Need inspiration for the daily grind? No I'm not referring to school traffic (can't help you there) but the other one - school/work lunches? I hope these simple ideas make the daily prep work more of a pleasure than a grind:
- Fry up some peeled prawns in butter and added salt and pepper. They only need to be cooked for a minute or so on each side to change from translucent to white. Throw them into a lunch box with all the yummy buttery juices and there's a perfect protein and healthy fat rich morning tea. Or add them to a salad for lunch. So quick and simple.
- Make extra salad from the night before with some grated parmesan cheese or left over meat.
- Veggie sticks with cheese (my kids got sick of eating cheese that I cut into cubes or sticks so instead I grated it and the love it - just for the novelty!)
- Veggie sticks with home-made dip (eg Moroccan spicy dip made with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon turmeric, 3 tablespoons coconut oil, 3 egg yolks and if you have some, 1 tablespoon whey)
- Throw together a frittata with beaten eggs, steam veggies and grated cheese, bake until firm then cut into sections and freeze when cold. Defrost a piece from the night before. Store defrosted foods in school lunch boxes on paper towels to absorb moisture and prevent them from going soggy.
- If you have broth on hand (its a staple in my fridge!) steam up some diced veggies (even from the night before) and throw into some heated stock for instant soup. Pour into a wide mouthed thermos and lunch is kept warm for hours.
- Make a casserole from the night before (just whack into a casserole dish some meat on the bone, water or stock, chopped veggies, salt, pepper and herbs) and slow cook covered all night on 80 degrees so that you can scoop into a wide mouthed thermos in the morning for lunch.
- Small tubs of goats or sheeps milk yogurt (or spoon yogurt into thermos container) make a great kids' morning tea (add an ice pack to keep cold).
- Fruit with cheese is my 'default' morning tea. The cheese is essential to slow the release of the sugars in the fruit to avoid insulin spikes and crashes (and to avoid teeth being left coated with fructose).
- My kids love the simple delicious pleasure of grated carrots or carrot sticks for morning tea which is a good reminder for me that food doesn't need to be fancy or have many ingredients to be well received.
- Afternoon tea is something similar to morning tea or some activated nuts (which are no longer allowed at schools due to the prevalence of nut allergies) teamed with a glass of whole unprocessed milk.
Variety is good. A mixture of cold and hot lunches. Planning school/work lunches one day ahead takes a lot of stress out of the morning rush hour. Prepare cold lunches from the night before (add any salad dressing before they are popped into school bags) and keep hot lunches really simple so that can be heated or cooked within 2 minutes that morning.
Notice that all these suggestions DON'T involve any grains or legumes (which are not really what humans are biologically designed to eat and cause more harm than good) and only take a few minutes to prepare with very few nutrient-dense ingredients. So there's more to lunch than Vegemite sandwiches......
Have any of your own work or lunch tips? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below.