Lunch Box Treats
Vegetable Quesadilla A vegetable quesadilla is an easy way to incorporate lots of vegetables, that your child would otherwise turn away from, into a tasty treat. A quesadilla can be described as a tortilla which has been filled with cheese, meats and vegetables, and heated. A tortilla is nothing but a wrap which is made out of a dough made of flour and water. It is similar to roti and is cooked in the same manner. However, the dough is made of refined flour and water rather than whole-wheat flour and water. Roll out and cook the dough as you would a roti. Grate cheese and mix with finely diced vegetables. You can add shredded cooked chicken as well if you choose to. A vegetarian alternative is to crumble cottage cheese and stir it into the mixture. Sandwich this filling between two tortillas, making sure you don't overfill them and ensuring you spread the filling evenly. Using a sharp knife, cut the sandwiched tortillas into two semi-circles and in turn quarters. You can use a griddle pan or a sandwich grill to toast the quesadilla. Stack the quarters on top of each other and wrap tightly in foil before putting them into your child's lunch box. The mix of vegetables you can use are endless. This is your opportunity to incorporate sweet corn, bell peppers or broccoli (all finely diced) into your child's diet.
Cold Noodle Salad This is a fresh alternative to instant noodles (every child's favourite) or greasy stir-fried noodles from a restaurant. It is packed with fresh herbs and vegetables and dressed with a fresh zingy dressing. Boil noodles of your choice till they are just cooked. There are a variety of noodles available in the market – ranging from egg noodles, ramen noodles, soba noodles to rice noodles. A personal recommendation is to use vermicelli rice noodles as they are light, absorb flavour well and are easy on the stomach. You can finely shred or julienne a variety of vegetables into the noodles, with blanched green beans, carrots, bean sprouts and cucumber being the most popular. Top the noodles with roughly chopped fresh herbs like mint, coriander and basil. The noodles should be dressed very lightly, with a little lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil – depending on your taste. For crunch, toasted sesame seeds or peanuts taste delicious as a final addition.