Back to School Lunchbox Ideas

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strawberry oat ENERGY bars

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These versatile (and OH so delicious!) strawberry oat bars are what dreams are made of! They are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack and will provide that little burst of energy you or the kiddos need! We think they would also be yummy with different kinds of fruit! Be sure to let us know if you try any recipe substitutions!

Homemade Strawberry Oat Bars

Makes: 24 Servings

Total Time: 1 hour + Cool Time

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 4 cups small-diced strawberries, divided 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

For the glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter or line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it starts to clump together and the butter is evenly distributed. Set aside 1⁄2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.

Scatter half of the strawberries over the pressed crumble mixture. Then sprinkle the cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the strawberries. Top with the remaining strawberries and repeat with the remaining cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake the bars in the preheated oven 35-45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is looking golden brown. Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

While the bars cool, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. If it is too thick, add more milk in small increments. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar in small increments.

Remove bars from pan, drizzle with glaze, slice and serve.

one full week of meal ideas

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Click here for printable grocery list

Back to School

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We don’t know about you, but we just can’t believe that the school year is already here! After the long, relaxed days of summer it’s time to get back into the groove of things – and we all know that’s easier said than done! This week provides a bit of inspiration and guidance to that tricky little thing called school lunch! Finding foods that kids will eat (and love!) that will also provide them with nutrition and energy is quite the feat! We hope that these recipes will do just that and help you start the school year off on the right foot… starting with our creative breakfast ideas!

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Less of a recipe – more of an inspiration!

Mornings are often chaotic, especially during the school year when little ones are involved. Because of the chaos, it’s easy to get caught in a breakfast rut or even be too rushed for breakfast at all. And that’s where these cute, edible little breakfast buddies come into play! You can provide the entire household with something fun and nutritious that will provide everyone enough energy to start the day off right!

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Charred Corn Carbonara

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This dish is a bit more on the decadent side – but hey we added some vegetables so that counts right!? The bright, fresh veggies are the perfect counterpart to the scrumptious noodles. If you feel the need to make it a bit healthier, omit the bacon/grease and use olive or coconut oil and add more veggies!

Charred Corn Carbonara

Makes: 4 Servings Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients 8 slices bacon, chopped ½ pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (can easily be substituted for chicken or left out entirely!) ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 3 ears corn 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 eggs 1 ½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons fresh chives 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fresh burrata for topping

Directions Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to directions. When done, drain and toss with a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.

Heat the oven to 425°. Place the ears of corn on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes. Increase heat to broil for several minutes to give the final char. Remove from oven and set aside to cool then remove kernels from cob.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until very crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and carefully remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Set the extra bacon grease aside.

With the skillet still over medium heat, pat your shrimp (or chicken) dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook, tossing until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Whisk together the eggs and grated parmesan.

Add the bacon fat back to the skillet and turn to low. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for 1 minute. Add noodles and toss well. Remove the skillet from the heat and start to slowly drizzle in the egg/parmesan mixture. Toss quickly and constantly to create a sauce. Continue tossing for several minutes. After all of the mixture has been added, stir back in the bacon, shrimp and corn. Top with fresh chives (or other herbs) and a scoop of fresh burrata. Enjoy!

chicken. fajita. bowl.

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It’s no secret that we love bowl foods, especially when it comes to how easy they are! After marinating the chicken, you’ll test your knife skills with the peppers and onions and end up with a delicious meal in minutes!

This is a great weeknight meal or leftover lunch!

Chicken Fajita Bowls

Makes: 4 Servings Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients for the chicken- 1½ lbs chicken breasts 2 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon chili powder

for the veggies- 1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced ½ red onion, thinly sliced

for the bowls- 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown) 1 cup beans (black of pinto) 1 cup charred corn 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 2 avocados, sliced limes fresh cilantro

Directions Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips, about the size of your finger. Combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin and chili powder in a bowl and whisk. Add the chicken and let marinate for one hour.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken mixture, with the marinade, and sauté until fully cooked. Using a pair of tongs, remove the chicken from the skillet and add the sliced veggies. Sauté until tender and charred. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss to combine.

Serve in a bowl with rice, black beans, charred corn, chopped tomatoes and sliced avocado. Serve a lime wedge on the side for squeezing.

sweet potato breakfast skillet

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This tasty breakfast hash will test your skills bright and early! It’s an incredibly versatile recipe so feel free to add different kinds of potatoes, greens, different herbs, cheese – etc! It’s also great for serving a crowd – just grab a bigger skillet!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Makes: 4 Servings Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter, divided 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch dice 1 medium onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped ½ lb. sausage ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 4 eggs scallions, sliced

Directions Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter. Once hot, add the sausage to the pan. Stir to crumble and cook until evenly brown.

When sausage is almost done, add the onions and peppers and continue to cook until the onions and peppers are soft and the sausage is browned. Remove everything from the skillet and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining olive oil or butter to the pan and add the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.

Cook and stir every so often until the outsides of the potatoes begin to brown. Then cover the skillet and continue to cook until the insides become soft. Continue stirring every couple of minutes to keep from burning.

Once the potatoes are soft, add the peppers, onions and sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Using a spatula, create four indents for your eggs. Carefully crack the eggs into those spots.

Put the skillet into the oven and bake to your liking (on the eggs), about 10-15 minutes.

Top with fresh herbs and a piece of buttered toast.