This week sees a big step in our house. Izzy starts full time school. I must admit to feeling ever so slightly emotional about it. I currently work on a job share basis which means every other week I get a full week of time with the girls and I will miss my afternoons with her. I think the scariest part is that she is growing up, no longer is she my little girl. The move to her new class also means a full day in school including lunches for the first time. Packed lunches can get boring, the same sandwiches and bits of fruit get old really quickly so to encourage variety and goodness I have decided to experiment over the coming months with a few different styles of packed lunches.
Both girls will eat nearly everything I put in front of them which does make life a lot easier. Izzy in particular has always enjoyed dipping her food in various sauces, I often buy houmous for her as a healthier alternative to ketchup and recently I make it from scratch a lot more. Do you call it hummus, humus or houmous?? Everyone seems to choose different ways of spelling it. All tastes the same.
This time I used frozen rainbow carrots from Iceland to give the houmous a little extra goodness and flavour, it adds a sweetness and the girls adore it. I rarely add Tahini to my houmous, instead opting for a tablespoon of peanut butter ( either store bought or home made depending on how much time I have ) which gives it the slight nuttiness. You can really play about with flavours, roasted red peppers work particularly well as does a teaspoon of Harissa or Paprika. For this recipe I added cumin as I find it compliments the carrots.
Easy Carrot Houmous
You will need:
250g Frozen Rainbow Carrots
1 tin of Chickpeas ( 400g )
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced or diced finely
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp of ground cumin
pinch of salt and pepper
Cook your carrots as per packet instructions, set aside. Drain and rinse your chickpeas before adding to a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes until softened. Drain and add to a large bowl with all of your other ingredients. Using a stick blender, blitz until the required texture. I like it quite chunky but the girls prefer it smoother. This makes the equivalent of two standard store bought tubs.
Popped into a tub with a firmly secured lid this will keep well in a lunch bag until lunch time.
Now the tortilla chips are barely a recipe, more of a how to:
Homemade Tortilla Chips
You will need:
Preheat your oven to 200c. Cut your tortillas into triangles or perhaps some fun animal shapes? Place in one layer on a baking tray and spray or brush lightly with oil – I tend to use the spray bottles of pure olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp. You could add herbs or spices to the top depending on what your children enjoy but we quite enjoy them plain with a flavoured dip.
I recommend adding some pepper and cucumber batons to dip also, the different colours make the meal more visually appealing to a child.
Check out these other packs lunch ideas from some of my fellow food bloggers for some inspiration:
*This post was commissioned by Iceland I was compensated for my time.