School Lunchbox Munchies!

Kayleigh’s School Lunchbox Menu:

Homemade chicken noodle soup

Pizza, chicken pesto, ham & cheese pinwheels

Chicken pesto pasta


Summer is almost over and many families are getting the kids ready to go back to school after the vacation.

To help ease into the back-to-school routine, I thought it would be a good idea to do some easy, time-saving pack lunch recipes, that use three key ingredients in versatile ways.

Here are a few tips to make your school mornings run efficiently:

Plan – Sometimes it’s not always possible, but you can make your life a lot easier by planning your weekly meals. This not only allows for a stress-free morning and evening, but it also saves you money and trips to the store!

Preparation – Try and prepare as much as you can the night before. Wash, peel, slice, and portion into the necessary containers and store in the fridge; somewhere that will be easy for you to take out the next morning. Making space so everything is together in the fridge, ensures that you won’t forget anything.

Lunch boxes – Get the lunch boxes ready the night before and set out on the counter so it’s all ready for you in the morning. That way, you’re not in a rush trying to find lids, containers, thermoses etc. Any pantry snacks you might be including with your child’s lunch can also be laid out, ready for the morning.

Communication – talk to your children and find out what they like to eat, and see if they can provide you with ideas for new and interesting lunch options.

Don’t forget to share your finished dishes with us on Instagram! #delishvipy

Some ingredients that we’ll be using multiple times are:

1 whole roasted chicken, shredded, split in thirds. Reserve chicken bones for stock!

1 lb of curly egg noodles, cooked, split in half

2 cups homemade pesto, split in half

HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Soup is great for kids to take to school. It’s filling, full of nutrients, and soup-er easy to make! It also freezes well, so it’s a perfect make-ahead meal for lunch or dinner; perhaps use up some produce from the fridge. You can add whatever you have on hand that might need using.

For the stock:

Level: easy

Makes: approx. 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

1 whole roasted chicken

Veggies: such as washed onion, celery, carrots, garlic

3 quarts water

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

Method

Place all of the ingredients into a deep pot. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour. Leave the lid off so the flavours really concentrate.

Note: Don’t add salt to stock as it allows control of the sodium levels in the soup.

For the soup:

Level: easy

Makes: approximately 2 quarts

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, finely diced

2 carrots, medium dice

1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

1.5 quarts chicken stock

Salt & pepper to taste

8 oz cooked egg noodles

Reserved cooked shredded chicken

Method

Begin by heating up a deep pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and butter and then the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and curry powder. Gently sauté until soft. Once the vegetables are tender, add the chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Off the heat, add the cooked egg noodles and shredded chicken.

PINWHEELS

Another fun and easy pack lunch are pinwheels. These are so versatile, kids love them, and you can make them the night before so it is a quick, grab and go for those sometimes-crazy school mornings! You can use whatever ingredients and flavours your kids like, but here are three suggestions:

Pizza pinwheels

Level: easy

Makes: 1 pinwheel

Ingredients

1 flour tortilla 12” wide

2 – 3 tablespoons good quality pizza sauce

10 slices pepperoni

3 slices thin mozzarella

Method

Begin with the tortilla on a flat surface and spread the pizza sauce all the way to the edges except for the last 2 inches at the top of the tortilla. Then, lay out the pepperoni, again, leaving the last 2 inches at the top. Finally, lay out the sliced mozzarella on top of the pepperoni, leaving the last 2 inches at the top free. Now it’s time to roll them. Start at the bottom and roll the tortillas as tightly as possible to the top. Wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate them for a few hours or overnight. When ready to use, slice into 1” rounds and serve.

Chicken pesto pinwheels

Pesto is a great ingredient to have on hand. Not only is it brilliant for quick lunch, but it can be used in so many ways for dinner as well. It’s one of my favourites to have on hand. I mix it in with quinoa, roasted salmon with a pesto crust, and use my spiraliser to make a lighter version of pesto pasta. Quite often, raw garlic can be overpowering in a pesto, so I prefer to roast my garlic. It offers a wonderful creaminess to the pesto, and rather than a sharp garlic bite, a sweet subtle garlic-y-ness that’s just perfect.

Ingredients

1 flour tortilla 12” wide

2 – 3 tablespoons homemade pesto

¼ cup finely shredded chicken

For the homemade pesto:

Level: easy

Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients

1 head roasted garlic

½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

3 cups basil, washed

½ cup fresh parmesan, grated

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

Method

To roast the garlic, pre-heat the oven to 375F. Cut the garlic head in half (through the equator), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in foil and put on a baking tray to catch any drips. Roast for about 30 minutes, until cloves are tender and sweet. Once the garlic has cooled, place all the ingredients in a food processor, except the olive oil. Whir until everything is nicely chopped, and slowly drizzle in olive oil while the processor is on, add the lemon juice and incorporate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To assemble

Using the same method as above, start by spreading the pesto on the tortilla but leave the last 2 inches at the top free. Scatter the shredded chicken over the top of the pesto. Roll, wrap, and refrigerate as stated above and slice into 1” rounds when ready to serve.

Ham & cheese pinwheels

Ingredients

1 flour tortilla 12” wide

4 slices honey smoked deli ham

4 slices sliced sharp cheddar

¼ cup sprouts

Method

Using the same method as above, start by laying out the ham on the tortilla and leave the last 2 inches at the top free. On top of the ham, lay out the sliced cheddar, and on top of that, spread out the sprouts. Roll, wrap, and refrigerate as stated above and slice into 1” rounds when ready to serve.

CHICKEN PESTO PASTA

Level: easy

Makes: 2 portions

Ingredients

8 oz egg noodles

½ cup homemade pesto (see recipe)

Approximately 6 oz shredded chicken

Method

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Strain and allow to cool. Stir in chicken and pesto and place into lunchbox containers.

Bonus Online Recipe!

GRANOLA BARS

Level: easy

Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients

4 cups of your favourite granola

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 12” by 4” baking dish with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, honey and sugar. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients in until well combined. Press into baking tray, make sure it is well compressed. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden around the edges. Allow to cool for at least 3 hours before slicing into squares. Store in a zip top bag for up to 5 days.

Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Kayleigh Driver

Kayleigh Driver

Born and raised on Tortola, Kayleigh is the Coldwell Banker/BVI Villa Rental Property Manager and Villa Chef. Kayleigh loves to work with fresh island produce as much as she can, supporting local farmers and fishermen. She looks forward to sharing fresh and fun recipes with you.
Kayleigh Driver

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