For many this week brings the start of a new school year. Remember when it was after Labor Day? I certainly do, as a child it felt like all the fun was coming to an end. This is where as parents we step in to set goals and activities for the kids to look forward to, throughout the school year. I remember during the big family vacation my parents would be talking about the next trip. It gave us something to focus on besides ‘school’. These can be day trips, picnics, sports, camping, even a trip to the farm provides anticipation and focus.
We also return to the age-old issue of what to put in the school lunchbox? After a few weeks it becomes a struggle getting creative. Black Bean Hummus, a recipe I wrote in 2017 is a good resource of protein. Young people love to ‘dip’ with everything. A few fresh vegetable sticks would be yummy dipped in this hummus. Decorate the top with a few splashes of sharp cheddar cheese for more eye appeal. Don’t overlook store-bought hummus for time crunch situations.
Turn a regular sandwich into something out of the ordinary with specialty spreads. My favorite is Ranch Dressing and fresh avocado blended together. It’s great on a wrap or a slice of bread.
Here’s one of my favorites: Large shell pasta stuffed with egg salad, chicken salad, ham or tuna. In a plastic box container the kids can pick them up without a utensil. They’re filling and something for the kids to anticipate as they open the lunchbox. Chips, boy oh boy, this is a sorry subject. As we mature we find the extra sodium makes our joints ache and it truly is not a healthy choice. Instead of the chips try pretzels or a Ziploc bag of popcorn.
Deviled eggs are full of protein and would make a good main entrée. Many summer sausages are good to pair with sliced cheese, crackers, fruit and yogurt.
Peanut Butter and Jelly would be glorious paired with a homemade fruit parfait!
Packaged fruits are handy but fresh always wins in the flavor and quality department. For the beverage I highly recommend the student purchase milk from school. Unless, of course, there’s an allergy issue. Fruit juices can be very high in sugar content.
Next week my salad recipe will be one that will work for both the adult and the student lunch. It can even be held in the refrigerator 4-5 days with great success.
As usual I’ve been up to more canning for the pantry. This week, Bonnie, my assistant at Silver Dollar City and I made tri-berry jam. It’s sure going to taste yummy in the weeks to come. Next week I’m looking into a sweet and hot pepper relish for winter.
Give the hummus a try, you just may be surprised with the outcome.
Have a splendid week. The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Black Bean Hummus
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black kettle seasoning
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/ 4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup finely diced sweet white onion
Using a food processor, place all the ingredients, except for the diced onion. Blend until smooth; remove from processor and stir in the onion.
Makes approximately 1-1 1/2 cups of black bean hummus. Serve with chips, vegetables or even as a topping!