Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Back to School and Work Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

Well, my lovelies. I promised some zany fun new ideas to stuff in your lame boring lunch boxes to add pizazz to the hum-drum life. Decidedly...we have some winner ideas already. I have a lot of vegetarians and meat eaters who read my blog. I'm torn sometimes. I love to please everyone. However, I've found, that it is possible to try to please everyone and end up pleasing nobody. So...I will write to please myself as a mom who has a vegetarian husband and two very meaty sons who crave a beast sometimes. I'm not against using meat sparingly and with thanksgiving for the blessing, it is to us. As are a few things we do around here to keep it real, lower fat, whole homemade and delicious. I hope you use what you can and that it saves you some real cash at the grocery store.

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas
I'm a freaking' huge fan of just using leftover pizza and freezing it by the slice. If the crust is whole grain and the topping are insanely loaded with flavor and is sure to please. I don't consider this a "groundbreaking" new concept. However, it is one worth mentioning. My favorite for vegetarians is the Cool Ranch Veggie Pizza.

Pizza Muffin Bites work in all flavors and styles. If you missed really should spend more time with me. I's sick how much I want you here isn't it?

Remember the Stuffed breadsticks ?! Today we have a gorgeous pineapple upside down and outside in breakfast version. Thanks to Lisa for a smackdown in the Evil Think Tank AKA the ETT

Lisa's Pineapple Outside-in breadsticks
2 cups crushed pineapple, drained.
1/2 cup brown sugar
Boil for 10 minutes in a medium saucepan until thick.
2T raisins
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Stuff bread sticks, raise and bake as you would with Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Breadsticks .

Or stuff with cooked maple flavored breakfast sausage, a few pieces of dry apple and a little chopped green onion.

Marinated Mushroom and olives Hot Pockets 

I use this amazing marinated mixture:

1/2 cup chopped Italian olives of your choice
1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
1 cup chopped baby portabello mushrooms
1/4 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pressed fresh garlic clove
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds

Raise and bake as you would the hot pockets. This last time we did the mushroom mixture but also added a few cooked Italian Meatballs.

Grilled Zucchini-Roni Sandwiches 
A lot of times we will use zucchini slices in place of the mushrooms and grill the slices on a grill pan before slapping them on a heaven delicious grilled zucchini-roni sandwich.

Hoagie Sandwiches

I will also prepare a lot of hoagie sandwiches ahead of time and freeze the mini subs in sandwich bags (inside gallon size freezer bags). These clearly labeled make excellent lunches not only for my kids, but for my in-laws who don't cook a lot and need some extra meals.

Hot Dogs and Veggie Dogs
I do the same thing with hot dogs...well homemade veggie dogs where I prepare them ahead.One dog in a bun and wrapped in a cool hot dog wrapper in a freezer bag. The wrappers I get at a restaurant supply store, but I've seen them at Target.  This is my favorite way to stock the lunch box with something other kids don't get...the carnival wrapper! Rock on mom!  Kids like them cold with ketchup, however, mine have access to a microwave at school so 1 minute heats it and it's ready to go.

Chicken Pizza Subs 

The chicken pizza boat sub is a "must have" at my house. I make them 6-footlongs (cut into thirds) and bag them one at a time in sandwich bags. 18 lunches...super fast!
2 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped
1/2 cup sundried Tomato Pesto from the solar oven
1/2 cup Homemade Ranch Dressing
4-8 oz pepperoni or veggie sausage recipe from the homemade Veggie Dogs (Seitan)
2 slices of cheese (your choice) per sub sandwich.

Once defrosted, it takes on 30 seconds in the microwave to have meaty good lunch.

There you go. Hopefully, that gives you some more awesome ideas for quick lunches!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

1 comment:

mlebagley said...

Yummy! Those portabello stuffed hot pockets look delish (I can't spell that right?) and love the hot dog idea. I'm going to use that for ME! Do you freeze them in the bun first and then they are still chilled by lunchtime? I am salivating. Big time.