Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lenten Lunch

This will be the last Friday lunch at school in this Lenten season.  As Catholics, we don't eat meat on Fridays in lent and this can cause some creative thinking for our meal planning.  Tonight was definitely one of those times.  After a great workout, Mom was very tired and my brain wasn't wanting to cooperate with any creative thought process.  Luckily, there was just enough creativity left to crank something out for Molly's lunch.
Our main entree is a cheesy pretzel sandwich.  We sliced a pretzel roll (it was kind of thin) in half and added some spicy/sweet deli mustard to it.  Then, we added a slice of smoked Gouda just to make it taste that much better.

Our fruit side is baby bananas.  You may see these in the grocery store and wonder about them.  We can tell you, they are delicious.  They are much sweeter than a regular banana but the flavor is wonderful, not like a mushy banana.  Molly couldn't wait to have these in her lunch.

Our dairy side is a Babybel Cheese (for extra protein) and a Chocolate Chunk Chobani Champions Greek yogurt.  Molly asked for the chocolate chunk variety so we went right ahead and gave her what she wanted.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is Biscoff Biscuits and Biscoff Spread.  They are all natural and taste sweet and incredible. We figured that Molly could either dip her biscuits in the spread or use her spoon to spread it on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast Lunch

Last night, Molly's Daddy made breakfast for dinner.  The kids were so hungry that there weren't any pancakes left for Molly's lunch today, so we decided to make a run to the store tonight to grab a few things for a breakfast lunch tomorrow.
Our main entree is a whole wheat waffle sandwich.  We spread natural peanut butter on one waffle and Nutella on the other, then sandwiched them together.  This combination is a huge hit in our house.

Our vegetable side is baby carrots.  We usually don't have a veggie with our breakfast lunches but these looked like they would fit in just perfectly.

Our fruit side is half of a banana.  We used a knife to lightly pierce a message to Molly on it.  It had a chance to oxidize while we were toasting the waffles.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a Chocolate Chunk Chobani Champions Greek yogurt.  (Say that three times fast!) Molly requested this one because she thought it would go nicely with the Nutella.  Smart girl.  ☺

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Half Way Wednesday

Alright, we're approaching the half way mark of the week.  Our busy family days of the week are done and now Mommy's and Daddy's busy days are ahead.

We're gearing up for a fun Easter.  We get to spend lots of time with our families.  We get to share special meals and gifts.  Finally we get to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is an amazing time of the year.

Until then, we have a few more days of school and that means a few more lunches.
Our main entree is a turkey pastrami and smoked Gouda cheese sandwich on a whole wheat bagel thin.  This is a new combination for Molly but we're pretty confident that she will enjoy it.

Our vegetable side is grape tomatoes.  We managed to toss a few of these in the container with the sandwich.

Our fruit side is strawberry slices.  We picked up these gorgeous and gigantic strawberries at Sam's Club yesterday and they are so sweet and delicious.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Vanilla Orange Greek yogurt.  Molly requested this variety for her lunch tomorrow.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Is it Friday Yet?

We were so busy last week and the time just flew by.  This week is already dragging on and it's only Monday night.  Hopefully the rest of the week will go a little faster.  Although, Molly's day seemed to go pretty quickly.  She said that she's all caught up on the few things that she missed on Friday.  ☺
Our main entree is a salami and smoked Gouda sandwich on 12 grain bread.  We picked up some salami at the end of last week.  Molly was very excited to request one of her favorite sandwiches for lunch.

Our vegetable side is red and yellow peppers with a side of roasted red pepper hummus.  We asked Molly what she would like for her vegetable and this was her exact answer.  (so much for cucumbers and carrots. haha!)

