Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer is approaching!

Hey there - we are still here! Promise! There has been a lot of personal "stuff" happening for all the goodbyn girlies recently (you know how it is with family and things) and lunchtime has just fallen into the bog standard routine with us all forgetting to take photos and share! :) We hope you don't mind waiting. 

With summer on the way, Goodbyn's everywhere will start to get filled with delicious salads and fresh fruit. It's a great time of year - especially when you open your box to so much colour!  You might remember Nena's post recently about how to build your own salad but here are a few more salad links you might enjoy....

Jamie Oliver Salads
Salad Recipes
Salads for any occassion
Killer Salad

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10 lunchbox ideas

Hi all, just a quick update with a fun link for everyone.

10 Lunchbox Extras That Go Beyond Yogurt Tubes and Fishy Crackers

I've used many of these myself, and the Annie's snacks are a HUGE hit with my picky two-year-old.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Taco Salad

Today's lunch consists of a simple taco salad with veggies/fruit and dip. 
I used some leftover taco meat with romaine lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, onions and orange peppers, crushed tortilla chips and I used DH's drink container to keep some Catalina dressing in so that the chips didn't get soggy.
It's easy to give leftovers a makeover with a little creativity and a Goodbyn!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mini Quiche

Just a quick recipe share today folks.  This is a delicious little recipe that my family enjoyed every Christmas morning when I was a kid.  Well, when I got married I decided that it is way too delicious to just eat once a year, and started making it more often.  These are great for Goodbyns because they are almost better cold than they are hot, and they are cute and fun.

Mini Quiche:

You will need:
  • 2 dozen tart shells
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup of swiss cheese, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup 18% coffee creamer
  • 2 tsp dry onion flakes
  • 1/ tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350*
Beat eggs until frothy; add cream and spices and mix well.  Set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with foil, and arrange tart shells on it.  Divide cheese and bacon among tart shells.
Pour egg mixture into shells over cheese & bacon until they are approximately 3/4 full.
Bake in oven at 350* for approximately 30 minutes, until tops are golden brown and puffed slightly.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!  It's always a big treat when I make these, and the prep work is very minimal.  I love how easy they are to make, and the generous amount it makes.  They also freeze extremely well (if you manage to have a few leftover, that is).

And don't forget there is still a little time left to enter to win your very own Bynto!  Check out our give-a-way here.
Happy lunching,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patricks Day!

Hows this for some green inspiration! Looks apetizing huh! LOL This goodbyn has avacado dip, cucumbers, spring onions and tortillas to dip. Kiwi and grapes, key lime cheesecake and some green candy melts. Yum!

You still have time to share your green lunches with us and be in with the chance of winning a bynto of your very own!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Build Your Own Salad

Within the last few months my darling little boy who previously would eat just about anything you put in front of him has turned into the dreaded Picky Eater!  I have found that one of the ways I can get him to eat things he might not otherwise eat is to let him "make it himself."  Now, as you can imagine with a two-year-old this can get quite messy.  But from what I have gathered from fellow Moms with darling little boys, no matter what age they are, there is something about making it yourself that makes their meal far more appealing.  And trust me, this doesn't change even when they get to be husbands with kids of their own.

So for today's lunch I sent my hubby to work with a build your own chef salad (you should have seen the delight on his face when he saw the contents of his Goodbyn).  This is definitely one of his favorites to eat, and my favorites to make (because it is SO EASY!)
I started with spinach.  I am sure if you look at some of my other posts you will see that my family eats a lot of spinach.  But it is a super food!  Chalk full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidents it is an excellent choice for the base of a salad.  If your kiddos don't like spinach, try slipping it in among their other greens.  You'd be surprised what they will eat when it is mixed up with some of their other favorites.
I cut up some mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and threw in some sun-dried tomatoes. in the middle compartment.  Along with some lightly seasoned chicken breast (I cook up a big batch of this and separate them into smaller containers in my freezer so I can just take out a new container each week.  It's a great thing to have on hand for salads, wraps and quick stirfrys); sliced ham, and a hard boiled egg in the bottom compartment.  A little light mozzarella cheese and some sweet vinaigrette completes this lunch.
It's fun because it allows for some choice.  My DH can put on as much or as little of anything as he wants, and I feel good because he is eating a healthy, filling lunch.
If you are worried for younger children and their ability to "toss a salad" together inside their bento, go ahead and send a plastic bowl with them.  This way they can take things out of their Goodbyn and mix it up without making a big mess.
I am hoping you enjoyed my post today.  Be sure to check out Georgina's awesome St. Patty's Day Post tomorrow; and if you haven't already, stop by our new Giveaway to see how you can win one of the brand new Byntos!  Happy lunching!    
Thinking outside of the bag,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grow Your Own

