4 Creative Ways to Use Your Cutting Board + Giveaway Hop

 

 

Creative Uses for Your Cutting Board + Giveaway Hop

 

Using your cutting board in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean there’s a menial task at hand. In case you are accustomed to thinking of that cutting board as a tool to be used for mundane tasks such as slicing fruits and vegetables or chopping and dicing herbs and seasonings, we wanted to share some creative ways to put your cutting board to good use.

Our Dish Dish bamboo cutting board has fabulous rounded edges and comfortable handle for easy carrying from one spot to another without losing the grip. What I like even better than those great features, though, is the pretty inlay pattern along the sides, all done in 100% bamboo so that it’s eco-friendly as well.

But enough about our cutting board. We have some great ideas of fun ways to use the cutting board in the kitchen and around the house, so you can smile when you see it and really enjoy using it with friends and family.

For your next gathering, pull out that cutting board as a serving platter for your cheese board or charcuterie tray – full of cheese, crackers, olives, salami or jerky, fruit, and spreads for a delicious and beautiful start to the meal for family or friends.
(Below photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash)

 

Charcuterie Spread on Cutting Board | Creative use of cutting board

 

A decorative cutting board also makes a terrific display tray for setting up stacks of cups, fancy straws and holders, drink stirrers, and other amenities for a beverage station (think hot cocoa, coffee, fizzy juices, lemonade, or any other favorite beverage setup). There are lots of wonderful ideas on Pinterest and home decor blogs.

Next time you’re grilling out, use the cutting board as your carrying tray for transporting ingredients back and forth from the grill area – whether cooking burgers, steaks, ribs, chicken, sliders, kabobs, fish, or veggies, the cutting board is the perfect size for hauling prepped and cooked items to and from the kitchen.

 

Grilled Steak on Dish Dish Cutting Board

 

Lastly, your cutting board can make a lovely display piece for your kitchen counter; arrange it against the backsplash with a small potted plant or herbs, a decorative holder for utensils, or a couple of your favorite cookbooks (all handy for you to use when needed, but also making a beautiful visual display for enjoying). Or simply stand it up with your salt and pepper shakers next to the stove for easy access.

 

Dish Dish cutting board on display with salt and pepper grinders

 

This month we are giving away one of our 100% bamboo cutting boards – which will make a fabulous addition to your own kitchen or make a great gift for a foodie friend or loved one this holiday season. (Enter below for your chance to win).

In addition, we’ve partnered up with a whole host of bloggers for a Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop, so please scroll on down to see the other fabulous giveaways being offered and take a moment to enter a few of them as well. Have fun!

Bamboo Cutting Board Giveaway

 

 

 

 

Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop

 

 

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

Silver Pendant Giveaway Stocking Stuffer Hop

The holiday season is upon us, including the time for baking, sharing meals, shopping, and gift-giving, and we are excited to share with you this fun giveaway hop.

Vita Art is our sponsor for this month’s giveaway, providing one of their beautiful sterling silver pendants ($49 value) for our winner.

Pro Life Silver Pendant Stocking Stuffer

Vita Art began when owner Cindy Howard was inspired to create a work of art in clay that would depict a baby and hopefully inspire people around the world to remember that all life is precious, worthy of honor and respect — valuable. Her heart is to facilitate conversations around the joy of life and even provide a valuable memory to honor lives that have been lost.

The pendant is a celebration of the gift of life, symbolizes speaking for those without a voice, and extends hope for hurting hearts.

Made in Israel from .925 sterling silver, the pendants are available on Vita’s Etsy shop (MyVitaJewelry) with additional options such as an accompanying silver chain and/or birthstone gems.

(insert image with birthstone here)

We are excited to share Vita Art’s work with you and hope you’ll enter the giveaway below for your chance to win. (Oh, and don’t forget to scroll on down to the Giveaway Hop with lots of amazing giveaways hosted by almost a hundred other bloggers just in time for the holidays).

 

 

 

 

2019 Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

 

Have fun curled up on the couch entering some of these fun giveaways during the cold weather. Hop along to each blog for your chance at winning some amazing prizes!

