there is nothing more satisfying to us on a hot summer day than a bowl of noodles. eli found this recipe in the back of a book we had borrowed from the library and wanted to try it. the book was called ‘the story of noodles‘, a story about three boys from china who invent noodles. we love noodles so this book was a big hit and the kids couldn’t wait to try the different methods of eating noodles, cutting the grass, sucking the worm and eating a drumstick. the recipe in the book was pretty good but, next time i will thin the sauce a little more. the best part is that you don’t have to cook anything other than the noodles!
long life noodles
brown rice vermicelli (or pasta of choice) cooked according to package directions
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of peanut butter (or almond)
1/2 cup coconut milk, or more to thin
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs soy sauce, gf
place all ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth, set aside.
the book recommends roasted nuts and dried cranberries, i had neither at home so here is what we used.
shredded collard greens (from our garden, YAY!)
cilantro (also from garden)
sliced green onions
and eli wanted raisins
mix noodles with the sauce and serve. let everyone garnish their own bowl of noodles.
somehow i let the end of the school year slip right past me. eh…c’est la vie. our summertime plans include swimming, sprinklers, friends, birthdays, and cooking up lots of yummy treats. the tomatoes pictured above were knocked off the plant during a storm. i couldn’t let them go to waste so we made fried green tomatoes. they were pretty tasty. another tasty summer treat we made was this cantaloupe granita.
one last thing……check out our garden visitor. eli named him toadoro, funny guy. he is our garden troll that brings us good luck and good food.
1/2 a large cantaloupe
2-3 tbs honey
1/2 a can of sparkling water (i used blue sky lime flavored)
blend the cantaloupe, banana and honey in a blender until liquefied. pour into the tupperware or glass dish you will be using to freeze the granita in. slowly add the sparkling water and stir. freeze and stir every 30 minutes or so. the more you stir the better.
this is one of eli’s favorite lunch box treats. i say treat because i don’t make it very often since it contains more sugar than i like to put in his lunch. this past year i have been reducing his sugar intake, including fruit and other unrefined sugars, and have noticed a big difference in his skin, digestion and behavior. eli who used to be known as “sugar tooth” now tells me on occasion that things are too sweet. he’s also developing more sophisticated taste buds and is willing to try things he never would have in the past. i don’t know if this is related to reducing his sugar intake but it all happened around the same time.
i usually pack this with some protein like boiled eggs (another favorite) or some lunch meat and chopped veggies. now that spring has arrived and there is an abundance of fresh fruit this is a perfectly simple packed lunch.
be creative, i used:
cut the fruit small for easy dipping. you can also add fresh herbs, mint is our favorite. or add a spicy pepper to make it more of a salsa.
corn tortillas, amount depends on how many people you are serving
coconut oil, to coat the tortillas
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar of choice
mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. cut the tortillas in 4ths and put in bowl or on a cookie sheet. toss gently with coconut oil. lay on cookie sheet in single layer then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. bake for 10 minutes and then check to see if they are crisp enough if not try five more minutes. watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
the biggest problem i have blogging about what my kids eat is remembering to take a picture of what they are eating, before they eat it. anyway, this is one of their absolute favorite breakfasts (see picture of empty bowl). this is great replacement for sugary cold cereal.
oatmeal cookie breakfast
1 1/2 cups steal cut oats, soaked overnight in water
in the morning drain and rinse the oats. set aside and let drain while you gather the other ingredients.
4 tbs raisins
6 tbs mini chocolate chips, enjoy life
1 tbs vanilla
pinch of salt
add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped, do not over blend.
next time i think i’m going to add walnuts and coconut to the mix.
i know valentine’s was a week ago. do we really only need one day to celebrate love? i think not. it seems i’ve been having trouble finding my groove these days but life goes on and i still have to provide three meals a day plus snacks for my family. it’s been fun and we’ve had some really delicious food. eli had a valentine’s lunch full of love, starting with this bread which i cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. it’s a recipe from amy over at simply sugar and gluten free and it really is the perfect gluten free bread, i’ve made it nearly dozen times already. she has a book that came out on valentines! also in his lunch box were a few of these chewy brownies, a recipe from the spunky coconut. i cut them into squares and pressed a tiny heart cookie cutter into the top (i did not add chocolate chips). i’ve been cooking a lot of dinners from madhur jaffrey’s books this week, they are awesome! one of our favorites was chicken with spinach (saag murgh), it’s a wonderful way to get your kids to eat spinach.
and we’ve had smoothies.
love that smoothie smile!
chocolate smoothie-i never measure when i make smoothies so basically follow your instincts and taste buds.
frozen banana chunks, about 2 cups
a handful (or more) washed spinach
milk of choice, about 1 1/2 cups (coconut milk is very good)
hemp seed butter, about 1 tbs (opt)
coconut oil, about 1 tbs
cocoa powder, 3-4 tbs
blend all ingredients in blender until it’s to you liking. you can adjust flavors or add more milk if you want it thinner.
i read an interesting article this morning about atopic dermatitis and food allergies. in first paragraph it says that new research suggests eczema may precede the onset of food allergies. this is what was going on with eli, the longer he ate gluten the worse his eczema got. if you have a child with eczema it’s worth trying an elimination diet and keeping a food journal to find out if foods trigger a reaction. it’s a lot of detective work and it can be frustrating. it’s ongoing for us, his skin is fine and then it’s not, very frustrating. although he still deals with breakouts, going gluten and dairy free has given me a happier and calmer little boy.
on to the chiko nuts. really they are roasted chickpeas but my kids have named them chiko nuts. it’s a great snack for after school when they come home starving. the great thing about them is that they can be spiced anyway you wish. here’s one of our favorite ways to make them.
cooked chickpeas, maybe 1 can? 2 cups? (i’ve never really measured i just use my leftovers from making hummus)
1 tbs oil
1-3 tsp curry powder, depending on how many chickpeas you have and how strong you want the curry flavor
1 tsp sea salt
375º (most recipes i’ve found say 400º or higher. i tend to get burned chickpeas when i cook them that high)
set timer for 10 minutes, stir, continue for about 30 to 40 minutes or until desired crispness.
potato vada is a popular indian snack, it’s also a nice finger food that works great in lunches. i pack it with some brown rice or other grain, ketchup for dipping plus fruits and veggies. eli always deems them as “awesome” (in opera voice). i use the recipe from sailu’s kitchen, she has a fantastic blog with recipes that never fail me.
i leave out the curry leaves, and the green chilies as i don’t normally have these ingredients on hand. i’ve also, on occasion, made them without the cumin seed, mustard seed and onion. i think the kids liked these the best, the flavors are a bit more mild. this recipe calls for mashed potatoes, just bake 3 or 4 potatoes and mash ’em. i make them into patties and pan fry them in oil, not deep fry them.
potatoes are a great healthy, filling food for lunch that kids love!
how do you pack potatoes in your lunch?