Easy Lunch Ideas For Fast-paced Weekends
By Pamela Redwine
What are your weekends like? Are they peaceful and relaxed…or are they fast-paced and packed with events? If you are like many families, they are fast-paced and packed with too many events. Many times it may seem easier to just hit the drive-thru, but take a few minutes and find some easy ways you can prepare your family a quick, tasty, and nutritious midday meal during your fast paced weekends.
The weekends are a great time to let your child practice making healthy choices. Talk to your child and get an idea of foods he/she likes. Then you can decide on the time lunch is served and you can offer two or three choices for them to choose from. Then let your child pick from what you offer and decide how much to eat.
Here are just a few easy lunch ideas for kids:
• Peanut butter roll-ups: Spread a soft tortilla with peanut butter and grated carrots. Roll it!
• Muffin pizza: Top an English half with tomato sauce, chopped broccoli, and shredded cheese. Heat it in a toaster oven or broiler.
• Mexican pizza: Top pita bread with salsa, refried beans, and grated cheese. Heat it.
• Funny sandwiches: Cut bread in fun shapes with cookie cutters. Top with deli meat, cheese, humus, or peanut butter.
• Lunch pockets: Stuff half a pita pocket with sliced chicken, shredded lettuce and carrot, and a little salad dressing.
• Waffle sandwich: Slice a frozen waffle in half. Make a sandwich filing with tuna or egg salad.
• Chili boat: Microwave a potato. Cut it in half, and hollow the middle. Fill it with chili.
You can also add: apple slices, banana half, mango slices, papaya slices, strawberries, tangerine sections, dried fruit, broccoli “trees,” cucumber circles, bell pepper sticks, raw snap peas, or vegetable soup.
And to drink: plain or flavored milk, water or a fruit smoothie.
Recipe of the Week
By: Pamela Redwine
Ingredients: 1 lb. 8 oz lean ground beef, no more than 24 percent fat; 1/4 cup taco seasoning mix, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp salsa, 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, 1 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix, 7 eight-inch flour tortillas, 2 cups low fat cheddar cheese, shredded.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef until no signs of pink remain.
2. Drain fat from beef and discard. Return beef to stovetop.
3. Add 1/4 cup taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water to cooked beef and stir to combine. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. In a bowl, combine salsa, tomato paste, water and taco seasoning mix.
5. Cut tortillas in halves (14 half-tortillas) and assemble:
In a lightly greased 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan, lay 5 half-tortillas. Spread 1/2 cup of the salsa mixture on top of the tortillas. Distribute 1 1/2 cups of the cooked meat mixture evenly over the salsa. Top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Lay 4 half-tortillas on top of the cheese. Repeat as for first layer, using the remainder of the, salsa meat mixture, and cheese.
Lay 5 half-tortillas on top of the cheese. Spread the remainder of the salsa mixture on top of the tortillas and sprinkle remainder of cheese evenly over top.
6. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Allow pie to rest for 5 minutes before portioning. Cut pie into 12 pieces.