I love this time of year! You can normally find me, quite literally - full of the joys of Spring and as such I am often found in my garden, growing my own fruits and vegetables. I'm excited to see some of my chilli peppers starting to grow already!

Freshly home grown fruits and veggies are absolutely perfect for your lunchboxes and if, like me you are "into" long term food storage then a garden is a wonderful extention to your supply.

I'm not here to preach to you about the benefits of fresh food you have grown yourself - you already know about the food crisis in the world right now, the increase in food costs, the health benefits to you and your family, the taste of fresh food picked and eaten straight away, the impact on your families carbon footprint, the destressing an evening in your garden can give you..... A garden is a very personal thing - you either get passionate about it or you run for the hills when someone even mentions growing your own!  I just want to remind you that now spring is on it's way, you couldn't find a better time to start a garden!

I appreciate that not everyone has acres of land in which to grow enough food to sustain their family, however there are many ways in which you can make the most of what space you do have. I love to square foot garden and all of my plants are in pots so I can move them around the garden as I need to. Others like to go the full hog and dedicate a larger space. Whatever you choose - think about this Summer when you will be able to add delicious homegrown food to your Goodbyn's! Yum

Here are a few websites you might find useful if you were thinking of starting your own garden up:

My Square Foot Garden
How to start a vegetable garden
Planning a vegetable garden
Organic Gardening
Vegetable container Gardening

I hope that some of these links will help and inspire you! Good luck!

Ohh and don't forget - whilst you are thinking of green fingered gardening tips, why not take part in our green themed bynto giveaway by sharing your green themed boxes with us!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quinoa, Zucchini, and Carrots... Oh My!

So it has come to my attention, and I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed this, that us here at the Goodbyn Girls seem to LOVE meatballs.  One of the reasons they are a favorite in my house is because they are one of those handy little foods that happen to be a great hiding place for healthy little bits and bites - and my suddenly picky toddler is none the wiser.  The meatballs featured in my lunch today hide such delectable items such as Quinoa, Zucchini, and Carrots... oh my!  (Check out the recipe on my blog here)

Going along with the green lunch theme, Everything in my lunch is either organic, locally sourced, or both!  Talk about going the extra mile!  I have some delicious mini carrots and cucumbers, gingersnap cookies (don't worry all, I didn't actually send 3 cookies with my DH to work - it just looked better that way for the photo!  lol.  Come on, I can't spoil him THAT much!)  A lovely spinach salad with sundried tomatoes and bean sprouts, and a homemade cranberry and almond popcorn mix.

My husband takes a giant thermos of water to work, so I rarely have to send a drink besides that, which always leaves me a bit of extra space.  I like this meal because it is healthy and fun.  The popcorn mix helps satiate those with a sweet tooth (which may just keep them away from the vending machine longer), while providing them with the nutrients of cranberries and the protein of almonds.  While pairing some healthy, fibre-rich salad with a tangy homemade dressing gives a little added interest.

Thanks for stopping by everybody.  And remember to check out our March contest.  The folks over at Goodbyn are giving us one of their awesome new Byntos to give to one lucky reader!

Thinking outside of the box,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's GIVEAWAY time!!

So...if you are a fan of the Goodbyn lunch box, you may have already heard the news!  The Goodbyn now has a little brother called the Bynto!  It is a perfect size for smaller bellies, snacks and light lunches.  The wonderful people at Goodbyn have generously offered us an itty bitty Bynto to give away on our blog!  So...what do you have to do to get a chance to win you ask?

