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1 DIY Protein Bistro Box

DIY Protein Bistro Box

Do you feel like you need to add a little extra protein to your kid’s lunch? This is perfect for you!

DIY Protein Bistro BoxHere at MOMables, we’re big proponents of the idea “Why BUY it, when you can MAKE it?”

Especially when you’re working on filling up your lunch boxes, you can never go wrong with more options, so come check it out here!

So while the boxed “lunches” (*cough* snack size!) at a certain popular coffee chain are made with fresher and healthier ingredients than other boxed lunch options, $5 is still pretty steep for something you can easily put together yourself for less!

Plus packing it yourself means you can control the ingredients and cater to personal tastes. Don’t like pepper? Skip it. Need gluten-free? No problem! Prefer your eggs soft-boiled? Go for it!

The coffee-house boxed “lunch” makes a nice snack or supplement to a larger meal, but with a few changes, you can easily pack a stand-alone lunch!

Make It a Meal!

Add more apples, grapes, and cheese. And include a serving of fresh vegetables too, while you’re at it, for a nice balanced meal!

*I used a gluten-free multi-grain roll and maple-syrup flavored peanut butter (yum!)

DIY Protein Bistro Box

DIY Protein Bistro Box
  • Author: MOMables.com

Ingredients

  • 2 small slices aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (check out MOMables tips to make them easy-peel!)
  • 2 tablespoons honey-flavored peanut butter, or regular peanut butter or non-nut butter*
  • 3 apple slices (check out the MOMables tips to help keep them from browning!)
  • 7-10 grapes
  • 1 multigrain roll or scone (apple-cinnamon-raisin is closer to the weird “Muesli bread” thing the coffee-shop box has, but feel free to use your favorite!)
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Pack more or less, to fit your tastes and appetite!

Notes

* You can mix in a small amount of honey or agave syrup if you want it sweet like the packet that comes with the $5 version. 1 tablespoon should be enough for a small jar of peanut butter, so you shouldn’t need much here.

 

15

Sweet Potato Hummus

This sweet potato hummus recipe puts leftover sweet potatoes from dinner to good use! 

Super Easy Sweet Potato Hummus recipe. It's perfect for dips, sandwiches, and  a great way to use leftover sweet potatoes!
My daughter will a eat lot more raw vegetables when dipped in something. I can go crazy trying to make her eat veggies at dinner time, but if  she can use them to dip, she devours them. She also doesn’t like potatoes or sweet potatoes unless they are fried; she’s a total southern kid.

So, on a whim, I made sweet potato hummus with leftover oven-roasted potatoes from the night before. What I found is that not only did it mask some of the chickpea flavor of a traditional hummus, but that it added a sweetness she really enjoys.

This is a dip I don’t feel guilty letting her eat by the spoonful! It’s loaded with protein, omega-3s, fiber, and beta-carotene—just to name a few benefits.

Sweet Potato Hummus

  • Author: MOMables.com

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Whole-wheat pita and veggies such as carrots, celery, red pepper, and broccoli

Instructions

  1. Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below the basket, and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. You can also use leftover oven-roasted sweet potatoes, and skip step 1. Transfer the potatoes to a food processor or blender.
  3. Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic in the food processor. Puree for about 1 minute, thinning with water if necessary. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, and let cool. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  4. Serve with pita and crudités.

 

15 crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche muffins

Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche Muffins

Need another way to reuse leftovers? 

crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche muffins

Here at MOMables, we are all about using leftovers or making extra dinner ingredients to repurpose for lunch! Not only are these quiche muffins a great way to use up extra veggies and cheese, they do double-duty! They make a great grab-and-go breakfast, or a lunchbox-friendly addition! Need more ideas to fill those lunch boxes? Come check us out!

I usually make these when I’m making quiche for dinner. I add extra veggies and eggs to my quiche mix, then make muffins with the extra that doesn’t fit in my pie pan. They freeze really well (see details below) making it easy to save them for later. So it doesn’t feel like we are eating the same thing day after day!

crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche muffins

Crustless Broccoli Cheddar Quiche “Muffins”

crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche muffins
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 3
  • Category: Breakfast, Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked broccoli florets, chopped small (from frozen or fresh)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half, milk, or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby Jack, or Gouda make great options)
  • Butter or oil for muffin pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. (If you don’t have extra cooked broccoli handy, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, then add the broccoli florets and cook for 1 minute. Drain, blot dry, and chop).
  3. Butter or grease 6 to 8 muffin cups (you can choose to skip this for silicone cups). Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese and broccoli. (Option: Divide the cheese and broccoli evenly into 6 to 8 portions and place in greased muffin cups instead).
  5. Ladle the egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Leave at least 1/4 inch of space at the tops. (If using a silicone muffin pan or silicone cups, place on a baking sheet first.)
  6. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Notes

