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Thursday
Mar102011

Not Really A Recipe, Just a Rolled Taco

I was standing in the kitchen, up to my elbows in little tiny squares of sweet potatoes. The dogs were clambering for my attention, Meg's nails clicking on the tile as she hopped up and down, her breath ragged like a stalling Harley. Dinner was on the stove, the onions quickly changing from a perfect clear to burnt and useless. Alexis wasn't yet crawling, but yet she had managed to roll her way across the living room. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that she was about to pull a laptop onto her head. On the laptop was an unsaved document that had taken me hours to write, and I needed to finish the remaining 20 or so pages that night. The microwave timer went off and then . . . so did I.

I lost it.

Right then, right there, I threw a magnificent hissy fit that later morphed into a nervous breakdown.

Out of that moment of overwhelming frustration, a compromise was born. I wasn't able to finish everything I needed to finish in an evening, so Mr. Husband agreed to take over for me packing Alexis' lunches. In those days, it was a tedious process made complicated by the fact that she refused to eat baby food out of a jar. Rather, she had to have fruits and vegetables that had been cut small enough to prevent choking, but they couldn't be mushy or she would rip your head off. It was truly a task worth delegating, so I was hugely relieved when he offered.

Weeks turned into months turned into years, and he continued to take care of her lunch. Even as time in my evening became less scarce, we made no attempt to shift the responsibility to me. I enjoyed my bit of free time as he continued to pitch in, never once complaining.

But then one day I opened her lunch bag and wasn't happy with what I saw. Pre-packaged foods and a severe lack of vegetables glared at me, willing me to take action. I instantly realized that it wouldn't be fair of me to point fingers. Rather, if I wanted Alexis' lunch packed a certain way, I needed to do it myself.

So I did.

Later that evening, I opened her empty lunch box so that I could put the dirty bowls in the dishwasher. Inside the box, I found a note.

You pack the cutest lunches for Alexis! Great job!

Was it a coincidence that the first lunch *I* had packed in YEARS was one that a teacher noted and thought was worth of a compliment? NO. It was no coincidence at all. It was the power of the Rolled Taco.

Rolled Tacos continue to be Alexis' absolute favorite lunch in the whole wide world.

Flour tortilla
Refried beans
Diced tomatoes
Sliced olives
Lettuce
Shredded Cheese

This one is complicated, but I think somehow you may just manage. Start by opening up the flour tortilla. Spread some refried beans over half of the tortilla. Top with tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and cheese (Alexis claims cheese is "icksgusting." Obviously, she's an alien.).

 

Roll it all up, starting on the side that is covered with beans and stuff. Cut into 1" pieces so that it looks sort of like sushi.

 

Alexis. LOVES. This. It's seriously her favorite lunch of all, officially proving that it doesn't matter how hard a father tries, he will always be outdone by the mother.

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Reader Comments (9)

It's official....you rock!
Thanks for the great idea. There are so many ways to use that idea: hummus, black bean dip, sweet with cream cheese and strawberries, etc. I've been stuck in a lunch rut with my kids, so i'm looking forward to trying these out.

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDi

I wish that I had that for lunch today! It looks so yummy. I am going to have to try these this weekend with Madeline... maybe I can expand her Acceptable Foods List!

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbessie.viola

Who knew the Rolled Taco contained so much power?!

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Seafood Guy

Such a cute idea!! They look yummy!!

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Well, thanks Alexis - now I want sushi! :) (Go on....tell me that's not what it looks like....)

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA

That looks icksgusting.

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheese Lover

Oh, yummy! C.ooper would turn up his nose at these, but the girls will love them! And reason #12, 074 why I love you? I secretely live for the day Kindergarten Enrichment tells me about how awesome C.ooper's lunches are (Bento style.)

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

How cute! I've packed actual sushi before and it was a hit. I'm totally trying this!

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I am wondering if my kid would eat this. He is so picky any more! Not too long ago, a little boy
brought Sushi in for his lunch, and the teachers in the room called in other teachers from other rooms to show them, "Have you ever seen someone send THIS before?!", like it was freakish. It made me furious.
Wonder if the other kids at school ask Alexis "What is that?!", as they all eat their PB&J's? We all get stuck in a rut, and our kids must hate it.

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen
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