Well, since Goodbyn is advocate of the environment and recycling AND St Patrick's Day is coming up, we are having a GREEN theme!  Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to create a lunch that is fully GREEN.  Now for the catch.  Your lunch has to be fully litterless with no packaging in the container that is non recyclable AND you have to use the colour green somewhere in your lunch.  You can go all out and make your WHOLE lunch green if you wish.  Have fun with it!! 

You will have until the end of March to complete your lunch, take a photo and post a link to your photo here in the comments section.  We will then randomly choose a winner from the people who have successfully complied with the requirements of the contest.  The winner will win their very own cute little Bynto in their choice of colour.  Winner will be announced the first week of April.  Make sure that you leave us a way to contact you if you are the winner.  Post the link to your blog an email address so that if you are the winner, we have a way to let you know. 

Good Luck Everyone!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

This just in....

To say we're excited is an understatement!

 Goodbyn now has a little brother! The Bynto. Oh. Isn't he adorable!?
30% smaller than the Goodbyn original, with 3 compartments instead of 5 plus stickers and another bottle!

Check them out here.

We can't wait to try them out! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day Revisited

If you read this blog regularly, you know I am a big advocate of using leftovers for lunches.  It just makes my life so much easier. The bonus is that everyone eats much better too!  Today's post is about two different lunches I prepared for my boys. 

For my son's Valentines Day lunch, I decided to go with the red theme.  He would kill me if I got too lovey and put hearts in his lunch, so that left me with few options.  lol  In his Goodbyn we have the colour red; leftover spaghetti in tomato sauce, a strawberry yogurt tube, red jello, strawberries.  We also have sliced cucumbers, goldfish crackers, green grapes, a cheese string and granola bar (under the yogurt tube).

Now for the husband's lunch.  He doesn't have a Goodbyn so we make do with containers.  A tradition with us is for me to cook him his favourite meal on Valentines Day.  So Indian Butter Chicken it was!  I also pan fried up some red pepper and garlic parathas to go with his chicken and rice.  I send the chicken and sauce separate from the rice so that the rice doesn't get mushy.  The bonus to this dish is that it tastes even better the second day. 

Do you have any special Valentines or special occasion recipes that you like to prepare?  Share with us!!  We would love to hear about fun new recipes that can double as lunches. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Leftovers Times Two

Today's lunch was pretty simple.  Jamie made delicious spaghetti and meat balls for dinner last night, so in the bento they went for today's lunch.  I'm not sure what he did different, but they were exceptional, and the aroma fill the apartment for hours.

Also included in the bento:  garlic bread, mini-salad and dressing, Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, and vanilla cookies.

We had about two cups of plain spaghetti left over, which I just couldn't see tossing, so it was my responsibility tonight to come up with something to do with them.  It was the least I could do since Jamie was standing out in the cold while Emy was at softball practice.

I have to tell you, I wish I had taken a picture of dinner because it was delish!  And, I literally just threw it together . . . impressive for me, because I just don't "throw dinner together".  I'll jot down my little recipe so you can give it a try if you like.
  • 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups prepared pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Scramble the eggs and set aside.  Sauté cubed chicken breast and rosemary in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is cooked through, add the prepared pasta and frozen peas to the pan and mix until everything is heated through.  Add scrambed eggs and toss until mixed thoroughly.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

That's it.  Simple and delicious.  It took about 30 minutes and served 4 to 5 people.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be Prepared

Your best defense is a good offense.  Meaning preparing things ahead of time will get you through your busy week without as much stress.  We all have busy schedules and find it hard to pack healthful lunches for our families.  It is just too easy in today's chaotic life to just hit a fast food joint instead of planning ahead for lunches.

I have some easy steps to help eliminate the lunch packing stress.

1.  Prep veggies and fruit ahead of time.  On Sunday, I grocery shop.  This means that when I come home, I spend some time washing, peeling and cutting fruit and veggies.  I keep a big container of cut veggies in my fridge at hand so I can just grab a hand full and throw it into the Goodbyn.  Wash your apples, grapes etc ahead of time.  There are some fruits that will not hold up to prep such as strawberries.  Use your own judgement, but a lot of veggie and fruit prep can be done ahead. 

