Saturday, July 25, 2015


Top Three Tasty Teacher Lunches

I am ALWAYS looking for snacks. Here's a sample I got.
English teacher note: I tried but my Ts fell short in the title. I guess I could have said, "Treats" but that makes me think of sugary desserts. Update After publishing this post I realized I unintentionally spelled tasty wrong! I fixed it, but the web link will forever verify that when I am hungry.... I don't spell well :)

Poor writing aside,  I am all about the snacks and goodies. When I was in Mexico I taught three times a day and had office hours Tuesday and Thursday. Pretty much all day Thursday I would be grading. Occasionally students stopped by for help. They would often ask why I was always eating nuts. I explained that if I don't eat, I get cranky...and they want me to be happy when I was grading, right? Though my intention was not for them to feed me, I usually found anonymous gifts of snacks found by my office door on Thursdays.Students can be very lovable sometimes :) The point being I do not work well on an empty stomach, and I am not sure any of us do.

Snickers gets that a hungry mind makes a troubled brain
In Mexico I had three hour lunches (WOW). Now I have just thirty minutes, and once a week I have to chaperon at lunch meaning I need to eat standing or grab a snack and go.

In an effort to fuel my body better (and keep me happier and the best teacher I can be), I am going to try to get in the habit of making better lunch choices. Mainly, I am going to try really hard to eat lunch. This was one of my new year resolutions, and I did get better at easting something instead of starving all day. Now I want to get better at what I am eating.  I've tried a bunch of different lunches and snacks during the summer. I was looking for five things.
  1.  I wanted things that I could make the night before so in the morning I could just grab them and go. 
  2. I have to be able to, "grab them and go." Portability is key!
  3. It needed to be "healthy." I don't care about the type of diet, but I knew I didn't want to have recipes that called for five cups of butter or three cups of sugar. 
  4. I had to feel "full." I can spread peanut butter on celery. It is delicious, but it takes about an entire stalk of celery before I feel like I am not starving... so that's not gonna work.
  5. Delicious. If I don't enjoy it, then I don't want it.
These are my top three winners.

I've seen tons of versions of the Mason Jar Salad (there are cookbooks dedicated entirely to this topic). This one is simple and yummy.
  • Step 1. Make your favorite Thai salad dressing, or skip this step and buy one you like. 
    • My favorite is about 4 tablespoons lime, 5 tablespoons oil, 1 table spoon soy sauce, fresh ginger (a teaspoon), a garlic clove (minced), 1 thinly sliced chili pepper, 3 tablespoons cilantro and about 1 twist of freshly ground sea salt with 2 twists of freshly ground pepper... YUMM. Makes enough for a salad meant for four people, so you'd probably only use a fourth of it for lunch.
  • Step 2. Put the dressing in the bottom of a mason jar
  • Step 3. Open and drain a can of chicken
  • Step 4. Put this in the mason jar
  • Step 5 Add chopped mushrooms, bell pepper, bean sprouts and celery (crunch!)
  • Step 6. Add sliced almonds (optional, but I love these)
  • Step 7. Add spinach (the stuff from a bag works fine)
When you get to school you shake it and then dump it on a plate! The greens were on the top so now they're on the bottom and everything else should have stayed crunchy and delicious.If you have a pepper grinder you can even top it with some freshly ground pepper at school (it's all about the details!)

Another option is zucchini chips. I used to make them all the time! I have healthy in italics because I am not going to pretend I am a nutritionist... but i have to believe they are healthier than me buying a bag of potato chips.

Step 1. Cut zucchini into thin and even slices
Step 2. Coat with olive oil and freshly ground salt / pepper
Step 3.Arrange on a cookie sheet
Step 4. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip them and bake for another 20 minutes.
Step 5. Remove and let cool (they should be golden brown. If they aren't you may want to leave them in the oven a bit longer)
I put them in Tupperware with a dip (powdered garlic in plain yogurt) during break or prep periods. If you want something with more protein (or less garlic) you could dip them in hummus.

