Back to School…Lunch Ideas

Whether you are packing the kids up for school, or are just easing back into the routine of 5-day work weeks without a vacation in sight, we can all use a little help getting back into our regular schedules.

One thing that can be nice about waving good-bye to summer hours of BBQ’s and pools, is getting back on a FIT-schedule. Eating and sleeping more regularly, exercising at the same times/same days, etc. Carpools, school, and regular work hours all force you on a more regimented schedule – which can be an excellent thing for your health and waistline!

So dry those tears, pack the swimsuits away, and pack up those lunchboxes (for you and the kids)! Commit to making your lunch this school year for you and your family because it is the best way to have control over calories, healthy options, and portion sizes!

Check out these wonderful suggestions for nut-free lunch “boxes” for the kids and check out three of our favorite fail-proof and quick lunches for you and the whole family.

Gazpacho (as featured on GOOP)

José Andrés
JOSÉ ANDRÉS

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is one of our favorite ways to use ripe tomatoes. José leans on good quality olive oil here—as there are so few ingredients in this recipe, the flavor really comes through.

SERVES 4-6

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, chopped

2 garlic cloves

½ cup sherry vinegar

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt, to taste

1 loaf of crusty bread, for serving

1. Combine the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and two cups of water in a food processor or blender.

2. Purée the ingredients until everything is well-blended into a thick pink liquid. Depending on the strength of your blender, this may need to be done in batches.

3. Pour the gazpacho through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste, and serve with crusty bread. (Use mason jars for easy storage and leak-proof transporting)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad With Mango Balsamic Vinaigrette

(From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Fitness)

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

1 small sweet potato, unpeeled, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 red pepper, diced
2 cups greens (you choose)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon salted sunflower seeds

For the dressing:

1/4 cup mango, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, add oil, and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a pan, and roast for 20 or so minutes, stirring a couple times, until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Place the quinoa and half a cup of water in a covered pot on high. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is all soaked up and the quinoa is tender.
  4. Puree the mango with the balsamic vinegar and water, and set aside.
  5. Allow the roasted potatoes and quinoa to cool to room temperature.
  6. Start layering the salad in the jar beginning with the black beans. Add the cooked quinoa, and pour the mango balsamic vinaigrette on top.
  7. Top with diced red pepper, greens, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
  8. Screw top on securely, and store in the fridge.
  9. When you’re ready to eat, give the jar a good shake to mix everything up and enjoy!

Pineapple Blueberry Salad With Lemon Chia Seed Dressing

(from Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR FITNESS)

Flat Belly Salad

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:
2 cups Bibb lettuce
1/3 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 avocado, diced
1 tablespoon chopped almonds

For the lemon chia seed dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (juice from half a lemon)
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place salad ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle onto salad, and enjoy!

 

 

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