Manic Monday – Paleo Chicken Salad

Paleo Chicken Salad

Lunch has to be my least favorite meal. I just don’t know what to make half the time. I don’t want to cook a full meal, but I need to feed four people. These little kiddo of mine are getting more of the big kid appetites. Day after day…What in the world am I going to feed you little people, rolls across my mind. I was looking through “the pinterest” and happened across a club chicken salad. Lost that recipe and had to do what I do best… Making things up as I go.

On a funny side note…As I sit here blogging and realizing how many times I say that, I can see a whole line of cookbooks… “Paleo Stuff that I make Up.” “Still Making Stuff Up.” or “Making Stuff Up, Too Paleo, Too Fast.” Okay maybe that last one is a little silly… But I do dare to dream.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Package of Chicken Tenderloins (The strips…Or go ahead and cut up the breasts yourself.)
  • 1 Package of Bacon (I do Simple Truth or Oscar Mayer Selects without nitrates and such.)
  • Green Onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Homemade Mayo (Check out my previous blog: https://acommonsensecook.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/paleo-mayonaise/)
  • Lettuce Wraps (Or bread if you do bread. The kiddos enjoyed it as a sandwich.)

Cut up your bacon into small pieces and add them into a pan. Let them get into the cooking about 5 minutes before adding the pieces of chicken. Spread them out into one layer letting the bacon be in between the pieces. Let cook until a little brown on each side…This shouldn’t take much longer than 15 minutes. If you want to make sure it’s cooked through, go ahead and cut one open.

To make the cutting into bite size pieces easier, use a pair of kitchen scissors. Cut them into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Now…This is super simple. You can add many more things that you like into this. You could even add the salad part. ^__^

For the kiddos, I added some plantain chips with some golden raisins. They enjoyed their sandwich and all of them finished. I would feel good sending this in their school lunches and would be confident that they would eat it without Mommy supervision.

I hope you’ll try this out. Feel free to share any other great ingredients we could include in this in the comments below. Don’t forget you can come chat with me on Instagram (thecommonsensecook), Twitter (@AmiLeePhotos), and Facebook (a link is on the side bar >>>). You can also see that I like a lot of things other than cooking! LOL Make sure you come back next time to see what I can figure out for lunch next.

-Ami M. Lee, Lunch Packer, Bacon Lover, Common Sense Cook

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Common Sense Philosophies – School Lunches

Kiddo Lunches

Today was a wonderful learning day. I have two kiddos going to kindergarten this year. My oldest fell under birthday rule, while my middle kiddo did not. I am all about being prepared way in advance. So here we are, getting prepared for school lunches!

I bought these great little containers last year for a picnic. I thought they’d be great to hang on to for when they kids go to school. They’re silicone with a plastic lid. They can fold up, or expand when food is in it. They are dishwasher safe. I’m still trying to figure out how to get them in a cooled lunch box because of the shape…But we’ll get there eventually.

So what did I put in my kids’ lunch box? Well…It started off like this.

Kiddos Grocery Shopping

I let these three cutie patooties push their own mini-cart around the store and pick out what they wanted to eat for lunch. We picked up things like almond butter, dried fruit, and more. It was a little crazy because I had to constantly remind them to watch where they were going, but they had a blast and most people just smiled from ear to ear.

So….back to what I put in it. As a paleo (AIP) mom, I know that in the media there have been many parents come under heavy fire for what they send in their kids’ lunch boxes. I am not half as strict on my kiddos as I am on myself, for one. I leave occasional wheat based products (usually of higher quality) in their diet so that if they do slip up, they are not as gravely affected as I am. I did have a time where I was very strict, and my kiddos ended up getting very sick if they were anywhere but eating at home. In some paleo circles, this is just unacceptable, but for me…80/20 paleo is important to us for our kids and leaving in a little gluten allows them to have those occasional conventional treats with other family members.

For these lunch boxes I packed a pretty well rounded meal (in my opinion only). There are some carrots with ranch (not shown) because my kiddos can devour some carrots. We have some amazing dried strawberries with some walnuts. Finally, we have two sandwich halves that are oatnut bread and almond butter.

I look for a few things when compiling this lunch box. I’m looking for protein, vegetables, a healthy source of fruit or sugar, and healthy fats. Almond butter (as many nut butters do) have a good amount of protein. My kiddos love carrots and they keep well, so that is a great veggie to be able to send. The fruit is small, dried, and stable to be refrigerated or not. Then, the healthy fats are in the extra walnuts with the dried strawberries. I don’t look (or care) about the “whole grains” part because it is not a staple of our diet (another philosophy for another time).

You may be asking…Where is the dairy at? My youngest kiddo is severely lactose/casein intolerant. We do coconut and almond milk from time to time. I occasionally do high quality, raw, local cheese for the family. However, I am just not comfortable with having it under light refrigeration (via a cooling pack) over the course of many hours. I am wanting to look at the ability of a thermos that could help keep liquids cold for an extended period of time…But that’s still in the works.

This was an amazingly fun project to do with the kids. I think they really enjoyed picking out their lunch foods, and they’ll be really surprised this afternoon when they get to have all of the amazing things that they picked. Here’s the jist of what I learned from this experience:

  • Get your kiddos involved. Make sure to ask them what they would like, and if it’s available to you, let the kids do the shopping.
  • Pick your containers in advanced so that your kids can practice how to use it, and the general “rules” of eating at school. Such as, eat your sandwich and carrots before you eat your fruit treat.
  • Know what is most important to you on their plate while considering what the conventional guidelines are.
  • Look for the basics such as protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. (If you’re family does dairy and/or whole grains, know what the good/healthy ways to send these are.)
  • Keep experimenting.

I hope you enjoy this post. I had so much fun doing it and can’t wait till I can figure out some more lunch combos as we get closer to the big day. If you have kiddos, what are their favorite things to take to school for lunch? I’ll be sure to share more as we experiment.

-Ami M. Lee, Lunchtime Experimenter, Whole Food Lunch Giver, Common Sense Cook