Thursday, August 27, 2009

First week of Lunch Menus

I finished off the first week of lunch menus for Hannah and Duncan. This is going to be a longish post, by the way. Hopefully the kids will have an extra hour on the weekend to do all this. I needed to pick some stuff quickly - I have about 30 but don't have recipes down for all of them yet. Keep in mind as you look at this that I'm gearing this toward a 13 and a 15 year old who don't cook much. There's a lot of purchased stuff here that sure, if I were doing for myself, I'd cook, or use fresh. But they don't have that kind of time, or the interest, and their grocery options are a little limited, given where they live. So here was their first week:

Monday
Egg Strata
Fruit Salad

Tuesday
Salad with Chicken Thighs, Mandarin Oranges and Green Onion
Crackers

Wednesday
Pita Veggie Sandwiches
Fruit Salad

Thursday
Pesto and Chicken Pizza
Green Salad

Friday
Chicken Spaghetti
Green Salad


Recipes

Chicken Thighs
10 each boneless skinless chicken thighs
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Put the chicken thighs on the baking sheet and drizzle each side with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the middles of the thighs aren't pink anymore. Cool and store for multiple meals.

Egg Strata

9 slices French Bread, 1" thick
5 large eggs
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 each bell pepper, cut 1/4-inch thick
2 each smoked sausage, cut 1/2" thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups half and half

1. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. Fit 8 bread slices in the bottom of the dish. Cut the remaining bread slice into 1 inch cubes and fit those into any empty spaces.

2. Whisk the eggs, salt and half and half in a large bowl. Pour over the bread, then drop in the sliced bell pepper, smoked sausage (like kielbasa or other cooked sausage, or you could use ham), and cheddar cheese. If you can chill this for a couple of hours before cooking, it will be better.

3. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake another 20 minutes. Cool, and then you can cut it into serving size slices.


Fruit Salad

1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
1 large can pineapple, drained
1/2 small jar maraschino cherries, drained
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Mix all fruit together and refrigerate.

Salad with Chicken Thighs, Mandarin Oranges and Green Onion

2 Tablespoons green onions, sliced
1 can mandarin orange, drained
2 each cooked chicken thighs, sliced
romaine lettuce
salad dressing
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Mix together the romaine lettuce, mandarin orange, green onions, chicken and almonds. Take a small container of your favorite salad dressing with you and put it on the salad right before eating. (note: You can use your favorite dressing, but a poppy seed dressing would be good with this.)

Pesto and Chicken Pizza

2 each small pizza crusts
1 jar purchased pesto sauce
2 each cooked chicken thighs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread about a tablespoon of pesto sauce over each pizza crust. Shred a cooked chicken thigh over each pizza. Top with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted.

Pita Veggie Sandwiches

1 cup alfalfa sprouts
2 Tablespoons cream cheese
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 each cucumber, sliced
4 slices lunch meat
1 each tomato, sliced
2 each whole pita

Cut each pita in half. Spread the inside of each half with cream cheese, then sprinkle with sunflower seeds until the cream cheese is coated. Stuff the rest of the pita with alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, tomato and lunch meat.

Chicken Spaghetti

1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 each cooked chicken thighs, shredded
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
spaghetti noodles, cooked

1. Mix the spaghetti sauce with the chicken. This will be better if you'll simmer them together for a little while on the stove (maybe 15 minutes). Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. When you're draining the pasta, drizzle it with just a little olive oil and toss it around some. That will keep the noodles from getting all sticky.

2. Top the pasta with the sauce and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Honey Nut Balls (for dessert)
16 graham crackers
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup coconut

1. Crush the graham crackers between two pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin or in a food processor.

2. Combine the peanut butter, honey and powdered milk in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

3. Make small balls with mixture and place on wax paper. Roll balls in shredded coconut.
Procedure:

Mix up the egg strata and put in the fridge to chill
Make the chicken thighs.
While the chicken thighs are cooking, make the fruit salad.
Make the Pita Veggie Sandwiches if you want to do them ahead of time.
When the chicken thighs are done, put in the egg strata, (don’t worry if it hasn’t chilled as long as the recipe says.)
Make the chicken spaghetti (including cooking the noodles)
Make your pesto chicken pizzas
Make the honey nut balls
Make the salad with chicken thighs, mandarin oranges and green onion and put some salad dressing in a small container.
For the green salad for the other days, you might just chop up some veggies that you’d like to put in it and put those in a container in the fridge. Then when you pack your lunch for the day, grab a handful of lettuce from one of those bagged salads and toss in some veggies you like and take a small container of salad dressing with you. Don’t dress the salad ahead of time. It will get soggy and nast-eee!


This whole thing should take the two of you about an hour and a half to put together. Call or text me if you have any questions.

Grocery List:

Produce:
Alfalfa sprouts
Salad greens
Bell pepper
Cucumber
Green onions
Tomatoes


Bakery/Deli
French bread
Pesto Sauce
Small pizza crusts
Whole Pita
Lunch meat
Smoked sausage (like Polish Kielbasa)

Meat
Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs (need about 10 ea.)

Dairy
Cream Cheese
Eggs
Half and Half (2 cups) or whole milk
Parmesan Cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese

Aisles
Nonfat dry milk powder (baking ingredients)
Sweetened shredded coconut
Sunflower seeds
Sliced almonds
Olive oil
Salad dressing (whatever kind the kids want)
Mandarin oranges (2 large cans)
Pineapple ( 1 large can)
Maraschino Cherries (1 small jar)
Crunch peanut butter
honey
Graham Crackers
Crackers (to go with salad)
Spaghetti Noodles
Spaghetti sauce
Small containers to hold salad dressing


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