Monday, January 15

5 Healthy and Vegan School Lunches

Thank you to Hilary's Eat Well for sponsoring this post.

School lunches. Love them or dread them? For me, I love that I can pack healthy, whole food school lunches for my kids. Little Guy only eats food from home due to his food allergies. When I ask what other kids are buying at school (things like hot dogs, chips and ice cream), I'm honestly happy that he has healthier lunches every day. However, I wouldn't mind a break from packing lunch some days...even a break from THINKING about what to pack - which is sometimes the hardest part!

Since we all need a little inspiration from time to time, I thought I'd show you 5 ideas for how to use Hilary's Eat Well vegan and allergy-friendly products to pack healthy school lunches! Heck - these are so good that I even like to pack some of these lunches for myself for work!

These lunches are so easy peasy too. Just make sure you have all the veggies and fruits washed and food in the freezer, ready to pull out and pop in a lunchbox! Minimal reheating needed the morning of school.

5 Healthy and Vegan School Lunches

Breakfast for Lunch
Who doesn't love breakfast for lunch? (or any time of day!). It's pretty easy to pop pancakes out of your freezer, and warm up Hilary's vegan sausages the morning of school. Add some fresh fruit, and maple syrup and/or sunflower seed butter, and you have a great meal! You could even put the sausages and/or pancakes in a small thermos to keep them completely warm until lunch.


Well-Rounded Lunch
Protein, calcium, veggies...CHECK! I like to consider most lunches I pack for my kiddos well-rounded. However, this one certainly has a nice blend of all Little Guy's nutritional needs, and it's fun and filling at the same time. I heated up Hilary's Original Veggie Bites, along with Hilary's Traditional Herb Millet Medley and packed it in a thermos. Little Guy also has vitamin packed peppers, and calcium and protein packed soymilk and vegan cheese to round out the meal.


Dippy Lunch
Your kids probably like to dip food as much as mine do, right? Well, in line with our recent Dippy Dinner, I know my kids love dippy lunches too! I love giving them a variety of small, bite sized bites to fill up their bellies. Here I gave my son tortilla chips, peppers, carrots, sesame-free hummus and Hilary's Traditional Herb Millet Medley.



Pizza Lunch
Pizza, pizza, everywhere. I've become all too aware of the amount of pizza students (and humans in general) eat since Little Guy was diagnosed with his dairy allergy. Pizza is just EVERYWHERE! Birthday parties, every Friday for school lunch, social events, etc. I pack pizza for Little Guy every Friday to make sure he feels included with the pizza day lunch theme. Thankfully he happily eats it cold, so it makes it easy for me to just to pop out of the freezer the night before.


For this pizza I crumbled some cooked Hilary's Spicy Veggie Sausage on top (it's really not too spicy for kids - it has just enough spice in it!). I also included Hilary's Ranch Chia dressing as a dip for his veggies. Plus, I added my own trail mix that I threw together from pumpkin seeds, raisins and chocolate chips - all nut and dairy free!


Hearty Burger Lunch - 2 ways
Who doesn't love a good burger for lunch? Hilary's has a bunch of great veggie burger flavors, but I especially like this Black Rice Burger  I packed with some vegan cheese, fruit, and a small salad with Hilary's Balsamic Thyme Dressing on the side.

I like to cut the burger in half and put it in a thermos, so that you can eat it by itself, or even put the two burger pieces on a bun (gluten free or not, whatever you choose or need!).

So what are some of your favorite lunch ideas? Believe me, we all need new ideas from time to time to make sure we keep lunch fun, interesting and easy. So, please share you favorites!

This is the third and final post about Hilary's awesome products. You can read more about our dippy dinner here and our vegan stuffing stuffed peppers recipe here if you missed these posts. 

I hope you try Hilary's products if you haven't already! They have become a staple in our house!

Here's a pinnable image - save these ideas for later!


I only work with companies that I support and use in our own family. I hope you enjoy hearing about new allergy-friendly products and finds like this!

Tuesday, January 2

Easy Apple Baked Oatmeal: Vegan and Glutenfree

Happy New Year! Although I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions, I do think it's a great time for small changes you can make to improve your (and your family's) life. One resolution this year is to pay special attention to SUGAR in our family's diet. It's amazing how easily it is to eat sugar, even if you avoid dessert and treats. Sugar can be found in baked goods, yogurt and even milk! And I know my kids get enough sugar in their diets even if we try to avoid all extra sweet treats and desserts. 

So, to stay on the lower sugar trend, I can't wait to share this easy Apple Baked Oatmeal recipe with you that's vegan and gluten-free. I adapted it from this recipe, and cut the sugar in half (actually, even more than that!).

This apple baked oatmeal is a time-tested recipe that I've made about every month for the past 3 years. WOW. I'd say it's about time to post it! Of course it's dairy free, egg free and allergy-friendly. It's also gluten free as long as you use gluten free oats.
Apple baked oatmeal - glutenfree

My Little Guy with food allergies just LOVES this baked oatmeal. I usually just cut it into squares, leave a few pieces in the refrigerator to eat for the next few days, and then freeze the rest of the squares for future breakfasts, snacks or to pop in lunchboxes. It's just as moist and delicious after it's been frozen. 

Simple, homemade, real food in an instant!

This isn't the prettiest photo of my baked oatmeal from the freezer, but real life isn't always pretty. Ha!

Vegan Glutenfree Bake Oatmeal

Like me and the hubs, Little Guy LOVES the apples and always asks me to put more in the baked oatmeal. 5 year old Little Gal doesn't like the pieces of apples as much. So, I usually cut the apples in big enough pieces for her to easily pick them out (or in reality, for me to take them out for her). That method seems to work for all of us!

Vegan baked oatmeal with apples

Print this recipe

Easy Apple Baked Oatmeal: Vegan and Gluten-free

Makes 12 large servings. Makes 24 servings for smaller (kid-sized) squares.

WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 3 cups milk* 
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup oil (I've used coconut or canola oil in the past)
  • 6 tsp vanilla extract
*Any kind of milk work. I've personally used coconut milk and soymilk in the past. If your milk has no sugar in it, you could slightly increase the sugar in this recipe.

DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 diced apples (Put in as many or as little as you want. I usually add in about 1 - 2 cups of diced apples).
DIRECTIONS:
  • Mix together wet ingredients in large bowl (no mixer needed, just use a spoon!)
  • Mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl with whisk or fork
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with spoon or spatula
  • Pour mixture into 9 x 13 greased pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until slightly golden brown around edges, and slightly firm in the middle
  • Let cool before serving to make sure it doesn't fall apart when cutting it

Are you on Pinterest?  Don't forget to pin this recipe! You might also like some of the other vegan baked goods pins on my Pinterest board. Check them out and let me know if you have any other favorite vegan baked good recipes that can feed a crowd!


Dairyfree Baked Oatmeal with Apples




 
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