Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pasta Salad

Yesterday night I started thinking about what to send in the kids lunchboxes. I was tired and didn't feel like doing anything too complex... So, I boiled some pasta (rigatoni) in water and salt and planned to add a sauce the next morning. To the cold pasta I would add pesto sauce, which is my kid's favorite, and we had Pasta Salad!!! Sometimes, I add cherry tomatoes cut in half and diced fresh mozzarella cheese. It's a hit with the kids!!! But you can always change the cheese and add a vegetable of your choice.

As I mentioned I used store bought pesto. During the summer months, when I grow herbs, I make my own sauce. I skip the garlic, because my husband doesn't like it. But when it's cold, I find it easier to buy at the store. This one from Costco, Kirkland brand, is extremely tasty and the whole family loves it. It can also be used on sandwiches, pizzas and chicken dishes. IMPORTANT: it contains pine nuts!!!

Healthier cafeteria meals

Yesterday I was reading the March issue of Bon Appetit magazine and I saw something that really caught my attention. Google was offering amazing healthy food options at their offices' cafeterias. It seems that the company is really trying to offer a better quality of meals to their employees. Aside from that, there is a whole logistic on how to position the different items at the cafeteria to help people make healthier choices. How cool is that!? I think that is great when companies offer choices for their employees to better their lifestyles. If the adults start to get used to eat healthier, they will eventually bring that habit to their homes, and their kids will benefit from that. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mini cheese quiches

Today I made something quick that the kids really love, and it is also a good idea for an appetizer or even a side dish. It is a basic cheese quiche recipe that I bake on muffin molds, which turns out to be very practical for the kids to eat at school. Following I'll write down the ingredients, but keep in mind that the cheeses are just suggestions. They can be changed according to taste.

1/2 cup of Queso Blanco
1/2 cup of Parmesan
2 eggs
1/2 cup ricotta 
1 Tbsp chives
Salt to taste

The base of this quiche is the combination of the ricotta and the eggs. So, any other kind of cheese can be added as well as different herbs. Preheat oven at 350 F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Fill the greased muffin molds with the mixture (3/4 of the mold), and bake for around 20 minutes. Check if its done with a toothpick. If it comes out dry, it's ready. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pasta with broccoli

Friday I did something very simple and fast, and one of my kids' favorite: Pasta with broccoli. With just four simple ingredients, I created a lunch that is extremely appealing for them. Easy to fix and also easy for them to eat. I used cooked pasta (your choice), cooked broccoli ( I boil it for 2 minutes in just a bit of water to keep its nutrients), Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

I cut the broccoli in very tiny pieces and mix together with the pasta, Parmesan and olive oil. It's a hit with my kids. I also sent reduced fat milk and dried blueberries.


Eating healthy was always very important for me. Taking time to cook food from scratch has been a priority, and when my kids reached school age, I decided that I was going to prepare healthy meals for them to bring to school. My husband and I are from a culture in which lunch is the big meal of the day. So, providing a school lunch that is healthy and nutritious is a must. It also has to be something that appeals to the kids and easy to eat, considering that they don't have too much time at lunch. I'm always looking for recipes that I can modify, to make them tasteful for them and easy to prepare for me. To the meal, I usually add milk or a low sugar juice and a desert that consist of fresh or dried fruits.

Talking to moms at school and in our community I've heard complaints on how frustrated they were not to have many ideas for school lunches. The working moms would say that they didn't have too much time to prepare something original for their kids. And considering that my kids' classmates complimented on their meals several times, I had the idea of starting this blog where I could pass on the recipes and ideas that I was using. My plan is to select healthy and easy to make small meals, adding pictures that will help parents and caregivers on their busy routines. I hope that they will be helpful.