October 25, 2014

Fall Favorites and School Lunch Update

Last week for supper we had one of our favorites – Feta Stuffed Chicken, Lemon Roasted Potatoes and what I call ‘Greek Salsa’.  Marin declared ‘Yum is all I can say!’  That reminded me that I haven’t posted in a long time and that I could definitely come up with a week of our fall favorites.  I’ve tried to put together ideas that are not only yummy but are quick to throw together on busy weeknights and can also be reinvented to use leftovers for lunch.   Win, Win, Win!! 

Feta Stuffed Chicken,Lemon Roasted Potatoes and Greek Salsa


Fall Favorite Meal Plan




Overnight Oats - This is my go-to overnight oats "formula".
Spaghetti & Meatballs -This recipe comes from Week 1!  An oldie and a goodie.
Mini Quiche - This recipe is really just a guide, you can add what ever add-ins you like. 
Feta Stuffed Chicken - In this post I link to the chicken recipe and give instructions for the greek salsa.  For the lemon roasted potatoes I just dice potato, toss with olive oil and the juice of a lemon and roast at 450 until crisp.
Greek Quinoa Salad - I've posted this recipe a gazillion times (give or take) - it's so good!!  I actually made it with brown.rice instead of quinoa a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious!
Grilled Steak & Kale Salad  - For the steak I've linked to my favorites page where you'll find the marinade we use most (under dressings and spice blends).  I had this on the menu one night when the weather wasn't the best so I sliced the marinated meat and stir-fried instead.  We all really enjoyed it that way.
Naan Pizza - I make a batch of this naan every few weeks and freeze leftovers.  You can use it in various ways but I love to use it for quick and easy pizza lunches. 
Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork - This pork was so delicious!  One of my new favorite slow cooker recipes and the leftovers worked great with fried rice.
Arugula Salad with Maple Walnut Dressing- This link is for the dressing.  The salad I made up with what I had on hand and would say it was as good as any salad I've had at a restaurant.  It was arugula, roasted beets and cauliflower, pear, walnuts, cranberries and I shaved some parsnips and fried them until crispy.  I had to note this one so that I remember to make it again!

Bonus Recipe - Avocado Chicken

I didn't have room to put this one on the menu but it should also be noted as a quick and easy weeknight meal.  I made this up one night trying to use up some odds and ends.  I cooked chicken cutlets in a lightly oiled pan, a few minutes per side until cooked through.  I then transferred the chicken to a baking dish and topped each with a spoonful of salsa, slices of avocado and some shredded mozza.  This was baked at 425 until the cheese melted and then broiled for an additional minute.  A hit with everyone in the family!

Avocado Chicken

School Lunch Update

And I know you’re all wondering… how are school lunches going??  I’m happy to say I’m still finding it fun.  For the first couple of weeks I would ask Marin as soon as I picked her up what she thought of lunch - did she like it? Was it too much or too little?  It’s not our first topic of conversation anymore but I do unpack her lunch bag as soon as I get home and I’m happy to say “most” days she eats well.  To be honest, I really don’t find its been much of a change – as mentioned, I was packing lunches for Dave and I anyway.  Packing Marin’s lunch has actually added a level of fun to the task because I bought her special containers (the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox) in fun girly colors.  And I pack hers completely the night before so that I can make sure it all fits in her lunch bag and is well balanced.  This has made me more habitual with also planning and packing snacks for Dave and I, which I wasn’t always the best at.

Admittedly my “Lunch Plans” are not being followed however.  My snack bins are ineffective.  I don’t have enough reusable containers to pack days in advance, I don’t want to reply too much on baggies and ultimately I just find I’m fine with packing up the snacks each night.  I’ve also not gotten Marin involved as much as I had planned.  She’s been eating most of what I’ve sent so other than the odd time I’ve given her the choice of a couple of options, I’ve been doing all of the planning and packing.  If she starts rejecting my choices I'll revisit that one.  I have referred to my School Lunch Ideas printout though and find that very useful!  I also refer often to my School Lunches Pinterest Board for inspiration when I’m meal planning.

Here are some examples of what I’ve been packing:

Leftover chicken, cheese cubes, crackers and sour cream with avocado mixed in.  Carrots, apricots and a Friday juice pack treat.

Mini quiche, kale salad, apple sauce and Wow Butter rice cake.

Felafel patties, veggies, fruit salad and homemade granola bar.

Pizza on Naan, kale salad, mini cucumber, mandarin slices, homemade granola bar and a yogurt.

Black bean and avocado salad, crackers, cheese string, mini cucumber, mandarin slices and homemade granola bar.

Ham and Cheese roll-ups, veggies, apple slices and chocolate muffin.

Whole wheat pancake with cream cheese and jam, tofu bites, peach slices, Wow Butter energy balls and a yogurt.