"Pack it" our new series focusing on healthy "on-the-go" food, for your kids. The lunchbox is the perfect place to begin because it's September and back-to-school time. Here are some new lunchbox ideas that are quick, easy and don't call for too many ingredients.
1) DIY Veggie Patties
Steam any veggie of your choice until tender. To save time simply put veggies in a bowl with a little water and microwave for about 2 minutes until tender. We like using a broccoli-spinach mix. Next, put your veggies into a blender/cuisonart. Add eggs (1 egg per every cup of veggies), grated cheese of your choice (1/4 cup of cheese per every cup of veggies), breadcrumbs (1/4 cup of breadcrumbs per every cup of veggies, we use whole wheat crumbs for a nuttier taste), seasoning of your choice... we use garlic powder (about 1/8 tsp per every cup of veggies) and salt to taste.
Now blend until mixture is smooth. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Make mixture into thin patties/pancakes and fry both sides until nice and golden in color. These are great warm or cold. Dip in ketchup or tomato sauce! These can be made from start to finish in 30 minutes. Stash the extra's in your freezer.
2) DIY Crunchy Beans
open a can of beans of your choice. Firmer beans like chickpeas will have the best result but feel free to use any bean of choice. Strain the beans, wash them under cold water and pat dry. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Put in your beans and cook until lightly golden, about 15 minutes, stirring beans often. Put into a bowl and toss with seasoning of choice (we like using garlic powder), parmesan cheese and salt to taste. These crunchy beans can be eaten in so many ways: as a crunchy snack or mixed in with pasta for a yummy school lunch.
3) DIY Savory Oatmeal Bars
Savory oatmeal bars are the healthier, updated version of quiche. Our Savory Oatmeal Bars are full of oats and veggies instead of eggs and butter. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8 baking pan. In a medium bowl mix together: 2 cups of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp of salt and any spices you wish. In another medium bowl mix together: 2.5 cups of the milk, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of grated zucchini or sweet potato or other grated veggie of choice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the baking pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the center is set. Once cooled cut into bars and store in the fridge or freeze.