Tuesday, December 9, 2014


It is the daily dilemma - what goes into the lunchbox. I am not a planner ; so I have some hope that this hindsight will yield some wisdom

According to the boys, lunch should ideally include what they call a hot main dish, a piece of fruit, maybe a salad and sometimes a little treat. They take their lunch in an insulated lunch bag and  they each have a thermos. an 8 oz for the little one and a 12 oz container for the older one. In the fall and winter, the thermos either contains soup or some hot food and in the summer it is filled with fruit smoothies.  Leftovers that can be easily eaten with a spoon are highly in demand and eagerly anticipated. When there are no leftovers; there is bread. Lunch is  built around pressed sandwiches and pita, parathas,tortillas and Lavash. We buy a hearty bread: sourdough or a rustic wheat bread that holds up well to fillings. I vary it every week with another flat bread: some weeks it is Lavash, others it is Pita or parathas from the Indian store.
 The breads are spread with  nut butters(sunflower and chunky peanut are favorites) or bean based dips. I usually make some kind of a bean dip, spread or lentil based filling over the weekend and use it in their lunches through the week.

Last weekend I made some  hemp butter and an olive  tapenade. I also cooked a mix of wild rice and French Lentils in my rice cooker Sunday night.

Here is the lunch breakdown for last week.

  • Monday: Pressed sandwiches with Feta and  olive tapenade/hemp butter
  • Tue: wild rice and french lentil salad with tomatoes, cukes and bellpeppers
  • Wed: Pressed sandwiches with blackeyed pea and potato filling
  • Thu: Sunflower butter, cranberry chutney and cucumber sandwiches, Paratha spread with hemp butter, pineapple
  • Fri: Leftover poha made with tomato,bell pepper and cauliflower, carrot kosambri, plain yogurt

I will leave you with a recipe for the hemp butter. Please do share - how do you deal with the lunch dilemma?

Spicy Hemp Butter
The tepin peppers are spicy and full of flavor and are available at most Mexican grocery stores.Try a mix of dried ancho and Anaheim chillies if you can't find the tepins.
The hemp heart seeds came from Costco (1 giant bag that I am trying to go through)
1/2 tsp tepin peppers 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil

1 cup hemp heart seeds
salt to taste.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, peppers and cumin and cook for a minute or so until the garlic sizzles. Don't let the garlic brown.

Combine the hemp heart seeds and the pepper-garlic mix and process either in a food processor or a high speed blender. Add salt to taste.
Stays good for at least 10 days.

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