Black Bean Hummus
1 can black beans, drained
1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Store chilled.
Lunch Box Nachos Supreme
¼ cup black bean hummus (recipe above)
1 small bag (single serving size) corn chips
¼ cup shredded cheese or 2 cheddar cheese sticks
¼ cup lettuce, shredded fine
4 cherry tomatoes, small dice
2 Tablespoons salsa
Pack the hummus and vegetables into separate containers or zip lock bags.
For a “walking” nachos supreme: open the bag of corn chips and add ingredients to the bag of chips (break up the cheddar cheese sticks into small pieces after unwrapping). Close the bag and shake, then eat with a spoon.
For a plated nachos supreme, use a paper plate or a plastic storage container to combine ingredients. Start with the chips, spoon on the hummus, then top with cheese (break up the cheese stick into small pieces), vegetables and salsa. Enjoy!
Yield:6 servings, about 1 cup each
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds (substitute with rice krispie cereal if no nuts can be used)
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries (any kind of dried fruit works)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried cranberries and mix until evenly distributed.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
1 cup yogurt, plain
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup fresh blueberries
Measure yogurt into a pint size Ziplock bag.
Add honey and lemon juice to yogurt in bag, seal bag and mix.
Cut off a small piece of corner on bag and pipe the yogurt into the bottom of a clear cup or bowl.
Layer strawberries and blueberries on top of yogurt.
Repeat layers of yogurt and berries until done.
Top with granola (recipe above)
Peanut Butter and Jelly “Sushi” Rolls
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons jam, jelly or preserves (pick your favorite)
2 slices bread
Remove crusts from bread. With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread.
Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of fruit spread on each slice of bread.
Roll each slice into a tight spiral. Cut each spiral into 4 “sushi” pieces.
Helpful Ideas for the Lunch Box:
HOW TO MAKE ICE PACK FOR LUNCH BOX
Purchase an inexpensive pack of sponges – These sponges will not be used for cleaning and if your child accidentally throws away the homemade ice pack, no big deal.
Soak the sponges in water – Soak the sponges by running under cold water or by placing in a bowl and allowing sponges to soak until saturated.
Put each sponge in a small zip style bag – These bags serve two purposes. First and most obvious is that as the ice melts, it contains the water so it doesn’t make a mess. Secondly, keeping that water contained allows the melted sponge to reabsorb the water so it is ready to refreeze.
Freeze the wet and bagged sponges overnight – In the morning, all you need to do is toss that lunch box ice pack into their lunch. Once your munchkin gets home from school, they just toss the bag back into the freezer so it is ready again in the morning. After a few weeks, you might need to add a bit more water to the sponge before freezing as a bit of evaporation does take place over time.
Recipes from Chef Char Morse of Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market