Lunch Box Wrap

A few weeks ago, I held a lunch box class at my home. Not surprisingly it was my most popular class ever! It quickly became obvious that most parents are struggling to come up with school lunches that are just about healthy and interesting enough to be eaten and not thrown in the garbage bin. And what a delicate task that is! Not only do our kids need to like what’s in the lunch box, but the peer pressure adds an additional challenge. “All my friends have chips with lunch” or “so and so wouldn’t sit next to me, because he hates fish” or “it takes to long for me to chew my veggies and I miss out on football”.  Then there’s the issue with food allergies, or egg- and nut-free schools. You get the point.

I am far from being the queen of lunch boxes, but over the years I have learned what works and what doesn’t and to add to that, I researched, experimented, concocted, baked and assembled everything from super healthy quinoa muffins, sweet potato brownies to wraps, pasta salads, savory muffins and dips of all colors. In the week prior to the class, we ended up with dozens of muffins and even had them for dinner one night. The wraps were one of the biggest hits, and because the children help to make them, they get to choose what goes in them with a minimum requirement of a protein and 2 different vegetables. Hummus and pesto are popular, as is shredded roasted chicken or strips of smoked salmon, shredded carrots and lettuce, strips of pepper, different sprouts, avocado and grated cheese. Here are a few ideas:

‘Whatever you fancy’ – Wrap

 

Ingredients

  • Mountain Bread, Tannour Bread, Lavash Bread or whole wheat Tortillas
  • Dip, hummus or pesto
  • Shredded chicken, sliced smoked salmon, nitrate-free ham or chunks of tuna
  • Thinly sliced carrots, capsicum, cucumber, cabbage, etc.
  • Sliced red onion
  • Shredded lettuce, spinach or rocket
  • Avocado slices
  • Sprouts
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • ‘what ever you fancy’

 

Directions

  • Spread bread or tortilla with thin layer of dip or hummus
  • Top 1/3 of bread on the diagonal with chicken, vegetables, etc.
  • Start with corner nearest to topping and carefully roll up. Dot opposite corner with a little dip to seal.
  • Tuck in corners and wrap tightly in aluminium foil.
  • Tell your children to carefully peel of one end of foil and continue peeling as they eat.

 

Roast Sweet Potato Hummus

 

adapted from ‘wholeliving.com’

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size sweet potato, washed
  • 1 can (19.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange peel
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • Coarse salt
  • Whole-wheat pita, cut into wedges and baked for 10 minutes (if desired)
  • Crudités such as red pepper, carrots or celery

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 C.

Prick sweet potato all over with fork and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake for 50 min or until done. Let cool, then peel and transfer to a food processor.

Add chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, cayenne and garlic. Puree, about 1 minute; thin with water if necessary. Season with salt and additional cayenne if desired. Refrigerate, in an airtight container, up to 1 week. Spread on tortilla as a base for your wrap or serve with pita and crudités.

Beetroot and Walnut Dip

 

adapted from ‘goop.com’

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 pound beets, trimmed, steamed or roasted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 extra virgin cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • coarse salt to taste

Directions

In a food processor, coarsely chop the walnuts. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse the machine on and off until everything is blended together but still retains a bit of texture.

Spread on tortilla as a base for your wrap or serve with toasted pita chips, bread sticks or crudités such as red pepper, carrots, radishes or celery.

Citrusy Sesame Hummus

 

adapted from ‘wholeliving.com’

Ingredients

  • 1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
  • 1 tablespoon orange peel, minced
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

Directions

In food processor, combine garlic, olive oil, sesame seeds, tahini, lemon juice, orange peel and garbanzo beans. Blend, adding water if needed until hummus reaches desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate, in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

More ideas on lunch boxes, including ‘broccoli-cheddar-spelt-muffins’, ‘sweet potato brownies’, and ‘home made cereal bars’ tomorrow!

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