Are you a LaLa Lunchbox app user? If so, welcome! Here are some simple recipes to help you out packing your kids' lunches. If you aren't yet a user, it's time to get downloading! LaLa Lunchbox is the best-selling app that makes meal planning for kids deliciously simple - really, go and check it out.
A perfect pop-in-your mouth snack that takes under 10 minutes to prepare! (1) In a food processor, combine 1 cup of rolled oats, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and any of the following 1/4 cup hemp hearts, 2 Tbsp chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup quinoa flakes. Pulse until the oats are finely chopped but stop before they turn into a powder. (2) Add 10 pitted medjool dates to the food processor and process until combined with the dry ingredients. (3) Add water, one tablespoon a time, while the food processor is running until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and the mixture holds together when you pinch some between your fingers. Feel free to mix in some mini-chocolate chips if you like. (4) Scoop out a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Roll in some sesame seeds. Makes about 18 energy balls. Put the energy balls into the fridge, in a sealed container and enjoy!
rainbow soba noodles
Soba noodles, made from buckwheat, are delicious and nutty tasting and good both hot and cold making them a perfect lunchbox noodle. These noodles are just tossed in a lime and tamari dressing with a bunch of shredded veggies and some edamame for protein. (1) Cook 250g of soba noodles according to package directions, rinse well and set aside. (2) Make the dressing - combine the juice of 1 lime with 1 Tbsp of tamari, 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil and 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup. (3) Combine the chilled noodles with the dressing, 1 cup of mixed vegetables (carrots, cucumber, corn, cabbage - whatever you like and have on hand), 1/2 cup of frozen edamame and 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds. Toss, serve and enjoy!
Chia seeds magically transform into little jellied orbs when they get wet and that amazing transformation is what makes this pudding so easy to make. You can either make this pudding in the blender (it will be smooth and more like traditional pudding) or just mix it up in a bowl if you enjoy - as I do - eating the whole chia seeds. (1) Combine 1 cup of milk of your choice (we use soy or oat milk for school, almond or cashew at home) with 1/4 cup chia seeds and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and 1/4 tsp each of vanilla and salt. Stir well (or blend) and put in the fridge to setup - overnight preferably. Garnish with fresh fruit, eat and enjoy!
tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons
Tomato soup is a favourite in our house and is quick and easy to make with some basic vegetables and a tin of tomatoes from the pantry. (1) Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium sized soup pot over medium-high heat and once it is hot, add 1 small onion diced, 1 large carrot chopped into small pieces and 1 stalk of celery chopped into small pieces. Cook until the onion is translucent and then add 1 clove of crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute. (2) Tip in 1 15oz can of crushed tomatoes - the fire roasted ones are particularly good here. Fill the can with water and add it to the pot along with 1 tsp of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and then turn off the heat. (3) Puree the soup with a hand-held blender (or regular blender) and then taste for seasoning. Pack in a thermos for school(4) Make the grilled cheese croutons - these are just grilled cheese sandwiches that are cut into little squares after cooking. Pack them separately from the soup and enjoy together (or not!) at lunch time.
Dumplings are a great way to use up odds and ends- fresh food and leftovers - from your fridge on fridge clean out day. They take about 45 minutes to make BUT you can make a big batch and then freeze them for future use. To save time, you can grate the vegetables and protein using a box grater instead of chopping by hand. (1) Heat 1 Tbsp of oil (a neutral oil like grapeseed works well here) in a saute pan and add some finely chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. (2) add 2 cups of chopped vegetables (I like to use a mixture of carrots, celery, mushrooms and some kind of leafy green as well as anything else that I have on hand) and 1 cup of protein (I use tofu but leftover chicken, shrimp or whatever else you have works too) and cook until cooked through. Add 2 teaspoons of tamari and 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, stir through, taste for seasoning and set aside to cool. (3) Set out your dumpling wrappers (buy these in Asian markets or in the deli section of the supermarket), fill each one with about 1 tablespoon of the filling, moisten the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold or pinch into a bundle. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling. (4) If you are going to eat the dumplings immediately or for lunch, steam them in a steamer until the wrappers are translucent. If you are going to freeze them, do not steam them and instead place in a freezer bag in the freezer. Steam from frozen when you are ready to eat!