I admit it. I am horrible at planning packed lunches – any lunches really. I can come up with a breakfast or dinner menu blindfolded but lunches are far more challenging for me. There are limitations that come with creating packed lunches including:
- No or limited refrigeration.
- No options for heating up a lunch.
- A 30 minute lunch break window which means you need to pack lunches with no assembly required.
- Lunches need to be healthy and balanced but also appetizing so that kids and picky adults will actually eat them and not opt for vending machine selections.
- Everyone gets tired of eating the same old things day after day.
I have decided to tackle my lunch-making challenges by researching and creating a new lunch recipe each day for this entire week. I will need help with this so please send me your ideas.
For my first featured lunch selection in The Great Lunch Recipe Challenge, I created Bean Burrito Mini Roll-ups. Beans are an excellent choice for any meal because they are high in protein and fiber. Black beans are naturally low in sodium but high in iron, phosphorous, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium and manganese which contribute to building and maintaining healthy bones. Combining a bean burrito roll-up with fresh Asian pears, roasted almonds, carrot sticks and homemade gluten-free brownies creates a healthy and balanced packed lunch.
Bean Burrito Mini Roll-Ups
- 1 (15 oz) can of drained and rinsed black beans – can substitute 1 1/2 c. of cooked homemade black beans
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (omit seeds if too spicy for kids)
- 1 avocado – mashed
- 1/2 bunch green onions – sliced
- 1/2 c. black olives, sliced
- 1 c. queso fresco cheese, crumbled
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (omit if too spicy for kids)
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 Tbl sp lime juice
- 1 Tbl sp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 Tbl sp plain, Greek yogurt
- 4 large spelt tortillas
- Add beans, garlic, jalapeno, salt, pepper, hot sauce, lime juice, vinegar, spices and yogurt to food processor or powerful blender like a Vitamix and blend until smooth.
- Spread black bean dip on top of a large, spelt tortilla.
- Top it with mashed avocados, olives, green onions and crumbled queso fresco cheese.
- Roll up the tortilla and slice it twice – diagonally – to make three, easy to handle, mini- roll-ups.
This recipe makes 4 large burritos that can be cut into 12 mini roll-ups.