Just this past week, my 7yo announced that he is at last tired of ham & cheese sandwiches. It only took two and a half years! I am thrilled because frankly, I am also tired of ham & cheese sandwiches - bored with making them, bored with sending them, bored with going through a large block of cheese every seven days.
So I needed to come up with an alternative.
Enter the salads - chicken, tuna, egg.
I know some kids do not like salad sandwiches, but happily all three of mine love them. As a make-ahead solution, they are brilliant, because you can make a large batch on Sunday night and use it for a couple of days.
It's also pretty easy to slip small amounts of vegetables into salad sandwiches. WIN.
Half a dozen boiled eggs. Don't overboil them, or the yolks will get that weird greyish tint. It just makes the salad look muddy. My foolproof method is as follows:
- salt the water (keeps the shells from cracking)
- bring to a rolling boil, covered, on high heat
- as soon as steam escapes, slide the pot almost completely off the burner, and reduce the heat to low
- let simmer for 15 minutes
- drain and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process
Mince the boiled eggs up, salt & pepper to taste, mix with a couple tablespoons of mayo. My kids like theirs with minced red pepper and green onions. It looks really appealing and tastes great.
My kids prefer the chunk-style canned tuna rather than the flakes, and I quite agree. The flake tuna tends to turn out mushy. I mix mine with mayo, a little Dijon mustard, and a bit of relish. Then I add minced celery and red pepper. I make the sandwiches with baby spinach leaves, and that has been a hit.
If I have time, I'll roast a small chicken - one of those 3-pounders you can find every so often at a good price - or if not, I'll grab a roasted chicken from the deli counter at my grocery store. Strip the carcass and chop the white & dark meat together. Mix with mayo, salt & pepper, green onion, and celery. Again, made into a sandwich with baby spinach goes down well with my kids. They especially love chicken salad wraps, on a whole grain tortilla.
This week I was able to get some Greek yogurt on sale, so they've had yogurt, too. I baked some carrot-pineapple muffins as a treat, and blueberries were on for cheap this week, too, so the lunch situation has actually not been horribly painful this time around.