15 Best Free Apps for Healthy Eating on a Budget

 

 

Woman and Boy Cooking in Kitchen | Healthy Eating

 

Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to find a fast-food restaurant rather than a restaurant that serves healthy food options? If so, you aren’t alone. Due to the fact that fast-food restaurants are so easily accessible, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much harder than it looks. The temptation going to and from work can truly derail your fitness goals and diet, but with the help of healthy food apps, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is that much easier. 

 

Remember, “you are what you eat.” This doesn’t mean that you’re literally a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but if you continuously eat processed foods such as a McDonald’s cheeseburger you will notice that those foods will have a substantial impact on your health. Even though you may not see or feel the difference overnight, over time you will start to notice your health declining. 

 

As a result, you must be wary of the foods you put into your body and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle the best you can. That being said, with the advancements in technology you can now have a “personalized trainer” or “nutritionist” in your pocket feeding you the information you need to stay on track. So instead of manually tracking your diet or fitness goals, you can simply download an app that will do just that. 




However, because everyone’s dietary needs are different, it is in your best interest to research what apps are best for you so it can help you create a more balanced diet. Therefore, you can choose from various applications that will provide you exactly what you need to maintain or revamp your health goals. These apps have the ability to track your calories, provide you with nutritional tips, customized meal plans and so much more. 

 

If you are ready to create a more holistic diet for you or your family use this guide that Wikibuy has created to get you back on track and feeling better than ever. Keep in mind, nothing happens overnight, so be patient and be cautious of the foods you put in your body. 

 

 

15 Best Free Apps For Healthy Eating On A Budget


(Guest post provided by Wikibuy)

5 Baking Hacks You Need to Know

 

 

5 Baking Hacks You Need to Know

 

There are so many baking hacks and tips that I have learned the hard way over the years, but here are 5 of the ones that I think will be quite helpful for you especially heading into the holiday baking season. (above background photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)

Obviously, many baking tips are specific to the particular item you are baking – muffins, yeast bread, quick bread, pies, cakes, quiche, cookies, brownies, rolls, etc. Perhaps we’ll create a series of posts, highlighting tips for each type of item in the coming months – would you like that?

For now, let’s get started on the ones you can use right away.


Proofing Yeast

This is one of those lessons learned the hard way. When using yeast, and mixing it into your dough, how do you know that it’s still good (or that you didn’t kill it by using water that is too hot) until the final rising and baking of your bread or rolls?!? Well, actually, you can know ahead of time (avoiding the pitfall of the flat heavy loaf of bread that’s not really quite edible).

yeast proofing baking hack

When using yeast and mixing it with water, be sure to use warm water (and NOT hot water – water that is too hot will actually kill the yeast).

Next, once you’ve mixed the yeast with the warm water, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. If the yeast is active and still good, you’ll start to see little “blooms” of mushroom shaped clouds begin to surface across the top of the water. This means your yeast is active and will properly leaven your dough – yay!


Silicone Baking Mats

I only discovered the wonderful benefits of using these baking mats a few years ago. Many recipes will give instructions for lining a baking sheet with parchment paper before baking or spraying the sheet with cooking oil to prevent items from sticking to it.

However, the baking mats work wonderfully and are environmentally-friendly (no throwing away a sheet of parchment paper for every batch) and healthier (no added oil soaked up by your baked goods from the spray).

Baking Hacks - cookies on baking mat

I love that they are easy to wash – simply wipe off with warm water and dish soap, dry, and then roll up or lay flat to store until next time. The best part? Your baking sheet is clean – just put it away (no scraping, scouring, soaking needed)! Who doesn’t love that?


Use Crisco for Shortening

I don’t generally consider myself a brand snob for most things. I’m usually quite happy to pick up the store brand or an off-brand when it’s less expensive or on sale. However, I have learned this lesson through trial and error as well. When your recipe calls for shortening, please – for heaven’s sake – use Crisco brand.

It always makes the pie crust flakier, the baked goods lighter, and doesn’t leave a dreadful shortening after-taste in any of those wonderful freshly baked items.

I know lots of people prefer using butter to make pie crusts, but I love the fail-safe Crisco approach where I don’t have to worry about the exact temperature or texture of the shaved or sliced butter pieces when working with the dough. (Here’s my go-to pie crust recipe).