For different taste combinations, you can add 1/2 cup chopped grilled or sauteed onion, or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped green onions or chives.
You can substitute other leftover or extra veggies for the broccoli, or use a combination. Chopped spinach, zucchini, peas, or cauliflower also make great kid-friendly alternatives, and mixing in chopped carrots and tomatoes can create a fun twist. But really, anything works if it’s something you’d enjoy with eggs!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 muffin cups

These can also be made ahead and stored for later! If you’re not eating them all right away, let them cool for 15 to 20 minutes before putting them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last 3 to 7 days that way.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

To freeze, divide into pairs (or whatever serving size you want) and put into freezer bags. (To save on high-cost freezer bags, I use cheaper small baggies for individual servings. Then put THEM into a larger freezer bag. I can usually keep re-using the outer bag, since it doesn’t get dirty touching the food!) The night before you want to eat them (or 2 to 3 days before) place them in the fridge to thaw.

To reheat, microwave thawed muffins for 2 minutes per pair.

Looking for more ideas to make your mornings easier? Check out these great MOMables breakfast recipes!

easy kale dip

Easy Kale Dip

What else can you use kale for? How about dip?

easy kale dip Whenever I add greens to our food, I make sure to name the dish after a favorite green character, like “Kermit Dip” or “Monster Mike Macaroni and Peas” to make it more kid-friendly. There are plenty of green superheroes, talking trains, tinkering pixies, frog princesses, and other fun cartoon characters to choose from to entice any child to give this yummy dip a try!

easy kale dip

A lot of the time, parents have some challenges sneaking extra veggies into their kid’s diets, but MOMables is here to give you tons of ideas and tricks to help with just that! Come check it out!

Easy Kale Dip

easy kale dip
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (5 to 6 ounces) roughly torn kale leaves (removed from stems)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or favorite herb mix)
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (the acidity helps reduce the green flavor of the kale)
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or milk

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, chop the kale leaves. Put in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and put in the food processor. Add the seasoning, onion, and salt, if using. (If dipping with veggies, you might prefer a little saltiness, but if dipping salted chips or crackers, you may not need any salt in the dip). Blend well.
  3. Add the Greek yogurt and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the chopped kale, lemon juice, and half-and-half. Blend well. You can add more milk if needed to get to the consistency you prefer.
  5. Dip veggies and enjoy!

Notes

Instead of cream cheese, which is at least 33% fat (roughly 80 grams of fat per 8-ounce block), I prefer to use Neufchatel cheese, which is naturally lower in fat without adding weird chemicals, fake colors, or extra sugars (around 23% fat, so only 48 grams of fat per 8-ounce block). Both kinds contain roughly 16 grams of protein per 8-ounce block. (Ingredients and nutrition information will vary by brand.)

Feel free to substitute spinach or other greens (leaves only, no stems) for the kale!

I personally prefer this with 2 to 3 teaspoons of garlic instead of the onion, and I usually add some rosemary and extra salt as well. Either way, it’s a big hit at family get-togethers!

For some more kid-friendly veggie dip recipes, check out MOMables Creamy Avocado Dip and Creamy Herb Radish Dip!

crockpot corn on the cob

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

Have you ever cooked corn in a slow cooker?

crockpot corn on the cobMy family loves corn on the cob. Nothing reminds me more of a great BBQ than a buttery corn on the cob.

During the summer months, however, boiling water on the stove is not appealing because it heats up the whole kitchen. This is where the slow cooker comes in! This recipe is so easy—a real “fix it and forget it” recipe—and great for making ahead for those busy weeknights!

Do you find yourself lacking the time and energy to make a good lunch for your kids because of all the late-night chaos? MOMables can help get you back on track and get you easy recipes for delicious lunch box meals! Check it out!

crockpot corn on the cobPlus, making corn on the cob in the slow cooker allows you to make each corn to everyone’s taste! I simply add butter to the kids’ corn and season the ones for my husband and me with coconut oil, garlic salt, and pepper. I stack the corn on the cob with the most seasoning on the bottom of the crockpot and let the “plain” ones sit up top so the seasoning does not accidentally mix.

Not enough time to prep the corn the same day? Simply husk and wash the corn the day before, add butter/oil, and seasonings, wrap in foil, and grab them the next day and throw them in the slow cooker!

 

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

crockpot corn on the cob
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: crockpot

Ingredients

  • 6 ears corn
  • 4 tablespoons butter or oil
  • Seasonings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Husk and wash the corn.
  2. Place each ear of corn on a piece of foil, and top it with 1/2 tablespoon of butter or oil.
  3. Add your desired seasonings.
  4. Wrap in foil, and place in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

 

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