Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 1 of Cold Lunches

Week one went better than expected with my cold lunch experiment. My oldest was embarrassed to have to take a cold lunch to middle school. But by Tuesday at lunch her friends were asking about it. They asked her if she was trying to eat healthier. Now, she is just a little wisp of a thing as it is, so she told them she was eating healthier so that she would stay in shape. She told them that Wednesday she was having a peanut butter sandwich and a salad, so they wanted to bring cold lunch the next day too. All her friends at her table brought a salad the next day too. Now that she realizes that it is not an embarrassment to bring cold lunch, she is embracing it and trying to help her friends eat healthier in the process.

Here is what we had for the week:

Ham & Cheese Pasta Salad (click for recipe I used)
Popcorn (left over from the weekend)
Chocolate Chip Cookie (won at the church cake walk the day before)

Ham Salad Sandwich (recipe below)
Cookies (7 nilla wafers)

Peanut butter sandwich
Salad with cucumbers (organic spring mix $3.99)
Babybel Cheese
Pears (kids) Apple (adults)

Two pizza slices (left over Little Ceasers from dinner)
Carrots & ranch dip

Hot lunch

With each of the meals, the kids had a choice of milk, 100% juice or water with their lunches. They picked those the morning of, depending on their mood. I made the lunches up the night before, so when my husband got them on the bus all he had to do was their beverage of choice and add an ice pack to their bags. He thought it was easy, and with my menu posted on the side of the fridge, everybody knew what they were having the whole week. I think week 1 was a success! Got to go, working on my Week 2 menu right now. What a way to plan ahead and use up what I already have in the house.

Ham Salad recipe:

1 pound pre-cooked ham (I used turkey ham this time)
1 cup mayo
4 pickles
2 small white onions

I have an attachment on my stand mixer that is a grinder, my mother uses an old fashioned cast iron hand grinder. Both work well, you just want a good grinder to get the right consistency.

Grind up ham, onion and pickles into a large bowl. Add in mayo, and stir completely. Add a little more mayo if it seems to dry still. Refrigerate covered for up to one week.

You can add different flavors to your families liking. I have added different mustards, sweet pickles, and spices to make it a little different each time. But the plain recipe above is still my families favorite. It lasts for at least a week in the fridge, but you may have to stir it up before each use. Great on sandwiches, Ritz crackers and toasted bagels. Plus I have caught my husband eating it with just a spoon right out of the bowl :)

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A blog about living within your means in todays world, while being married, raising three kids, working full-time, and trying not to go crazy in the process.