Our fruit side is cantaloupe chunks.  We picked this up last week as well and were pleasantly surprised at how sweet this particular melon was.  It didn't last long after it was cut up.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chocolate Chunk Chobani Champions Greek yogurt.  We were so happy to see that Chobani Champions is a sponsor of the USA Summer Olympic team.  Way to go Chobani Champions!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Educational Trip

If you are a regular reader of Molly's Lunch Box, you may have noticed that we didn't have a lunch post last Friday.  Well, it was because we decided to let Molly join us on an educational trip instead of going to school.  (GASP!)  I won tickets to the Farm to Table convention that was going on in Pittsburgh this past Friday and Saturday.  Our tickets were for Friday so Molly's Daddy decided to take the day off and we were going to take Molly's siblings with us while Molly was in school.  Then, we were doing a little research into what to expect and decided that Molly would benefit greatly from this experience....and we were right. ☺

We learned so much about organic gardening, raw dairy, cheeses, things to do with bee's wax, healthy eating, co-ops, CSAs, rain water, recycling, conservation and many other things.  We were very excited to try samples of several yummy treats including raw milk, pasteurized milk, cheeses, health drinks, honey, a banana dessert, health bars and much more.

We met farmers and artisans that were eager to share their craft with us and explain why the way that animals were raised help to make a better product.  It was such a delight to hear the questions that were answered and to see the eagerness of Molly and her sister as they were just soaking in the information.  (Their brother was just happy to be enjoying a honey stick.)

It was a fantastic experience for our whole family, not to mention the great exercise we got walking to and from the parking lot to the convention center and walking around the convention itself.

We don't usually advocate "skipping" school, but this was definitely a wonderful educational experience and we now have so many more ideas for field trips this summer to continue the education.  Special thanks to Whirl Magazine for creating a contest that helped us win our tickets!

On to Monday's lunch.  Easy enough, Molly is buying pizza.  It is the only good looking option for the week so we were fine with her choice.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! ☺

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Busy Week, Yummy Lunch

Our busy week continues.  Well, Mom's busy week, that is.  Between training for the half marathon, cross training and the consignment sale, this week is flying by.  Molly's lunch was thrown together quickly so that Mom can get to sleep.
Our main entree is a pasta salad.  We figured that this would be a nice cool lunch for a warm day.  We added turkey pepperoni, a little mozzarella and some light Italian dressing to precooked radiator pasta.

Our vegetable side is baby carrots.  We added a small container of roasted red pepper hummus so that Molly could dip her carrots into it.

Our fruit side is green grapes.  We picked up a bunch of produce at Aldi today and these were part of it.  They are firm, juicy and were inexpensive.  Win/Win!

Our dairy side is a string cheese.  There isn't a lot of protein in Molly's lunch so we added this so that she won't be starving by the time she gets home.

Finally, our dessert is plain vanilla yogurt.  A simple and sweet way to end a yummy lunch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Buying Lunch

Molly has decided to buy her chicken sandwich lunch tomorrow.  Mom is pretty happy about that because it is that busy time when we are preparing for the children's consignment sale at the preschool that Molly's siblings attend.  Mom isn't home a few nights this week so any extra help from the cafeteria helpers is welcome, especially when they are doing their best to make these lunches a bit more nutritious.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Molly was so happy with her lunch today that she requested the sandwich in her lunch tomorrow.  Luckily, we had enough left over that we were able to fulfill her wishes.
Our main entree is an Irish Soda Bread sandwich with whipped cream cheese.  This bread is a generations old recipe and we've added our own little touches to it to make it our own.  As I've said before, this generation is making it whole wheat.  Grammy's generation added golden raisins and Nana's generation added regular raisins instead of just currents.  No matter what generation, it's delicious!

Our vegetable side is a romaine lettuce salad with a small amount of light Italian dressing on the side.  We also added a Babybel Cheese as per Molly's request.  We cut a small heart out to show her how much we love her.

Our fruit side is a sliced kiwi.  Molly said that the Kiwi Leprechaun tasted so yummy that she was craving a kiwi again.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with a sprinkle of Trader Joe's Elegant Cocoa Pearls for a special touch.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irish Soda Bread Sandwiches

One of the best parts about having St. Patrick's Day on a weekend is the opportunity to celebrate it with family.  We celebrated Nana's birthday on St. Patrick's Day (Happy Birthday, Nana) and we were so happy to have Grammy and Papa out for our traditional Irish dinner tonight.  The girls stayed at their house this weekend so that Daddy could run his first half marathon (WAY TO GO, DADDY!) and Mommy could go to her athletic training on Saturday morning.

