Julie’s Lunchbox

 

 

 

 

Julie’s Lunchbox

is about always being prepared with having food with you whenever you leave the house, whether it be to run errands or to go to work.

If you have small children, I think it’s vitally important to always have food with you.  And not just food, but water and/or other beverages as well.  Even if I were to just run to the bank to make a deposit, I will take something with me to drink.  I also keep a few healthy snacks with me in my pocket book at all times so that if I am out and about, and I get hungry, I have something to snack on and I am not dependent on some fast food, or junk food to choose from.  Even if I just grab a plum or nectarine on my way out the door, I am prepared.

On My Way Out The Door

Living here in Florida we experience some very hot summers, autumns, and springs.  Being out in that kind of weather can be very dangerous as we can become dehydrated in a short period of time.

In this case I am on my way out the door to the condo.

Hence, my lunch.

I do have a nice sack lunch, don’t I?

Spam Musubi, crab salad on some wheat crackers, a mango for dessert and my favorite Cranberry Ginger Ale.

I always have my’ Made in Japan’ vintage binoculars with me.  Aren’t they pretty?  I bought them at a thrift store for about $6.00.  They retail on Ebay for around $50.00.  I always have them with me.  We are surrounded by ocean here so you never know when you might see a dolphin and want a closer look.

So this is my very fun and creative way that I love to carry food around with me wherever I go.

I think it’s fun to make it as simple or as elaborate as I choose to do.  Here are few of my ideas and even some recipes for nice lunches and snacks for you to try as well.

But before I get started, it just wouldn’t be Julie’s Lunchbox without this famous face from my past.  Cue the angels singing…..

Bobby Sherman Lunch Box_small

It’s Bobby Sherman!!!

Isn’t he like the lunchbox ‘Pop Star’ founding father?

Cause’ I’m pretty sure he is.  🙂

Bobby Forever_small

Bobby Forever!

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cookie purse_small

Shhhh…  You can even tuck some green tea cookies in your purse to eat while you sit watching that wedding.  🙂

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So join me as I fill this page with plenty of foods to go inside

Julie’s Lunchbox

Oh, for the recipes above, the SPAM MUSUBI and the CRAB SALAD that I have in my sack lunch, just check out our:

Weekend Spamin’

How to’s on making these two delicious items for your Lunchbox.

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Shoebox Lunchbox

Car Lunch, equip with 60’s headbands, the American flag, various peace signs, AND the soundtrack to DICK!

What’s inside?  Hello Dollies, of course!

Hello Dollies_small

Hello Dollies Recipe

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Crocheted Tote from 70s_small

My Great-Aunt Margie crocheted this for me back in the 70’s.

A great tote bag that I carried around plenty of sweets in.  Sometimes, I still do. 

 

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Out the Door Early

Anything can be a lunchbox.  Here I’ve added some chicken spring rolls to one of my Japanese bento boxes.  This lunch is a favorite of mine.  Sometimes I like to include an orchid, just to make me smile.

Konnichiwa,

Julie

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Sushi Anyone?

More Bento Boxes

   The prefect little lunch container, wrapped in a napkin with chopsticks inserted.

I love orchids, I always have them around.

It is my birthday flower in Astralasia, but here in America it is the violets.  Which is fine because I love both of them.

Putting a flower in my lunchbox to me, is just that extra special something that I enjoy.

Don’t forget to have plenty of fruit on hand to add to your lunchbox.

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This is so delicious!

pasta bowl option_small

Gordon made the best Asian infused pasta salad.  Just something that he had created by using things in our kitchen.  I love pasta salads but what I especially love about this one is that it has a kick to it.

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I decided that I wanted to take it with me as a lunch so I got out an old Asian Moon Cake tin that I had lying around.

i kept the dividers_small

I still kept the foil insert that came with the tin when I bought it.  I like the sections.  That way I can have my Asian Infused Pasta Salad in one section, some rice crackers in another, my nectarine and cherry’s in yet another, and my spoon in the last one.

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Asian Infused Pasta Salad

1 – 16 oz. pkg Radiatori Pasta
¾ Cup Miracle Whip
½ Cup Grated Carrots
3 Celery Stalks chopped
½ Cup Sweet Pickle Relish
1 1/2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
3 Tbsp Rice Wine
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Black and or White Roasted Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar (Brand: Agave in the Raw – (Organic Agave Nectar))
* ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Boil the pasta per directions or for about 11 min. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Once cool, place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Taste the seasonings and mixture and adjust per your liking.
* TIP: You could substitute some Wasabi paste for the Cayenne Pepper to give it even more Asian infusion.

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My Handmade Asian (Lunch) Box

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I decoupaged this beauty a few years ago by using some graphics I got off the internet. 

I simply painted the box a neutral color and then decoupaged the graphics on to it.

Asian Lunchbox_small Green tea wasabi peas and crispy rice treats_small Green tea things_small

I use it for whatever I want but here I used it to carry mine and Gordon’s lunch one weekend when we ran our errands.

Julie Gordon lunch_small California sushi_small

Snake thing to the left, and California sushi, to the right.

We like making our lunch interesting as well as delicious.

