i get a little teary-eyed thinking about the days when henry was a baby, we were living in a six floor walk-up in williamsburg and the local toyshop sold petit collage mobiles and wall art. at that time petit collage was one of the very few companies making stylish, thoughtful products for children in the us and i felt so thankful for the great design. oh times have changed, but petit collage is still running strong and the product line is a testament to that. you can find everything from gear to decor to toys and books!
they recently released these gorgeous eco lunch boxes (bpa, pvc, and phthalate-free) in the classic petit collage graphics that parents and kids love. the size is perfect for everyday lunch or a hike-- our kids often like to carry their box (via adjustable strap) on long walks or trips to the park. the insulated boxes feature easy wipe clean interior and exterior--another bonus! buy them on petit collage's website or my favorite eco shop shak-shuka...and speak of speaking of shak-shuka!
i asked owner joslyn, a trained chef (and a friend) to give me some ideas for everyday lunches since she feeds her kids the most delicious, healthy veggie based meals--that is a real fete in itself!
(each recipe makes enough for about two kids or one hefty adult lunch.)
1 can black beans, or about 1.5 cups home-cooked black beans, drained
1 lime, squeezed and juice collected to use in recipe
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
roasted red pepper strips (easily available in a jar, but you can also make your own or use fresh red peppers)
INSTRUCTIONS: blend all ingredients EXCEPT roasted red pepper strips in a small food processor until well blended. Depending on how much liquid was still in the black beans, you may need to add a bit of water to make sure it is a smooth, spreadable consistency. On a corn tortilla or flatbread, spread the black bean spread on and top with the roasted red pepper strips. if you are serving this to spice-lovers, you can also top with your favorite hot sauce before you roll it into a portable lunch.
Sesame Butter & Jam Sammie (nut-free PBJ!)
tahini (sesame seed butter - "light" color tahini is preferred)
jam of your choice, but we recommend grape to give it a flavor similar to a traditional turkish spread made from grape molasses (pekmez) and tahini
INSTRUCTIONS: the ratio of tahini to jam depends on the consistency of the jam you have, but it is better to start off with about 2 tbsp of tahini and slowly add a teaspoon of jam at a time and then stir vigorously until mixed. Taste as you go, because it can end up very sweet (which you may/not want!). spread on the bread of your choice.
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled (put eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off water and let sit for 8 minutes, then place in ice water bath to cool. peel!)
1 stalk celery, chopped (stringy "hair" pieces remove if picky eaters)
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste
(for adults or spicy lovers): spike with Tabasco sauce and/or smoked red paprika powder
INSTRUCTIONS: blend in a small food processor, or if you don't have a food processor, make sure you chop the celery as finely as possible before you mix it with the rest of the ingredients. taste and adjust seasonings and spread on your favorite bread
thank you joslyn and visit her blog for more cooking ideas!