Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Busy, Busy: Cooking from Scratch & School Lunches edition

I just wish I had more time...I feel like I can only pick one or two things in life to be good at, and the rest sort of falls through the cracks. I'm sure most people feel that way. Ironically, if I actually start cooking more, I don't have time to contribute to my food blog.

This is an example of what I'm left with after spending an entire day preparing meals to put in the fridge or freezer. Here I have two tubs of watermelon, several containers of Dr. Fuhrman's soup, 2 containers of veggie burgers, 2 casserole dishes of enchiladas, and a batch of healthy pudding pops.

I mentioned my Wal-Mart diet last time. We have been trying to go periods of time only eating food that can be purchased at Wal-Mart. Before, it was nothing for me to fill my cart at Whole Foods, slide my debit card through for a $300 purchase, and walk merrily on my way.

We're really trying to become more conscious about where our money goes. I very uncouthly told Ryan a couple of months ago, after adding up our totals from our monthly bank statement, "We're literally crapping our money away." I'm sorry I just said "crap" on my food blog.

Anyway, that's where the "Wal-Mart Diet" comes in. It's basically a weight-loss tool, by default. It helps me eat less because there is hardly any processed food I can eat from Wal-Mart (although, they do carry Amy's Enchiladas, one of my favorite things). I can't just pop anything with substantial calories into my mouth because everything requires thinking ahead and preparation. We are still shopping at Kroger and Whole Foods (and ordering in bulk online), just not with as much fervor as before.

In other news...lots of lunch packing going on these days. Here are a few of my 10 year old's lunches the first few weeks of school.

First up: brown rice pasta with olive oil, hemp seeds, and baked tofu, strawberries and blueberries with flaxseed sprinkled on top, baby carrots, bell pepper and cucumber strips, Late July miniature peanut butter crackers, a sugar cookie, and a Good Belly drink.

Health is Wealth soy nuggets with ketchup, oranges, Edward & Sons Chreesy Mashed potatoes (we love these!), black olives, and a ZenSoy pudding

(He also always takes a Kleen Kanteen full of non-dairy milk.)

Tings, soy yogurt, blueberries (with the lid off), and Daiya/hempseed/avocado quesadillas

GoGo squeeZ applesauce on-the-go, yogurt with a cup of toppings,
ravioli with lentils, and Veggie Booty

This is his new fun lunch addition: I use one of these miniature stainless steel cups that have plastic lids (or above I happened to have some plastic to-go ones we had leftover from P.F. Chang's take-out) and fill it with toppings he can sprinkle onto his yogurt. It might contain a mixture of ground flaxseed, coconut flakes, sliced almonds, blueberries, or whatever combination we have on hand.

Apples, pecans, cheezy kale chips, and a sandwich...I can't even remember what was on that sandwich; I'm guessing spinach, mustard, avocado, and hummus.

Some of these lunches were made before our pre-packaged food limitations were set into effect. But I do still let them pick out something fun when we are at WF or Kroger, because I want them to be as excited about their lunches as their Lunchables counterparts.


  1. I love that you do all of that prep and have so much to choose from throughout the week. I can't ever seem to do more prep than cooking off beans or extra rice or veggie burgers - never all at the same time.

  2. Whole Foods is always a budget breaker for me too...and I don't even have 3 kids to feed.

    Those lunches look so fun, yummy, and healthy too!

  3. I guess I should be glad there's not a Whole Foods in Jackson. I'm sure I would be broke all the time if there was. I don't like making the hour and a half drive to Memphis much, so most of my shopping is done at Kroger and Wal-Mart.
    Those pudding pops sure do lookd good!
    I wish I had more time to prep more foods, but I don't. :-( Your lunches look awesome...can you pack my lunch for me??? ha :o)

  4. I wonder when Lunchables came out, because I sure remember them from when I was a kid. I was both fascinated and disgusted by them (come on, meat on crackers? Yuck!) A quick search shows they came out in 1988; I would have been 8 years old. Glad you keep an eye on your kids excitement factor!

    I do find myself getting processed/ convenience foods at WF; I also use their bulk bins, though, so maybe I'm split.

  5. Enchiladas, yum!
    And I love the look of those school lunches! I'm not 10 years old, but could you make some for me? :P

  6. wow, those lunches are impressive! your kiddos are lucky.

  7. My son starts kindergarten next year, and I've book marked here as great ideas for lunches. Thanks for sharing!

    Celeste from growingupveg.blogspot.com