I found out about baked chickpeas on a road trip a while ago. I have made them at home numerous occasions.  This is one that is pretty basic but I love.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Step 2: In a bowl combine two tablespoons of live oil and two cans of (drained) chickpeas. Stir to make sure the olive oil coated all of the chickpeas.
Step 3. Add your favorite spice to the mix. My mom makes a "Mexican" seasoning that is dried cilantro, peppers, cumin, and I don't know what else it is amazing though and I use that.
Step 4. Arrange the chickpeas on a cookie sheet
Step 5. Add freshly ground salt and pepper (I add more salt than pepper)
Step 6. Bake for 30 minutes

These are SUPER crunchy and addicting. They are the perfect snack to tide you over before lunch, or during the after school staff meeting (you may want to bring enough to share!).

What about you?
All this gets me wondering. What's your go-to for lunch?
Do you buy something at school? Make meals Sunday night? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Do you skip lunch altogether but snack voraciously during the school day?

This List Price is $39.90, but it could be yours for free!
To entice you to share your favorite recipe, I'm having a giveaway! The prize is a dual pepper and salt grinder You could keep it at your house, or even in your classroom to add a touch of class to your lunchtime (because freshly ground pepper always sounds fancy!).

This grinder can be used for any spices technically, but as a boring person, I use it for salt and pepper. It retails at $39.90 but is currently on sale for $23.97 on Amazon.

I was lucky enough to get a free product and was given the chance to give a free one to a fellow teacher. As a result, here we go! If you want your own just leave a comment with your favorite lunch time recipe for school and then fill out the form below. Your recipe can include a link or be written in the comments directly. I'd love to get some more ideas.

You can earn bonus entries by following me on Twitter, or answering a quick poll about your lunch habits.  The winner will receive an Amazon code which gives them the salt and pepper grinder for free! While this blog is directed mainly towards teachers, you don't need to be a teacher to apply. Just keep in mind meals you think would work best for a teacher!

Good luck!


  1. I'm certainly guilty of getting to that "hangry" point of no return. Just feed me already! I'm not the best at prepping for my lunches,so my easy go-to is...
    Throw spinach, strawberries, and a lemon into a container, with an avocado ready to cut. All of it tossed together, using the lemon as "dressing." Voila! Boring, but delicious nonetheless!


    1. Yumm! This sounds super delicious more so because of its simplicity.

  2. My favorite school lunch is spaghetti squash. I cut mine in half, remove the seeds, and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I then add my favorite spaghetti sauce, your choice of meat. It's very easy and make at least 4 servings. I usually make it for dinner and then take the leftovers to school the next day!

    1. I LOVE spaghetti squash as a noodle substitute. I'll have to remember to bring that to school.

  3. Favorite school snack: Grapes (Easy to eat, your hands stay clean, quenches thirst @ the same time).
    Favorite lunch: Finger Food like hummus, pita chips, & raw veggies.

    1. Great point about grapes being clean! I often snack on oranges, but I have to be sure to do it near a sink otherwise I am all sticky!!!

  4. I am a slice and go type of teacher :) I usually bring a piece of fruit for morning snack. For lunch it is cut up veggies and maybe some hummus. If I have grilled chicken I may cut that up as well. I have a container and everything is in its own little pile. I also bring water and sometimes homemade loose leaf tea. When we were discussing nutrition and the food groups many of my students refered to my lunch, so I must do something right :)

    1. That's so awesome that your students called your lunches out as an example of good nutrition!!! I feel like all mine know is that I have no will power,

      "Teacher do you want a cookie?"
      "No thank you."
      "Are you sure?"
      "OK :-)"

  5. I like to eat hummus with multi-grain crackers. I like crunchy foods for a snack.

    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

    1. There is something satisfying about a food that goes, "crunch."


Thanks so much for commenting. Due to spam, your comment may not show up right away, but as soon as I get a chance to approve it I will. I promise to be as fast as possible!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...