Day 54 of 196: Build your own soft taco

lunch 54Mondays are usually the day that I catch up from the weekend and the kids jump back into their school and after-school activity routines. Because of this, I try to make dinner a pretty quick and simple affair for me and set things up so that lunch can be easily assembled either from dinner leftovers or prepped at the same time as I make dinner.

We had some leftover roast chicken from dinner from the night before so I figured I would repurpose it into some soft tacos for dinner. It is one of those meals that fall into the make it your own category which makes everyone happy.  I picked up some tasty dips – guacamole, a black bean and jalapeno dip and some pico de gallo – and some corn tortillas and a head of lettuce. I roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven, charred some corn in a hot pan and roasted some cauliflower that I chopped up into pieces about the size of grains of rice.  For dinner, we started with a tortilla or a leaf of lettuce and got to work.

Lunch was a quick and easy job using what we had for dinner. I filled three muffin cups w some of the dips and for one of the girls (the one who is apparently into Korean Mexican fusion) some kimchi and some corn into a cup for the other one. Along with this, I seared some tempeh and put it into their boxes, dropped in a granola bar that I made earlier in the day and added some fruit.  The kids were excited about dinner and equally excited about lunch  – a win-win!

FIT TIP OF THE DAY – 25 squat jumps (squat down low and jump up high, keep feet shoulder with apart). Questions? Fitness expert and personal trainer Barb Rosenberg is happy to answer your FIT TIP queries –


Day 39 of 196: I gotta feeling

lunch 39In my travels through the world of instagram I have come across a few build your own burrito lunches and thought this would be a fun and quick lunch so I filed it away for a busy day. We had a terrific but busy weekend and this kind of quickly assembled lunch was exactly what I had time for.  Besides throwing some beans in a pan – and really, you could skip this step – it is all just a matter of putting stuff into a lunch box.

We happened to eat at a great taco house over the weekend where we picked up containers of guacamole and black bean dip. I didn’t have any particular plans for it but as Sunday progressed, I realized that they were lunch-bound.  I started by packing the dips in the kids’ lunch boxes and pulled some tortillas from the fridge and rolled them up in some waxed paper so that they wouldn’t dry out. Next, I stood staring into the pantry hoping for inspiration.

I always have cans of beans on hand and had a can of black eyed peas that one of the kids had chosen (laughing because how funny it was that a variety of peas was named for a band :)) some time ago and that was waiting to be eaten.  I drained the beans and tossed them into a cast-iron pan with some olive oil, a finely diced onion and some salt and pepper. Once the onion was translucent, I squeezed a lime over the pan and folded in some minced cilantro. I popped them into a cup in their lunch boxes, sliced up some sweet pepper that had come in our CSA box and threw in a few cherry tomatoes.  Lunch was completed with some orange segments and a fruit jelly. From start to finish, lunch took about 5 minutes to make and should be enjoyed. I had the same thing for my lunch and it was delicious!

FIT TIP OF THE DAY: 100 jumping jacks (have fun with this one, clap hands at the top for more fun!!). Feel free to email Barb with any questions about the FIT TIP

Day 20 of 196: Apples, apples and more apples

20140927_155151522_iOSYesterday was a gloriously warm summer like day and a wonderful day to go apple picking. There are lots of apple pick-your-own farms within an hour of where we live and we usually end up at one of the smaller family-run organic farms. They are pretty low-key and they usually have apple varieties that we cannot find in the supermarket in the city. We picked about 35 pounds of apples and stored in the fridge, should keep us going for a while!

There are only so many apples you can eat out of hand so we made a couple of things with our harvest today: an apple and tomatillo salsa and some apple and apricot sauce (apples, dried apricots and cinnamon) that I reduced until it was quite thick and used it to fill some whole grain bars for the kids for school.  The bar recipe comes from the Weelicious Lunches book that has been an asset when I am stuck for ideas. The salsa is unexpectedly delicious (although much spicier than I anticipated!) and I will put it to use later this week.  The bars are tucked into lunches for tomorrow and the balance will go into the freezer for the weeks to come.


IMG_4611Lunch #20 includes some little smoked cheddar, sliced liberty apple, honey and pumpkin seed open faced sandwiches on sourdough baguette from an amazing bakery in Kensington Market called Blackbird.  My daughter ate a third of the baguette on our walk home and I had to quickly slice off enough for lunches before the rest disappeared!  My kids can be funny (not always so funny) about vegetable consumption – they will eat vegetables cut into unusual shapes, will eat them in dumplings or stuffed into pasta but will not eat them in their native form – so I sliced ribbons of yellow and orange carrots and cucumbers and rolled them up and put them into their lunch boxes. I had some amaranth microgreens from something I made last week so put them in for colour and because they are also delicious.  I also included some pomegranate, orange segments, a few bunny crackers – one looks like it is hopping off in that pic! –  and the bars we made earlier today.  This should get them off to a good start on Monday!