2.  Meal Plan.  If you know what you are having for supper, you can plan for leftovers in your lunch.  Say you have chicken fajitas for supper...this would make awesome chicken wraps for lunch the next day.  No stress at 6am to figure out what the heck you are going to put in your lunch for the day.  This not only saves you time but it saves you money.   Here is a printable planner you can use

3.  If you can, pack most of your lunch the night before and keep it in the fridge.  This also helps to eliminate that feeling of panic at 6am.  Nobody likes to have to deal with lunch before you have even had a cup of coffee.  If your kids are old enough, get them to help.

4.  Your freezer is your friend.  If you have leftovers that you did not plan for...freeze them for later.  If you bake cookies one week, do a double batch and freeze the second batch for later.  I do this a lot with banana muffins.  They hold up in the freezer very well and it is a treat that both my husband and kids love. 

I think that the less we stress about lunch, the more likely we are to keep packing better lunches and making better food choices for our family. 

Here is my recipe share for the week courtesy of my friend Patti H. 

Banana Bread (yeilds approx 2 loaves or 24 muffins)

1 1/4 C white sugar
1/2 C margarine
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C mashed over ripe bananas
1/2 C Buttermilk (or regular milk minus 1 1/2 tsp...add 1 1/2 tsp of white vinegar to the milk to sour it)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1C of blueberries or walnuts (you can omit if you like)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Cream your sugar and margarine.  Add the 2 eggs and beat until the mixture lightens a bit.  Add your bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.  Combine your dry ingredients and add to the wet.  Mix until combined.  Fold in your blueberries or nuts.  I use a silicone loaf pan for this but if you are using a regular loaf pan, grease it before adding your batter.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour for a loaf...approx 26 minutes for muffins. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Inspiration

This is NOT a healthy lunch.  My inspiration was Super Bowl snacks.  :shrug:  At least, I figured, the kids would like it.  Actually, for our Super Bowl snack 'dinner' we had nachos and bruschetta topped with a delectable tomato salad . . . but, since we didn't have any of that yummy stuff left over, the kids got this stuff for lunch instead.  HA!

Yeah, I'm not to crazy about how it looks, but I'm pretty certain a good bit of it was happily consumed.

Included in the bento:  Capri Sun Roaring Waters, peanut butter/marshmallow quesadilla bites, orange slices, cucumber/carrots/celery with ranch dip, chips, baked ham cup, and barbecue beef slider.

Oh, and a few Red Hots that Emy begged me for.

WTG packers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Empty Space

When I first got my Goodbyn I made it my mission in life to fill it to the brim with delicious foods. It was (and still is) so much fun to prepare a homemade lunch. I was scared of empty spaces in the box, worried it might not look as pretty! LOL Seems a funny thing - but it really was a case of "ooh what can I fit in that space".

Now - I'm not so worried! I embrace the empty spaces in my lunchbox - so I don't want a drink today, I won't take one. I can see a purple base where my silverware is - never mind. I have plenty of other things to worry about - my lunchbox isn't one of them ! :)

I have empty spaces in my lunchbox sometimes and I'm okay with that!! :)

(goodbyn today contains ham, cheese and beetroot salad. Canned peaches and a coconut cake)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comfort Food Lunch

Ask someone "What is your favourite comfort lunch food?" and a lot of people will be replying with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.   When I was a kid, I was a walker.  Meaning I was home every day for lunch and this combo was possible for me.  It still is possible even if you pack your child a lunch to take to school. 

My son is not big on sandwiches but he LOVES grilled cheese.  So I figured I would try to see if it held up in a lunch box.  So first thing in the morning I put on a pot of tomato soup and primed his thermos with boiling water.  I threw together a grilled cheese sandwich.  While I was standing there, it had occured to me that it may get soggy in the lunchbox if I put it in warm.  So I just cooled it off on my baking rack before packing it away into his Goodbyn.  Apparently it was perfectly fine when it was time for lunch!  It was room temperature and perfect to go with his hot soup. 