Protect Pie Crust

You know when you’re baking a pumpkin pie or any single-crust pie, and the crust edges start to get too brown but the pie filling needs longer to bake? What is a baker to do?

Grab some aluminum foil, tear it into strips about 2-3 inches wide, and carefully crease those strips around pie crust edges, covering them to protect them from the worst of the heat while your pie filling finishes baking.

Other than being a bit tricky at first, to figure out placing them well without burning your fingers in the process – it’s a very effective hack, keeping your pie crust looking amazing every time. (Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels)

baking hack - pie crust shield - pexels

If you prefer, you could purchase a pie crust shield (affiliate link) to set over the pie crust edges when needed (saving you the hassle and trash of the aluminum foil). Besides, they make you look like such a professional – when you pull those out of your baking drawer.


Cake Side Protectors

All right, last tip for today. I only recently discovered this baking tool at a friend’s house – and couldn’t believe I had never come across it before.

These fabric cake strips (affiliate link) are used to wrap around the sides of your cake pans and prevent the edges from browning so much faster than the middle of your cake. You have experienced that before, right? By the time the center of the cake is baked through, the side edges have become so brown, they look a bit overdone.

By soaking these cloth rings in cold water, wringing them out, then wrapping them around the edges of the cake pan, the cooler temperature and water keep the outside edges from getting hot as fast, thereby preventing overdone edges of your cake as well as keeping the center from crowning or splitting. Voila! (below image from Amazon)

Baking Hacks - cake strips prevent overdone edges - amazon

 

I love learning new things and stumbling across ways to make every-day kitchen tasks a little bit easier. Do you have some baking hacks to share or lessons you learned the hard way in the kitchen? We look forward to seeing your comments below or reach out to us any time with your questions. We love to help!

Remember you and your family and friends can keep all your favorite baking recipes here in your digital recipe box on Dish Dish with your own free account. What are you waiting for?

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery List

5 Common Questions About Making Reduced-Fat Cakes

 

 

Questions about Making Reduced-Fat Cakes

 

If you love baking and anything cake-related, you might be worried about the healthiness of your favorite treats at some point or another. (Above Image credit: Pexels)

Of course, anything in small quantities is fine, but if you’re baking on a regular basis or your whole office is obsessed with the Great British Baking Show and keeps bringing in fresh home-baked goods every week, then it can be a little disconcerting.

After all, most cakes are essentially made up of sugar, butter, eggs and a whole variety of other things that aren’t great for you — yes, we’re looking at you, buttercream, jam fillings and chocolate ganache.

But baking doesn’t have to mean putting your healthy morals and diet to one side every time you pick up a mixing bowl and a whisk. Instead, there are some healthy options — such as reduced-fat cakes.

If you’ve never heard of reduced-fat cakes, then you might have some questions about how they work — and what they even are.

That’s why we’re here: to cover five of the most common questions you might have about making reduced-fat cakes. Read on for the answers you’ve been waiting for…

Recommended reading: Helpful Hacks for Eating a Low-Carb Diet

1.  What exactly is a reduced-fat cake?

A reduced-fat cake does exactly what it says on the tin: reduces the amount of fat in your cake to make it healthier.

That means instead of the traditional fatty ingredients you would usually put in (such as butter or sugar), you can either use healthier, lower-fat substitutes or vary the ratios of classic recipes to ensure that they create lighter, more wholesome cakes. You could even rethink your traditional baking techniques.

Overall, this means that your cake, or whatever else you’re baking, is much healthier — with a way lower fat content and fewer calories. So if you find yourself reaching for an extra slice, you won’t be feeling as guilty!

2.  Are reduced-fat cakes really good for you?

With this question, it’s all about perspective really. Is a reduced-fat cake healthier than a snack like kale chips or celery sticks? No, it’s not. Obviously.

But is a reduced-fat cake healthier than a normal cake? Certainly. The fat content you’re putting into your body is much lower, which is way healthier for you.

As we know by now, too much fat in your diet can cause all sorts of health problems — such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dangerous cholesterol levels, and diabetes.

