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Kids lunch ideas with Sargento cheese slices!

Sponsored by SargentoFirst of all I have to say picking kids lunches can be tough! We want to offer them healthy and nutritious foods but truthfully those end of in the garbage at school or comeback gross and soggy in their lunch kit.

For those who don’t know I have a 21 year old too so I have been doing this for a LONG time! I realized giving the kids a choice of quality items made them feel like they got what they picked. Instead of asking “Do you want a peanut butter and jam sandwich or this collard green wrap?” I would ask “What type of cheese do you want to pick for your greens wrap?”. Another thing I found is my kids always ate what they made. There was something there to be proud about and it helped them experiment with so many new things!
So on to a few lunch ideas that we use!
While many kids love the flavor of the mozzarella, mild cheddar and Colby Jack we mixed it u with a few of King’s faves. He is a huge cheese fan so he loves every type of slice we buy. Of course you can use any Sargento cheese that your family loves! Also, under no way are we a no bread family. King takes a classic turkey and cheddar sandwich to lunch too! We just like having alternatives.

Grapes and Cheese slices on Skewers
Anything on skewers makes my kids so darn happy! Not only do they love making them (even Apple gets totally involved) but they love to eat them.
We did grape and gouda + 2 cheese blend Sargento cheese slice wrapped with turkey slices. The trick is wrap your cheese slice into the meat slice so it stays nicely on the skewer.
Melon and Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto
Another awesome simple to make item is cantaloupe with any Sargento cheese slice of choice wrapped around and held in place with prosciutto.
These also make the best adult tapas if you drizzle reduced balsamic on them. I snuck a couple to enjoy with a glass of wine!

Next up is Collard Greens Wrap.

These sound scary to some that are worried about something being green but let me say they are soooo good! I know many of you see on my stories we use them as a wrap staple in our house.
It really is as easy as picking your favorite sandwich toppings and wrapping hem in the nice mild and hearty green leaf. I like using these because they do not fall apart easily in the kids hands. I do a tight burrito fold and they are good to go!
We used a roasted chicken, pickles, Sargento 2 cheese blend slice, carrots for added crunch and my chipotle mayo. (recipe here of the mayo)
I like to add tomatoes to mine and sauerkraut or hummus!


Last but not least are the egg bites!
These absolutely awesome grab and go bites are perfect for breakfast on the run or as a school lunch.
In a muffin tin you need to spray with a non-stick. I prefer coconut oil spray.
Layer your meat slice of choice in the tin.
Depending on size of your tin crack in 1 or 2 eggs.
Add cheese slice of choice and anything else you may want. (tomato, cooked potato, a meat chunk, mushrooms… really whatever)
I made a layered scalloped potatoes with cheese slices and ham so I scooped some of that in 1/2 our batch and the rest we did cheddar and tomato.
Cook at 350* for 22-30 minutes. My oven takes 30 minutes for these larger tins.
Hope you get some fresh ideas from this and you will be bringing the kids in the kitchen more!
It really is a great way to spend quality time with your kids in an electronic fueled world.
To learn more about Sargento cheeses and locate a retailer near you

Veggie Rice bowl with Easy Cilantro & Avocado Dressing

This cilantro dressing is one of my favorite light flavor dressings. You can use either fresh or frozen avocado for it. It lasts about 10 days in the fridge well sealed. ( I use my WEAN GREEN linked HERE)
For this post I used Right Rice a rice alternative but you can use any preferred rice or even a greens bottom. For your bowl place cooked rice in bottom and simply layer any of your favorite vegetables on top. I always add Kimchi to mine as the spice and zing added to the bowl works perfect!
My rice bowl had avocado, shredded beets, cherry tomatoes (salt these before adding to bowl), sprouted micro greens, red pepper, kimchi and arugula.
Note : using the fresh lemon and lime really makes a difference! It has a brighter flavor and also a healthier option. I also do not add oil to this dressing so the taste is cleaner however, if you want the added oil instead of water use grape seed.
Easy Cilantro & Avocado Dressing
Ingredients :
1 cup fresh Cilantro
1 large ripe Avocado
2 Jalapeno slices
1 fresh Lime juiced
1/2 fresh Lemon Juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup water (this is to help whip)
Place in vitamix, bullet or similar blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Taste before removing. If you need add more lemon or salt to suit your personal flavor.

