All Posts by Keeley McGuire

6 10 nut free lunch ideas

10 Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas

Do your kids have nut allergies? Or is your school enforcing nut-free lunches? Here are some ideas to combat that!

10 nut free lunch ideasAs a parent of a child with a severe nut allergy, I am forever grateful knowing she is safe at school being in a nut-free class.

With food allergies on the rise, more and more non-allergic families are finding rules being implemented to ensure student safety by having nut-free classes or even entire school buildings.

I can’t tell you how often I hear “what can I pack if I can’t send PB&J?”

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

MOMables not only has great resources on the blog for nut-free recipes and ideas, but you can also subscribe to the Classic Lunch Plan, which is nut-free or lists substitute suggestions on each of the menu items. Perfect for those lost on how to keep things peanut- and tree nut-free, but still nutritious and exciting in the lunch box.

To help get you started and thinking outside the peanut butter sandwich, here are some great lunch ideas we offer free from the blog here at MOMables:

  • Mini Tuna Balls: These little balls of fun are made with only three ingredients! Super simple and fun for both kids and adults. Eat them alone, with mac & cheese, or on top of a yummy salad.

mini tuna balls

  • Ham & Cheese Lunch Bites: Not only a fun nut-free lunch idea but grain-free as well. They also make a delicious breakfast bite.
  • DIY Pizza Lunch: Nothing beats a homemade lunchable, or as we like to call them, MOMables. ;) Let the kids build their own pizza and enjoy!
  • Pizza Swords: A new way to send those leftover slices sitting in the fridge. Cut up the pizza, add extra meat, and/or olives on food skewers.
  • Homemade Nuggets: Not only a great lunch alternative, but for dinner too. They freeze great for easy meals in the future. Never buy store-bought again!
  • LadybugPasta: There’s something about giving a dish a fun name that can make it more appealing for kids. That’s exactly what this dish does! Cold pastas are a great lunch box alternative.

lady bug pasta lunch

 

  • Ranch Chicken Wrap: Using up leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken is a great idea for lunches. Make chicken salad, slice it with BBQ sauce for dipping, or add it to a wrap like we did here for a yummy sandwich.
  • Meatloaf Swords: Speaking of leftovers, use up dinner the next day with this great idea. We also include our own recipe that helps sneak in some extra veggies for your picky eaters.
  • Pumpkin Pancakes: Breakfast for Lunch is always a fun change up. Try our Pumpkin Pancake recipe for a yummy fall favorite. You can also make a large batch ahead of time and freeze for quick grab & go breakfasts or lunches.
  • Apple & Cheese Quesadilla: Quesadillas don’t have to just be filled with meat. Try filling it with Apple & Cheese! When you grill or toast the quesadilla, the cheese melts and marries the two flavors together, creating the perfect bite.

apple cheddar quesadillas

For more ideas follow MOMables on Facebook and sign-up for our FREE newsletter!

2 mac and cheese cups

Microwave Mac and Cheese Cups (GF version included)

Kids love Macaroni & Cheese. It’s just that simple.

mac and cheese cupsMy daughter loves Mac and Cheese as much as the next kid. However, because I don’t eat dairy, I often find it a waste to make her an entire box of her favorite kind instead of a single serving just to fit her needs.

Not only that, let’s face it: The box variety is just not healthy. Most have added food dyes and chemicals I can barely pronounce when I check out the ingredient label!

Thankfully, we can now make our own Microwave Mac & Cheese Cups at home! With MOMables, there are just so many ways to make your kid’s favorite meals and snacks without all of the artificial ingredients! Come check us out!

They’re so simple, whether you use regular or gluten-free noodles (I’ve included direction notes for both). These are simple and quick to make, plus they’re the perfect single serving for a snack, side, or lunch.

MOM Tip: The key is to stir throughout, as instructed. This will keep the noodles cooking evenly and help keep them from overboiling.

Also remember that all microwaves are not created equal, so cooking times may have to be slightly adjusted depending on how hot yours does or does not get. Just keep an eye on the bowl, especially your first time making them, and note the differences.

Microwave Mac & Cheese Cups (GF Version Included)

mac and cheese cups
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pasta, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Instructions

  1. Add pasta and water into a large soup bowl or mug.
  2. For regular noodles: Microwave for 6 minutes. Stop, and stir at the 2 1/2 minute mark, then stir every 45 seconds to 1 minute thereafter.
  3. For gluten-free noodles: Microwave for 5 minutes. Stop, and stir at the 2 1/2 minute mark, then stir every 45 seconds to 1 minute thereafter.
  4. After the microwaving is complete, add in the cheese. Stir.
  5. Microwave again for 25 seconds.
  6. Add the milk, stir, and serve.

*Gluten-free recipe notes use a corn-based pasta.

grilled garlic parmesan zucchini

Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini

What do you do with zucchini? There are so many delicious ideas!

grilled garlic parmesan zucchiniZucchini is one of my favorite vegetables. It has become a household staple for us since my daughter began eating gluten-free. It’s so versatile and filling!