And by using unsaturated fats like olive oil or avocado as alternatives in your recipe, you’re actually giving yourself some much-needed healthy fat in your diet.

3.  Will reduced-fat cakes help you to lose weight?

Not if that’s the only thing you eat, is the short answer!

However, if you replace the high-fat cakes you’re currently eating with lower-calorie, reduced-fat bakes, then the calories you’re putting into your body will reduce — which is a step towards safe weight loss.

Of course, you need to balance this with plenty of other healthier lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a fitness regime, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and sticking to a set daily calorie intake. What you have to do to lose weight is different for each individual depending on current weight, gender, age, and amount of exercise you do, but at the end of the day, it’s all about moderation.

Reduced-fat cakes are a much healthier alternative to classic baking, and if you enjoy them as part of a balanced diet, they could help you to lose weight.

4.  Which substitute ingredients do I use in a reduced-fat cake mix?

There are a million different substitute ingredients you can use to make your baked goods reduced-fat. In fact, there are even some healthy ingredients you can throw in for good measure which will even add to your recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables!

First things first: your cake mixture. When it comes to your cake mix recipe, you can swap out your usual butter for a lower-fat or unsaturated fat substitute such as rapeseed oil, olive oil or even greek yogurt or avocado.

If you want to replace the egg in your recipes, you can use egg whites or egg substitute instead of the whole thing (which includes the fat-rich yolk). Just be warned — if you go down the egg white route, you need to add enough to offset the volume of the missing yolk.

As for your sugar, you can experiment with natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, molasses or sweet fruits like dates or apples.

Normal white flour is pretty easy to swap out too, and you can have a lot of fun trying out different textures and flavors with wholegrain flour, spelt and polenta.

5.  How do you make your cake topping reduced-fat?

Who doesn’t love frosting? There’s something so satisfying about a freshly-baked cake, beautifully topped with generous lashings of frosting or buttercream.

But cake doesn’t always have to be like that, and a good thing too — standard cake toppings can increase the fat content of your cake exponentially, and cause your calorie-count to skyrocket. Ouch!

Swapping out your usual sugar-heavy frosting for alternative toppings is a great way of reducing the fat content of your cake.

If you want to give the appearance of frosting, then you can top your cake with low-fat whipped cream, and finish off your decoration with some walnuts or pistachios.

Fresh fruit also makes an attractive topping; cherries, strawberries or raspberries always make a cake look super appetizing — and they’re good for you too!

Reduced-fat cakes are a great way to indulge in your love of baked goods without going totally overboard and exceeding your weekly fat intake in one sitting.

Although they’re still not the healthiest snack in the world, reduced-fat cakes are a great classic baking alternative, and can make a big difference to your diet if you’re used to eating a lot of sugary, fat-rich, calorie-high baked goods. Just remember to enjoy in moderation, and you can indulge in reduced-fat cakes without feeling guilty!

Simple Beef Lasagna Recipe

 

 

Simple Beef Lasagna Recipe - image from Pixabay

Traditional lasagna is a wonderful comfort food and, of course, there are dozens of different approaches to making a great lasagna. But if you’re looking for a quick, easy, simple recipe for lasagna that won’t break the bank or your back or require a full day of cooking and prep, this simple beef lasagna recipe is going to be your new go-to favorite! (Above image by RitaE from Pixabay)

We love taking shortcuts like using oven-ready lasagna noodles (eliminating both the prep time and mess of regular lasagna noodles). We also use our favorite store-bought pasta sauce and easy ingredients you’re likely to already have in your refrigerator and pantry.

First we’ll start by gathering all the ingredients needed we need for the lasagna recipe:

Ingredients

Sauce:
1 pound ground beef
40 ounces (or more or less, to taste) marinara sauce
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)

Cream cheese layer:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Layers:

9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1/2 cup sliced turkey pepperoni (optional) – using turkey creates less grease
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

My family really enjoys having the black olives added to the sauce mixture along with the layers of pepperoni for an added flavor twist, but those are totally optional and generally not part of a traditional lasagna.

