Pizza is ideal for the lunch box as you can use any combination of vegetables you know your kids will like in order to slip in some veggie servings. To add protein, try using veggie salami slices, or add pineapple tidbits for a little sweetness. For the healthiest pizza, buy in bulk and freeze whole grain pizza crusts, made from whole wheat or spelt flour. Freeze and use as required. Children are more likely to eat something they helped prepare, so share the pizza building at dinner the night before. The next day, use cookie cutters to cut cold pizza into shapes for the lunch box.
4 whole wheat flat breads such as Italian focaccia bread, ciabatta buns, or Indian naan bread
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1/2 cup (125 mL) favourite vegetable number 1
1/2 cup (125 mL) favourite vegetable number 2
1/2 cup (125 mL) favourite vegetable number 3
1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese or soy equivalent
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spread each flat bread with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste and top with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of each vegetable. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle equally with shredded cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Serves 4.
source: "School Lunch Recipes Your Kids Will Love", alive #275, September 2005
Licorice-flavoured fennel, tart apple, and a hint of pleasant bitterness from radicchio combines with a touch of sweet dressing for a refreshingly delicious salad. Fennel contains a number of vitamins and minerals known to be involved in digestion, including vitamin C, manganese, and niacin which helps transform the food you eat into energy. Apple adds sweet crunch and all-important fibre. Know your fennel The fennel bulb we buy at the market is a cultivar variety known as Florence fennel. Fennel seeds, which are sometimes eaten after a meal to ease digestion, and which are also used for cooking, come from the common fennel, which grows wild in southern Europe, Australia, and parts of the US.
Adding farro, with its nutty bite, is a delicious and convenient way to increase your soup’s fibre and nutritional value. This hearty soup is the perfect remedy to a cold January day. Lemon and chervil add a bright contrast to the fibre-packed earthy flavours. Farro timesaver With a long cooking time, it’s worth it to cook a larger amount of farro and freeze it in small-portioned batches which can be thawed quickly. Using a ratio of 1:4 farro to water, cook on medium-high heat until farro is al dente, in a similar manner to the way you would cook pasta. Drain, rinse, portion, and freeze for later use. To thaw, simply run frozen farro under water or add directly to soup.
Oven-roasted delicata squash makes a crispy treat atop this green salad. As its name suggests, this squash has a thin, delicate skin that’s tasty when cooked. Pomegranate molasses, an ingredient common in Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dressing. No pine nuts? Use squash seeds! Simply collect about 1/4 cup (60 mL) seeds from cleaned squash, rinse, and mix with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) of the spice mix used to roast the squash and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil. Roast at 425 F (220 C) on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Look for whole grain farro, which leaves the germ and bran intact, for this satisfying porridge that’s sure to kickstart your day. While the cooking time is longer than for pearled or semi-pearled varieties, you’ll get more nutrition. Take the time to enjoy the delicate scent of cardamom and ginger wafting through your kitchen as you prepare this. Ancient grain Farro (also referred to as emmer or einkorn) is a variety of wheat known as an ancient grain, which means that it hasn’t changed over time through breeding as is the case with many varieties of modern wheat.