Grammy and Papa contributed dessert (chocolate Guinness cake...YUM!), some smoked salmon and Irish Soda Bread that the girls helped to make.  We contributed the corned beef and cabbage, carrots and potatoes.  It was quite a feast.  We were lucky enough to even have some leftovers.
Our main entree is an Irish Soda Bread and cream cheese sandwich.  Molly and her sister did a fantastic job making this.  I had suggested that they use whole wheat flour and we all agreed that it turned out better than the original white flour that the recipe called for.

Our vegetable side is canned green beans.  Molly has been asking for these so we were happy to add them.  Also, our other option was carrots and with a few missing teeth in the front, we were confident that the green beans would work much better.

Our fruit side is fresh strawberries.  This pack had some gigantic strawberries in it.  Molly's little brother had one today that was bigger than his hand.  He was loving it!

Finally, our dairy/dessert is plain old vanilla yogurt.  It will be a nice compliment to the rest of Molly's lunch.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

♣Irish You A Happy St. Patrick's Day!!♣

Our favorite time of year!!!  St. Patrick's Day!!!  We have a great Irish heritage and are proud to celebrate it.  We read stories about how St. Patrick taught the Irish about the holy trinity with a shamrock, we do the traditional corned beef and cabbage, we bake Irish soda bread, we wear our green and watch out for sneaky leprechauns.  We just love it!
Our main entree is green pasta.  It's actually mini shells with pesto on them.  We topped it with some Gouda cheese cut into shamrocks and embellished them with our food safe markers.

Our fruit/veggie side is a Kiwi Leprechaun.  Yep, we thought back to the Frankenkiwi and the Kiwi Elf and went a little wild.  His hair is all shredded carrots, his eyes are mini chocolate chips, his mouth and nose are sprinkles and his hat is plastic from our favorite cake decorating store.  

Our dairy side is Irish emerald moss.  Vanilla yogurt with green food coloring and some mini shamrock sprinkles.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is a few Irish Soda Bread Scones.  Molly goes nuts over these.  Its a great combination of whole wheat flour, dried currants and just a sprinkle of sugar.  YUM!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! ♣
Beannachtam na Femle Padraig!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Molly asked if she could buy her lunch tomorrow.  I don't know what it is about popcorn chicken that makes our girl outrageously happy.  (Her Daddy had the same reaction to Chicken Patty sandwiches.)  Since I chose to have her buy lunch on Tuesday (in case she didn't go to school), we decided that her choice of buying tomorrow would be fine.

Tomorrow is the last day of preschool for the week for Molly's little sister.  This means that they will have their "wearing of the green" and St. Patrick's Day celebration.  Since we are a bit Irish (well, a bit more than a bit), we are sending in a special little something for the teachers.
Green tea and Irish Soda Bread Scones!  The recipe came from my great-grandmother and has been a favorite of our family forever.  I decided to switch it up a little bit and use a healthier whole wheat flour instead of white flour.  I must say, they are pretty tasty and I might just have to make it a permanent switch.

We will do the same for Molly's teacher on Friday.  Just a little something to let the teachers know how much we appreciate the work that they do. ☺

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All Better!

Molly is feeling much better.  She made it to school today, had a great day and lived to tell about it.  No call from the school nurse made me a very happy Mom.  Molly was pretty happy too and even had a fantastic night because she finally lost one of her top teeth.  We've been waiting on it for weeks and finally, the tooth fairy will be stopping at our house. ☺
Our main entree is a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich on whole grain bread.  Our cupboards are a bit bare because Mom hasn't had time to run to the store with two sick kids.  This is a great standby sandwich when there isn't much left in the pantry.

