Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arugula Pesto

Aaahh. Arugula.

It comes with many names; rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola, eruca, garden rocket.

It's peppery and a bit spicy.

Perfect for pesto.

I found a 12 ounce tub of organic baby arugula and immediately thought of pesto.

I haven't had arugula in a long time.

Pesto can be any combination of things.

I chose to keep it simple. Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Pecorino Romano cheese.  No nuts.

Arugula is considered a cancer-fighting vegetable and falls into the cruciferous vegetable family.

And it's pretty.

I like pretty.

It's nice to have a helper. 8 year olds can learn to make pesto.

Place the arugula in a food processor.

Add in a good teaspoon of sea salt.

Add 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.

A couple spoonfuls of grated cheese.

I use Pecorino Romano because my hubby is lactose intolerant. Pecorino is made from Sheep's Milk.

You can use any grated aged cheese you have.

Drizzle in the olive oil till the mixture is nice a moist.

I added a couple of cloves of roasted garlic cause I had them.

You could add garlic powder, or leave it out.

I happened to be making french onion soup at the same time, so I put in a spoon full of onions that had been cooking for an hour and just finished simmering in wine.

That's how I roll. Whatever is on hand.

Pesto goes a long way.

I used a quarter of  it on 2 pounds of pasta for a church dinner.

I refrigerated the rest.

Today, I cooked some brown rice spaghetti for lunch for the boys and topped it with a few tablespoons of the pesto.

I have plans for the remaining pesto to go on Lamb Burgers, some grilled chicken, and maybe some more pasta.

It's super easy to make and gives your meals a nice flavor.

Best of all, in my house, everyone likes it!

Stre-eetch your mind.
And your taste buds.
Try something new.
The Lunch Lady

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stuffed Crust Pizza

 My four boys love home made pizza but I notice that they often leave the crust.

I was blog surfing a few weeks ago and happened upon someone making a stuffed crust pizza.

Of course, I didn't bookmark it and I can't remember whose blog it was.  But it isn't a new concept.  Lots of pizza places sell stuffed crust pizza.  I just never thought to do that when I made pizza. Till now.

Start with pizza dough.

I like to make mine with whole grain organic spelt flour.

Now, if you've been reading my blog recently, you may remember that my food combining plan that I'm following does not combine protein and carbs.  I'm not as strict with this for my boys and who can deny them pizza!  Homemade pizza is definitely okay in my book.

And I snuck a slice.  It's okay to cheat here and there.  It's more about the everyday eating where I don't cheat.

As usual, I use what I happen to have at hand (read: whatever the boys haven't scarfed down.)

I usually have extra sharp cheddar cheese in my cheese drawer.  The boys prefer extra sharp. Such connoisseurs!  If I had string cheese, I might have used them, but they're all gone.

I sliced up the cheese and layed them around the edge and folded the dough over top and sealed it.

I baked the crust for 8 minutes on 400 degrees and then added the toppings.

This time I used Marinara sauce, shredded extra sharp cheddar, and some fresh mozzarella slices.

Use what you have.

Melted deliciousness.

Your children will love you.

Do it for your children.

Or your husband.

Or yourself.

And then there was one.

This baby had mine name written all over it.

I have no guilt.


You have to act quickly in our house.

Or you get nothing. And then you cry.

I can't stand crying boys. It's just so sad.

Stuffed Crust Pizza
Pizza dough
More cheese

Roll out the dough on to an oiled cookie sheet.
Roll to extra dough to the edge.
Place cheese around the edge and roll the dough over the cheese.
Bake the dough for 8 minutes on 400 degrees (F)
Add toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes, or till browned.

Ya don't need to be a chef,
The Lunch Lady

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Veggie Wrap...

I threw together this vegetable wrap a few days ago for lunch.

It was unbelievably easy, good, and filling.

I just used some veggies that I had available.  Yellow squash, red bell pepper, red onion, and some organic baby spinach.

I planned on just placing the baby spinach on top of the cooked vegetables, just till it barely wilts so I can still get the nutrients from it.

