The school year is about
to begin, and that means school lunches are back in season! However, a bagged
lunch doesn’t need to be monotonous and invoke memories of bland sandwiches and
chips. Instead, start the school year on the right foot with these seasonal and
fresh lunch ideas.
Cauliflower Broccoli Fritters
Makes approx. 20 fritters
2 cups cauliflower
2 cups broccoli florets
¾ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Boil your cauliflower and broccoli until they are cooked but still slightly crispy. Remove from water and dunk in ice water quickly before putting in a food processor. Process for a minute or two until it's thoroughly combined.
Add eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until evenly combined. If veggie mixture is too sticky, add additional breadcrumbs.
With a large spoon, put scoops of mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Asian Noodle Salad
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (with or without seeds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, cut into ribbons
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, cut into chiffonade
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1. Bring water to boil, and cook noodles. Drain, rinse with cold water.
2. Combine olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, jalapeno, and honey in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
3. Heat oil in medium sauté pan. Add zucchini and bell peppers. Saute 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add Swiss chard, sauté for another minute. Remove from heat.
4. Combine veggies, noodles, and dressing in a bowl. Add green onions and toss thoroughly. Serve in bowls.
Mini Cipollini Onion Tarts
½ Cup Butter
1 Pint Cipollini Onions, Small Dice
16 Ounces Heavy Cream
8 Ounces Goat Cheese
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
36 Small, Prebaked Pastry Shells
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ Cup Sour Cream
In a small saucepot, melt the butter and sauté the cipollini onions until they become translucent.
Add the heavy cream and reduce by half.
Fold in the goat cheese and chopped thyme.
Season with salt and pepper.
Fill the tart shells and add a dollop of sour cream. Garnish with smoked paprika.
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Corn from the Cob Pancakes
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup corn
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Mix the milk, eggs and butter in another bowl.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
Mix in the corn and cheese.
Heat a pan over medium heat and melt a touch of butter in it.
Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and cook until the surface starts to bubble and the bottom is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Flip the pancake and cook the other side until the bottom is golden brown.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch parsley, minced
1 bunch mint, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 seedless cucumber, diced
Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is fluffy and chewy.
Combine lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, whisk thoroughly.
Combine quinoa, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber in salad bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grapes, cut in half
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
Fresh mint leaves
For the sauce, put the strawberries, a squeeze of lime juice, and some mint into a blender. Puree until smooth.
For the watermelon pizza, slice your watermelon into 1-inch thick circles. Lay the watermelon circles down and cut into pizza slices. Spread desired amount of sauce onto the pizza. Arrange your toppings on the watermelon and serve.
Yellow Squash Cheese Chips
Serves 4 (or really 2 because they are so addictive)
4 yellow squash (small to medium), sliced into ¼-inch to ½-inch rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated asiago or any hard cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, and garlic powder.
Put slices of squash in cheese mixture and press on both sides.
Place the squash in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Lightly spray each slice with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan and continue to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, so they come out evenly crispy.
Caramelized Pears with Granola
1 cup of caramel chews, unwrapped
6 fresh pears
6 popsicle sticks
2 cups granola
Spray a sheet of wax paper and put it on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine caramel and 2 tablespoons of water, cook over medium-low heat until caramel is melted and smooth. Stir frequently. Once the caramel has melted, turn heat to low.
Insert stick into stem end of each pear. Dip pears into hot caramel mixture, spooning caramel over pears to coat entirely. Allow excess caramel to drip off, back into the saucepan. Roll in granola. Place on baking sheet. Put in refrigerator to set. Enjoy!