Free lunch (box) Thursday and… Some like it hot

Easy lunch box ideas: BBQ pulled pork; raspberries; clementines; and peanut butter and banana on a flour tortilla

Finally feeling better!

Although I have to say, that while I didn’t enjoy being  feverish and yucky, I didn’t mind the excuse to do nothing but lay on the couch and watch West Wing on Netflix for endless hours.

Thankfully, I was back to normal in time to make a real dinner last night. Which didn’t mean I necessarily had a ton of time to make that happen. So I went with a family favorite — pulled pork.

It’s such an easy dish. I popped a large cast-iron skillet over high heat with a little canola oil in it. Then I tossed in a couple pork tenderloins and browned them on all sides. Then I put the whole thing in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.

While that cooked, I helped Parker with his homework (I had no idea that New Hampshire was a “province” before it was a state). Once the pork was done, I simply shredded it with a fork, then dumped on some barbecue sauce and tossed it well. Done.

This morning I asked Parker if he wanted the pulled pork in his lunch to be hot or cold. If hot, I’d warm it and pack it in a thermos with a bun on the side. He could assemble it when ready to eat. If cold, I’d make the sandwich for him and pack it as is.

I consider myself lucky that he often doesn’t care about the temperature of his foods. It makes it much easier to pack some items. And today he said cold was fine. Surprising, since it’s something like -10 F here, but whatever.

So that was the start of his lunch. Then I added fruit. But it somehow didn’t seem quite enough, so I also added half a banana wrapped in half a flour tortilla with peanut butter.

As for today’s free lunch gear giveaway… I have two cool food containers. The first is a salad-style box with a snap lid that includes a fork and knife. The other is a wide-mouthed thermos. The rules are the same — leave a comment before midnight and Parker will select a winner in the morning. Good luck!


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44 Responses to “Free lunch (box) Thursday and… Some like it hot”

  1. Sharon says:

    Would love the thermos and the box. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  2. Erin says:

    Parker’s lunch looks delicious today! I love pulled pork and raspberries are another fave!

  3. Becca says:

    This reminded me to go get clementines!…and to make more pulled pork, thanks!

  4. Alice says:

    We did the peanut butter truffles and there were smiles all around! I found a new use for the almond flour last night, when I found myself short on pastry, for the tops of my mini-chicken-pot-pies in the muffin pan. The almond flour made a nice topping. Glad you’re feeling better!


  5. Allison says:

    Cool thermos!

  6. Kerry says:

    This is my first time leaving a comment, although I’ve been following your blog for several months now. I love your creative and common-sense approach to creating healthy, varied meals using whatever’s around the house and whatever looks good at the market. My kids are 3.5 (very picky) and 1.5 (eats everything), and you’ve given me many ideas, so thanks!

  7. Amy Wytkewicz says:

    I love the included fork and knife in the clear container!

  8. Alice says:

    Who knew? This just in! Today is National Peanut Butter Day!
    Truffles anyone?

  9. cathy says:

    those are containers are so cool i hope i win 😀

  10. Stephanie G. says:

    Love the banana, peanut butter and tortilla idea! Will be adding that to my daughters’ lunches. Glad you’re feeling better.

  11. Beth says:

    Yum! I usually make bbq pulled pork (and chicken) in the crockpot. And I would eat it cold the next day, too. 😉

  12. AWirsch says:

    So, my kiddo does not start school until next fall (doesn’t mean I don’t love your lunch suggestions anyway!), but all the schools here are nut-free (and I don’t mean crazy-free). I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do…pb is a staple at our house! Seeing how often you pack pb for lunch reminds me that I need to explore other butters.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Well, there are a number of nut butter alternatives that most schools usually are OK with — sunflower seed and soy nut butter among them. You could introduce them now and see how they go over. But I often am using the peanut butter as glue as much as for flavor. And in that sense, cream cheese is a good alternative, too. In fact, peanut butter per 2 tablespoons has 190 calories, 8 grams of protein and 16.5 grams of fat, but the same amount of cream cheese has just 100 calories, 1/2 gram of protein and 10 grams of fat. So switching to cream cheese isn’t as unhealthy a choice as we often think it is. Just something to consider.

      • AWirsch says:

        Thanks for the pep talk. Yeah, I need to start introducing sunflower butter. I sooo want my kids to like cream cheese, but, alas, they don’t. They LOVE all other cheeses!

