Back to school means back to lunchbox lunches for the kids, so before I went grocery shopping last weekend, I asked what kind of sandwiches they wanted. Both responded with "lunch meat". It's been a PB&J summer, and the Monkeys are sick of it.
Even though I'm vegetarian, I don't have anything against the Monkeys eating meat. Of course, it's not like they get it all the time or anything. I have, in the past, bought them lunch meat for their sandwiches. This time, however, I couldn't stop thinking about all the nitrates & preservatives and I just couldn't bring myself to buy them packaged lunch meat.
Once upon a time, couldn't you go into the deli section and buy, say, turkey sliced right off a freshly roasted turkey breast? Now the deli sections have large hunks of lunch meat to slice. Sure, maybe it's higher quality than what's in packages, but it's still the same nitrate & preservative rich stuff.
I could buy turkey or ham or chicken or what have you, cook it & slice it myself. But, on general principle, I don't buy or cook meat at home. Except for Thanksgiving. Or seafood. Sometimes. And if I start cooking meat so the kids can have lunches, the not-cooking-meat schtick will be over. SweetPea would never let me live that down or forget that I cook it so good and won't I please just cook < insert type of meat here >? Just this once?
Clearly that was out.
I kvetched about this dilemma on twitter, and skwigg suggested plant sandwiches.
And I thought about that.
And thought about it.
And formulated a plan.
And bought some groceries, with a variety of veggies and things to spread on that would add fat & protein, and some sandwich thins.
Then I totally overfuckingslept on the first day of school.
Bolted out of bed and scrambled to the kitchen to put together the Monkeys' very first lunch of the new school year with their very first plant sandwiches:
1 wedge Laughing Cow French Onion cheese
salt & pepper
Their lunches also contained a bag of pretzels & a bag of carrot sticks. A banana for MonkeyDo. A bag of cookies.
They had no warning about their sandwich whatsoever.
Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
Tuesday I used fresh mozzarella instead of the Laughing Cow & added fresh basil.
Again, two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
Today's sandwich had slices of grilled sweet potato and hummus, red lettuce, red onion & tomato.
I do think I need pitas or maybe some tortillas to make wraps. Veggies really like sliding out from the sandwich thins, so I need something that's going to cup the filling more. The pitas I've found tend to split along the sides, though. Anyone have any recommendations? Or other ideas?
I think I might do a caprese style salad at some point this week, too.
What's your favorite meat free sack lunch?