In this Goodbyn lunch is a grilled cheese sandwich, cucumber slices, baby carrots, dill pickles, jello cup, Babybel cheese, granola bar, brownie and a thermos of tomato soup. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Variety is the spice of life

Have you ever thought about use of colour in your lunch box? It's one thing I try to do every day. I try to get the whole rainbow spectrum, or as much of it as I can in my goodbyn. Not only does it mean I get a nice selection of flavours to savour, but its good for you and is really appealling to the eye. Whenever I have a colourful lunch box it always starts my mouth watering in anticipation!

For this lunch I have Raspberries, Mango, Kiwi, Flapjack, Yoghurt, Sausage roll, Potatoe Salad, Beetroot, Lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoe, coleslaw and cucumber.  So thats - Red, Yellow, Green, Brown, White, Purple and Orange. I also like to brighten things up with colourful silverware too.

Here are some interesting articles on the health benefits of colourful food:

Article One
Article Two
Article Three
Article Four

How about some ideas for different colourful foods to include in your next goodbyn box - why not try for one in each colour!

Orange and Yellow
Blue and Purple

OOoh and one last link - check out these photos of colourful food!! CLICK HERE very inspiring!

If you are looking for a fun thing to do on Valentines Day - you could even include all red foods in your goodbyn! Or How about an all green lunch box for St Patricks Day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Easy Lunch Rescues

Hi everyone!  I've been a bit MIA since December.  You can thank this adorable little girl for that:

In other words, I have been the most airheaded forgetful human being on the face of the planet.  I barely know what month it is, let alone day of the week!  lol 
Regardless, I have been trying to find ways to make my life a little easier in the lunch packing department, and I have some quick ideas to share with you all today.

Helpful Tips:  
  • When I make dinner, whether it be a casserole or just chicken breasts and rice I try to make at least 1 extra portion, which makes packing a lunch that much easier!  Also, if there is more than 1 portion it can double as lunch for those of us at home.  This one may seem like common sense to a lot of us, but you would be surprised how much time and money this can save!
  • I keep junk food OUT of the house - except for certain occasions.  I don't know about you, but anytime there is junk food in the house, I tend to eat that and then I don't feel like making a real, healthy dinner or lunch for the family.  Healthy meals can be just as simple and quick as junk food, so keeping the junk out of the house has made it easier for me to be creative and come up with delicious and fun meals for my family.  If you don't know where to start, Leanne Ely over at Saving Dinner has some great ideas.  Sign up for her menu mailer, or just her free newsletter.  I have gotten some wonderful ideas for snacks, lunches, dinners; ways to make everyday favorites healthier - you name it!  I also just got an email saying everything in her catalog is 20% off today with the proceeds going toward helping in their quest to provide food to under-nourished children and families in the US.
  • When I buy fresh fruit from the market, I immediately come home and wash and cut it up.  I keep it all in a rubbermaid container in my refrigerator sort of like a "fruit salad" of sorts.  I usually throw in some melons, pineapple and grapes.  This is great because I can just grab a handful to throw in one of my DH's Goodbyn compartments, or for a snack for my 2 year old son... or myself!  And I can cut up an apple or a banana to add to it if I want.  It has been a huge help not having to worry about washing and cutting up fruit every day.
  • Freezer meals!  I love freezer meals!  I will make up a large batch of say, chicken fingers (it is so much easier to prep them all at once than to have to make separate batches every time I feel like making them).  Then I can just pull the small baggie out of the freezer and throw them in the oven.  It's an easy and nutritious way to fill a Goodbyn with something yummy and fun.  I often do this on Mondays because we eat at my inlaws' house on Sunday nights (read: no leftovers, and I am lazy on Monday mornings!  lol) and the cafeteria at my DH's work serves chicken fingers on Mondays... so this way he doesn't feel left out.  Besides, my homemade chicken fingers are way better than those fried ones at his work!  lol
  • My last tip for you today is to meal plan!  I find that when I meal plan it takes the guesswork out of packing lunches.  And that way if I pull out some leftovers and I don't know how old they are - I can check my calendar and I know exactly when I made it!  Realistically this only takes me about 10 minutes a week, and I do it every week the day before I go grocery shopping.  That way I can take into account what I have in the pantry already and head to the market for whatever else I need.
I hope these tips have helped a bit.  And I will be back next week with a yummy lunch to share!  Happy snacking my friends!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leftovers to the Rescue

Jamie made the yummiest pot roast last night . . . and some delicious buttermilk dinner rolls from scratch that he found on  We've always figured a successful dinner can easily translate into a yummy lunch, so today the kids had pot roast, mashed pots, and some of that delicious homemade bread!

