Mini-Cucumbers

A friend who works lunch duty at an elementary school recently asked me if I had seen mini-cucumbers in the produce section at the grocery.  She has been noticing them appear in kids’ lunch boxes.  Always up for trying something new, I added them to my shopping list.

They’re tiny, portable, cute, flavorful, crunchy and refreshing!  They range from the typical small-size gherkin up to restaurant-size pickles.

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I prefer mine quartered and lightly salted, though you could easily just chomp into them whole.  They taste like fresh cucumbers (obviously), but have the feeling of eating a pickle.

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The packaging varies.  Here are the bags from a couple of the varieties that I’ve purchased.  (One company is even non-GMO, which I opt for when available.)

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For Weight Watchers followers… good news!  Fresh cucumbers are 0P+.

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Chicken Wrap: Lunch for 5P+

Previously, I’ve confessed my fondness for wraps.  They are quick, versatile and (with the type I buy) low in Points Plus.  I’ll throw almost anything into my wraps.

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Today, it was leftover chicken (3 ounces for 3P+) from the whole chicken I baked yesterday, along with some mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and spicy mustard (all 0P+).  With carrots, a mini-cucumber and a side of my favorite veggie dip (30g for 1P+), it was a satisfying lunch… high in protein, low in carbs and enough fruits and veggies to make me feel full.

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This lighter lunch left room later in the day for the obligatory post-Easter Peeps.  In case you’re wondering, 5 Peeps for 4P+….

Thinking Outside the Sandwich

When my boys were younger, I’d often pack their lunches “in fours.”  Four of the following: protein, fruit, veggie, dairy, carbohydrate or treat.

To do this, I found square, air-tight containers and square silicon baking cups.  It was a way to send lunch without the usual sandwich at the center.  The boys’ appetites eventually outgrew the containers and I packed them away… until now.

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Recently, I’ve re-discovered how fun packing “in fours” can be.  Our daughter eats lunch away from home from time to time, so I broke out the containers once again.  Not only are they good for her, but they’re good for me too!  Depending on the day, it could make a large snack to hold me over while on the go.  Or it could be a light lunch in-between appointments, to keep my in control until snack time.

My favorites to pack:

  • Hard-boiled egg (2P+)
  • Toasted almonds (15 pieces for 3P+)
  • Carrot sticks (0P+)
  • Cubed cheese or cheese rounds (P+ vary)
  • Mini-pretzels (11 for 1P+)
  • Mini-marshmallows (20 for 1P+)
  • Toasted oat cereal (1/4 cup for 1P+)
  • Turkey pepperoni slices (17 slices for 2P+)
  • Sliced, salted cucumbers (0P+)
  • Dark chocolate chips (1 TBS for 2P+)
  • Grapes (0P+)
  • Popcorn (stovetop popped, 1/2 cup for 1P+)
  • Sliced apples – if eaten quickly, before they brown (0P+)
  • Crackers (P+ vary)

What items would YOU pack?  I’d love to hear some fresh ideas!