We love using it to make pasta, zucchini chips, and even pizza bites. That’s why this Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini is so wonderful; it’s like grilled garlic bread, only no bread and so much healthier! Perfect for our gluten-free family.

Don’t you love how versatile some things are? Being able to use the same ingredients in different ways in several meals is part of what MOMables is all about. Come check it out!

If you don’t have a grill, you can also broil these in the oven on low for about eight minutes by placing them on a tray on the middle rack.

This recipe is also great packed up for lunches. Just make sure they’re cooled completely before packing them in your lunch container. Round off the lunch with a hard-boiled egg and fresh fruit for a complete and healthy meal, MOMables style!

Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini

grilled garlic parmesan zucchini
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchinis, washed, ends cut
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to a medium-high setting (about 375F) and lightly oil the grates, or preheat the oven to 375F, and grease a baking sheet or line it with a silicone mat.
  2. Slice your zucchinis lengthwise into three flat slices, and place them on the grill or the baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, parsley, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Combine until it becomes a spreadable paste.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto all the zucchini slices.
  5. Cook the zucchini for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is soft and cooked through.
  6. Serve immediately.

 

 

2 how to freeze pizza dough

How to Freeze Pizza Dough

Do you know how to freeze pizza dough?

how to freeze pizza doughFriday night has become known as “Pizza Night” at my house. My daughter, who’s a very routine person, gets upset if I ever change it up. She loves her pizza!

That’s why I freeze pizza dough to make sure I always have some on hand for our family or if we have guests. It’s especially important in our house since we’re handling multiple food allergies and dietary restrictions.

For those looking for a delicious pizza dough recipe, MOMables has you covered. Our homemade brick oven recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and guests. I know when I make this for my friends, they’re always asking me for the recipe!

MOMables has tons of recipes and tips that will make your lunch-packing chores so much easier. If you would like some extra help doing this, you can sign up for our weekly meal plan and have recipes, tips, shopping lists, and more sent right to your inbox!

how-to-freeze-pizza-dough-horizontalHere’s the trick for making the brick oven dough recipe, or your favorite dough recipe, and freezing it for later use:

  • Mix all your ingredients together, as usual.
  • After you’ve added the yeast, do NOT let it rise. Instead, shape the mixture into a ball, and cover it lightly with flour.
  • Wrap the dough with plastic wrap. (I like to spray the wrap first with a little cooking spray to help keep the dough from sticking.)
  • Place the wrapped dough ball into a labeled freezer bag, and freeze it until ready to use.

When you’re ready to bake that bad boy, here are the next steps:

  • The morning of, remove the dough from the freezer, take it out of the bag, and unwrap it.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl in a warm place. Cover, and let it rise for the next 7 to 8 hours.
  • After it has finished rising, prepare the recipe as you normally would.

Not into tackling homemade dough? Try out DIY Frozen Pizza recipe instead.

1 easy peasy frittata recipe

Easy-Peasy Frittata Recipe

Are you among those who think frittatas are out of your league? Think again!

easy peasy frittata recipeI used to think frittatas were difficult to make because they sounded so “fancy.” I also couldn’t make an omelette if my life depended on it, so how was I going to make a frittata?

They are actually easy to make and don’t require flipping, which for someone like me who also used to struggle with pancakes, this is a very good thing.

Frittatas are delicious because you can load them with whatever fillings you want. They’re thick, easy, yummy, and filling. They’re great as a quick-fix breakfast, for a weeknight when you have that blank stare looking into your refrigerator unsure what to whip up for dinner, or even made and planned ahead for lunches!

That’s right–they’re fabulous for lunches, too. I love to make my frittata, slice it, and pack it up for the family. They’re just as good cold as they are hot, so no need to worry about how to pack.

Are you struggling to pack variety in your kid’s lunch boxes? Are they getting bored with their lunches? Sometimes have a slightly guilty feeling for packing the same sandwich over and over again? Join MOMables, and you can get a weekly meal plan sent straight to your inbox! You’ll get recipes for every day along with pictures to show you what the final product should look like. You even get a grocery list to streamline the process even more!

One of the things I love most about this particular recipe is that the ingredients are probably already in your fridge and freezer. Plus, the added peas are a great way to sneak extra veggies into your meal.

Want to amp it up even more? Try adding diced ham bits as well.

Easy-Peasy Frittata

easy peasy frittata recipe
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven’s broiler.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  3. Add the peas and cheese. Whisk again.
  4. In a 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan around to coat evenly over the entire bottom and sides of the pan.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the heated pan. Using a rubber spatula, give it a quick stir to evenly distribute the peas.
  6. Increase the heat to medium. Allow the egg mixture to cook without stirring, about 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are cooked and the center-top is semi-liquid.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the broiler, and continue to cook until the top and center are fully cooked, about another 4 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, and allow the frittata to cool before slicing.

 

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