Posts

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Healthy Kids Lunches

Tater Tots

 

Fries steamed in a plastic bag with wholes in it

 

Rubbery hamburger

 

Beefy Mac

 

Sloppy Joe

 

Pizza

 

Fruit cups

 

Cardboard tasting chocolate milk

 

This is what I remember about school lunch. Then in high school I moved with my vegan father and began packing my lunches daily. Tempeh sandwiches and wraps became my new favs.

 

back to school lunch bags

 

When I had just 2 children, their lunches were Pinterest worthy. They had bento boxes laden with artfully decorated food.  I used molds, animal toothpicks and cutters. Well, 3 children later, I’m just looking to get something healthy in their bags that they won’t throw away. For more on getting kids to eat right, check out one of my most popular posts by CLICKING HERE.

 

So PBJ’s aside, here are some of my go to healthy kids lunches for my tribe of 5.

 

Beverages are limited to water and rarely chocolate almond milk. I used to give 100% organic juice but stopped that to cut down on sugar.

 

Burritos

Leftover Chipotle At Home comes together in a tortilla for a quick and easy lunch.

 

Burrtios

 

 

Pita pizza

I always keep whole wheat pitas in the freezer. This is a lunch the children can make and pack themselves.

 

Pasta salad

Make one big bowl and the family can eat this for a few days. The variations are endless. HERE is an easy one that my children enjoy.

 

Corn muffins w/ string cheese & carrot sticks

Use THIS vegan Corn Muffin Recipe

 

Taco Salad

I can remix this from some of the above Chipotle At Home ingredients. Or you can try THIS recipe.

 

Side Bites

Fruit

Mini cucumbers

Carrot sticks

Cherry tomatoes

Hummus

Nuts

 

Snack

Make THESE healthy bars to replace sugary granola bars

Popcorn

 

 

I’m always looking for inspiration. What are some of your favorite healthy kids lunches?

 

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As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

How To Build A Better Salad

Iceberg. Romaine. Tomato. Cheese. Croutons. Ranch.

 

BORING!

 

Why settle for the old standard salad bar salad when you can craft a masterpiece that will be tantalizing to the eyes and the taste buds? Not to mention, you want a salad that adds to not detracts from your health and a salad that’s loaded down with cheese, creamy dressing, and croutons….well.

 

Let me show you how to build a better salad. I have a salad nearly every day for lunch

 

1st let me say that not all of my salads have greens. Sometimes my salads are grain based or bean based. The one thing that’s consistent is they all contain some type of raw component.

 

GREENS

Spinach

Choose greens that are nutrient dense. Some good options are:

~Kale

~Spinach

~Swiss Chard

~Red Leaf Lettuce

~Cabbage

 

SALAD: Red Cabbage Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

red cabbage salad

SALAD: Farro Salad

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VEGGIES

I love the addition of hot roasted vegetables on my salad. The heat from the veggies slightly wilts the greens and takes of the cold edge making the salad the perfect temperature. Mmm, just typing about it has me eagerly looking forward to lunch.

 

PROTEIN

If you want to lose/maintain weight, build muscle and reduce body fat, you should eat protein with every meal. By evenly rationing protein throughout your day as opposed to a huge portion at dinner, your muscles receive a constant supply of amino acid, which supports building muscle and boosting metabolism.

~Lean meat of choice

~Beans

~Nuts

~Quinoa

~Tofu

~Tempeh

kale salad chickpeas

ADD INS

Boost the taste and nutritional value of your salad by adding these extras.

~Nuts

~Seeds (sunflower, hemp, flax)

~Scallion

~Fruit (fresh or dried. I love the contrast of sweet and savory in a salad)

colorful salad

DRESSINGS

Many store bought dressings are not good for you. They can contain hydrogenated soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup and in general too much fat and sugar. You’d fare better making your own dressing and chances are you may already have ingredients at home to make the dressings. Whizzing these dressings in the blender gives them a nice creamy consistency without all the saturated fat and cholesterol normally found in many store bought dressings.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

My standard go to dressing. It’s made most excellent by the addition of my all time favorite spice, Hope by Virtuous Living. Click here to order your Hope today.

½ cup high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette

1 tbsp Hope

2 tsp maple syrup

1 clove garlic minced

salt & pepper to taste

 

Tahini Dressing

Tahini is a staple in my kitchen. From dressings to hummus to soups, I have many uses for it.

½ cup water

2 tbsp tahini

a squeeze of lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

 

Braggs Dressing

2 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp Braggs liquid aminos

 

Spicy Peanut Dressing

Click Here

 

The following are some additional salad ideas. These are not my original recipes but salads I enjoy.

 

Spring/Summer : Black Bean & Corn Salad

 

Fall/Winter: Winter Salad Bowl

 

Honor your temple by choosing well. Each day I make a decision to choose well by eating a nourishing, tasty salad. Now that you know hot to build a better salad, run to the store, get your ingredients and have some fun with it.

 

I’d love to hear and see what you’ve made. Take pictures of your salads and share with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook:Inspired Life

Twitter:Inspired Life

red lettuce salad nut meat

Quinoa salad

pear salad

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

 

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Red Cabbage Salad w/ Spicy Peanut Dressing

In my pursuit to honor my temple through proper nourishment, I’ve found a rhythm that works well for me; a green smoothie for breakfast, a raw lunch and a low-fat, well-balanced dinner.  I have a few staples that are in regular rotation for my lunch and this is one of them.  I make a big bowl of this salad on Monday morning and I eat it for several days.  Add the protein of your choice.  I usually add tempeh or sliced almonds.

Red Cabbage Salad w/ Spicy Peanut Dressing

1 medium head red cabbage thinly sliced

1 red pepper thinly sliced

1 cup green beans lightly blanched, cut in pieces

3 sprigs scallions sliced

1 tbsp sesame seeds

½ cup water

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

3 tsp sesame oil

3 tbsp natural peanut butter

1 in piece of ginger peeled

2 large cloves fresh garlic peeled

1 tsp crushed red pepper flake

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Toss together red cabbage, red pepper, green beans, scallion and sesame seeds. Gather the remaining ingredients, place in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

 

In fact, this dressing is multi-purpose.  Add a little more sesame oil and use it to make sesame noodles.  Minus the peanut butter, add another clove or two of garlic and 1 tbsp corn starch and use it to make broccoli in garlic sauce (recipe here).

 

Happy Cooking!

red cabbage salad

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Farro Salad

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For my friend Nique, these are not your grandmother’s beets. Beets are good and good for you. To Marcy, you quickly secured a place in my heart with this salad. Posting my version of the recipe here allows it to live on. Thank you friend.

2 cups farro

4 cups water

1 medium cucumber peeled, deseeded and diced

1 large lightly steamed beet, diced

1/4 red onion diced

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes quartered

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

tzatziki sauce (optional)

Bring water to boil. Add farro and cook 20-30 minutes (al dente or to your liking) then drain. While farro is cooking, prep the vegetables. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Pour dressing over farro and toss. Add veggies and feta toss again. Serve with a dollop of tzatziki.