Directions:

We will also need a baking dish greased lightly with butter or cooking spray, and a skillet for cooking up our meat and sauce.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and heating a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef in the skillet, breaking it up while cooking; season with salt, pepper, onion or garlic powder and Italian seasoning (to taste). Once meat has cooked through, stir in the marinara sauce and chopped olives. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cottage or ricotta cheese, sour cream and eggs, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Now just layer the ingredients in your baking dish as follows: 1/3 of meat sauce mixture, 1/2 of noodles, 1/2 of cream cheese mixture, 1/3 of mozzarella and 1/2 of pepperoni (if using). Repeat layers and top things off with the last of the meat sauce and mozzarella.

Top with parmesan cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes; then let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Simple Beef Lasagna Recipe with Pepperoni

 

Serve with a favorite garden salad and some crusty Italian bread with dipping oil for a wonderful hearty meal.

Other lasagna recipes you might enjoy:
Skillet Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna

Lasagna Rolls

Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Lasagna

Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Did you try this lasagna recipe? We’d love to hear your comments.

Does your family have tips or tricks for making lasagna from scratch? Make your own noodles or fresh sauce? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Helpful Hacks for Eating a Low-Carb Diet {Printables}

 

 

Helpful Hacks for Eating Low-Carb {Printables}

Low-carb diets have been popular recently as a safe and effective way to lose weight. But did you know that reducing carbs has other benefits as well? Low-carb diets have been shown to increase “good” cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower blood pressure.

People who follow a low-carb diet usually consume 50–100 grams of carbs each day. But remember that if you’re pregnant or suffering from a chronic illness, a low-carb diet may not be for you. Be sure to consult your doctor before making a major diet change.

If you’re interested in trying out a low-carb diet, you may be wondering what foods to start incorporating into your diet, especially if you heavily relied on carbs in the past.

Here are a few hacks / trade-outs for reducing your carb intake (and scroll on down below for printable grocery list and food lists to help you stay on track).

Low-Carb Helpful Hacks and Tips

1. Use large leaves of lettuce in place of buns or tortillas to hold your sandwich or taco fillings.

2. Use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti noodles for pasta dishes (get your spiralizer for making noodles).

3. Use riced cauliflower (either make it yourself or purchase fresh or frozen at the grocery store) in place of rice.

4. Instead of snacking on chips when you want something salty, grab a hand full of nuts.

5. Replace jams or jellies with mashed fresh fruit.

These printable food lists and shopping lists will make things easy! Simply print, keep them on your fridge, or take them with you to the grocery store.

 

Low Carb Grocery List

Click here to download the low-carb grocery shopping list

Ultimate Low Carb Food List pg 1

 

Ultimate Low Carb Food List pg 2

 

Click here to download the low-carb food list

 

We have lots of shared low-carb recipes here on Dish Dish.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy some of these low-carb recipe options:

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Skillet Chicken with Green Beans

Keto Almond Flour Blender Pancakes

Baked Spinach Artichoke Chicken

Overnight Raspberry Fridge Oatmeal

Mini Meatloaves with Veggies

 

Do you have any hacks to share that you’ve discovered on your low-carb eating journey? Feel free to leave us a comment below!

September to Remember – “Grateful” Apron Giveaway and Hop

 

September 2 Remember Gather Apron Giveaway

If you find yourself in the kitchen making tomato sauce, cooking up some spaghetti or lasagna, or standing over the grill and carting meat and vegetables back and forth with  various sauces or marinades, you inevitably need an apron (or at least, I do!).

You know that moment when you gasp aloud, right?

That sudden pop of tomato sauce that lands in a nice splatter pattern all over the white shirt you wore today.

The piping hot smack of bacon grease or butter from the skillet that, of course, provides an unwanted addition to that favorite sweater.

A dribble of barbecue sauce drips off the platter and squarely onto your jeans just as you haul your dinner from the grill into the kitchen.

As you reach across the counter for that next seasoning, you realize the lid wasn’t completely on the container you just used, so now the sauce is swiped across your front.

Seriously? You haven’t been in any of these situations in your kitchen? Well, I guess maybe nobody likes confessing; I get it.

Thankfully, we have the perfect way for you to avoid these messes (and mess-ups). Toss on your favorite apron before cooking, baking, or grilling and avoid the greasy, colorful incidents we can all find ourselves in sometimes!

