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Kiddie Lunch Boxes

Kiddie Lunch Boxes
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With children heading back to schools marking the end of summer vacations, it's time to bring out those lunch boxes and put on our thinking hats....

With children heading back to schools marking the end of summer vacations, it's time to bring out those lunch boxes and put on our thinking hats. Turning out innovative yet nutritious and quick to make lunches which can be eaten cold is a Herculean task in itself. Try these recipes the next time you are stuck for what to pack. With the basic formula of variety, colour and balanced nutrition, these vegetable packed lunches can be easily changed to include chicken or eggs. They also makes for interesting adult lunches!
Vegetable Stuffed Idlies Ingredients launchIdli Batter 2 cups Salt to taste Carrot 1, Shredded Peas � cup Sweet Corn Kernels � cup Spinach or any other greens� cup Boiled Potato � cup, chopped Coriander Leaves a small bunch Curry Leaves few Green Chilli 1, chopped fine (optional) Method
  • Add all the ingredients to the idli batter.
  • Add a cup of water to a steamer or a pressure cooker and heat till the water comes to a gentle boil.
  • tPut the batter into the idli plates and steam (without the whistle) for 15 minutes, reduce the heat and steam for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Allow the idlies to cool, remove from the mould and pack into a lunch box with a little chutney or tomato ketchup.
Paneer Kathi Rolls Ingredients launch1Paneer 100 grams (cubed small) Onion sliced 1 small Tomato diced 1 small Garam Masala Powder � tsp Amchur Powder � tsp Coriander Powder � tsp Red Chilli Powder a pinch Salt to taste Oil 1 tsp Lemon Juice a few drops Chapathi 4-5 Method
  • For the Filling
  • Heat the oil and add the onions, fry them till they are translucent. Add the tomatoes and saut� for a few minutes till they begin to lose shape.
  • Add the red chilli powder, salt, amchur powder, garam masala and coriander powder and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cubed paneer and cook covered for 4-5 minutes.
  • Make sure the paneer is not overcooked and is nice and fluffy. Add a few teaspoons of water if you would like, but it should not have a runny gravy.
  • Cool the filling mixture. Add lemon juice and mix.
  • Spread out the chapathis on a work surface. Spoon over 2 tablespoons or more if needed of the paneer filling onto the chapathis and roll into a kathi roll. Fix it with a toothpick.
  • Lay out on a paper towel in the lunch box. Alternatively, wrap each kathi roll in foil and pack.
  • Make this filling with boiled chicken instead of paneer. Or use any leftover dry curry to substitute. Makes sabzi roti interesting for children when wrapped individually.
Vegetable Macaroni Ingredients launch2Macaroni (or any other pasta) 1 cup (cooked according to instructions on the pack) Assorted Vegetables 1 cup (sweet corn, peas, chopped carrot, red and yellow capsicum, etc) Salt to taste Pepper to taste Mayonnaise 3-4 tbsp (use store bought) Tomato Sauce/ Ketchup 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves 2 tbsp (washed and chopped) Olive Oil 1 tsp
Method
  • Cook the Macaroni or any other pasta according to the packet instructions till just done, drain the water and reserve both the water and the pasta.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add all the vegetables and � cup water and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes till the vegetables are cooked yet retain their crunch. Drain water and set aside.
  • In a pan, heat the olive oil and saut� the vegetables for a minute. Add the cooked macaroni, salt and pepper and toss well with the fresh coriander. Set aside.
  • Mix the mayonnaise with the tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons of the pasta water, pour this over the cooked macaroni and toss well. Spoon out into the lunch box.
  • This pasta salad tastes good both warm and cold and hence is a good choice for a kiddie lunch box.
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