Pizza is ideal for lunch box as it is flexible in the combination of vegetables and meat that you know your kids will like. In order to make a healthier version, try to use whole grain pizza crust. You may even substitute the pizza crust with Indian naan bread like this Naan Pizza or with Italian focaccia bread or ciabatta buns.
We made the pizza with two types of crust, i.e one with a regular pizza crust and another with focaccia bread. The focaccia has more flavour to it but then the pizza crust is more crispy.
- 4 whole wheat flat breads such as Italian focaccia bread, ciabatta buns or Indian naan bread
- 1/4 cup (60ml) pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup (125ml) sliced button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup (125ml) sliced red pepper
- 1/2 cup (125ml) sliced onion
- 1/4 cup (75ml) chopped olives
- 1 cup (250ml) shredded mozzarella cheese or soy cheese
- olive oil for brushing
Source: this recipe is adapted from Alive Magazine #275, September 2005
Have you wonder how the pocket in a pita is created? The pocket is created by steam which puffs up the dough and as the bread cools and deflated, a pocket is left in the center. Pita pocket is such a convenient container for all sorts of fillings. I love Peanut Butter Pita Bread which has the creaminess from the peanut butter and crunchiness from the frosted cornflakes which I created in the early days of chowtimes.
Here is a another simple Tuna Pocket recipe that kids will enjoy and is ok for school lunch box as many schools are peanut free zone nowadays.
Tuna and grape goes well in this simple Tuna Pocket recipe. The coleslaws and lettuce adds crunch to it and made this a complete meal with carbohydrate, protein, fiber and vitamins.
- 1/2 cup coleslaw blend
- 1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes
- 1/2 cup flaked drained canned tuna in water
- 2 tablespoons of your preferred dressing, like mayonnaise, kraft calorie-wise Rancher’s choice dressing
- 1/2 round whole wheat pita
- leaf or romaine lettuce
Yields 1 serving
Minoo prepared four dishes in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen. We made Chicken Patties, a warm salad, a Spinach Cake and a Red Rice Pilaf.
The Chicken Patties are marvelous. They are fried to crispy. Kids will love the Chicken Patties in their lunch boxes.
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Serve 4
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/3 cup canola oil for frying
Kids love pancakes and this Multigrain Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes make a healthy breakfast.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) multigrain flour
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 ml) cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) butter, melted
- 1 apple, peeled and cored
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
This Easy Granola Bars are fantastic and have a lot of flexibility. You can adapt the recipe to your liking. They are great for hikes, long road trips and camping as they store well and keep for fairly long time. You may adapt any combination of chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, pecans, almond slices, or any other tidbits you like in this granola bar.
This Easy Granola Bars are loaded with carbohydrates from with oats, protein from the nuts and vitamins from the dried fruit. They are also rich in fiber. They make a great on the go breakfast for busy people.
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Getting kids into the kitchen to prepare a weekend breakfast is perfect time for sharing quality time. Age-appropriate tasks not only help divide the workload in the kitchen but also give kids a chance to take pride in their accomplishments. Kids often enjoy the food more if they are involved in the making of it. Working side by side lets adults keep a watchful eye without hovering.
Below are samples of age-appropriate tasks that kids can involve in making a healthy breakfast:
- placing cut fruits into juicer for juicing fruit
- setting the table
- flaking fish for Smoked Fish Hash
- pressing blender buttons
- whisking eggs together for scrambled eggs
- measuring ingredients
- cracking eggs into a small bowl before adding in case some shells slip in
- whisking, stirring, mixing, folding
- mashing butter for Baked Stuffed Tomatoes and stuffing them
- cooking with some minor assistance with a nearby adult at hand for support and to answer any questions
This easy side dish makes a nice addition to many breakfasts, such as scrambled eggs and Smoke Fish Hash. If you like, use small tomatoes cut in half.
- 6 ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds/1.5 kg)
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) butter, softened
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh pasley
- dash of Worcestershire sauce
- pinch of each salt and pepper
- 1 cup (250 ml) fresh bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
The Richmond News came to the Gilmore United Church a few weeks ago to interview the Richmond Community Kitchen for their newly launched community guide. That community guide is called Welcome to Richmond. In their first edition of December 2009, they choose to highlight the Richmond Community Kitchen for their cover story! We were all so excited.
In the cover story, the monthly community guide talked about the role of the RCK in supporting the diverse multi-cultural community that you find in Richmond. We felt that food and cooking is one element that brings people from various culture together. Being a SAHM, I personally had formed lasting friendships through the RCK. I encourage those of you who lives in Richmond to come join us to learn about food and of each others culture.
There are a total of six community kitchens in Richmond. So there is at least one near where you stay if you live in Richmond. If you want more details, check out this link.
On that day of the interview, we did a series of recipes for breakfast and brunch. While the interview was done at the Gilmore Church, this series is documented with the South Arm Community Kitchen. We do sometimes rotate the same recipes with several kitchens.
As requested by some members of the cooking club to do a session on breakfast and brunch item, Minoo came up with four very nutritious recipes to share. Minoo also shared some important breakfast basics with the members. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy morning meal will fuel the kids up in time for school or a day of play at the child care. We simply need to refuel our body in the morning after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. That’s why the morning meal is called break fast. Skipping breakfast can made kids feel tired, restless and irritable, moody and lack of energy.
Breakfast also can help keep kids’ weight in check. It kick-starts the body’s metabolism, the process which converts fuel in food to energy which starts the burning of calories. People who skips breakfast is likely to get famished before lunchtime and snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch which cause overweight issue.
Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids attention span, concentration, and memory. Breakfast that boosts brain power is what kids need to improve their learning in school.
With all the benefits of a good breakfast in mind, here is the first breakfast/brunch recipe.
This Smoked Fish Hash has a smoky flavour that kids will love. It is simple and straight forward diner classic. When top with some eggs and Baked Stuffed Tomatoes, it makes a hearty breakfast.
For a variation, you may make a Corned Beef Hash by substituting the smoked fish with corned beef, diced and omitting the rinsing and poaching process.