Baking Apron - Gather with Grateful Hearts design

 

This handy, well-fitting (with an adjustable neck strap), machine washable (because we all need that!), black apron is the perfect addition to your kitchen and provides terrific protection for your  favorite clothing items.

The saying on the front is a gentle reminder to maintain grateful hearts as we gather around the kitchen table with family or friends (or even by ourselves for a quiet moment); thankful for provision, for good food to eat and enjoy, and for the blessings we experience each day.

And this month, we are giving away one of our Gather with Grateful Hearts aprons!

We are excited to be partnering with Review Wire Media in the “September to Remember Giveaway Hop” featured below, so please check out the other wonderful blogs and giveaways that are also going on this month.

Thank you for stopping by, and be sure to enter below for your chance to win (and share with a friend).

If you just can’t wait to have your own apron, grab one today.

Leave us a comment with a memory from a funny kitchen moment when you wished you’d had an apron, or a thought about something for which you are grateful today. (Because after all, the joy in the journey is the best part of life).

 

Kitchen Apron - Gather with Grateful Hearts design

 

 

 

Blog Giveaway

 

 

Best Chicken Alfredo Recipe

 

 

Chicken Alfredo Recipe with Broccoli

 

If you enjoy a creamy alfredo sauce dish, and would love to make it for yourself (rather than relying on creamed soups or canned sauces), you are going to be delighted with this simple, easy (I promise!) Chicken Alfredo recipe.

I added broccoli to mine, because I like having the added vegetables and color, but that’s totally optional.

Hint: Using chicken tenderloins keeps the cooking time to a minimum since they cook up so quickly (especially after being flattened).

Assemble the ingredients you need:

• chicken tenderloins,
• pasta (angel hair or spaghetti or your favorite),
• cream or half-and-half (whichever you prefer),
• butter and olive oil,
• minced garlic,
• Parmesan cheese,
• fresh or frozen broccoli florets (if using),
• seasonings (thyme, Italian or fajita seasoning, salt and pepper)

Start a pot of salted water boiling and cook pasta (and broccoli florets, if using) to al dente (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, flatten the chicken tenderloins (cover with plastic wrap and pound with flat side of meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick); season with thyme, salt, pepper, and either fajita or Italian seasoning.

Melt a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken pieces, cooking 4 to 5 minutes per side until browned and cooked through (reducing heat slightly as needed and covering with a lid to keep chicken moist).

Chicken Alfredo Recipe - chicken pieces in skillet

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter and saute minced garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream or half-and-half and cook over medium heat, stirring consistently ’til starts to thicken (about 7 or 8 minutes). Stir in Parmesan cheese to melt and thicken.

Chicken Alfredo Recipe - alfredo sauce in saucepan

When chicken has cooked through, remove skillet from heat; place chicken pieces on cutting board and dice into bite-size pieces, then return pieces to skillet.

Place skillet back over medium-low heat and stir in cooked, drained pasta and broccoli.

Chicken Alfredo Recipe - ingredients in skillet on stove

Now pour the Alfredo sauce over all. Stir, taste, and add any further seasoning desired.

Chicken Alfredo Recipe - sauce added to skillet

Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy with a garden salad!

Chicken Alfredo Recipe with Broccoli

Now that you know how simple it can be to make your own Alfredo, you’ll be enjoying it regularly and dishing it up for friends and family, too.

View the detailed, printable Chicken Alfredo Recipe here (and save it to your Dish Dish cookbook for easy reference any time).

29 School Lunch Ideas

 

29 School Lunch Ideas

 

Regardless of whether the school year has just started or is nearing the end, coming up with unique, creative, (not too much work) school lunch ideas can be a real challenge – it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut – same mindless sandwiches or cheese and crackers for days on end.

So we decided to round up a plethora of school lunch ideas (with links to recipes as needed) from which you can pick and choose and are sure to find several that will bring smiles to your face and theirs! You’ll find your fill of ideas for cold lunches, hot lunches, and leftover lunches (each able to be packed in a variety of ways).

Additionally, we’ve included a hand full of tips along the way to help you keep food warm or cold or prevent fruit from turning brown, etc. Let’s dive in!

