There is one guarantee with this sandwich—the lunch box will be empty when it returns home. Despite its decadent concept, this sandwich provides healthy whole grains, a serving of nuts provides good fats, and the strawberries provide vitamin C and antioxidants. You can also experiment with other fruits such as bananas and peaches, but I like the vitamin C hit from the strawberries. Commercial chocolate hazelnut spreads are available but often contain hydrogenated fats, so feel free to make your own. Always serve this treat on thickly sliced whole grain bread, homemade or from the bakery; do not waiver and use white bread or the commercial variety sold in plastic bags as the whole grain loaf really makes this sandwich hearty and nutritious.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1/3 cup (85 mL) hazelnuts, with skins on
1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) cocoa powder, to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) enriched vanilla soymilk, approximately
1 loaf whole grain bread, cut into
1/2-inch (1-cm) thick slices
1 cup (250 mL) organic strawberries, thinly sliced
To prepare Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place hazelnuts in single layer on shallow baking pan. Toast until skins are almost black, about 15 minutes.
Wrap hot hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub until most of the skins have come off. Discard skins.
Process nuts in bowl of food processor, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until nuts have become like nut butter, about 5 minutes.
Add maple syrup and cocoa to hazelnut butter, and process until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add soymilk as necessary to achieve consistency of cream cheese. Transfer Chocolate Hazelnut Spread to airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 1/2 cup (125 mL).
To prepare Chocolate and Strawberry Sandwiches, spread each slice of bread with about 1 Tbsp (30 mL) Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Top with sliced strawberries. Cover with another slice of bread and wrap tightly or place in sandwich container.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
source: "School Lunch Recipes Your Kids Will Love", alive #275, September 2005
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.