January 2, 2017
Back to school means back to routines. Getting back into our school year habits can be an adjustment, but with some simple tricks, prepping school lunches doesn't have to be a chore.
Make BLT Salad Rolls
BLTs are delicious, but they're sure not portable. This new idea is a way to take the great flavours of bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo, wrap them together and have them hold up until lunch time, with the help of rice paper wraps.
Assemble your fillings by chopping bacon into inch-long pieces, dice tomato and shred some crisp lettuce, then roll them up in rice paper wraps, found in the international foods aisle. Rice paper rolls or salad rolls are a popular Vietnamese food and they're very easy to make at home. While at first you'll find the rice paper sticky, they are durable and easy to work with and hold together astonishingly well. This blog has the easy-to-follow instructions.
Make Sandwich Skewers
Let's be honest; sandwiches can get tiresome day after day. Why not change up your child’s standard fare and create what's essentially a deconstructed sandwich?
Clever chef and father Michael Allemeier (Twitter: @ChefAllemeier) dreamed these up: Cut cubes of deli meat and cheese (or bocconcini is tailor made for these fun sticks), cut chewy bread into squares too, add cherry tomatoes, fold some lettuce, then slide everything onto a skewer. Wrap them in plastic wrap or drop them into a tall tupperware container for transport. It’s all the nutrition of a sandwich, without the ‘same old same old’ feeling.
Pack a Noodle Jar
If you're in a rush, store-bought sauces can be a time saver. It's easy to make a ‘to-go’ noodle jar with some good quality sauce and noodles cooked up the night before.
Spaghetti sauce and pasta can be portioned into easy grab and go lunches that can be reheated easily, whether they're in mason jars or tupperware. An Asian flavoured sauce and some rice noodles, with a sprinkling of pre-steamed broccoli makes a perfectly delicious and healthy Thai noodle jar. All the parts can be readied the night before, then assembled quickly in the morning and tossed into a lunch bag. These meals also work if you want to heat them and place them into an insulated Thermos too.
Pack a ‘Grab n Go’ Box
If you've ever picked up lunch from a Starbucks, you've seen their ultra portable boxes. From cheese and crackers, to fruit and peanut butter with bread, a lunch box is an easy meal to make at home. Plus it can be changed up daily, and adjusted to dietary needs, tastes and preferences when you make them yourself.
Use a large flat re-useable container, add wedges of cheese, a small container filled with peanut or other nut butter, wrap a stack of crackers in plastic wrap, and toss in anything else you like. Use smaller condiment Tupperwares to portion things like nuts, carrot sticks, pickles, olives, jam, or hummus.
These convienient boxes can have all the components portioned out for multiple family members, and can be built quickly before heading out the door in the morning.
School lunches don’t have to be stressful each morning. Give our easy lunch hacks a try and either let us know how they worked for you, or post your own top time savers for lunch!
- Erin L
As an internationally recognized chef who hails from the Prairies, Dale Mackay is working with Co-op to give Co-op shoppers and food lovers recipe ideas...
Co-op shoppers can expect exclusive recipes from Chef Dale MacKay that are delicious and easy to prepare at home.
I’m a fan of the roast chicken. Not only is it simple, versatile and delicious, it makes the best leftovers.