I’m lucky. My son is only 5 1/2 months old. We don’t have to worry about school lunch yet, or food at all, for that matter. I still have two more weeks before I have to worry about shoveling food into that eager little mouth (and decide if I’m going to be a “great mom” and make my own baby food or a “lazy mom” and buy it. I’m leaning toward lazy ...).
But not all of you out there are that lucky. And school is starting.
Today I finished writing an article for our Sept. 4 issue of Taste about school lunches. I interviewed dietician and mom Chelsy Leslie of Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center. She had some great tips and resources to share. Be sure to pick up the paper in two weeks and check it out.
In the meantime, head over to superhealthykids.com for some wonderful lunch-prep tips and recipes to get your children ready to head back to class. Another good resource is ChooseMyPlate.gov (what replaced the Food Pyramid).
Here are some fun recipes for you, from ChooseMyPlate. (I might actually make these myself for my hubby. How cute are these little bean-sushi rolls?)
15 Bean Mexican Sushi
3 cups 15 bean soup mix (or 7 or whatever your grocery store carries)
8 cups of water
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
Place all in slow cooker and cook on high for about 4-6 hours.
When the beans have cooked, drain while reserving the liquid. Pour beans into a big bowl, and mix with a hand mixer, or a masher. Add as much of the reserved water (and a little extra salt) as needed to attain desired consistency. For extra flavor add jalapenos, some pepper, or even cayenne if you like your beans more spicy.
To make the sushi use:
Warm tortilla to be flexible. Spread with bean cream and guacamole. Roll up and wrap with a plastic wrap and chill. A few hours later, take out and slice like sushi. Add chopped tomatoes and cheese to the top.
Crispy Baked Chimichangas
1 egg white
1 can refried beans (fat free)
1 can El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco
2 tsp Oil
Desired Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, Cilantro, Salsa, Sour Cream, Plain Yogurt
Add egg whites to a bowl and mix with whisk.
Add beans to the middle of your tortilla, and sprinkle with cheese.
Begin folding your tortilla. Start with one side and fold up an inch and then fold sides and then add more egg white where you make the last fold.
Flash-fry chimis by placing in a pan of 2 tsp oil on medium-high heat. Heat on both sides for 1 minute until golden brown. Place chimichangas onto a pan covered in foil, seam-side down.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
(I’d ate some shredded chicken to the beans, but maybe that’s just me?)