        • J.M Hirsch says:

          Not liking cream cheese could be considered criminal in my house. When I was a kid, the bagel was just a carrier for the cream cheese.

  13. Amy H says:

    My 5 year old is begging to take tomato soup in a thermos to school so he can dip his cheese sandwich in it… that thermos looks perfect for that!

    Thanks for the chance to enter, as always I love your lunch ideas :)

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      You know, I don’t think I’ve ever tried tomato soup on Parker. He generally doesn’t like tomatoes, but he loves to mess with me. So I bet if I gave it to him he’d love it.

      • Amy H says:

        My son acts like tomatoes are poison, but he inhales tomato soup :) I let him do his own “toppings” – some shredded cheese, soup crackers, goldfish crackers, etc. Cheese is his gateway if I want him to try something :)

        • J.M Hirsch says:

          Fascinating. Because Parker has the same reaction to tomatoes. Tomato soup is going into the rotation this weekend. Fingers crossed!

  14. Corina says:

    Love the salad lunch box! I always forget to pack silverware. We have tried your pulled pork recipe a few times and its become a favorite around our house too!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Glad it’s a hit. I was going to make breaded and baked cutlets from the tenderloins, but pulled pork was SO much easier. And probably more comfort food-ish.

  15. Maria says:

    Love that that box comes with utensils! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  16. Carolyn S. says:

    Nothing beats the blahs, quite like The West Wing on Netflix. Thank Heaven for small pleasures, right?

    Tried the chia pudding this week. It’s fantastic!

  17. Amanda says:

    LOL, I’ve been watching West Wing every night! For months I’ve been waiting and searching and hoping it would make it to Netflix. Glad you’re feeling better, but yeah, what a great excuse to watch some amazing TV.

    Love the lunch pieces today, something for the kid (needs a decent thermos) and something for me (the promise of salad weather returning soon and a great container for it!).


    • J.M Hirsch says:

      My pleasure! I was so happy to discover West Wing was on Netflix. Kind of awful to be happy to be sick…

  18. Kim H says:

    I am loving the salad container complete with utensils. However, the Thermos is cool (or hot) as well. I normally keep coffee in my Thermos, but I could try soup instead sometime!

  19. Far says:

    As a university student, these two would be used regularly… I’ve been looking for a thermos for a very long time!

  20. Melissa says:

    I’m wrestling with a pork tenderloin tonight; but I was planning to go with this Child’s Play Spice and Brown Sugar Rubbed Pork Tenderloin recipe that I found somewhere… this pulled pork sounds a lot easier! Can I enter the giveaway drawing? Thermos looks awesome. (btw Ryan has the exact same container that has the raspberries and clementines).

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      What a crazy name for a pork tenderloin recipe! Clearly that author needs a better editor! Maybe he should write a book about cats running home!

      Don’t you love those LunchBots containers? I have a bunch of them. My favorite is the quad.

  21. Gina Lindsay says:

    Love the wide mouth thermos! I tried your candied bacon at dinner last night and you would have thought it was Christmas, birthday and everything else rolled into one, it was such a hit, thanks!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      I read your response to Parker while we were reading in bed tonight (Family Snuggle Read is our after dinner activity). He laughed and licked his lips, then urged me to include the recipe in my next cookbook! Then he asked if we had any more for breakfast tomorrow…!

  22. Jessica Weer says:

    Love the salad container, and love your blog!

  23. Fran says:

    Like the gear!
    Thanks for the cream cheese substitution; my daughter’s school is also nut-free

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      I’m so glad Parker’s school doesn’t have those rules. But as much as Parker likes peanut butter, he wouldn’t complain if all he ever got was cream cheese. Three meals a day, actually…

  24. Diane Carreiro says:

    Love that wide mouth thermos!

  25. Jessie says:

    The clementines this year seem particularly sweet. My husband loves the West Wing too. What season did you make it up to? Glad you’re better everyone down here in Mass. Is sick too it seems flu shot or not.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Middle of the first. Decided to go all the way back to the start. And I did nap between episodes!

  26. veronica says:

    Going to have to try this pulled pork, usually make it in a slow cooker. This sounds great.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Funny, but I’ve never been happy with the pulled pork I’ve done in the slow cooker. I think it’s my fault. I tend to overcook it when I try to use the slow cooker.