Well, unfortunately, I am now behind on the menu plan due to the fact that my family and I had to evacuate for Hurricane Irma a couple of weeks ago. We came home to some major damage (the house was OK) that took many phone calls to the insurance company. Then, well, life happened. It’s really hard to catch up once you’re behind. It was a trying and stressful time and I’m happy to be getting back to a normal routine. So, with no further ado, on to the Week 6 menu plan.
As the weather starts to get cooler, as it has in some parts of the United States, hearty lunches are in order. What’s great about this crockpot cheeseburger casserole from Dizzy Busy and Hungry is you can make it on a Sunday without worrying about taking up precious oven space. Heat it up before packing it in a thermos for the lunchbox. This is a dish you will want to pack in your own lunch. Filling and hearty with pasta, vegetables and protein.
If you’ve seen previous menu plans you know I like to include a nice snack in the lunchbox. My mini apple muffins with oatmeal streusel topping were a hit here. The powered sugar glaze is optional but puts them over the top. A couple tucked in to lunch makes for a sweet treat as well as a yummy snack. There are nuts in these muffins but they can be omitted if there are allergy concerns. They are also perfect served with a main dish salad.
Which brings me to a fresh and fun fall dinner salad, that also works for lunch, from Cooking with Carlee. This salad has greens, fruit in the form of fall apples and chicken as the protein. You may be wondering how to keep the apples from browning before lunch time. One trick is to toss cut apples with lemon juice. It’s the acid that keeps them from browning when exposed to air. Some feel they can taste the lemon so I’ve actually started using apple juice. Same effect without a strong taste.
This is such a versatile idea from Daily Dish Recipes. Tuna stuffed tomatoes can be made in mini form (think appetizer) with cherry tomatoes for tiny hands or one larger tomato for older kids who have mastered utensils. Actually, depending on your child, you may need to include two larger tomatoes! Not a fan of tuna salad? Swap it out with chicken salad. This is a nice, no bread, alternative for lunch. Plus, who doesn’t love mini food? Easy to handle, easy to pack in the lunch box and fun to eat.
You may have seen that this past week was #AppleWeek. This apple oatmeal cookie from Jolene’s Recipe Journal was a cookie she shared for apple week 2016. Cookies that start with a cake mix are a winner in my book. When you read the recipe, Jolene gives you another option for a variation. I love options because they keep the ideas coming and lunch box items don’t get boring. This recipe makes quite a few and will keep for a few days in an airtight container.