Also included in the bento:  carrots, oranges, Capri Sun Roaring Waters, peanut butter cookies.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy Twist on Ham and Cheese

One summer, back before I ever contemplated attempting creative lunches, I sent the kids to daycare with a ham and cheese sandwich almost every, single day.  Gosh, they were so tired of it by the end of the summer I thought I'd never be able to serve them one again.

So you can imagine how apprehensive I feel now when I need to throw a simple ham and cheese lunch together.  My solution was pretty easy actually.  By rolling out the bread slices and cutting off the crusts I can offer the sandwiches with enough of a twist to throw the kids off the scent of monotony!

Also included in the bento:  chips and dip, Capri Sun Roaring Waters, grapes, orange slice, strawberry, cherry tomatoes, chocolate cake with chocolate syrup.

Monday night's leftovers

So you made too much spaghetti for supper.  Oops!  Now what to do with it all?  Make "Spaghetti Pie" of course!  It is usually a big hit with kids.  All you need is your leftover spaghetti noodles, your leftover sauce, a couple of beaten eggs and some grated cheese.   I use a marble chedar but you could use whatever cheese you prefer. 

First off... preheat your oven to 375 and lightly grease your casserole dish or tarte plate.  Mix your leftover noodles and sauce together and let cool to room temperature.  Add a couple of beaten eggs and about half of the cheese (maybe 1/2 - 3/4 C) and mix to combine thoroughly.  Pour into your tarte plate or casserole dish and give it a firm push down with your spoon.  Top with remaining cheese and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes.  Let cool and slice into wedges or squares.  This is a yummy alternative to just having leftover spaghetti in your lunch! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cozy Fruit?

What is the one thing that we all dislike about bringing in an apple or pear in our lunch?  It rolls around, it gets bumped and bruised.  Frankly, nobody likes bruised fruit.  So what do you do? 

You make one of these fruit cozies!  I do NOT know how to knit anything but a basic stitch but I do have a Knifty Knitter from Provocraft.  I just used the smallest loom and made a tube.  Closing off the top after I got a desired length.  Weave a ribbon through and voila, fruit cozy! You can also sew one if you were so inclined.  Even if you are not the crafty kind, I do have a quick and easy solution!  A wool sock!  Granted I would probably use a NEW one lol...but you could even dress it up a little.  Add some ribbon, bling, google eyes...the possibilities are endless!

P.S.  I have one of these made to give away to a lucky someone.  I will put the names of everyone who comments on this post into a hat and choose! I will choose a winner Feb 1st.

                        Have fun with your food!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goodbyn on a budget!

When I originally purchased my first goodbyn it was for 3 reasons.
  1. I wanted a bit more variety in my lunches and something healthier than a dodgy pre packed sandwich from a shop which I ended up throwing half away - wasting it because it tasted weird.
  2. I wanted to pack my lunch in a box that I could re use again and again to be better for the environment.
  3. I wanted to save money. I was spending a fortune on lunches and packing my own was the only way to save!

I made the decision and got my goodbyn and haven't looked back. My household now owns 4 Goodbyns!

The problem is, as I have found, trying to get a variety in my lunches can sometimes proove difficult - I mean its all very well if you can have something different everyday, but I was finding my quest for variety was meaning I was buying more lunchtime type foods when I went shopping. Whilst I was enjoying the different tastes everyday, more food meant more chance for it to go to waste / out of date / mouldy!! I now preplan my lunches for the week so I don't over purchase when I go shopping and whilst I do have some variety in the main part, the rest is the same but presented in a different way.

Take this week for example. I managed to get a great deal on yoghurt, mango and kiwi when I went shopping and so I have enough to last a weeks worth of lunches and snacks for the rest of the family too.

