Oh lunch. I really am quite fond of lunch; however, if you are a teacher it is either more like a snack or shoveling food down your throat. If you even get it. Let me explain. Technically, we are scheduled for 35 minutes. In reality, it takes 5-6 to get the kiddos down the hall and in line and another 5-6 to pick them up from their lunch recess in that 35 minute time span. So, by the time you get to even go to the bathroom, there is always a line, it is really only 15 minutes. Maybe 20 on a good day. Can I get a shout out from all the teachers out there? Holla!
It would be lovely to be a "real" adult and have an entire lunch hour from August through May. Alas, I have to wait until June to enjoy this. On top of many other issues I could go on and on and on about in regards to why teachers have their summers off (if they choose not to teach summer school), I will go ahead and stop. Can you tell it might have been a "craptastic" day? And, I just realized both of my craptastic rants involve soup recipes. Ha! Enough about all that. Right now. It is not productive. What is productive is how I strategically plan for my lunch. Check out more of these Mason jars full of food...
That Tomato-Pumpkin Soup I made last week made much, much more than I expected. This is never a bad thing. This recipe has gained even more swag by the mass amount of leftovers it created and the added Drop 10 boost- lentils! An added 1 cup cooked lentils were added to the remaining 4 1 1/2 cup servings I was able to squeeze out of this puppy. Yes lentils are my secret super food of the day. Not only are they packed with protein, this little legume also contains resistant starch. Research suggests that resistant starches take longer to break down, thus upping your metabolism when digesting and keeping you fuller longer.
When strategically planning for lunch, I love to choose foods that are lower in calories but also contain a lot of protein and fiber to keep me full throughout the rest of the day. Not too mention foods that I can make in bigger quantities so I can portion, pack them ahead of time, and have them ready to go all week. With the soup I packaged a gluten-free wrap made out of Sandwich petals, nitrate-free smoked deli turkey, veggies, and a simple tomato cream cheese spread I made (included below). Round the meal out with a bag of raw veg and you have the perfect lunch you can chow down in a hurry. Minus the 1 minute it takes to reheat the soup;)
Tomato Cream Cheese Spread
1 8 oz. package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (be sure to check for listed modified starches)
1 cup roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
In a medium sized bowl, beat together all ingredients with an electric mixer until combine. Can be used as a dip, spread for sandwiches and bagels, etc. Will store in a covered container in the fridge for 2 weeks.