You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!
I am not a morning person. There, I said it.
I am not thrilled at the prospect of jumping out of my cozy comfortable bed in the morning, ready to take on the day’s challenges. Instead, I cringe when the alarm goes off. I dismiss the alarm (not snooze, mind you), ready to get up as soon as I am done dismissing the obnoxious sound. But instead, I fall asleep again. All this drill of alarm sounds and me tossing and turning to find the comfy spot back again, would wake up my husband. Now, he is a total opposite of me. He can get up E-A-R-L-Y morning even when the rooster is waiting for it’s alarm to go off and get on with his day. So, he wakes up and starts moving about, totally disrupting my sleep. I convince myself that I can catch some shut eye, may be for another five precious minutes or so, and then wake up. You know how that goes! Those five minutes, always feel like just a few seconds.
In those five minutes, I dream of coffee. Yes, it is always coffee. How…..? Beats me.
Now, the morning cuppa java is brewing (No magic there, folks. My husband makes excellent coffee and I am not saying because he is hovering over me right now 😉 ) and the aroma wakes me (this time, truly) and I drag myself out of the bed. Then comes my “me” time – where I catch up on Facebook and Google Plus posts (made a lot of friends after starting my blog), my blog comments, replying to mails etc.
And then, I hit my panic button! I have to get the breakfast ready, lunch ready, get Sonshine ready for school and drop him off to school. Oooohhhh!!! the adrenaline rush! These are probably the only few exciting moments of my day. I look forward to these few moments. Most of the times, breakfast and getting Sonshine for school are the easiest of the above mentioned tasks. Biggest worry for me in the mornings is what to pack for lunch. It is not easy to come up with fresh ideas every day, for five days a week.
To make my panicking a little easier on myself, I have started planning the lunches in advance, at least I try to. If there is something leftover from previous night’s dinner, and that can be easily packed into lunch, I am so relieved in the mornings. That is one less thing to worry about in the morning madness.
My family loves this nourishing vegetable Minestrone Soup during winters. And when I make it, I always make a little extra so that I can save the leftovers for next day’s lunch. Yes, you can turn off the “what-can-i send-as-lunch” panic button. I will tell you how. You just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Let’s pack a hot lunch today, what say?
This is different from the cold lunches that I have blogged so far. And I am pretty excited to share this idea with you!.
Packing Lunch In a Thermos
There are some guidelines that you can follow to make sure that lunch is hot when your kiddos open it at lunch.
Use a thermos to send the hot lunch. I use a thermos jar with the brand name Thermos. I got it from the local Target shop about 4 years back. It still works perfect. There are different sizes available, pick a size that works for you the best. Now, coming back to “how to pack hot lunch” just follow this simple technique:
Boil water and pour into the thermos. Close the lid tightly and let it rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, open the lid and pour the liquid out. Once you have done the above step (pat dry the inside if you are using it for non-soup items), pour the hot soup/food immediately into the thermos and close the lid tightly.
Momables has an interesting article on how long is it safe to keep the food hot in a thermos along with some comparison of different brands.
What’s else is for lunch in the Minestrone Soup Bento Box?
If you read the soup recipe, you will notice that I use Quinoa in the recipe, but I do not cook it along with the soup. I cook the Quinoa separately, and just before serving the soup, I add a dollop of cooked Quinoa to the serving bowl and then top it up with the soup. I do the same while I pack the Minestrone Soup Bento Box (please note that I use the term “bento box” loosely here) – I add the cooked Quinoa first and then the soup into the Thermos food jar.
Aren’t you missing something crunchy to go along with the soup? I knew you would say that, so I included some organic brown rice crackers along with the soup.
If you have read my previous posts on bento lunches, you will know that I always pack a small treat as part of the lunch. Sonshine loves these treats and I try to keep them as small as possible. For this bento box, I used the mildly-sweet puffed rice crackers. These puffed rice crackers reminded me of the “Pori Unda” we get in India. In comparison, “Pori Unda” and “Puffed Rice Crackers” are apples and oranges, but we make-do.
Included the “cuties”, the Clementine Manadarins, as fruit.
As a footnote, I have to add this. Sonshine is old enough to handle the Thermos and the hot lunch by himself. But if the lid is too tight for him to open he asks for adult help. If you are packing this lunch for a younger kid or you doubt that your kiddo cannot handle the Thermos on his/her own, do instruct them to ask for adult help while opening the lunch.
When I was packing this lunch, I was feeling tremendously generous, so I added a few m&m’s too. Needless to say, Sonshine was overjoyed! I live for those “over-joyed”, spur of the moment hugs!! Dont’ you?
Minestrone soup is an easy meal that you can make ahead and pack as lunch. This soup is healthy and hearty and is loaded with vegetables, and Quinoa. Pack a fruit and some crackers and you know you have packed a wholesome meal for lunch.
5 minPrep Time
5 minTotal Time
- 1 cup Minestrone Soup
- Brown Rice Crackers
- Sweetened Puffed Rice Crackers
- Clementine Oranges
- m&m's Candies (optional)
- An insulated thermos food jar
- Lunch box with sturdy dividers
- Sauce pan or microwave safe bowl to boil water
- Kitchen Towel
- Pour boiling water into the thermos food jar and close the lid tightly. Let it rest for about 5 minutes while you get rest of the lunch ready.
- Peel the oranges (optional) and pack it in the lunch box. Also pack the brown rice crackers, the puffed rice crackers and the m&m's candies.
- Heat the soup and the Quinoa just before you are ready to pour into the thermos food jar.
- Throw the water in the thermos food jar and immediately spoon a few spoonfuls of Quinoa and the the soup into the food jar. Close the lid tightly.
- Do not forget to pack a spoon along with the thermos.