Konichiwa!

Julie

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Moon Cake

This is one of the tins that I bought at the Asian Supermarket.  I bought two, I kept one and I gave this one as a gift.

Anything can be a Lunchbox

I would also use the bag that the moon cake came in as a lunchbox.

My Bento Boxes and Chopsticks_small snack bento box with chopstick holder_small

My fortune_small

In addition to the bento boxes for carrying around my lunches, chopsticks also come in their own cases as well.

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our hawaii plate lunch spread_small

Whann Way Aloha

Above, is our Plate Lunch feast Recreation from Whann Way Aloha, if you would like to take a look.

Below, are all the fun leftovers that we love so much from this great feast.

This is a light dinner of fried noodles, and even some friend noodles to take for a lunch the following day.

A Mini Plate Lunch

Same foods as in photo above, just smaller portions.  I don’t like a lot of food for lunch anyway.

I’m also very excited that I found this great sugar-free Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

For the recipe for this excellent fried noodle bowl:

You’ll find it on:

Whann Way Aloha

My Hawaiian tapa cloth lunch tote with all my goodies.

Happy Lunch!

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1 Lunch at the condo with Tippi_small

Lunch With Tippi

(Anything can be a lunchbox.  Next to my pocketbook is my “lunch tote”.  I got it as an early Christmas gift.  It’s an Estee Lauder cosmetic bag.)

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So What do you Think?

Here is my lunch with Tippi.

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I see no reason why I can’t “Christmas” my lunch up and make it more enjoyable. 

It is December, after all. 

It may just be a chicken salad sandwich on the best seeded bread ever, and red potato salad, my guilty pleasure some fat free Ruffles, and my favorite Gingerale soda.  The baubles are just little accents that to me, make my lunch just a little more special.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed setting this up.

A little Condo Picnic Just for Me

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Now that lunch is over it’s time to freshen up.

 

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Shoebox Snack and a Movie

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This is a shoebox that my daughter was about to put into recycling when I saw the potential and grabbed it!  It is a beautiful box!  So I added some pretty tissue paper and some Asian snacks for my nieces, and a DVD.

  Perfect Snack and a Movie

Flower Drum Song candy_small top with candies_small

I even topped off the shoebox with some lychee flavored candies.

Shoebox gift snack_small

Tie off with a pretty (headband) ribbon, and you have a very nice shoebox snack/gift.

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A Cosmetic Bag Full of Licorice

A tote bag full of licorice_small Tote bag full of licorice 2

For My Daughter, Veronica

Not all lunchboxes are filled with sandwiches.

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Lunch on the Go in a Basket Purse

Visiting our daughter Veronica at her house.

lunch at Veronicas_small

This is what we did with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

taking turkey salad with us_small

Turkey Salad to go_small

Turkey Salad on the Go and to Give as a Gift

Turkey Salad Recipe:

(and my chicken salad for that matter)

Understand that I eyeball everything.  No measurements here.

Chop Everything:

turkey

onions

celery

pickle relish

hard boiled eggs

Then add your:

ground black pepper

mayo

yellow mustard

Tabasco sauce (a few dashes)

pickle juice to sweeten

Most of the time I prefer eating it on really nice crackers instead of making a sandwich out of it.

Turkey crackers_small

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Pretty Baskets to Carry Our Lunch

Julie basket lunch park_small

Lunch on a Park Bench

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Park, Delicious Lunch

It had been raining so we used all our beach towels to sit on.  I always keep them in my car.

The delicious whole wheat bread that we bought from Fournos Bakery and Cafe in Tarpon Springs for our Tzatziki chicken salad.

Tzatziki Chicken Salad

This is so good!  We made it with Greek yogurt.  The dill in this is perfection!

Recipe:

-One Rotisserie Chicken (we used a lemon pepper one)

-Plain Greek Yogurt, about 2 1/2 Cups

-1 Medium Sized Cucumber Grated

-1/2 Cup of Chopped Red Onion

-2 Minced Garlic Cloves

-Juice of One Whole Lemon

-2 Tablespoons of Chopped Fresh Dill

-1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

-1/2 teaspoon of Lemon Pepper

-1 teaspoon Lemon Rind

Now you just combine all the ingredients being sure to grate the lemon rind before you juice the lemon.

We topped chicken salad with some lemon pepper and some fresh dill as a garnish.

Serve with a nice healthy bread or you can use pita chips.

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Light and Delicious!!!

Greek Pasta Salad

We also chose this Greek Pasta Salad as part of our Picnic

Recipe:

-1 15 oz. can of Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed

-1 box of Penne Pasta, about 8 – 12 oz.

-2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, Chopped

-1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped

-1/2 Cup Shallots, Chopped

-3/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

-2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

-1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

-Grated Lemon Rind (to taste).

-Pinch of Salt

-1/4 teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper

-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

First you want to cook your pasta until al dente, follow package instructions.  When pasta is ready then drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat you want to add your olive oil and your shallots and garlic.  Saute for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Next stir in your red bell pepper and chickpeas sauteing for an additional 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next you want to add your tomatoes and saute an additional 2 more minutes.

