School canteens or tuck shops have changed quite a lot in recent years. When I was in primary school I used to order two party pies, a jam doughnut and a chocolate Big M every friday when I was allowed to have a lunch order. It was so much fun writing my order on a brown paper bag then sticky taping on my coins to have it magically appear at lunchtime full of food that is probably illegal these days at primary schools! I guess everything is OK in moderation but recently I have been working on healthy lunch box ideas for kids at school with the Manningham Council for Healthy Lifestyle Week. Let’s just say that processed meat pies in pastry are not on the menu!
Instead I’ve created recipes that admittedly require a little bit more effort then whacking a bit of Vegemite on white bread, but are nutritionally balanced, are able to be eaten cold, do not need refrigeration if eaten that day, will fill up kids tummy’s and could quite easily be turned into a family meal for dinner and then leftovers for lunch. The recipes are also ideal for kids to make on their own with adult supervision.
I will post up a few healthy lunch box recipe in the lead up to my presentation at Manningham Council this week. If you do happen to live in Manningham Council you are able to come along and meet Vasili from Vasili’s Garden and me as we cook up some healthy lunch box treats and learn from Vasilli lots of helpful gardening tips so that you can grow your own feast!
First recipe up, Sweet Corn Pikelets with Guacamole Salsa! These pikelets are delicious served both warm and cold, I would encourage you to make a large batch and keep them in the fridge for when you are hungry or pack them into school lunch boxes. You can choose to eat them with guacamole, seasonal toppings or on their own. They also make a fancy brunch served with smoked salmon, crème fraiche and dill.
Guacamole is an essential dip to know how to make from scratch, it’s healthy, delicious and versatile and it tastes a million times better homemade compared to the dip you can buy from the shop. Guacamole is perfect in a wrap or on top of sweet corn fritters as suggested in these recipes but it can also be served with veggie sticks, natural corn chips as well as with tacos and burritos. Enjoy!
Sweet Corn Pikelets
Batter makes about 15 small pikelets
What’s in it?
350g cooked corn kernels, (from the cob is best)
¾ cup self raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup milk
Salt and pepper
Grated tasty cheese (optional if you think your kids need a dose of diary in their diet)
Butter, for frying
Serve with guacamole salsa (refer to separate recipe)
How to make it:
1. Combine corn kernels, eggs, flour, milk, seasonings and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a large spoon to combine. Allow batter to rest for 15 minutes.
2. Heat large non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat, add a few teaspoons of butter and slide it across the pan to grease the frypan evenly.
3. Add a few tablespoons of batter to make one fritter, make as many fritters as you can fit on your frypan. Turn over once you start to see little bubbles appearing on the top of the fritter, this should only take a few minutes. Cook for a further minute or so on the other side. Serve warm or cold with guacamole salsa or your choice of healthy topping.
- The batter shouldn’t be too runny, the batter should just slide off a spoon, if your eggs are extra large, use less milk
- Resting the batter means not mixing it, just setting the batter aside and keeping it still
What’s in it?
2 avocados, diced
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 lime, juice only
A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, finely diced (tomatoes are in season right now so add extra if you would like!)
Sea salt, to season
How to make it:
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mash to combine well, alternatively you can place in a small food processor and blend to puree. It depends on how you like you guacamole! Add more lime juice or salt if you think it needs it.
- Guacamole will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about 2 days, but I doubt it will last that long!