The wrap is a Brown Rice Tortilla since I'm trying to eat wheat free.

You could use a flour tortilla.  Try getting the whole grain variety.

Whole grains.  Better for you body.

I sauteed everything in a tiny bit of butter and grapeseed oil.

I seasoned it all with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika.

It was phenomenal.

I warmed up the tortilla in an oiled pan, flipping it every 20-30 seconds till it was pliable and soft.

The vegetables were spilling out but the flavor was so good that I had to tuck them back in and eat them.

It was truly finger licking good. 

See the sauce dripping down my hand.

Oy. I need a manicure.

First I need to grow my nails.

Vegetable Wrap
Brown Rice Tortilla
Vegetables of your choice

Saute the vegetables in a saute pan over medium heat just till soft.
Heat the tortilla in a separate oiled pan, flipping every 20-30 seconds till soft.
Fill tortilla with cooked veggies.

Use a napkin. Or eight.

I used up all my veggies.

Time to go shopping again,
The Lunch Lady

Monday, March 28, 2011

Talk about getting kids to eat!

It's not a problem at my house. Anymore.

No. Literally.  I talk about getting kids to eat more whole grains.

Check out my TV appearance here.

I need a makeup artist,
The Lunch Lady

Apple Muffins

Our family loves any kind of fruit muffins. 

Apples are a staple in our house so I can always whip up a batch or two if I have no other fruit.

My happy helper, L4, stirs together the dry ingredients.

I've been using organic spelt flour for the last few months with happy results.

It's easy to sneak whole grains into your baking.  Your kids may not even realize it.  Explain to them why it's important.  A lot of our parenting should be educating our kids to eat better and take care of themselves.  We teach them to brush their teeth. We should teach them to eat healthy.

Simple pantry ingredients: Flour, sweetener, baking powder, salt, cinnamon...

Mix the wet ingredients: Eggs, oil, vanilla.

Pour the wet into the dry. 

I just love action shots!

Peel and cut up 2 apples.

I used an organic granny smith and a gala apple.  Sometimes I like to use the wrinkly apples that aren't the greatest for snacking on.

No waste here.

Gently fold in the apples.

Scoop the batter into muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes or so, till browned and done.

I sprinkled a tiny bit of raw sugar on top.

Apple Muffins
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sweetener (sugar, agave nectar, honey)
1/3 cup oil (or use half oil and half applesauce)
3/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 + cup applesauce, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, blend well.
Add wet to dry and still just combined.
Fold in apples.
Fill muffin cups  (Optional: sprinkle raw sugar over muffin tops)
Bake 15-20 minutes till done.

Try not to eat them all at once.  It might be helpful to double the batch! I can never make just 1 dozen muffins in my household.  We would have an all out WAR! A muffin war.

I have also doubled the recipe and made a cake in a 13x9 baking dish.  Just adjust the baking time to 40-45 minutes.

They're applelicious!
The Lunch Lady


Roasted Asparagus

I love Spring vegetables.

Asparagus is in season right now. It's cheap and plentiful.

It's also versatile.  They can be steamed, sauteed, or roasted.

Last night I roasted them.

Start with nice firm stalks.

Not too fat or skinny.

(Just like me.)

Make sure the heads aren't all shriveled up or worse, slimy.

I like to leave the bottom rubber band on when I cut the bottom portion off.

The bottom inch or so is super hard.

Chop it off.

See?  A nice little bundle.

I discard the ends and save the rubber bands for my library.  I hope they don't mind asparagus printed on them.

I'm all about recycling.

Place the cut asparagus in a colander and rinse them thoroughly.

I've had sandy asparagus.  Not good.

Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and if you have it, some roasted garlic.

I just mashed up some cloves and smeared them on the asparagus.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes till fork tender.

Don't overcook them.  Asparagus get mushy and kinda gross if you do.

Remove asparagus from baking sheet to a pretty platter and pour the drippings, the garlicky salty drippings, all over.

Dinner is served.

Wishing I had leftovers,
The Lunch Lady