Next you want to add your penne pasta and cook through an additional minute or so until thoroughly heated.

Remove from heat and add your feat cheese, herbs and the remaining ingredients.

Refrigerate when done.

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A Vintage Hat Box Can be a Lunchbox

This one houses a salad with all the crunchy fixin’s.

lunch chicken salad sandwich with Asian snacks_small

This one contains my chicken salad on pumpernickel with some Asian snacks.

Some of my car snacks_small

This box is filled with lots of Asian snacks should I get hungry on trips.

While this one I’m able to carry about with me.

Lunch carry tote basket_small

Beach buckets are great for carrying my herbs with me on trips.  I carry the whole plant and I can water them without worry of water spilling out.  Then when I arrive at my destination, I simply place them on a windowsill to get some sunlight.

buckets for herbs_small more snacks for the car trip_small

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Muffins from home_small

Muffins From Home

If I am going to be traveling and staying over in some motel/hotel, then I like to bring my own continental breakfast and not be at the mercy of whatever they are serving.  This way I have control of my sugar and ingredient content.

I also bring my own coffee_small

I like to bring my own coffee too.  I’m funny that way.

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My Easter Beach Tote

Hey, it contains food too!

(Can’t remember what, but I know it’s there.)

And this one too!

ready for lunch at the beach_small

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Lunch at the Beach

My Beautiful View!

I was headed to the pool but then I detoured to the beautiful beach instead. 

I always stop at the sushi counters at the commissary and grocery stores to see what they have available.

The Hawaiian tote bag I bought at a thrift store for about $1.00.

Perfect!

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Beach Bucket Lunch

Beach Bucket Lunch

Can’t remember what’s inside but I do see an orange.

on the beach in Indian Shores

 

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Dessert On The Beach

dessert on the beach with sparklers_small

With Sparklers, Of Course

Dessert on the beach_small

Beachy 4th Gordon and Julie_small

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Portuguese Bean Soup

Portuguese bean soup Whann way_small

(Hand painted coconuts courtesy of me and a 5 year old Brodie.)

This is delicious and a soup that we learned of while living in Hawaii.

Portuguese bean soup for dinner_small tray of soup_small

This is delicious!

dinner and lunches_small

  We also made extra for lunches as well. 

lunches all week_small

For the Recipe:

Whann Way Aloha

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Carrying a snack around with us while we do some shopping.  In this case, we did some Thanksgiving food shopping.

lunch for Thanksgiving errands_small

 

savory pastries_small

These little savory pastries with their onion and chives always satisfy us when we are on the run.

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Of course I cannot remember what I had to eat in this old beach purse of mine, but I like carrying it and using it as a lunchbox.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I Have a “thing” for totes.  Some people like shoes, but I go barefoot, remember?  But I do love totes, purses, handbags, brief cases, cosmetic bags, train cases, etc.  Here are just a few of my ever expanding collection.  They do serve a very important purpose. 

I do use them often and sometimes I dress them up nice.

Nice healthy lunch for me.

  A sandwich with grilled veggies and fresh spinach leaves and basil leaves and goat cheese.  Also some pickles and olives.

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My “Brown” Food

Not every lunch has to be some fancy gourmet meal.  Most of the time I like a simple “brown” lunch.  A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, some stick pretzels and a few fortune cookies for dessert.

  Hits the spot for me!



 

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Nice healthy lunch

 

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A bucket keeps my thermos steady while I drive.

I use these beach buckets a lot.  They are very inexpensive and colorful and perfect totes.

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 LOVE these beautiful containers!

Sometimes I also carry hot tea or coffee with me.  Here I have my Great-Aunt Margie’s thermos that I inherited from her and some coffee cups from Disney. 

 

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      Spongebob Squarepants


The tote was my son’s when he was little and I use it sometime to carry my lunch.

Julie’s Chicken Salad

(I can only give you the ingredients that I use to make it.  I pretty much eyeball it to taste as I go).

– 1 whole chicken (Boil it until the meat is almost falling off the bone.  I use white and dark meat for this recipe.  All the flavor is in the dark meat.  Let the chicken cool, remove from the bones and chop into nice bite sized chunks.  Place them into a bowl. 

Add:

-Chopped celery

-Chopped onion

-2 Hard boiled eggs, chopped

-Miracle Whip or any kind of mayonnaise that you like to coat.

-Ground pepper

-Sweet pickle juice (A few tablespoons.  I just use whatever I have in the refrigerator).

-Pickle relish

-A few dashes of Tabasco Sauce

Just stir together and spread it on any good hearty bread or crackers.

        I love chicken salad!

 

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Remember to just make lunch fun!

Happy Eating,

Julie 

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A Tip From Julie

Can act as ice_small

Use Frozen Popsicles as Ice to Keep Things Cold

A family staying at our condo left behind all these popsicles.  We don’t eat them, so my first instinct was to either give them away or throw them away.  Then I got the idea to use them as the same way I would use the blue ice.  Throw them in a lunchbox when I go out the door.  They will keep things cold and then when I get back home, throw them back into the freezer for next time.

Before you get rid of anything, see if there is a use for it first.

Julie

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