Our vegetable side is canned green beans.  Again, not much left on the fresh vegetable front aside from salad.  Besides, canned green beans are so yummy.

Our fruit side is a Macintosh apple that has been sectioned and sliced.  We've had several questions about how to keep the apples from browning.  The long and short of it is the type of apple.  We usually choose Macintosh and Empire apples because they naturally don't brown as much.  There may be a small bit of browning but nothing like a Red Delicious.  If you aren't a fan of these types, try fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice to prevent browning.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is plain vanilla yogurt.  We have no Cho!  We definitely have to make it to the store very soon to stock back up on Chobani Champions.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Plan B

Well, Molly ended up staying home again today. Her belly still hurts and she is hacking up a lung. My poor girl! We have decided that if Molly feels MUCH better in the morning, she will buy lunch at school. She will actually buy the alternative lunch of peanut butter and jelly. If she is still icky, then off to the doctor we will go. She just looks and sounds horrible. My heart breaks for her. Also, Molly's little brother seems to have caught it. We're hoping that their sister and we, parents, don't get it. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Giving it a Try

Molly still isn't quite 100% but she is MUCH better than she was last week.  Thank you all for the well wishes. ☺

She has decided that she only wants a few things and they are pretty bland.  We are just happy to see that she is eating again and actually requesting certain things.  Here's hoping that it is enjoyable for her.
Our main entree is baked macaroni and cheese.  We made some choo choo wheels a few days ago and Mommy used the leftovers to make baked mac and cheese.  Molly requested this because it tasted really good to her when she first started to feel better.

Our fruit side is a ToGo Squeeze in Apple Strawberry.  These are basically an applesauce blend put into a tube so that it is less messy for the kids to eat.  They are very healthy and very tasty.  We picked up a large box of them at Target.

Our simple side is a few pretzel Goldfish Crackers.  We figured that if the mac and cheese isn't appealing, the Goldfish Crackers might do the trick.

Our dairy is a small amount of plain vanilla yogurt.  We're hoping that it would be a gentle protein for Molly's upset tummy.

Finally, our dessert is a couple of cookies and cream Goldfish Crackers.  Again, something nice and simple to keep our girl happy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sick Day

Poor Molly stayed home from school today because she has some sort of stomach bug.  She looked sick from the moment she woke up and we knew right away that school was not an option today.  She is still not feeling well this evening so we are keeping her home tomorrow too.  It just breaks my heart when any of the kids are sick. Hopefully, this will be short lived and not shared with her siblings or us.  ☺

On the bright side.  Molly's little sister was the lucky recipient of Molly's Lunch Box lunch today.  She was like the Queen of Sheba sitting there and eating from the Laptop Lunch Box.  She's getting ready because next year, she'll be using her very own at Kindergarten. YAY!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Leftover Lunch

We are utilizing little leftovers for Molly's lunch.  We made the tortellini yesterday for her brother and sister's lunch.  The carrots were the very last in the container in the fridge and the strawberries were the final ones in their container.  Our refrigerator looks so much cleaner, which makes Mommy very happy.
Our main entree is a tortellini salad.  We added mini turkey pepperoni and light Italian dressing to Trader Joe's fresh cheese tortellini.

Our vegetable side is carrot sticks.  We keep carrots and celery sticks in a container filled with water in the refrigerator.  It keeps them so fresh and crispy.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  Molly's Daddy was nice enough to cut these into perfect little pieces for our girl.

Finally, our dairy side is a string cheese.  There wasn't a lot of room for a dessert so we decided that a little extra protein would work just fine.  We'll make sure that she gets something sweet at dinner. ☺

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

School Lunch

Molly has not bought lunch in two weeks but saw the meatball hoagie on the menu and her mind was made up. We are glad to let her choose the things that she would like to eat, but we may be swaying her toward other things in the very near future.

I recently posted a few links on our Molly's Lunch Box Facebook page about the "pink slime" that was used in fast food hamburgers.  Unfortunately, this slime has been sold to schools for school lunches.  We may or may not be one of the schools that uses it but it sure does make me reconsider the lunches that my kids will be allowed to purchase at school.

