4 Super Easy Lunch Box Hacks

Okay…so school is starting soon. Does anyone else have a kid who wants to pack their lunch every day? Mine does. She would rather eat food from home than cafeteria food (can’t say I blame her).

I am a strong advocate for healthy eating. I don’t want my daughter to go to school and not be satisfied at lunch time. Let me share with you the easiest “kid approved” lunches.

1) Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Tortilla Rolls

food-2202381_960_720Here’s a spin off of the classic PB&J. I used a tortilla shell and spread peanut butter on one half and jelly on the other half. Next roll it up so that when you slice it vertically it has both peanut butter and jelly in the roll.

Don’t Forget to Add That Frozen Water Bottle! It will keep everything cold and it will melt during the day until lunch time and then it will be cold.

2) Tortilla Ham and Cheese Sandwich Rolls

stock-photo-tortilla-roll-ups-with-ham-cheese-avocado-and-pepper-98247740I used a tortilla shell and spread mayonnaise on it. Then I added ham and cheese to it. Then I rolled it up and cut it in to halves. Very unique and not a “sandwich”.

3) Leftover Lunch

It seems like we are forever having leftovers for days. My poor husband takes it day after day until it’s gone. But wait! If you buy a thermos for a lunch box you can send leftovers with your kids. My daughter loves anything that tastes like spaghetti. I send her with lasagna, spaghetti, chicken alfredo, etc.

Don’t forget NOT to add an ice pack with this lunch.

4) Homemade lunchables

Did you know you can make those lunchables for less than they cost at the store? Yes! It’s true! For the meat/cheese cracker ones you can use Ritz crackers, cut up cheese slices in to smaller squares, and cut lunch meat up in to squares. Use cupcake liners as separators for the different items.

You can use the same concept with the pizza lunchables. Cut up tortilla shells in to smaller circles. Add cheese, pepperoni, etc to the cupcake liners. Put sauce in to a smaller container that won’t leak.

Don’t forget to add a yummy dessert!

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Easy Week Night Dinners on the Cheap!

Monday-In a Hurry Hamburger Helper

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Hamburger Helper Twin Pack

Okay, hamburger helper isn’t anything special. However, my oldest daughter has gymnastics on Mondays. With that being said it means I don’t have time for an extravagant dinner.

Make sure you follow all the directions on the back of the box. You can add green beans to give it a little extra. Hamburger Helper to the rescue!

Cook Time: About half hour

Don’t forget to grab your boxtops!

Tuesday-Easy and Fancy Ricotta Shells

stock-photo-stuffed-pasta-shells-with-spinach-and-ricotta-507204082This dish is SUPER EASY!

You will need:

9″ X 11″ pan

1 package of jumbo shells

1 bunch of spinach

ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese, whichever you prefer)

tomato sauce

ground meat

shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Cook shells until desired texture. Brown your ground meat on a skillet until no pink is showing.

Mix ricotta cheese, spinach, pepper, Italian seasoning, ground meat, and Mozzarella cheese together.

Next, stuff shells with mixture. Pour over tomato sauce and put in oven until cheese has melted.

Wednesday-Way Easy Chicken Alfredo

stock-photo-homemade-fettucini-aflredo-pasta-with-chicken-and-parsley-209213722

In a rush? This dish is PERFECT for you!

You will need:

1 lbs alfredo noodles

1-2 chicken breasts

2-3 jars alfredo sauce

chicken stock

Directions:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Boil noodles in chicken stock until desired texture, boil chicken until cooked all the way through.

Once noodles and chicken are cooked shred chicken. Pour alfredo jars in to a bowl and add shredded chicken and drained noodles. Stir and enjoy!

Easy Peasy!

Thursday-Meatloaf

meatballs-1992376_960_720This takes a little more work than regular meatloaf, but completely worth it!