I started the week with a simple cheese and carrot salad for my main. I put the orange yoghurt in the left compartment and cut the kiwi into small pieces in the right compartment. I also had some left over banana bread I had made at the weekend and a few of the last grapes.

The following day I moved the yoghurt to the right compartment (this time vanilla) and cut the kiwi into round slices (instead of small pieces like the day before). I also have a passionfruit a flapjack and left over pasta from dinner which I have added some sausagemeat from our fridge and a few slices of pepper to.

I got lazy the next day and didn't wash up so I used a different box! :) The kiwi was cut up fine but this time added to the right compartment with some chopped mango. The vanilla yoghurt jumped across to the left side again. I also have a custard tart. We had chicken fahitas and salad for dinner the night before and so the chicken salad was the leftovers from that - I had planned a fahita to go with it but there were none left after dinner!

And then finally I added some fruit compot to a yoghurt and put that in the left side compartment. This time I cut the kiwi into thin slices and added chopped mango and a chocolate bunny. I had another flapjack too. The main course was left overs from my dinner the night before - rice with homemade sweet and sour chicken.
Because all the main parts of my lunches were leftovers from dinners, you could argue that I spent nothing on that part of my lunch. I only really purchased the yoghurt, mango and kiwi which makes for a cheap week of lunches.
I guess what I am trying to get across in this post is that you shouldn't worry if you are eating the same things in your lunch box everyday. It makes complete sense if you are on a budget or simply don't want to waste food. Try and mix things up even a little bit like I have - change compartments; cut food up differently; combine foods differently to alter the flavour just a little bit. You will be really surprised at how such a simple thing can make all the difference and the goodbyns are perfect for this very reason!
I love taking lunch to work now. I enjoy the food I pack, it makes me more organised, I feel healthier and more alert and I simply save money!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quick Fix

My son is a picky eater.  Here is one of my quick fix lunches that I know most kids would enjoy.  Today's lunch consists of the ever so fun pigs in a blanket!

As much as I would love to make my own pastry for is Pilsbury to the rescue!!  I simply wrapped some chicken hot dogs with crescent roll dough and baked them off at 350 until golden.  They are perfect for dunking into tomato soup (which is in the thermos) and a welcomed change to your average soup and sandwich combo lunch. 

In the Goodbyn lunch today:  Two pigs in a blanket with ketchup on the side, strawberries, dill pickles, Crush yogurt, Baby Bel cheese, tomato soup (thermos), a few small chocolates and a container of water. 

There are plenty of alternatives to just the plain pigs in a blanket as well.  You can use sausage instead of hot dogs.  You can add cheese and make cheesy dogs.  You can even do chili cheese wrapped crescent dough...these you have to make sure you seal REALLY well so you don't get oozage.  The possibilities are endless when you have some ready made dough at hand.  Let's hear some of your favourite ways to use your crescent roll dough!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hot Pockets

Had to show off this delicious lunch from last week! 

The Our Best Bites recipe for homemade hot pockets was scrumptious.  The bread by itself is quite tasty and super simple.  I've made it a couple times more already--once making it into rolls and once as a braided loaf.  Jamie wants me to make a simple loaf we can use for sandwiches.  And Carly, one of our readers, commented that it's just as good with whole wheat flour.  You should definitely give it a try if you're into baking bread.

Also included in the bento:  chocolate chip granola bar, grapes, oranges, salad, poppy seed salad dressing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peach Crisp

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmastime. Sadly I was ill as were most of my family so we had a pretty quiet one this year. As a result we didn't actually go out to the store for 5 weeks!

Thank goodness for my food storage supply - it came to the rescue when I was in need of a quick desert to cheer us all up. Now I know we're not all in the mood for any more baking but this was SO super easy and tasted delicious that I just had to share. Your basic ingredients are these:

a can of peaches and a white cake mix - this also works well with yellow cake mix too.

Tip the whole can, juice/syrup as well into a baking tin and add a cup of sugar - mix it around. If the juice doesnt cover the peaches add a little water to just cover them.

sprinkle over a teaspoon of cinnamon powder - you don't need to mix it in

Pour on the boxed cake mix making sure to cover everything, poke a few holes in it so the juice can come through when cooking. Add 1 cup of butter dotted over the top and a sprinkle of cinnamon for good luck
Bake 180 for about 25 mins or until brown and crispy

Serve it hot with ice cream and then the following day serve the left overs in your goodbyn - it was just as nice cold as it was hot!

