I hope everyone had a good weekend. I thought some more about the lunchbox series this weekend. It is funny to think that I started it on September 1 just as way to document my lunches for a week for some inspiration for writing a guest post, and now it is September 20 and I am still posting a lunchbox every weekdays (and the occasional weekend lunchbox). I have been hearing from many of you that these lunchbox posts are helpful for a variety of reasons, so I promise to keep them going at least until the end of the month. Part of me wants to continue them indefinitely, but I worry that things might get repetitive. What do you think?
Here are today’s lunch and two snacks:
- Brown rice tortilla stuffed with 1/4 cup hummus, 1/4 cup mashed roasted sweet potato and 1 tablespoon chopped scallions. To make the tortilla soft and pliable I run it under water so it is a bit damp (but not soaked through or breaking) and then toast it in a dry frying pan on high heat on both sides. Be careful to just toast until it is warmed through and still pliable, as opposed to crispy.
- Kale chips (I used Meghan’s nacho cheeseless kale chip recipe)
- Green smoothie (half the yield of the green smoothie recipe here)
- Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie (see below for recipe)
As I was making the chocolate milkshake smoothie this morning, I was thinking about this month’s edition of Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, hosted by Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen (the event was originally created by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried). The theme Ali picked is Ideas for Packing a Health School Lunch. A couple of you kindly suggested I should submit one of my lunchbox posts to the event this month, and it occurred to me that while I have a sense of what makes a healthy lunch, I have no idea if there are different parameters for healthy school lunches. Then again, when I was a kid, I probably would have been fine with the above lunch -a slightly sweet savory sandwich, something chocolatey, and something crispy. Potato chips were a treat for special occasions like a birthday, so anything crispy on a regular day made me happy. I think that is why I happily crunched through many cut-up carrots and celery and fennel as past of my school lunches and include them in many of my lunches now as an adult. The only thing I am not sure of is the two smoothies – for a school lunch it would probably make more sense to replace the green smoothie with some cut-up veggies. Aside from that though, this lunch would probably make a great school lunch, as long as it was scaled down for a smaller appetite.
A note on chocolate and the milkshake in general. I noticed Ali included a treat column on her handy school lunch chart, and I like that the chocolate milkshake smoothie combines several aspects of the chart. It includes banana and spinach and sunbutter, so fruit, vegetable and a smidge of protein to supplement the hummus, which is the main protein in the lunch. And the chocolate milkshake smoothie definitely tastes like a treat because of the combination of banana, cacao and sunbutter. By omitting ice cubes and adding an extra frozen half banana, the smoothie becomes milkshake-like in texture. I love this chocolate milkshake smoothie – it is a nice change from a straight green smoothie, which is what I tend to drink most of the time. The only sweeteners are the banana and the stevia in the protein powder, yet it tastes rich and sweet and decadent.and desserty. For this reason I am submitting this recipe to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and to The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesday as well as to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, hosted by Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.
Here is the recipe:
Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie
Makes 1 thick 16 smoothie and a little extra
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use either WF 365 unsweetened almond milk or So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 heaping Tbsp raw cacao (you can use any unsweetened cacao you would like)
- 1 scoop Sunwarrior Chocolate protein powder
- 1 Tbsp Organic Sunbutter (substitute any peanut or other nut butter you would like)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 1/2 banana, frozen in chunks
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Note: this makes a very thick smoothie. Add 1/2 cup non-dairy milk or water to thin it out. I find that packed in a glass jar it stays cool until lunchtime. I know there are many cups with cold inserts that are used in kids’ lunches these days, so I imagine that there are non-glass options for packing the smoothie and keeping it cool without resorting to a glass jar.