A look at two delicious kid-friendly recipes from Catherine McCord's new book Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals.
I pack a lot of lunches. And I make quite a bit of effort to be creative about it. However, like many of us, somewhere around this time of the year I start feeling quite bored with the whole routine of it. That's why I was so excited to get the new kid friendly recipe book, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. Even paging through it I felt inspired with fresh ideas and new approaches. And that's all I really needed to jump start me to create even healthier lunches for my family!
One of the recipes that immediately jumped out at me was for Peach Fruit Leather. Perfect timing because I just bought a box of peaches the other day and didn't really know how to use them up before they went bad. It also appealed to me as a recipe that looked super simple and healthy! I know my kids love anything sweet and chewy.
Now I am so addicted to making Weelicious fruit leather. What a great way to condense all the extra fruit that you might have in the house into a little roll of goodness. I also added secret messages for my kids...which they loved. Here is the recipe for Peach Fruit Leather. This is definitely something that I plan to make at least once a month. What a great lunchbox addition - especially if you end up with no fresh fruit in the house.
Peach Fruit Leather Recipe
Makes 7 long strips
4 cups chopped peaches, skin on (about 4 ripe peaches)
1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, around 175°F (135°F if using a dehydrator).
- Place the peaches and honey in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the mixture onto a Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet and use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it very evenly into a large rectangle, about 11 x 15 inches.
- Bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until the fruit leather is dry and not sticky to the touch. Remember, baking times will vary depending on how thick you spread your mixture and how much water (juice) is naturally in the fruit. The leather should be dry to the touch, not burned, if you’re using an oven. The time could be as little as 2 hours if your oven runs hot. (If you’re using a dehydrator, cook for 5 hours or until dry to the touch.)
- Cool at room temperature; it takes several hours for the fruit to soften up. When you first take the fruit leather out of the oven, the edges will be a bit dry and crispy, but if you allow it to sit overnight it softens up nicely.
- Using a knife, pizza cutter, or scissors, cut the leather into seven 2-inchwide- by-14-inch-long strips, keeping the paper on, if desired. Roll the leather into fruit roll-ups.
Tip : If you have a dehydrator, this is the perfect time to use it!
My lunch packing rut includes meat. I really have a hard time coming up with ideas for meatless packed lunches. My kids love ham and salami and roasted chicken so I somehow almost always end up packing those "staples". When I noticed the recipe for veggie tortilla roll-ups, I decided to give it a try. It's not something I would typically make at home. But I had most of the ingredients at hand and I quickly whipped up some hummus. The recipe is very easy to follow and to assemble. The hardest part was keeping my husband out of the kitchen. He really loved this combination and now it has become his favorite lunch! As my kids already love hummus, carrots and avocado, this was a super easy sell to them as well.
Veggie Tortilla Roll-ups Recipe
Whenever I make homemade hummus, the kids can predict what will be in their lunch boxes the next day: veggie rolls made with scoopfuls of this creamy spread. With one of my kids already leaning toward becoming vegetarian, these tortilla roll-ups are a protein-packed, tasty lunchtime lifesaver.
Makes 4 servings
½ cup Supereasy Hummus
4 whole-wheat tortillas
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
1 avocado, sliced
- Spread 2 tablespoons hummus on each tortilla, taking care to cover the edges, since the hummus will act as a glue to hold the wrap together.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of the grated carrots along the closest edge of each tortilla, and lay a quarter of the avocado slices on top of the carrots.
- Roll up, slice in half diagonally, and serve.
I am a serious cookbook collector. They are a constant source of inspiration and definitely make me into a better cook. So we are pleased to offer you the chance to win Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. This book will inspire you to feed your family better and healthier. And packed lunches will become quite fun once again!