10.14.2012

ethan's weekly eats

...The sad, sick edition.

This week, our lunch menu was short. The Stomach Flu of Doom as it's now being known as reared it's ugly head in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and so after a week of doctor enforced fasting with the exception of clear liquids and the occasional slice of toast, all I have to show for Ethan's Weekly Eats this week are the two days before the virus swept it's way through our household and covered us in chaos.

Regardless, Rachel had the awesome suggestion that I focus more on our take-along meals so that was going to be my plan for this week. Best laid plans, right? Ethan and I are on the go a great deal of the week, sometimes planned and occasionally not if an impromptu playdate or picnic invitation pops up. I plan Ethan's lunches a week out and try to plan easy take-along meals for the days I know we have plans but had wanted to focus more on fun, easy-to-transport sandwiches for the days where the picnic invitations just pop up out of nowhere, much like this breezy, cool weather we're finally having. (And with weather like this, you know the picnic invitations are just going to keep popping up.) This week was supposed to be Operation: Sandwich Makeover -- or something -- but really all I got was two days out of it. Stay tuned for the continuation of this segment over the next few healthier, upcoming weeks but until then, here's how we began this past week.

MONDAY:

Growing up, one of my favorite things to put on my sandwiches and bagels was strawberry cream cheese. It was always such a luxury on the days my mom brought home strawberry cream cheese. I decided to make Ethan homemade strawberry cream cheese which was fresher and contained real fruit instead of just flavoring. I had a container of Horizon's cream cheese which wasn't all the way full. A little less than half was missing. In a food processor, I tossed in some fresh, organic strawberries (blueberries would be so good, too!) and pureed them until they were mostly smooth but still contained a few tiny chunks and stirred them into the cream cheese until the mixtures were combined.

There are so many things you can do with cream cheese, from my all-time favorite cream cheese and jelly to just experimenting with different fruits and textures. Ethan is on this huge cucumber kick so our first sandwich we made contained cucumbers and fresh organic raspberries that were on sale at the grocery store. They were his first raspberries so I wasn't sure how he'd like them, but he loved them.

Can I point out that my favorite pictures from the Ethan's Weekly Eats features are always the ones where his little fingers are eagerly making their way into the picture to grab some food?! Be still, my heart.

TUESDAY:

My intention for Tuesday's lunch is identical to that of Monday's lunch: to provide a five-minute healthy spread to replace the staple sandwich spreads to liven the menu up a little and provide easy alternatives for lunches on the go.

This one can be used as a sandwich spread or a dip or whatever-you-want-it-to-be. Ethan ate it off of a spoon while I was preparing lunch though I wouldn't quite recommend that to anyone else. ;) This is a bean and yogurt spread that looks similar to hummus in consistency but that Ethan loved way more than he loves hummus. He doesn't really love hummus a lot of the time, though he will tolerate it. This was much more well-received. It was my intention to show this on livened-up sandwiches and also as a dip packed for picnic lunches but we didn't get that far.

To make this spread, you'll need: a can of butter beans (rinsed and drained), 1/2c plain yogurt, 1/4c grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. You throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. That's it. It takes minutes. I poured the mixture into an empty Parmesan cheese container that I had on hand.

Our first and only sandwich we made with it this week was pretty standard and only contained more sliced cucumbers because, let me tell you, I'm not joking about Ethan being on a cucumber kick right now. I sliced up some fruit and cheese and packed up Ethan's water and we were off for a fun day of music class!

4 comments:

  1. Clearly, I need to meal plan more! Your fun inspires me..and I'm so impressed after all the sickness that you have been through! Hope all is well now. xx - Monica

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    1. I JUST started meal planning recently. I was so against it for a while because I hate making lists and creating extra work, but I'm eating my words now because it's SO! MUCH! EASIER! I wish I'd done it all along, haha.

      Thank you! <3

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  2. YAY! Can't wait for more of this! I love strawberry cream cheese too....I'm going to make my own next time! Sounds heavenly mixed with cucumber on toast!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Strawberry cream cheese is so good. I was hoping to make some with blueberries this week, but even conventional blueberries were $8.99 a box at Publix this week! YIKES! No blueberries for us this week.

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