was typical school lunch. Lol. I always loved my lunches but that would've been fun!

  3. Kevin permalink
    September 1, 2009 4:22 am

    Hey Mike – that's a good call. I usually take the dinner leftovers for lunches because they lend themselves better to microwaving than eating cold (like the girls would have to do). But there have been times where that would work!

  4. Kevin permalink
    September 1, 2009 4:23 am

    Hi Jameil! I love it – school lunch themed school lunches! I'm pretty sure that's how you would categorize what I used to take as well…Thanks for reading!-Kevin (TFD)

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