i should be mopping the floor: Lunch Box Sandwich Alternatives

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lunch Box Sandwich Alternatives

Truth be told, making kids' lunches can be a major chore. And the worst part for me? Making a sandwich. Each kid wants a different kind, I'm pulling out my entire condiment shelf in the fridge, and well, don't get me started on the angular crust-cutting requests. And the worst? When 3/4 of that sandwich comes back home the next afternoon. 

The best ever alternative?? Savory frozen muffins (that I make ahead of time) that thaw by lunch. I love when I can throw those puppies into a lunch and be done! I try to keep a couple of dozen on hand to use when the sandwich frustration arises.

Pictured above are my boys' FAVE...

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup mini pepperoni (I like the Hormel kind)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
1½ cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Line two standard size muffin pans with liners or spray with cooking spray (I usually do this...less waste that way). Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano and sugar in a large bowl. Fold in green onions, pepperoni and one cup cheese. In a medium bowl, combine egg and oil and then whisk in buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture to the mixture and stir until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups about half full. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining cheese. 

Bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

After muffins cool, individually wrap in plastic and freeze in a large container (I use a tupperware container, but a freezer-style zip-loc bag would work, too). Place one or two muffins in a lunchbox and they will thaw and be ready for a hungry first grader by lunchtime. Makes 20 muffins.

Pictured above is one of our...

Corn Doggie Muffins

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
Two or three hot dogs, cut into thirds (about 1 1/2 inch pieces)
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine corn muffin mix, egg (beaten) and milk and set aside. Spray 6-8 spots of a muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.

Fill the muffin openings 1/3 full. Add a piece of the hot dog and sprinkle with a little cheese. Top with more mix, filling each tin about 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle with a little more cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden on the edges. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from tin. 

After muffins cool, individually wrap in plastic and freeze in large container (I use a tupperware container, but a freezer-style zip-loc bag would work, too). Place one or two muffins in a lunchbox and they will thaw and be ready for a hungry preschooler by lunchtime.

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  1. The pepperoni muffins sound great! I'm always looking for new lunch ideas. Found you at Polkadots on Parade & I'm your newest follower. Thanks for the ideas!

    -Michelle@Crazy For Crafts

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle! The pepperoni muffins are my fave...sometimes mommy has a couple for lunch, too!! Have a great day. Can't wait to check out your blog, too!


  2. Thanks for these recipes - these will be great - I've got some left over pepperonis and my kids will enjoy these little treats - by the way, love the look of your blog title, just beautiful

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet words! Yes, I always make these when I need to use up extra pepperonis...it's the perfect solution. I've even used the larger pepperoni slices and cut them in fourths, too. So glad you could stop by!

  3. These are fantastic ideas! My kids aren't really sandwich fans nor do they prefer hot lunches at school. It always leaves me stumped! These are some great new ideas to add to my list! Thanks.

  4. Isn't Bento fun?! I am going to have to make the corn doggies. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is SUCH a great idea! I have such a hard time coming up with new things to put in my boys lunch box. Cant wait to try the muffins. He is gonna love this!
    Found you at Polkadots on Parade!


  6. Great idea- love your blog name- Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

  7. You have some lucky kiddos! Yum! I bet they love their fancy lunches, no soggy sandwiches. ;-) Thanks for linking to Refresh Your Nest Friday and hope to see you back there tomorrow!

  8. These are awesome ideas!! So happy I found them! Do you think the pizza ones would work with whole wheat flour?

  9. Nearly everything can be made in muffins. I've made eggs with ham, cheese, etc. that are great for breakfast. You can make oatmeal bars, etc. Even meatloaf!