You will need:

broiler pan

1 lb sausage

1 lb ground meet

1 roll of Ritz Crackers

1-2 Cups ketchup

1 large egg

minced onion

Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Total Time: A little over 1 hour (still worth it I promise!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix with hands moving in a circular motion with fingers and hands.

Spray broiler pan with cooking spray.

Take meatloaf mix and make baseball sized balls. Be sure to pack it in. Then place balls on sprayed broiler pan.

Cook for 30-45 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Friday-Irish Colcannon

stock-photo-homemade-colcannon-irish-mashed-potatoes-st-patrick-day-food-selective-focus-1045173286This dish is super yummy, super easy, and super cheap. It’s the trifecta of easy weeknight dinners.

You will need:

huge boiling pan

5-6 large potatoes

1 head of cabbage

2 links of kielbasa

1/3 Cup butter

1 Cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Total Time: 30-40 minutes

Cut up cabbage, kielbasa, and potatoes and put in large boiling pan and boil together.

After everything is boiled mix with mixer. Add the rest of ingredients to the mixer as it is mixing.

Serve and enjoy.

5 Quick Weekday Dinner Recipes

These are my favorite “go to” recipes for when I feel like “not cooking”.

1) Super Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

-1/2 TBSP Olive Oil                                                                  -Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

-Dash of Onion Powder                                                          -Dash of Garlic Salt

-Dash of Pepper                                                                        -16 oz Mixed Vegetables

-1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup                                         -1 Can of Cream of Mushroom

-3/4 Cup Milk                                                                         -1 Cup Cheddar Cheese (I use sharp)

-2 Pie Crusts (they come in a package of 2 usually)

Instructions:

-Heat oven to 450 degrees.

-Heat up olive and oil and add chicken, onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper, and cook until the chicken is done.

-Mix in the vegetables, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom, cheddar cheese, and milk, and cook until heated through.

-Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add one layer of pie crust to the bottom.

-Add filling.

-Put top layer of pie crust on top and cut a slit in the middle.

-Cook for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown.

-Enjoy!

2) The Best Meatloaf You Will Ever Have

Ingredients:

-1 lb Ground Beef                                                                                          -1 lb Ground Pork

-1 1/2 Tubes of Ritz Crackers                                                                      -1 Egg

-1 Cup Ketchup (or to your liking)                                                            -Dash of Garlic Powder

-Dash of Onion Powder                                                                           -1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

-Chopped Green Pepper (optional)

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

-Place wired racks on top of a baking sheet. The grease will drip down on to the baking sheet.

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together (I use my hands).

-Make baseball sized balls with mixture and put on wired racks.

-Cook until browned on top and cooked through middle.

-Enjoy!

3) Easy Chicken Potato Soup in the Crock Pot

Ingredients:

-3 Cups Diced Potatoes                                                                        -16 oz Package Frozen Corn

-6 Cups Water                                                                                       -6 Cubes Chicken Bullion

-1 tsp Dried Thyme                                                                              -1 tsp Dried Oregano

-1/2 tsp Garlic Powder                                                               -Dash of Pepper and Salt to Taste

-1/2 tsp Onion Powder                                                                        -2 TBSP Butter

-1/2 Cup Whipping Cream                                                    -Flour for Thickness to Your Liking

Instructions:

-Combine all ingredient in a slow cooker

-Cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high.

-Enjoy!

4) Colcannon

Ingredients:

-Kielbasa                                                                                                                                      -Milk

-6 Potatoes                                                                                                                                   -Butter

-1 Head of Cabbage

Instructions:

-In a large boiling pot of water combine potatoes, kielbasa, and cabbage.

-Boil until all ingredients are cooked through, strain.

-In a mixer combine all ingredients. Add in milk and butter for creaminess to likeness.

-Enjoy!

5)Homemade Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

-1 lbs Ground Beef                                                                                          -1/2 Cup Ketchup

-1/3 Cup Mustard                                                                                            -1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

Instructions:

-In a skillet brown meat until done.

-In a sauce pan combine all ingredients until brown sugar has melted completely.

-Enjoy!