Welcome to Week 18 at Lunch Matters
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Welcome to Week 18 and the second week back of the Australian school year.
Here at Lunch Matters we've gone Moomin mad! This week some fantastic Moomin cookie cutters arrived from far flung corners of the globe and they've made a big impact on my son's lunches.
I've had yet another "The www. is an amazing place" experience with my Moomin cutters being sourced by a young German student on a study course in Finland. Yes, that's right through the wonders of ebay, a wonderful fellow trawled the streets of Finland to source the remaining Christmas stock of Moomin cutters for me. It's amazing how small the world can feel with the internet :o) For those of you thinking "Moomins? What on earth are they?" you may have yet to discover the joys of reading the Tove Jansson books to your little ones or you may have just missed out on them yourselves as little ones.
As an X-Gener - there is something incredibly nostalgic about these little creatures. I remember finding them in the library a long time ago and delighting in their adventures and now I am reliving it all with my 5 year old who seems to be equally enchanted. "Comet in Moominland" was the first Chapter book that I have read to him and he hung on every word. So if you've a spare moment and can forgive Lunch Matters for sounding more like Literacy Matters, I can't recommend heading down to find these books in your local library highly enough.
If you are already a Moomin fan (and I know that there are plenty of you out there) and you'd like some of these cutters, I've just listed the remaining stock in the store. They are as rare as hen's teeth now with Christmas being over, so we only have very limited stock to offer. You'll see that the Groke is there above looking out at you with her creepy, cold stare.
On the lunch packing front, the every day packing is certainly a new challenge for this mum, however, the rewards have been great. My son appears to be needing lots of fuel to keep him going throughout the day and the supportive environment where he finds himself seems to appreciate the importance of sitting down to enjoy a good lunch.
I had the interesting experience this week of trying out the egg rolls that you can see above. Another lesson in never anticipating what you think your child will or won't eat. I made him a couple of the egg rolls the day before and popped them in his lunchbox, really thinking that they looked a little fancy for a cricket bat weilding 5 year old. To my delight however, he came home with rave reviews. "Mum those egg things were delicious - can I have more of them tomorrow?" and so you'll see they were offered as the main for the following day. He would have had them every day that week if I'd given him the option - but for the Flickr viewing public I thought that the repetition may be a bit hard to take!
The other thing that you'll notice in that snap above is those amazing dragons! A trip to the local asian store revealed an entire range of amazing metal cutters - they're the best for cutting through veggies. I was amazed to hear that there was an even more elaborate dragon on offer but the budget dictated that this dragon would suffice for now. Melissa C's comment on the mandating of dragon cookie cutters in every household to entice the reluctant veggie eater seemed apt. How could anyone turn their nose up at a carrot that looked like that?
It's all about generating a little enthusiasm for food. When I picked my son up that day a little girl in his class bailed me up to ask how I'd made those dragons. Seemed like she would have liked to hop into them too :o)
You can see from my other shots that novelty foods don't make it into every lunch, but every now it really does help to present healthy food in fun ways. We all know what amazing things the processed food companies do to lure children towards their products - so the odd fancy cutter is just my way of keeping up with the Jones' so to speak. And when you look at how much you are saving by not buying the prepackaged processed foods on offer, there's often a kitty left over to spend on the odd cookie cutter here and there.
Now without futher ado let's get to this week's recipes.
Egg rolls - such a hit, so simple and a great way to up the protein level of your lunch.
One organic egg beaten (I still can't believe the number of different things that are being added to eggs - I don't want my eggs stuffed with any extras - just a plain old egg from a happy farm is all I need)
A splash of milk
Heat a non-stick pan and spray lightly with some canola oil. Pour the egg mixed with the splash of milk very, very thinly onto the pan. It will cook in about 30 seconds and because it's so thin you don't need to flip it.
Invert the pan and turn the omlette onto a wire cooling rack to cool - again because the omlette is so thin it will cool in no time.
When cool, place some thinly sliced ham on the first thirds of the omlette and roll it up.
Cut the omlette into pin wheels and there you have it egg rolls!
If you aren't interested in adding the ham these are equally appetising as straight egg rolls.
Half an apple cucumber
Again not rocket science here - but apple cucumbers that used to be everyhwere when I was little are now really a seasonal vegetable and now's the time.
I found some at the Farmers' Market last week and if you can, look for those that have a little green stripey action on the skin.
Half an apple cucumber scooped out and cut up then returned to its shell is a fun way to introduce your children to a veggie that they may not have had before.
A little olive oil and lemon or balsamic vinegar dressing and that veggie serve is good to go.
Links of interest:
An interesting article that reflects on the dietry requirements of a school child.
The Vegan Lunchbox blog - I know I keep coming back to this, but Jennifer's Valentine's lunch is too good to miss.
Well on that note - I'd better head off and think about the Valentine's lunch that I'll be packing for tomorrow. We'll see what the cricket bat weilding 5 year old has to say about that!
Until next week, happy lunch packing and happy days.