Happy Friday, folks. Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you visiting my blog, leaving your comments and sending me your emails? Well, I do! So much! Thank you.
Today’s Kosher on a Budget Recipe Exchange is going to be a little bit different than in past weeks. Instead of focusing on a particular type of food (like soup or pareve dessert or challah), I’m going to open this up as wide as possible to discuss creative and frugal packed lunch ideas.
(Okay, so yes, this theme is completely self-motivated. I’ve only been at this sack lunch thing for two weeks and I’m already burned out.)
I don’t know about you, but every night when I have to pack my oldest son’s lunch, I get a serious case of procrastinationitis. I’ve got a pantry stocked with individual snack packs of pudding, pretzels and other nosh, but coming up with original and filling (my 7 year-old eats like he is 17!) main dishes is a real challenge. There are only so many egg salad sandwiches I can make my kid eat.
I came across some great resources in my quest to get frugally creative, including the following links that I hope you will check out as well:
- Life as Mom’s Lunchbox Idea Recipe Swap – check out all the link-ups, too
- This old post from a new-to-me blogger with loads of cute, themed lunches, if you’re into that kind of a thing
- Some really cute ideas from Culinate; granted, most of them will have to be kosher-ified, but I’m loving the idea of mini quiches in muffin cups
All these clever ideas must have inspired me, because I really thought outside of the box for my son’s lunch today. It all started with 15 apples from our organic CSA and a request for “hot food”. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Yes, that’s right, my son got a thermos filled with hot apple crisp today, along with a tupperware of cold vanilla yogurt to serve over it. I’m either the coolest mom out there — or a total weirdo. (Don’t tell me if you think it’s the latter, k?)
My recipe is a bit intuitive – like most of my cooking, so feel free to adjust quantities as you see fit.
Apple Crisp for Lunch (or Dinner, or Breakfast or Even Dessert)
10-15 apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup white sugar, depending on tartness of apples
1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (or more?) whole oats
1/2 stick (or less?) of butter, softened
generous amount of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°.
Peel and chunk or slice apples. Since we used apples from our CSA, we had to check closely for crawly things near the core.
Toss apples with lemon juice and white sugar. Dump into a 9×13 Pyrex.
In a bowl, rub together softened butter, whole oats, cinnamon and brown sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple mixture and cook until apples are softened and topping is bubbly, approximately 30-45 minutes.
Serve with generous spoonfuls of organic vanilla yogurt, to alleviate any lingering guilt about packing this for lunch.
7 year old’s review: “It was so good, Ima! All my friends wanted some, but I didn’t want to share any!”
Quick notes on cost: I estimate my total cost for this meal at under $.50. The yogurt was free with a coupon, and the oats were $.75 for the entire container. The apples were a part of our CSA (sunk cost). Cinnamon is not cheap, but a shaker lasts a looooong time. We usually get our brown sugar very reasonably at Costco. And the white sugar was $.70 for 4 lbs with a coupon and sale. The most expensive part of the meal was the butter, which I bought recently at Costco as well.
What are you cooking, assembling or otherwise sending for lunches these days? If you homeschool, tell me what you’re making for your mid-day repast!
Feel free to leave your suggestions and recipes in the comments section, as we have been doing until now. Or, if you have your own blog, please avail yourself of the Mr. Linky that I’m adding today for the first time, thanks to my reader Chaya‘s suggestion.
Edited to Add: I’m linking this post up to Jessica’s Lunchbox Swap at Life as Mom.