Tag Archives: healthy lunch

My Guac Rocks!

OK, it’s not weird to say that I love my guacamole because I make it exactly the way I like it. Right? I’m not saying it’s the best guac in the world, I’m just saying I make it exactly the way I like it, and I’ve never met a better pile of avocados ifIdosaysomyself.

My dear friend Kim invited us over for a Sunday get together on New Year’s Day, and she specifically asked me to bring my “famous guacamole.” I was so delighted and honored that she asked for something in particular, because we were next door neighbors 3.5 years ago!

It was so nice to see our old friends, but also so nice to be reminded of my guac, because to be honest I don’t often think of guacamole in the winter. But I’ve made it several times since and I’m loving it every time. It’s so healthy, too! Seriously, what a great way to eat celery, people! I also dip Wasa light rye crackers in it, which is lovely. Jicama is another good dip for guacamole. Anything but corn chips, am I right? I am weak in the knees if corn chips are presented to me. It’s my downfall. I can resist most desserts without much trouble, but salty snacks are my kryptonite. So it’s best to avoid the tortilla chips if I don’t want to eat the whole bag.

I know avocado is high in fat, but it’s the good fat! And it’s tasty! And I found them it at Safeway last week for 10 for $10!

So here’s my recipe:

5-7 avocados, depending on the size

4 cloves of garlic. Yeah, you heard me.

1/2 medium onion

1 jalapeno, seeds & membranes removed (use a spoon to scoop it out – so easy, and you don’t have to worry about touching your eyes!)

1-2 limes

handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Salt & pepper

small add’l handful of fresh cilantro for garnish

I mush up the avocado while it’s still in the skin because I like efficiencies I’m lazy. Cut the avocado in half, and use a fork to smush it all up before scooping it out with a spoon:

how to properly remove an avodado from it's peel

I put the garlic, jalapeno and onion in my favorite little Cuisinart mini prep. Also for efficiency because it’s easier. I use this little baby approximately once a day, it’s so awesome:

Add those chopped ingredients to the lightly-smushed avocado, along with the chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Squeeze in the fresh lime juice, taste after each half-lime to get it just perfect. Add salt and fresh pepper to taste. I’ve been using celery salt that I got at Whole Foods, and it’s delicious. I really dig experimenting with salts, and this one is making me happy for the guac. And for Bloody Marys, but that’s another story.

They can't get enough of my guacamole!


Filed under Food

School Lunch Shakedown Tour Wheels Around Portland

Portlanders! Watch for this at local events the weekend of September 24-25. I’ll be busy at World Animal Festival at Oregon Zoo, but if I wasn’t I would totally stalk this cart to get a salad shaker. Anna eats healthy school lunches, but she’s not quite convinced on salads. So I think this would be perfect for MY lunches! And who knows, maybe she’d give salads a chance in her school lunch if she had a cool shaker?
Here are the details (straight from the press release, yo):

Whole Foods Market and B-Line Cycles will be cruising around Portland giving away free salad shakers – healthy salads layered with fresh vegetables in shakeable containers – to children and families at five different locations Sept. 24 and 25. The tour promotes the new Whole Kid’s Foundation School Garden Grant Program, which provides grants for school and community gardens.