Chipotle Aioli Recipe

As promised I am uploading my chipotle aioli recipe in partnership with Best Foods Mayonnaise.
This aioli is perfect for burgers, as a dip for grilled potatoes or roasted vegetables. It is the easiest thing to make yet packs so much flavor and punch for dishes. I keep mine in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
1 can Chipotles (7 oz size is what I buy)
1.5 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise (use anyone you prefer)
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/8 cup Lemon Juice (fresh preferred)
Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.



Caper & Dill Hearty Potato Salad Recipe

A very easy and very flavorful potato salad I have ben making for years!
Ingredients needed :
2-3 pound red or yukon gold potatoes
2 cups mayonnaise ( I prefer Best Foods Classic)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup capers
2 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup sliced dill pickles
5 hard boiled eggs (prefer an 11 minute boil for this)
1/8 to 1/4 pink Himalayan sea salt  teaspoon salt (this can vary to your taste)
In large pot fill with water and add salt. Bring to boil. (Salt is important to add to all vegetables boiling water!)

Chop potatoes into slightly larger than bite size pieces.

Boil potatoes until tender. Remove and place on tray in fridge to cool.

Meanwhile prepare dressing for salad. Combine in medium bowl mayonnaise, green onion, radishes, dill, capers, dill pickles mustard and paprika. Let sit in fridge 30 minutes while potatoes cool to increase flavor.
Rough chop egg and add to large bowl with both potatoes and dressing. Lightly fold all ingredients until well mixed without breaking up potatoes. Check for salt needed as capers add salt to this mix .. you can add desired amount. I typically add about 1/4 teaspoon.


You can enjoy right away or leave in fridge covered to add more flavor.

Sun-dried Tomatoes

Since I had started a garden I ended up with an excess amount of tomatoes! I decided to try making my own sun dried tomatoes. I can not believe how tasty these are when you make them at home!!
Slice tomatoes 1/4″ thick
Spray a VERY light layer of coconut oil spray on baking sheet.
Lay tomatoes on sheet and salt lightly with pink Himalayan sea salt.
Place out in sun.
I did not need to cover mine up as in our area there are not flies or bugs that are attracted to these. If you need layer a light fine mesh over tray.
Depending on heat and sunshine these will be dried in 1- 3 days. (could be slightly longer in your area) We had 110* heat last week and mine were ready in 36 hours but this week being just under 100* they took just over 48 hours.
Once dry pack into a jar and cover with high quality olive oil.
These are shelf stable and perfect for salads, pasta or eating their own.


Cooking with Carmen!

I had taken a break from blogging for sometime after feeling a little uninspired. Throughout this time I continued to share my life on social media and love doing so! Something that always gets people interacting and asking me to post more of is my cooking.
A little background about me and cooking.
When I was 16 I moved out on my own. I knew how to peel potatoes and do some basic prep of vegetables but really was clueless to the actual cooking. I started burning pots and pans like a wild fire and had so little money I was hitting up garage sales for more because I couldn’t afford new at the rate I killed them. It wasn’t until I almost started the kitchen on fire that I learned the low and high wasn’t cooking speed. Since I was always the type of person who felt getting things done quick was good I used max cooking speed aka HOT AS SHIT!
Eventualy, I started to watch cooking shows and my non cable TV.  Let me tell you Canadian cooking shows on free TV were not like they are now! Soooo basic!! I also couldn’t afford most food items they used so I had to learn to improvise. This was the start to my success in the kitchen!
Fast forward to 2017 when I was thrown into a commercial kitchen as part of a job description I did not originally accept but was up for the challenge for! Now today I create food items for a restaurant menu and cocktails for a bar.
So here is the start of my new look on Carmen the Modern Mom… I will be helping you cook with ease! I try and eat sugar free as much as possible ( and this doesn’t mean diet sugar that is a NO! in my cooking!) and use what is in season. I also try and make meals without breaking the bank yet they taste like you went the extra mile for guests! So I hope y’all enjoy!
PS. It sure is a change when I now have to write measurements down for these recipes! I am totally a fly by the seat of my pants cook!