Also in the goodbyn today - a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion and sliced left over beef. Plus a serving of dried apple.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Balancing Act

Sometimes it is hard getting back on track after the holidays.  The kids get used to the junk food that seems to be abundant during this time of year.  Trying to give your child, husband or yourself something healthy AND something that is enjoyable can be hard sometimes.  Especially right after Christmas.  It is all about balancing the good for you foods with the treats.  Let's face it, we all like a treat now and then.

Today's lunch is one of the staple meals that I KNOW my son will not complain about.  An empty lunchbox at the end of the day is a happy belly.  Of course, it is all about using those leftovers too!  When I make spaghetti sauce, I normally make enough so that the boys (son and husband) can take some pasta with them the next day.  Spaghetti and meat sauce, sliced cucumber, carrots, dill pickles and a Babybel cheese round.

For the balance...he THINKS he is getting a treat with the Crush yogurt.  It is something fun for him to eat yet healthy.  I would rather not have the litter in the lunch but he does bring home his containers for washing and recycling.  The granola bar too is something fun he normally doesn't get in his lunch.  It is still a treat but has some healthy aspects to it.  Now for the full treat.  Two bought.  For shame I know.  But with all of the holiday cooking I have done recently, I do not feel like baking...this is going to have to do.  I have a 9 year old boy who eats like a horse and has low blood sugar problems, so on occasion I have to put another small snack on the side.  Today I put in giant Goldfish crackers for him to munch on in class. 

For those concerned about the tomato sauce staining the Goodbyn, don't sweat it.  I have had this box for over a year now and NO staining at all.  If you wanted to reheat the spaghetti (my son likes his cold, straight from the Goodbyn) I would suggest putting it into a different container.  Nena has posted about these awesome Wean Cubes that fit perfectly into the Goodbyn and can be removed for a quick reheating. 

Happy New Year everyone!  Let's get back on track!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Today is the day the company I work for decided to take off for the New Year holiday.  So as it’s technically a holiday for me . . . I didn’t want to ruin it by waking up and making lunches for the kids.  :-D

I did wake up early though, because I have lots to do.  One of which is to help get our food budget back on track for the new year.  We tend to relax during the holidays by eating out more, which is perfectly fine for me because Jamie cooks almost every day and he certainly deserves a long break.  But when we put a pen to paper and figure how much we’ve spent—it hurts.  Especially when we realize we could have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner for six months on the amount of $$ we spent on eating out and random food shopping over the last two months. 

When we look at it like that . . . it’s not so difficult to jump back on track.

One thing we’ve learned that is crucial to eating well and maintaining our grocery budget is that food cannot be random.  We MUST plan a menu.  I’m completely jealous of the fab cooks who can walk into the kitchen and throw a meal together from what looks like nothing.  I have tried to do that, but I always end up with some variation of chicken & rice or tuna mac.  And mediocre chicken & rice or tuna mac at that!  So menus are important.

Luckily, this does NOT have to be a huge chore because there is SO much inspiration on the Internet!  I’m working on our menu for the week right now, so I’ll share my finds with you here.  I’m looking for ideas that will work well for dinner and then translate/transfer easily into a bento. 

MON Dinner/TUE Lunch:  Salad / Homemade Hot Pockets –

TUE Dinner/WED Lunch:  Quesadilla Pie –

WED Dinner/THU Lunch:  Lemon Rosemary Chicken / Green Beans / Croissants –

THU Dinner:  Leek Potato Soup / Salad / Bretzel Rolls –

FRI Lunch:  PB&J

SAT Dinner:  Homemade Pizza

SUN Dinner/MON Lunch:  Ehhh, I’ll work on that next Saturday night.  LOL

I’ve got my recipes printed, my next task is to put together a quick shopping list.  Jamie will mark the list for the items we already have and head to the store for the rest.  Now, it’s time to get some dough rising for tonight’s dinner . . .