Tex-Mex Rice Cakes
Makes 14 to 16.
Note: Use leftover rice (make plenty ahead of time) and have this dish ready for dinner or lunch later. From “Weelicious Lunches,” by Catherine McCord.
• 1 c. cooked brown rice
• 1/2 c. whole-wheat breadcrumbs
• 1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
• 3/4 c. frozen corn, defrosted
• 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 eggs
• 2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil for cooking
• For accompaniment: salsa, guacamole or sour cream
Combine brown rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, corn, cilantro and salt in a large bowl, and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
Add the eggs to the rice mixture and thoroughly combine.
Shape about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a patty and set aside. Repeat with remainder of mixture.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
To freeze: Shape mixture into patties, place on baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes, then place in zip-top bag and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw before cooking.
Nutrition information per each of 16:
Calories 65 Fat 4 g Sodium 107 mg
Carbs 6 g Sat fat 1 g Calcium 24 mg
Protein 2 g Cho 27 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ bread/starch, 1 fat.
Chicken Teriyaki on a Stick
Makes 8 sticks.
Note: Use the craft sticks intended for ice pops (no sharp points). Soak the sticks in water before skewering or cover the exposed portion with foil to prevent the sticks from burning. From “Weelicious Lunches,” by Catherine McCord.
• 1/3 c. soy sauce
• 3 tbsp. honey
• 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 4 long strips
• 8 craft sticks
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make teriyaki sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic.
Place chicken in a bowl (or airtight plastic bag for easy cleanup). Add half the teriyaki sauce, cover (or seal) and refrigerate for 20 minutes to overnight; discard the sauce used with the chicken.
Skewer each piece of chicken lengthwise on a craft stick, place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes, or until golden.
Remove chicken from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Serve with remaining sauce for dipping. To serve later, refrigerate and pack with sauce in separate container for lunch.
Nutrition information per each stick:
Calories 56 Fat 1 g Sodium 395 mg
Carbs 5 g Sat fat 0 g Calcium 5 mg
Protein 7 g Chol 18 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ other carb, 1 lean meat.
Penne with Tomatoes, Basil and Cubed Mozzarella
Note: This can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve or pack for lunch. From “The Robin Takes 5 Cookbook for Busy Families,” by Robin Miller.
• 1 lb. penne (small tubular pasta)
• 1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained (regular or fire-roasted)
• 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 oz. part-skim mozzarella or fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, basil, oil and oregano, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When pasta has cooled slightly, fold in the cheese. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve or pack for lunch.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 712 Fat 18 g Sodium 955 mg
Carbohydrates 103 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 476 mg
Protein 34 g Cholesterol 31 mg Dietary fiber 7 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 6 bread/starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 1½ fat.
Hummus with a Twist
Makes about 2 cups.
From “Best Lunch Box Ever,” by Katie Sullivan Morford.
• 1 small sweet potato
• 1 1/2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained
• 2 tbsp. tahini
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 small garlic clove
• 1/4 c. water, plus more if needed
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• Chopped or sliced raw vegetables for dipping (such as bell peppers, fennel and carrots)
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. With tip of knife, pierce sweet potato a few times and put on a baking sheet. Bake until tender enough to mash with a fork, 40 to 45 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, peel skin off sweet potato with your hands. Put flesh of the sweet potato in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, water, cumin and salt, and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more water if the hummus seems too thick. Process for a few seconds until blended.
Keep hummus refrigerated in a covered bowl or storage container. When ready to use, pack the dip and vegetables in separate containers.
Can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in refrigerator or freezer. Taste and add lemon juice and/or olive oil to defrosted hummus, if needed.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup:
Calories 112 Fat 6 g Sodium 160 mg
Carbohydrates 11 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 37 mg
Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 fat.
Kiddie Cobb salad
Makes 2 salads.
Note: Adapt this to your child’s tastes. From “Best Lunch Box Ever,” by Katie Sullivan Morford.
• 2 c. chopped butter, red leaf or romaine lettuce