A very cool friend of mine asked about lunches for her husband and this is all about lunch box foods. Sometimes people tell me their husband is not on board the real food train or their kids don't want to look like freaks and I really feel for them. I am not always sure what to say because my husband and kids generally go along. My oldest is something of an exception because he went through a phase of wanting to be cool and then decided he just hated nasty food. He'd go to McDonald's and order something and carry it around and throw it away when he got home. While I hate that he gave them his money, I'd rather he throw it in the trash. He has recently taken to suggesting the lovely French bakery around here (real bakery, real ingredients, and gorgeous food, see them HERE) when the guys want a treat. They get coffee and a pastry and I feel better about what they eat and where the money goes. But, given that he is my toughest customer all my lunch box eats are all Joey approved meaning your tough customer has a good chance of liking them too!
Hard boiled eggs. These are quick and easy and I have learned how to hard boil a ridiculous amount at a time. The old school boiling method (with perfect not green yolks) is HERE but my favorite method is to bake them in the oven. I cooked ten dozen eggs for my friend's brother's wedding this way, see the details on all that food and the egg method HERE.
Viili drink with berries. I do not make dairy kefir anymore since I just rely on viili, which is one less thing to worry about. When I want to make a quart of berry kefir like drink, I add about a quarter cup of frozen berries straight from the freezer to a quart jar, add two cubes of frozen culture and top with milk. I leave it out for 24 hours and then give it a hard shake (well, lots of shakes) to spread out the berry yumminess. It is stupid easy and makes a great drink. I can even take it without a cooler just like it is as a snack when we are at the zoo. Need to know more about viili, like where to get a culture? See my page HERE.
Bread and butter. I sometimes throw sliced cheese in and some sliced meat but I often assemble the sandwiches as we eat them or let my husband do it himself. If there are leftovers, it is easier to just toast buttered bread and put the cheese and meat back in the fridge. A tin of quality sardines goes well with this and my kids love sardines. If we are picnicking, I will transfer the sardines into an easy to open container and I will drain the oil. Actually, when I pack them for hubs I do that, too.
Hummus and either bread or cheese sticks. I slice the bread and cheese sticks and put them all together in a container separate from the hummus. If you lacto-ferment the hummus, meaning adding in some whey and set it out the night before, you will not need to refrigerate it. This can be helpful when the lunch eater will not have access to a fridge.
Crispy nuts. These go everywhere. I love these. I also make an easy trail mix that is a cinch to toss together using equal parts nuts, dried fruit and unsweetened coconut shaved.
Salads. By salad I mean some greens, a pile of leftover veggies, odd bits of meat and a little baby sized jar of homemade dressing. Nuts in a separate container can add more crunch.
Homemade granola. I have been soaking, baking and then drying oats and adding some dried fruit and some crispy nuts and sometimes some unsweetened shredded coconut. You can see my recipe Monday!
Yogurt. I make large quantities of yogurt and it is great layered with fruit and granola and nuts. I can drizzle a little honey over it and grate some nutmeg on top and it is like a dessert. I gave away my maker and use the world's best method, see HERE.
Corn tortillas and leftovers. You put leftovers in a tortillas and everybody loves it. Why? No clue. You can make them easily enough in bulk and freeze them for later. See my post HERE.
I try to stick to things that do not need to be heated. My husband has access to a microwave but not a toaster and I do not want to be an enabler. My kids are all home schooled so he is the only one with regular lunches though when I am out and about we always bring some nibbles. On Monday I will tell you all about the granola we have been digging on and it is way healthy but not too hard. On Tuesday I will be talking about store bought compromise foods that can help get you over the rough patches.
Sadly enough, I also want to tell you that the Joey Approved category is reaching its natural end. Joey is starting college out of state and will not be eating at home. Snif. My second oldest hopes to replace him but in all honesty he eats everything. Not such a good test subject. But my sixth child, the fifth son, I think can be a good test since he is such a picky eater. Above you see my favorite picture of him rejecting liver and broccoli. Ahh, yes. Life is good. I will hold onto that picture forever. Adolescent blackmail here I come! But, seriously. I think Jack can fill Joey's test tasting shoes quite well.
So back to the lunch box. I'd love to know what you put in your lunches! What's your favorite?