Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's in Your Lunchbox?Rice Cube and Tofu, Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies, Marinated Vegetables, and English Muffin Pizzas

At least I know the limit for the title up there- It is really Rice Cube and Tofu Salad, but it wouldn't fit. ha So, I decided that I am going to do a "What's in Your Lunchbox?" post every wednesday to highlight some of the tasty lunch snacks I make every week. I bought too much tofu for our Kung Pao Tofu the other night so I decided to make a yummy salad with it. Both my son and brother love tofu (yippee!).My son loves meatballs, so when he saw these Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs in the lastest issue of Cooking Light (he likes to look with me and pick out what to make)- he requested them for lunch. (I know that they look very similar to the chicken balls I made last week, but they actually had a completely different flavor). They were great- very moist and flavorful, mostly due to the ricotta and fresh basil, and tasted great cold. They also doubled as a after-school snack the next day. The Zucchini cookies I had seen on another blog and everyone wants a sweet treat in their lunch right? The spices reminded me of a pumpkin cookie and these were cakelike, but still enjoyed. The Marinated Vegetables are great as a side dish as an alternative to carrot sticks, also served cold- my son loved it. And of course, everyone loves individual pizzas!

Rice Cube and Tofu Salad slightly adapted from kids healthy lunchbox by cara hobday
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup basmati rice, unrinsed
1 Tbls cornstarch
2 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
2 scallions, sliced
3/4 cup snow peas, finely sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
salt and pepper
For the dressing:
3 Tbls canola oil
1 Tbls sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbls honey
1 Tbls light soy sauce

Take a plastic container measuring 6 by8 by 1-inch and line with parchment paper.
Boil the water and add the rice. Boil for 12 minutes until very soft. Drain well. Puree 5 Tbls of the rice using a food processor. Stir into the rest of the rice and spoon into prepared container. Cover and weigh down with cans. Refrigerate
Mix together the cornstarch and sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper. Coat the diced tofu in the cornstarch mix. Fry the tofu in a little bit of canola oil over medium heat. Drain on paper towels. Refrigerate the tofu cubes in airtight containers overnight.

To assemble, mix together the scallions, snow peas, and bean sprouts. Cut the rice into cubes and add these and the tofu. Mix the dressing ingredients and add. Refrigerate. Separate a portion for the lunchbox and pack.
Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs from Cooking Light Magazine
1 pd ground turkey breast
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with hands. Shape into 18 meatballs. Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Transfer to broiler pan coated with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes or until done.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies From "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c honey
1 T vanilla extract
Combine in large bowl.
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture.

1 c finely shredded zucchini
12 oz chocolate chips
Stir these ingredients into other ingredients, mix well. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes

Marinated Fresh Vegetables
2 tomatoes
2 ribs celery
1 small unpeeled zucchini
1 carrot
1 onion
1 green pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Peel tomatoes, scrape out seeds, and dice in 1/2-inch squares. Clean and dice remaining vegetables; toss together. Combine sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir into vegetables. Refrigerate several hours. Drain with slotted spoon and serve.

English Muffin Pizzas by Mary Ann
6 english muffins
pizza sauce
turkey pepperoni
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
shredded cheese
Preheat the broiler. Split each english muffin in half. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce on each half of muffin. Layer zucchini on top of sauce and pepperoni on top of zucchini. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil, until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes.


Maria said...

I wish this was my lunchbox! I can't wait to try the cookies. I still have lots of zucchini to use!

Skeem's said...

k let me just tell you I can only look at your food blog every once in a while because it always makes me so hungry and looks sooooo good and i never have the ingredients so it's kind of depressing, remember I am pregnant:) but i will have to try those cookies:) keep it up your awesome...

Aggie said...

You are officially the coolest mom I know. I love that you pack these lunchboxes with such healthy homemade stuff.

Your son sounds adorable...looking at magazines with you. I might have to try that idea out with my picky kiddo!

On to the food now...everything looks amazing! Will have to definately make those meatballs and cookies!!

Andrea said...

You make the best lunches! I hope I can be so creative when my kids start school and need to pack a lunch. The Rice Cube and Tofu looks amazing (love tofu here), and I adore English muffins pizzas and haven't made them in WAY too long. Everything looks great, what lucky lunch recipients you have!

Prudy said...

Oh, Mary Ann, I'll go back to school for a doctorate if you promise to pack my lunch. You just have to get a cook book together with all of your fabulous creations.

Jenny said...

Great post girl! I love each and every one of these recipes, YUM!