Lunch Ideas for Kids (& Adults!)

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We often get stuck in a lunch-rut, eating the same 2 or 3 things for lunch all month long.  It’s hard enough to find time for new ideas for dinner, much less lunch!  Since I only have an 18 month old, she doesn’t mind almond butter and honey sandwiches frequently, but I’ve been trying to be more creative and at the same time expand her pallet.

Here’s a list of ideas for lunches:

Fruits:  bing cherries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, grapes, strawberries, plums, apricots, bananas, apples, etc…

Vegetables (can be served with ranch or hummus for dipping):  carrots, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, radishes, etc….

Nuts:  almonds, cashews, macadamias, pecans, walnuts, etc..

Turkey, cheese, lettuce wraps

Applesauce, cottage cheese, olives, ants on a log (nut butter, raisins, and celery)

Full fat Greek yogurt, topped with berries.  Or mix a little honey in to sweeten.

String cheese, cubed cheese, sliced cheese, etc…

Hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, pickle rolls (deli ham, with cream cheese spread on it, and a small dill pickle, all wrapped up. yum!)

Banana Muffins, Blueberry muffins, muffins…, corn dog muffins

LEFTOVERS!! (can a girl get an “Amen”?)

Sandwiches (using grain free breads):  Almond butter & honey or fruit jelly, turkey or ham, grilled cheese, etc..

Soups:  Tomato Basil, Vegetable, Chili, etc…

Avocado or Guacamole, beef jerky, Luna bars, Kind bars, dark chocolate, homemade nut butter cups

Grain free graham crackers, grain free cheese-its

Tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, etc… slathered on a cucumber slice with a bit of cheese

A couple cool lunch containers that I have on my “to buy” list:

PlanetBox

Lunchskins

As I have time, I’ll post of more lunch recipes and link them here.

Enjoy!

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Paleo/Primal Chocolate Banana Cheesecake

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For lack of a better term, I’m going to call this a cheesecake without the cheese.  The original recipe was for a flourless chocolate cake, but once it was chilled, the texture was much more like a cheesecake.

Fair warning:  You MUST like the flavor of banana to like this cheesecake.  I found the first bite tasted strongly of banana, but afterwards, it was more chocolate tasting.  I really liked this cake (as did my 18 month old) but my husband wasn’t a fan, since he doesn’t really like bananas.

This is a really great cheesecake for those watching their dairy intake.  It’s rich and smooth and just plain yummy!

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Chocolate Banana Cheesecake

10 oz of dark chocolate (I used 80% dark)

1/2 cup of coconut oil (or butter, if you eat dairy)

3 very ripe bananas

4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch cake pan (or springform pan, if you’ve got it).

Melt chocolate.  I broke up the chocolate bars and melted them in a pyrex dish on my stovetop.

Cream your butter or coconut oil with a hand mixer.  Add bananas in, one at a time, and cream together.  Add eggs in one at at time, cream.  Pour in melted chocolate and mix together until blended.

Pour batter into the cake pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake sets.  Let the cake cool a bit in the pan before transferring it to a plate.  It tastes best served cold.

Enjoy!

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Tomato, Basil, & Cheddar Soup

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On a cold spring day, there’s nothing better than a bowl of homemade tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich to dip into it.  Seriously – it’s great comfort food!  I’ll post the recipe for my primal bread later, but for now, trust me, this bread makes one heck of a grilled cheese to this tomato soup recipe.

Tomato, Basil, & Cheddar Soup

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp of olive oil

1 cup of vegetable (or chicken) broth

1/2 cup of full fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp of dried basil (or 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh basil)

1 tsp of dried oregano

1/2 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of black pepper

Over medium heat in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and chopped onion.  Sauté onion until tender; add in garlic and cook another minute.  Pour in 2 cans of tomatoes, juice and all, into pan, along with the broth.  Stir in seasonings.  Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes.