Just a little food for thought.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Fishy Sandwich

Sometimes something as simple as switching up the bread of a sandwich will get the kids giddy with excitement.  We found the Pepperidge Farm goldfish bread last year but we are trying the soft whole wheat variety for the first time.  Molly's siblings were the lucky recipients of the new bread in their lunch today and they both really enjoyed it.  Here's hoping that Molly feels the same.
Our main entree is an herbed turkey and smoked Gouda sandwich.  We are using the Pepperidge Farm whole wheat goldfish bread, Castle Wood herb roasted turkey breast, Castle Wood smoked Gouda and a few pea shoots to make a fun, yummy and nutritious lunch.

Our vegetable side is canned green beans.  We rinse these so that they don't have the salty flavor that the can usually gives.  Molly really likes these and would probably eat the whole can of them, just like her Mom.

Our fruit side is a red pear.  We found a great sale on pears the other day and stocked up on a few different varieties.  They are really delicious and juicy.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a Horizon Organic Tuberz Yogurt in the strawberry variety.  We picked these up at Panera Bread as part of a lunch but the kids were too full to eat them.  Leftovers win again!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cold Pizza!

If you follow our blog, you know that Molly's school always serves pizza on the first day of the week.  What kid would want anything but pizza on pizza day?  We've found the easy way around that.  Cold pizza.  As we continue through the Lenten season and keep our Lenten promise (no fast food), we had homemade pizzas for dinner on Saturday night.  Molly and her siblings enjoyed a mini turkey pepperoni pizza with light cheese while Mommy and Daddy had fresh peppers, turkey pepperoni and light cheese on a whole wheat crust.  The whole family was very pleased.  We were also very lucky to have leftovers that Molly can have in her lunch.
Our main entree is leftover homemade pizza.  We bought the crust at the store, added Trader Joe's pizza sauce, some light cheese and mini turkey pepperoni.

Our vegetable side is a spinach salad.  We tossed in a few matchstick carrots and added a small container of light Italian dressing.

Our fruit side is a kiwi.  We skinned it, cut it in half and sliced it so that Molly can manage those slippery but yummy little bites.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  We are running low on our Chobani so we'll have to pick up more soon.  We might even create our own mixes with the plain Chobani that Mommy eats.  hmmmm....

*Molly's actual lunch box is a Laptop Lunch Box.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

There was a big build up to tomorrow all week.  Molly's little sister's school was celebrating Dr. Seuss this week and we had lots of fun dressing up, reading the books and talking about how fun Dr. Seuss is.  Tomorrow, Molly gets to dress up as her favorite Dr. Seuss character at school.  She chose The Cat in the Hat.  We had a blast making her costume.  (See below)

Lunch is no exception in the theme.  We did our best to represent some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books.  We had to keep our food functional so please use your imagination.  After all, that's what Dr. Seuss did. ☺
Our main entree is a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich on 12 Grain bread.  We used our food safe markers to draw Horton from "Horton Hears a Who" on the front of it.

Our vegetable side is orange and yellow peppers.  We created the Lorax by cutting the peppers like a face, a mustache and eye brows.  We then added two small slices from a cheese stick for eyes and used our food safe marker to create pupils and a nose.

Our fruit side is apples and strawberries.  This is supposed to look like the Cat in the Hat's hat.  We did our best to keep it looking authentic but it was a little bit hard.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is from "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish".  These are just some Sweedish Fish that we picked up and plan to use for dessert sushi. (A Rice Krispie treat rolled around a Sweedish Fish and then wrapped with a fruit roll up, very fun!)

We found some fun stickers and added them to Molly's Lunch Box so that she knows what books we are representing.
If you are looking for some easy costumes for Dr. Seuss Day, here are The Cat in the Hat and Thing 2.  Just t-shirts with felt.  The hat is felt with a barrette on the bottom and the Thing's hair is yarn tied around a hair elastic.