 

Cold School Lunch Ideas

Cold Lunch Ideas

(Above photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash)
Turkey / Cheese Tortilla Wraps
 – These are so simple; grab your favorite tortilla (whole wheat, white, veggie, gluten-free) and spread slices of turkey (or ham or beef) with sliced cheese (or a spread of cream cheese), roll it all up, and slice at an angle in half (or into bite-size pieces).

Pasta Salad – Make this dish ahead a day or two; toss cooked pasta with fresh chopped veggies (squash, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, or olives), diced ham or pepperoni and cheese (if desired), and Italian salad dressing or a favorite vinaigrette.

Yogurt with fruit and/or granola

Bagels with cream cheese or favorite spread

Hard-boiled eggs

Smoothie

Meat and Cheese Roll-ups – Spread cream cheese onto slices of lunch meat and roll up.

Sliced apples with peanut butter

Muffins – Choose muffins with added protein powder or fruit and oats so it will be more filling.

Slices of meat and cheese with crackers (not just ham or turkey – pepperoni, salami, chicken sausage also work well)

Avocado – slice it in half, remove the seed, sprinkle both halves with salt and pepper and a spritz of lime or lemon juice; put halves back together and wrap with plastic wrap tightly. Send with a plastic spoon for easy eating.

Slices of meat and cheese rolled up, speared on plastic toothpicks along with olives or grape tomatoes

Tuna Salad (or Salmon Salad) – send just the salad itself or stuff it into a pita pocket with a lettuce leaf or spring greens

Pancakes with Blueberries - Unsplash

Pancakes or Waffles – include hearty oat or peanut butter or banana pancakes and pack with syrup or spread with peanut butter and jelly.

Sides – applesauce, guacamole and chips, cup of corn, olives, cucumbers, carrots, grapes, grape tomatoes,

No-Bake Energy Bites – These energy bites are peanut-butter based (so these would not be an option if your school doesn’t allow peanut items); mixed with honey, flaxseed, oats, chocolate chips, and rolled in coconut, they make a tasty protein treat.

Oatmeal with Fruit – Make an overnight oatmeal and pack it for lunch.

BLT Salad – Toss lettuce with halved grape tomatoes, shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, diced avocado, and hard-boiled egg (optional); pack salad dressing separately.

 

How to Keep Sliced Apples from Turning Brown

 

Leftovers for Lunch

Leftover pizza cut into bite-sized pieces

Leftover chicken, pork, or steak – cut into bite-size pieces and sent with a favorite dipping sauce

Leftover burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, quesadillas

Leftover roasted vegetables

Pasta dishes – mac and cheese, lasagna, baked ziti

Hot Lunch Ideas

Pizza Mini Quiches – photo and recipe from Momables

Momables - pizza mini quiche school lunch

 

Burrito Bowl – toss together rice, salsa chicken, black beans, corn, and grated cheese; pack separately some salsa, guacamole or sour cream to stir in before eating.

Omelette in a Mug – eggs with milk, cheese, diced ham or bacon, and any desired veggies, cooked up in a mug in the microwave in about 2 minutes; dump into a thermos for a filling hot lunch.

Burritos – heat up your favorite frozen burrito (even healthy options) in the morning and double wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm for the day.

Soup – heat a favorite soup (purchased or homemade) and send in a thermos along with some breadsticks or crackers.

Leftover spaghetti and meatballs

 

Kids can Pack their Own School Lunches

Help the kids learn how to pack their own school lunches by providing various options in each of the below categories (pre-packaged in the fridge or panty for them), guiding them to select 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 fruit, 1 healthy snack, and perhaps a 2nd snack for a fun treat. Soon they will be doing the work for themselves, and they will be learning in the process the importance of planning ahead, prepping food, and making good choices for themselves.

Protein ideas – salami, pepperoni, turkey sticks, sliced lunch meats, cheese cubes, diced chicken

Veggie ideas – carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, olives

Fruit ideas – grapes, strawberries, blackberries, apples, clementines, blueberries, diced pineapple,

Healthy snack ideas – pistachios, almonds, protein bar

Snack treat ideas – any type of treat you allow and they enjoy

 

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