Your child will be giddy with excitement when they open their lunchbox to this colourful and yummy pasta salad! Colour is a cue for health because it’s a sign of a rich array of phytonutrients, which are important for healthy, resilient children. This recipe also suits gluten-, nut-, and dairy-free diets. Chickpea and lentil pasta can be found at health food stores and in the natural health section of most grocery stores.
Tip: you can easily swap in any pasta you have on hand, but try out a chickpea or lentil pasta; they boast a decent amount of protein and fibre, which will keep your little one’s tummy fuller longer. This is because protein takes longer to digest than pasta made of mostly complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat.
Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water immediately. Place in large salad bowl and set aside.
Place frozen corn and peas in bowl. Boil some water in a kettle and pour over frozen corn and peas to thaw. Drain water from corn and peas and mix them into pasta along with red pepper. Toss with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and Parmesan. Top with sunflower seeds, fresh basil, and microgreens, if using.
This recipe is part of the 5 lunchbox ideas collection.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.