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Fun With Food: Super Simple Cucumber Boats and a Salad for Me!

Fun With Food: Super Simple Cucumber Boats and a Salad for Me!

Let me start by saying something that I have said before. Lunch is a stressful time of day for me. I’m hungry. Three kids are hungry. I don’t have a plan, but I know that I want my kids to eat decent foods. I know I want them to have a somewhat balanced meal. But above all, I know I want their tummies to be satisfied when their plate is empty.

Sometimes I have the foresight to put together lunches for the week (I stay at home with my children, but preparing lunch every day gets old. I’d rather just do it once or twice a week. Oftentimes, prepared lunches means applesauce, peanut butter or tuna, crackers, a tiny orange or baby carrots and hummus.)

Well, recently lunch-planning has fallen to the wayside and I’ve been making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on leftover whole wheat hot dog buns, grabbing a handful of snapea crisps and calling it a day. You know, we don’t always have the time to cut strawberries into heart shapes and squeeze tiny yogurt snowflakes around a child’s plate.

I do enjoy getting creative with lunch though, and the other day I had an idea: Cucumber & Cream Cheese sandwiches.

I mixed softened cream cheese with a pinch of salt and a couple big pinches of dill. You really don’t have to measure these. Just start with a tiny bit and taste it and adjust if you want it saltier/dillier. (Dillier? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a word.)
Here’s a pretty picture of the pieces all ready to be put together. It’s totally staged. If you make these, you don’t have to tip over your little bowl or line up the cucumbers like that. The cucumbers were pretty slippery (they are mostly water, after all) so didn’t make good sandwiches. I did little boats instead… sort of like canoes that don’t have seats.

Here’s the whole lunch:

Cucumber-cream cheese boats, multi-grain tortilla chips, dried mango, and yes, that’s fresh parsley next to the mango (my 3 year-old grabbed that from the counter and put it on his plate and I left it as a hilarious garnish because this was kind of a fancy lunch day.)

On this day, I actually made myself a lunch too. The original recipe is called “Quinoa, Goat Cheese & Arugula Mason Jar Salad” and is from Organize Yourself Skinny. You can find that recipe here. I’ll probably make the actual thing sometime in the near future, but this week I didn’t have enough mason jars, so I just dumped it all into a bowl at lunchtime. I also subbed feta for goat cheese and balsamic vinegar + avocado oil for the Italian dressing… I’m sure goat cheese and Italian dressing are great in this salad, but that’s just what I had.


Mason jar salads really are a fabulous idea for stay at home moms. Or working moms. Or dads. Really for anyone. How is your lunch prep? Are you an on-the-fly kind of foodie or a preparation gal?