Ready for more packed lunch inspiration? I’ve partnered with my buds at LunchBots to share another simple packed lunch that’s a breeze to throw together using leftovers! Bonus: I’ve included a new family-friendly recipe for Paleo Ranch Dressing. As my older son constantly reminds me, “Carrot sticks just don’t taste the same if I can’t dip them in ranch dressing.” True enough.
Here’s the plan:
At dinnertime, bake a double batch of Paleo Comfort Foods’ Meat Loaf Muffins. As you wait for your meaty treats to finish cooking, blitz a batch of Roasted Garlic Autumn Root Vegetable Mash or pan-fry some Pressure Cooker Crispy Potatoes. You can also throw together a giant green salad with Paleo Ranch Dressing (hold your horses—the recipe’s coming right up!) if you so desire.
After dinner, store your leftovers and pack a couple of meatloaf muffins in a LunchBots container. Two muffins are the perfect serving size for my kids, but feel free to adjust the number according to your appetite. And yes, my kids like to eat ’em chilled. In fact, I suspect they prefer cold meat loaf to hot meat loaf. (Of course, if you prefer your muffins warm, heat them in the morning and keep them in an insulated thermal container ’til lunchtime.)
Throw in a few washed sweet peppers and blanched broccoli, too.
My kids insist on dousing their vegetables in a creamy dip, so I always try to include a little container filled with their favorite dipping sauce: Paleo Ranch Dressing!
This recipe was originally published in our cookbook, but I’m going to share it with you guys here today:
Makes 1 cup
- ½ cup Paleo Mayonnaise (or you can buy Primal Kitchen Mayo)
- ⅓ cup cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill, or 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ small garlic clove, minced (seriously, you don’t want to use a whole clove)
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. If desired, cover and refrigerate to thicken slightly before serving. This ranch dressing will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
If your kiddos want crunchy and salty snacks in their lunchbox, pack them some plantain chips. My kids also like Jackson’s Honest Chips. (Tip: Don’t add these snacks until the morning—otherwise, they’ll lose their crunch in the fridge.)
Add some fruit, and you’re all set!
C’mon—you can do this! I’ll be back soon with more on-the-go lunch ideas. If you can’t wait, refer to this nifty roundup of Paleo lunchboxes from years past, and then start packing!
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times– bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).11