Hope you all enjoy!

family food

Kabrita Goat Milk Yogurt

I’ve teamed up with Kabrita to share Apple’s favorite yogurt! If you have followed along the blog and my social media you will know we love their goat milk formula. 

I love the brand because they care about ingredients and the best part is goat milk is easy on the little ones tummies. Goat milk sounds so crazy and hippy! When people ask what she drinks or when I have friends see her yogurt packs I find myself explaining that it’s actually a sweet mild taste and not totally nuts to use. It’s easier to digest and who doesn’t want that? I myself had a milk allergy when I was young so this would have been a great alternative I’m sure! (I remember putting orange juice on my cornflakes sometimes! Tang to be exact!)

Kabrita yogurt comes in convenient packs that your little one can suck. When Apple was younger I added it to rice cereal and fed it off the spoon.

Yes! He really is taking a sip of her yogurt! haha

3 flavors include – Banana & Vanilla Bean, Mango Peach, Mixed Berry

I couldn’t stop photoing her! She was so super cute in her yellow dress.

Check out Kabrita’s formula  trial offer HERE 

Use code Carmenthemodernmom to SAVE 15% off your regular price purchase.

This post was sponsored. All opinions are mine.

family food

Kabrita Goat Milk Formula and Yogurt…

I know… your first instinct is what?? She breastfeeds! How does formula fit her blog??

While I do breastfeed, I hate pumping!

I like having breastmilk to mix Apples cereal with. I also seem to never have enough left for the times I want to run out to Costco, grocery shopping alone or errands when I want to leave Apple with daddy. I’ve used formula for the boys for these times before and was planning on doing the same for Apple. However, little miss fussy would not take anything other than breastmilk!! She is my picky little gal!!

During a family fun fest event I was lucky enough to run into Kabrita. They were showing their formula and handing out samples. I scooped up a container of formula to try thinking there was no harm. Once I got home I read up on what was involved with making this goat milk formula and why they called it toddler formula. After some research I found out that the nutrition was there for my lady Apple and I decided to give it a try in her pablum. She gobbled it up as if I used breastmilk! (Other milks she refused and water was even harder to get her to take.) Now you’re probably thinking that is a sales line!! I promise it is not!! After the success with breakfast I decided to see if he would take a couple ounces in a bottle. (For those few times I want to leave her). SHE DRANK IT!! I no joke freaked out excited and ran to the office where Kurt was working to say I was never pumping again. LOL! I hate pumping. Clearly.

After the success and love for the formula I decided to reach out to Kabrita to sample their other products. They do a goat milk and fruit pack line. Apple loved the yogurt packs too!

 *I find the yogurt packs to be more of a smoothie consistency. They can be easily sucked out of the pack or fed by spoon. If you want to spoon feed and need them slightly thicker add baby cereal like rice or oatmeal.

 Notes :
I tasted the formula and it is sweet and smooth. I believe this is why Apple has been ok with drinking it.
Goats milk is easier to digest often over cows milk
GMO free 
I love their transparency as a company and easy to read website

**While I have used this for the odd bottle for Apple at an age earlier than 12 months, it is labeled as Toddler Formula. Made for babies over one year. I am not giving advice to use this prior. Please see Nutrition Comparison below. My desperation and hate for pumping is what made me decide to use this for the occasional bottle and baby cereal.

I can not wait to hear them launch the infant formula for moms who want options away from cows milk.
For all the Canadian Mama’s out there wanting this, I asked and found out they are working on having it tested and approved for Canada! yay!!!!
To trial the Kabrita line yourself or read more
click HERE
 All opinions and reviews were those
 of  Carmen the Modern Mom