Tag Archive for 'children'

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:

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Schnitzel

Some of you might know the famous German dish called Schnitzel. It’s a breaded piece of meat, usually veal or pork, fried and served with French fries. Whenever I make it, I like to use chicken breast which I think is just as good and instead of French fries, I serve mine with baked sweet potato fries and steamed vegetables. It’s definitely a children’s favorite, not too dissimilar from chicken nuggets and it’s easy to make. If I don’t have fresh bread crumbs at hand, I use brown rice crumbs. They are available at good grocery or health food stores and really work well. I tend to fry the Schnitzel in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, but you can also brush them with oil and bake them in the oven. A great trick to make the meat tender is to cut half a chicken breast in 2 or 3 pieces horizontally, place cling wrap over it and beat it with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. When the pieces are the right size and about 1/4″ or 0.5 cm thick, I marinate them in buttermilk for at least 3 hours. This method works great, and I frequently use it with white meat.

Serves 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 hungry children

Ingredients

  • 2 organic or free-range chicken breast halves, sliced into 2 or 3 pieces horizontally, tenderized (see note above)
  • 1-2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup of plain flour, gluten-free flour is fine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of fine breadcrumbs or rice crumbs
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

Cut chicken breast halves into desired size pieces, tenderize and cover with buttermilk. Let rest in fridge for 3+ hours

Put flour, beaten eggs and crumbs into 3 individual bowls. Season flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

Drain excess buttermilk of meat. Drench meat in flour, shake of excess, then coat in egg, before dipping in breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining meat.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place Schnitzels in pan and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Serve with baked sweet potato fries and steamed vegetables.