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The Nosh Pit: Recipes for Homemade Bag Lunches Your Kids Will Love

Make lunchtime both a healthy and exciting experience for your children

By: Anthony Marcusa
Published: March 25th, 2013 in Culture » Food » Recipes
(clockwise) Turkey sundried tomato pesto sandwich, Black bean brownies, parmesean tuna sandwich, apricot, peanut butter and walnut sandwich, and tomato basil soup

It could get messy, but it will always be memorable. Every week in the Nosh Pit, we’ll lead the gathering of an impassioned group of foodies, offering delectable dishes, seasonal treats, and other goodies to nosh upon.

We’ll introduce the timely scenario – what to bring to an obligatory sports party or contribute to a spring picnic--and share some auspicious recipes. Spice up a soiree, diversify your dinner, or help convince those reluctant souls that ‘soy substitute’ is not synonymous with ‘stale.’

Recipes are best shared, passed from one sated soul to the next, with everyone adding just their own flair, and creating endless yummy possibilities. At a concert, people shed inhibition and share passion in a moment of synergy and excitement; they will do the same in the Nosh Pit, directing their unparalleled enthusiasm towards food.

Bag Lunches Your Kids Will Love

Just like adults, children crave new and exciting meals, growing tired of that which is the same. There are numerous ways to spice up, so to speak, the tradition brown bag lunch, keeping a children’s attention while staying healthy too.

The bag lunch may always be the same (or lunch box, what have you), but what’s on the inside doesn’t have to be. Think balance, and think thematically – kids are taken by presentation. What follows are exciting additions that make normal fare stand out, and simple substitutions that keep desserts healthy. These are bag lunch items that children will love and help expand their palate.


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, Havarti and Turkey on Multigrain Bread from CBS News

Per sandwich:
2 slices seeded multigrain bread
Slice of havarti cheese
1/2 tablespoon sun dried tomato pesto (see recipe below)
2 slices of nitrate free turkey
Spread the pesto on one side of the bread, top with cheese and turkey.
Freeze and enjoy.

Sundried Tomato Pesto:
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes rehydrated in hot water then drained
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, crushed under a knife and peeled
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Process all the ingredients and half of the olive oil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Slowly pour in the remaining oil as the pesto is processing. Blend until the mixture forms a coarse paste; add more oil if you desire a thinner paste.


Protein-packed Tomato-Basil Soup from CBS News

This delicious, protein-packed soup will leave you warm and satisfied. Don't let the creamy color fool you. This is a vegan soup! This is a great to take to the office or send with the kids for lunch on a cold day.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, one handful chopped
2 28 oz cans of organic tomatoes
1 cup of water
1 lb. of soft organic tofu

Process:
Heat olive oil in large sautépan over medium heat. Add chili pepper flakes and chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until onions are soft, but not brown.

Add garlic and one handful of chopped basil and sauté for two minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, and water; simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add tofu, crumbling into sauce, heat thoroughly for 5 minutes.

Use immersion blender, or pour sauce into a standard blender (make sure to keep crack in lid, to relieve pressure. Careful not to blend when liquid is too hot). Add a handful of fresh basil. Thoroughly blend and serve immediately. Serve with toasted bread.

Related articles: The Nosh Pit, Healthy, Bag Lunch, Packed Lunch, Children, Kids, Brownies, Recipes, Sandwiches, Homemade
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