Opening Day of Lunch Packing Season -- Juggling With JuliaYesterday was Opening Day for the lunch-packing season (aka the first day of school), and did it ever catch me by surprise.

For the past week, in our soccer- and volleyball-filled life, we had been eating take-out pizza, burgers, cold cereal, and lots of bagels. The occasional Caesar salad. Maybe one really yummy truly home-cooked meal of Rosemary Lemon Chicken.

As a fantastic-but-busy weekend rolled into Sunday night, I realized the direness of our food situation. The cupboards echoed their emptiness. The fridge boasted only a few eggplants (unpopular), a 1/2 gallon of soured milk (great for baking!), and lots of half-gone condiments.

I don’t normally stress over the school lunches that my kids pack for themselves.

But this was OPENING DAY! While normally, I keep an eye on the number of sugar-added foods, I insist on some sort of produce, and am both a water and milk pusher, this ought to have been something a little special.


Oh, it was special alright.

A Smithsonian-worthy “Classic 1970′s Lunchbox” kind of special.

Peanutbutter and Fluff
Canned applesauce
Potato chips
Granola bars

We didn’t even have enough bread for the sandwiches. Casey took his PB between 2 pancakes, which at least were made them from scratch that morning – with the aforementioned sour milk.

After they left for school, I finally made a trip to Market Basket, my first since they went back into business 2 weeks ago. $150 later, the fridge and cupboards are bursting.

Today was a much better  lunch day.
As far as I know. I left for work before they got up…

How’d your Opening Day go?


Purple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw

by Julia Robarts on August 24, 2014

in Salads/Sides, Vegetables

Purple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw -- Juggling With JuliaPurple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw. Look at that gorgeous array of colors. That’s my kind of rainbow. Beautiful AND edible :)

Eat the rainbow! Eat the rainbow!

Why is it we dietitians are always saying that? I’ll tell you.

It’s all about the phytochemicals – those tiny ninja butt-kickers that protect your insides.

Colorful fruits and veggies pack a whole lot of these little warriors. What exactly do they do? For one, phytochemicals protect vitamins and minerals so they can work more efficiently. Even better, they stop free radicals from damaging DNA and squash cancer-causing substances. Phytochemicals can even act on existing cancerous cells to prevent their growth. That’s some serious defense!

The more fruits and veggies you eat, and the greater the variety, the more phytochemicals there are to work their ninja magic. So keep chowing down on those gorgeous hues of purple, blue, red, orange, green, yellow, and even white.

Purple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw -- Juggling With JuliaPurple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw -- Juggling With JuliaToday’s recipe packs a truckload of colors and nutrients. Purple cabbage, red onion, carrots, cranberries, and apples bring with them flavonols, carotenes, indoles, and others. But that doesn’t matter if it’s not tasty. Which this is. SERIOUSLY TASTY. I happen to love slaw of any kind, so just to make sure, I made a huge batch and hoisted it upon family and friends for a week. While I failed to take photographic evidence, the verdict is…

…definitely delicious.

And simple, and gorgeous, and also it gets better with time. What more could you want?

Oh, right. How about the recipe :) Read on!

Purple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw
Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes     Cook time: None

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
black pepper to taste

1/2 head of purple cabbage, chopped (about 6 cups)
2 small carrots, grated
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 medium apple (sweet, like Gala or Empire), unpeeled, diced
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients with a whisk, and set aside. (*do this first so that your apples don’t brown before you’re ready to dress them).

In a mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onion, cranberries, and apples. Add the dressing and toss. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Purple Cabbage Cranberry Apple Slaw -- Juggling With Julia

Disclosure: I am a Cranberry Bog Blogger. Every few months, I receive a box of products, tips, and science bites from The Cranberry Institute. I am not required to use what they send, nor am I obligated to write a positive review, or any review at all. This recipe and all opinions stated within this post are my own. I used the dried sweetened cranberries they sent me as inspiration for this recipe.  If you’re interested in learning more about cranberries and their role in a healthy diet, click on the Cranberry Bog Blogger badge on my site.







Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate Chips

July 28, 2014 Breads/Quick Breads
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate Chips --  Juggling With Julia

Yesterday was a trying day. I was feeling low. To cure my foul mood, I came home and baked. Out came this amazing peanut butter baked oatmeal with chocolate chips. All better now Baking definitely soothes my soul. There is just something about mixing and measuring and scooping and stirring that works for me. Creating […]

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Lemon Garlic Green Beans

July 23, 2014 Salads/Sides
Lemon Garlic Green Beans -- Juggling With Julia

Simple, zesty, and fresh – that’s the best way to describe these amazing Lemon Garlic Green Beans. Straight off the farm these beans came, and a bit o’ pizzazz is all they needed to make them pop!They were the perfect addition to a simple meal of corn on the cob and steak. We had big […]

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No-Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites

July 20, 2014 Breakfast/Brunch
No Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites -- Juggling With Julia

Apparently, the thought of a sinless cookie appeals greatly to the masses The No-Guilt Banana Oat Chippies were a huge hit, and continue to cause excitement around the Internet. I say this gleefully, while simultaneously trying not to sound too excited, as if this is NBD and it happens, like, all the time. Which it […]

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Kale and Watermelon Salad with Feta

July 6, 2014 Salads/Sides
Kale and Watermelon Salad with Feta -- Juggling With Julia

Fast food? You betcha. I whipped this salad together in 5 minutes with kale I picked down the street. If not for Karen, my volleyball pal (check her out at the Healthy Green Flamingo), I might never have thought to put kale and watermelon together. As we hung out in the shade at last weekend’s […]

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Chicken and Bok Choy Soup with Scallion Pancakes

July 5, 2014 Chili/Soup/Stew
Chicken and Bok Choy Soup with Scallion Pancakes -- Juggling With Julia

Soup in July? Sure, and it’s all compliments of Hurricane Arthur, the wettest of wet blankets, who doused 4th of July celebrations up and down the entire East Coast. While I don’t mind missing the fireworks, I am a little put out that this morning’s walk was rained out. I’m not good at long stretches […]

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Spicy Sweet Shredded Cranberry Chicken

June 22, 2014 Main Meals
Spicy Sweet Shredded Cranberry Chicken -- Juggling With Julia

Give me a hearty “Heck, yeah!” if you love to be inside cooking dinner while it’s 80 and sunny outside. <crickets chirping> Yup, that’s what I thought. The thing is, we ‘rents are obligated to feed the ‘dents if we are to keep those pesky social workers off our doorstep. However, there are no rules […]

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