During this rolling tour, kids who sign a pledge to eat healthy school lunches will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $250 gift certificates to the Bike Gallery. (One boy and one girl winner will be selected.) By making the pledge, kids (12 and under) will earn a one-year membership to the Whole Kid’s Club which entitles them to a free healthy food item each time they visit a local Whole Foods Market store.Information will also be provided to parents, letting them know how they can apply to the Garden Grant Program on behalf of their neighborhood school or community garden.
The School Lunch Shakedown Tour Wheels Around Portland
 OMSI Power to the Pedal event, 1945 SE Water Ave.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Chapman Elementary School Swift Watch, 1445 NW 26th Ave.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday Parkways at Woodlawn Park, NE 13th Ave. and Dekum St.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sunday Parkways at Alberta Park, NE 22nd Ave. and Killingsworth St.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday Parkways at Fernhill Park, NE 37th Ave. and Ainsworth St.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
About Whole Kids Foundation
Whole Kids Foundation’s mission is to improve children’s nutrition and wellness with the goal of ending the childhood obesity epidemic. Through partnerships with innovative organizations, schools and educators the Foundation works to provide children access to healthier choices with the goal of helping them reach their full potential through the strength of a healthy body. Whole Kids Foundation is focusing its efforts in three areas: school garden grants, salad bars in schools and nutrition education and inspiration for teachers.
About the School Garden Grant Program
The School Garden Grant Program is a collaboration between Whole Kids Foundation, Whole Foods Market and FoodCorps. Learning about the process of growing food helps children develop a deep understanding of the connection between healthy eating and a healthy body. Gardens also provide a base of knowledge that allows children to take an active role in healthy food choices. School garden grant applications are being accepted through Dec. 31, 2011. Learn more about the program and the application process.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? Would a cool salad shaker
convince them to eat salad?

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Filed under Food

Roughly 600 Packed Lunches Later; Lessons in Lunchmaking

Tired of ziploc baggies, bags of chips, plastic cups of applesauce, and notes from the school cafeteria that I had forgotten to pay, I set out to make some changes in the way I packed my kids school lunches this school year.  I wanted to go greener and healthier.  Here are some things I learned along the way.

It is all about the lunch container.  We started out the year with Japanese bento boxes.  They were fun, adorable and compact.  The kids loved them- as did all of their friends.  There were things we liked, and things we didn’t like about them however.  They are just the right size for a kids meal- it is easy to pack them full and know that the kids are getting the perfect amount of food.  What I didn’t like is that they are kind of hard to clean.  Most Bento boxes are not dishwasher safe, and have a lot of pieces.  My daughters’ boxes had 6 pieces each.  This gets tiring to wash and dry every day after school (I made my kids wash their lunch boxes).  We wound up changing over to containers from easylunchboxes.com.  Only two pieces per kid, and dishwasher safe, we saved a lot of time (and tears) by using these handy boxes.  Here is another great link for lunch boxes and accessories at great prices:  http://www.allthingsforsale.com/104-bento-box-lunch-box.

Know how much your child will eat.  At first I made the kids bring home everything they didn’t eat so I had an idea of how much to give them.  This is a very handy guide by age to look at when packing your child’s lunch (note how women should eat the same amount as 9-11 year olds!).  The containers from easylunchboxes.com were just right for Jonah and Brett, but too large for the girls.  I solved the problem by packing the juice box into their lunchbox, and then I packed the rest full.

The kids loved pretty much any lunch in their Thermos.  It is great investment to buy a good quality Thermos.  Jonah still uses the one I bought for him in kindergarten.  Leftover spaghetti, soup, and chili were all very popular. So nice and warm on a cold day!  I have a friend who packs a Thermos every day for her son.

Variety is key to making lunches fun.  Move away from the sandwich/chips/fruit combo (although this past month I was getting burned out and fell back into this- as you can see from my last lunch box).  I did a lot of different cut up veggies and fruit.  It saves a lot of time in the morning if you spend a little time and cut up melon cubes and carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc. ahead of time and store in the fridge. Instead of sandwiches, I made tortilla wraps using butter or cream cheese, grated carrot, lettuce and a favorite lunch meat.  Rolled up salami or lunch meat was a favorite (Costco has great lunch meat without nitrites).  Hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper, bread and butter, sliced sausage, mini bagels and cream cheese, etc. all bring variety to lunches.  Abbey liked hummus and pita chips or flat bread.  Little dip containers are great for ranch sauce or peanut butter.  I referred to this link a lot for creative ideas:  http://wendolonia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Wendolonia_Lunch_Box_Idea_List.pdf.

I made it through the year with no school cafeteria lunches- a marathon for sure.  It is definitely satisfying to know that I packed healthy lunches for the entire school year- and only went through one box of ziploc bags.  Next year the goal is to go the year without juice boxes… Wish me luck!



Filed under Family, Food