I love late summer. First, school begins soon! But, more about that later. More importantly, my garden is mature and fruitful, pun intended. (Tomatoes are a fruit, get it? ha!) I have more tomatoes than any family can consume. Therefore, I have been hunting for ways to creatively use them. I love baked fresh tomatoes. They have such a depth of flavor. I have seen variations on this recipe on pinterest and in various Paleo posts. I decided to create my own version. I’m such a rebel.
Speaking of rebels, I have an almost 5 year old daughter. I call her my little anarchist because she is always asking me why she has to do what I say, and why there are so many rules, and why why why…. She persistently skirts my rules with just enough manipulation to get away with it, most of the time. Needless to say, I can’t wait for school to start. She goes to a Montessori school and will be starting her 3rd year or in her words she will be an “extended day friend.” (It’s the equivalent to kindergarten.) I’m sure Maria Montessori would tell me that she is simply expressing her individuality, forming relationships, learning to follow rules, and acquiring many other important life skills. Which I’m sure is all correct, but being her mother is (as it should be) the biggest challenge in my life. I know that some of you are probably thinking “well, what do you expect when you decide to send her to Montessori!” Yes, well, you are correct. But, I just can’t see her sitting at a desk all day in a traditional classroom. It would just kill her spirit. Not to mention the fact that she would be in trouble 100% of the time. At present, she loves school and I want to keep it that way. I know the Montessori model does not work for every child, but it works for her. She has thrived over the past few years. She loves books. She is starting to read by herself, even teaching herself new words almost every day. Additionally, she is doing basic math in her head. So, thank you to her amazing teacher, Ms. Nancy! And, to me too, because I know I have done my fair share of agonizing book reads with her. Parents, am I right – it can take like 30 minutes to get through “Green Eggs and Ham” Phew, its rough, especially after a long day of whining and tantrums.
One of the biggest changes for us this school year will be packing a lunch. Last year she came home at noon, so we typically ate at home. But, this year, she’ll stay until 3. (I get giddy when I type that!) I have been religiously following the 100 Days of Real Food School Lunch Posts and I have learned so much. I even bought a product she recommends called a Warmable. It should arrive in a few days. I also did an extensive search for the best thermos. I have not had much luck with them in the past but hope it works out this time. I ended up with a Thermos brand, it got the best reviews on several sites. My plan is to pack her something warm at least 2-3 days a week. I know that if I let myself, I’ll get in a rut of last minute lunch prep. So, I’m going to try to get in the habit of setting a lunch schedule that includes hot meals. I recently read that after you do something 21 times, it becomes a habit.
Luckily, my daughter will eat just about anything. She loved these baked tomatoes. It would be great if the Warmable product was able to keep them at a food safe temperature until lunchtime because they are the perfect noon meal. They are full of vitamins and protein, and have a great flavor. I’m going to give it a try so, we’ll see how it goes! School starts next Wednesday. I can’t wait to start packing lunch!
Back to the tomatoes, they are super simple. Just cut the top off the tomatoes, scoop out the inside. I set my tomatoes in a muffin tin just in case they toppled over. Mine stayed put as I pressed them gently down to flatten the bottom. Whisk the eggs, drop in some basil, pour eggs into the tomato cups, then bake. Prep takes less than 10 minutes. Just like our bacon egg muffins, you could make these ahead of time and heat them up throughout the week for breakfast or lunch.
What is your favorite hot packed lunch go to?
Local Ingredient: Free range eggs from my CSA, tomatoes from my garden, basil from my herb garden.