January 31, 2012

School Lunch

I’ve recently started working at an elementary school’s after school program.  I am the 2nd and 3rd grade leader, in charge of 22 extremely rambunctious kids who have been sitting quietly for seven and a half straight hours and certainly aren’t about to be quiet for one minute more.  The job is challenging but rewarding even though some days I’m “the meanest person EVER!” referring back to the whole trying to stay somewhat quiet thing. 
Last week, I asked some of the kids what they had had for lunch that day.  The vote was split:  “Pizza!” “Nachos!” When I laughed and said that that must have been a pretty fun lunch, they just shrugged their shoulders.  “Nah, it wasn’t very good,” they replied.  Really?!  We’re serving them nachos and pizza, and it’s not even good by an 8-year-old’s standards?!  Now I would love to talk about the fact that Congress just decided to consider the tomato sauce on school pizza to count as a vegetable, but instead I’ll just tell you about what I used to eat at school:  Lucy lunches.
I think Lucy was my friend in preschool, although I couldn’t tell you for certain, because the only thing I remember about Lucy was that she had the best lunches.  Most kids took sandwiches in their lunch boxes, mainly peanut butter and jelly.  Lucy on the other hand never had sandwiches.  She always had a mix match of smaller items:  apples slices, tortilla chips, carrot sticks, string cheese.  I don’t know what about this was so exciting, but it is still to this day my favorite type of lunch.  Not only was it fun, but it was healthy!  And she and I both Loved our lunches, which is more than my kids could say about nachos and pizza. 

What I’ve Been Eating

Chinese New Year’s Dinner:  White rice with stir-fried bok choy, carrots, and spring onions and fried shrimp with spicy garlic honey glaze.  This was Amazing!

Sushi:  Veggie rolls made with cucumber, carrot, and avocado.

Breakfast Quinoa:  Bring ½ cup of quinoa, 1 cup of vanilla almond milk, a cardamom pod, and sprinkle of cinnamon to a boil.  Then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is translucent.  Serve hot with a little brown sugar.  The perfect thing to fulfill that oatmeal craving!  (Celiac Fact:  Less than 2% of people with celiac disease react to oats, but with my track record, I’m not taking my chances!)


Hardygirl said...

I remember y'all talking about Lucy Lunches!!! I even use your lingo sometimes. My Julia has a bento box--so Lucy Lunches are all that will fit in her little compartments.

And I NEED way more details about the shrimp stir fry. Recipe please!


julia said...

Ooooh! I think if I had a bento box I would always want to eat lunch out of it--school or not. Ok, this is kind of a non-recipe, but it really was one of the best things I've had in a long time.

In a large saute pan, stir-fry baby bok choy and carrots in a little chili oil (William makes great chili oil, but you of course can use vegetable oil and crushed red pepper). Add some minced garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, green onion (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces), and a little chicken stock mixed with corn starch--just enough to thicken the sauce up a touch.
We used some small, frozen shrimp. Defrost them and dredge them in a mix of brown rice flour and cornstarch--slightly more brown rice flour than cornstarch. Then deep fry (I know--this was a special occasion so we went to the trouble to deep fry, but grilled would have been great too) the shrimp in 370 degree oil for just a few minutes. These will not turn golden brown!
Then I made a Great sauce by heating honey, garlic, crushed red pepper, soy sauce, and chicken stock. Honey is the main ingredient here. A little of this goes a long way! (Make some extra of this, and keep it in the fridge to put on grilled chicken.) Then we just tossed everything in a bowl with some white rice. It was amazing! Actually, having written about it now, I feel like it will be on the menu again very soon! Hope y'all like it!