Right before you are ready to serve the soup, mix in by hand your yogurt and cheese, until well blended.  Then use this handy dandy immersion blender and blend until smooth:

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Serve this soup by itself or with grilled cheese (yum).

Enjoy!

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Paleo/Primal Goulash

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One of our favorite meals before going grain/gluten free was goulash.  Since I’ve been having such great success with cauliflower rice, I figured I would roughly chop up some cauliflower and use it as a substitute for elbow macaroni.  It worked really well – so much so that my 18 month old wanted seconds and that’s saying something!

Goulash

1 lb of ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp of garlic

2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce

1 can (14.5 oz) of petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp of worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 small head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (unless you’re paleo)

Brown meat.  Drain off the excess fat and add the chopped onions.  Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook a minute or so until garlic is fragrant.

Add all the rest of the ingredients except the chopped cauliflower.  Stir and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Add the cauliflower and simmer another 20 minutes, covered this time.  Stir occasionally.

Add the parmesan cheese, if using, and stir.

Enjoy!

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Stuffed Mushrooms

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I first had these amazing stuffed mushrooms last month and was fortunate enough to get the recipe.  They are so very good!  You’ve gotta love cheese to like these, and a glass of wine pairs perfectly with them.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 package of garden salad mushrooms (I bought the bigger ones for stuffing)

1/4 stick of butter

garlic salt

Pop the stems out of the mushrooms.  Then peel the outside layer of the mushroom off (this is a very important step!  It makes the mushroom much more tender).  Melt the butter, and mix in a healthy dash of garlic salt.  Dip the mushroom caps into the butter, place on a tray, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  After you take the mushroom caps out of the oven, pat the excess butter off the caps, and place back onto the tray.

1/2 package of Boursin Cheese (I bought the garlic & herb variety)

3 – 4 oz of cream cheese

Cream the cheeses together using a hand mixer.  Spoon into the mushroom caps and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Primal/Paleo Snack Ideas

Apples and Peanut Butter

 

My go-to snacks before I tried a low carb lifestyle were things like pretzels, chips, and cookies.  Without those things, I needed new and fresh ideas for snack foods (because it’s a long time between meals!).  Here are my new favs:

1.  Apple or banana with almond butter

2.  Deli meats with homemade ranch dressing

3.  Carrots/veggies with ranch dip

4.  Nuts (Cashew, Macadamia, Almonds, etc..)

5.  Hard boiled Eggs

6.  Small amount of dark chocolate

7.  In season pitted fruits or berries (cherries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc..)

8.  String Cheese (or any kind of cheese)

9.  Pickle rolls (ham, cream cheese, & small dill pickles)

10.  Full fat Greek yogurt (sometimes I through a little honey in here to sweeten it)

11.  Tuna on a cucumber slice

12.  Pork Rinds (I don’t like these but my husband does)

13.  Beef Jerky

14.  Avocado (this is yummy just smashed up with salt or as guacamole)

15.  Larabars (or, as I recently found, Kind Bars)

Add your own ideas for low carb snacks in the comments!  I am always up for a new snack 🙂

Vegetable Soup

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Winter time seems to drag on once we hit March.  I want butterflies and sunny days, but I get snow, gray mornings, and cold.  So to cheer myself up, I make soups – this is one of my favorites.

Vegetable Soup

1 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

a few garlic cloves, minced

1 medium sweet potato, chopped

1 cup of sweet peas

1 cup of green beans

1 cup of lima beans

1 cup of carrots

1/2 cup of corn (optional)

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

4-5 cups of cabbage, shredded

3 beef bouillon cubes

4 16 oz cans of beef broth

1/2 tsp of basil

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

1 – 2 tsp of worcestershire sauce

Brown the ground beef.  Drain off the excess fat.  Add your onions and cook about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft.  Then add all your veggies, spices, broth, etc..  Pretty much dump every else on the ingredient list.

Cook on medium heat for about an hour, until potatoes are soft.

Enjoy!

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