Chef Kelli's real lunch box revolution - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Chef Kelli's real lunch box revolution

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By Chef Kelli Lewton Secondino
2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners

Try some of these sandwich fillings with a variety of; breads, veggies, wheat pocket bread, on whole-grain bread, bagels, crackers, English muffins, rice cakes, tortillas and flatbreads.

It is always great to start with a whole grain or better yet sprouted grain sliced bread (you will find oodles of varieties and Whole Foods Market, Plum Market and Trader Joes)

Almond butter with organic jelly and slivered almonds
Mini waffles with peanut butter and apple
Quesadilla of any flavor
Apple butter with fresh apples
Organic cream cheese and cucumbers
Sliced natural chicken breast with a smear of homemade ranch and mozzarella cheese
Cheese, avocado, and sprouts
Grilled cheese with cucumber or sprouts
Cheddar or mozzarella cheese with apple slices
Meatloaf with a smear of ketchup
Fresh nitrate free turkey breast loaf with tomatoes, and lettuce
Sliced nitrate free turkey, cranberry sauce, and lettuce
Chicken Quinoa salad on sprouted grain tortilla salad made with celery, lettuce, and tomato
Tuna Salad with avocado and yogurt (or mayo)
Lunch meat and cheese wrap with organic ranch (no bread)

Try something a little different in your kid's lunch by mixing and matching!!!  If it is on a stix it is FUN!
Meat ball kebobs
Fruit of all of kinds
Strawberries and shortcake squares
Nitrate Free Lunch meat with cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes
Cooked chicken or steak with vegetables
Fresh mozzarella cheese with giant cherry tomatoes
Chicken, cherry tomatoes and cubed mozzarella cheese
Nitrate free ham and pineapple with mozzarella cheese
Chucks of lunch meat, tomatoes and bread cubes

Added sides are easy
Yogurt parfait
Veggies with dip
Nut butter and raisins on celery stix
Hand fruit
Cut fruit
Side salads
Chips and salsa
Hard-boiled egg
Chicken salad or tuna salad with crackers
String cheese
Apples and nut butter

Plan Overs (Aka Using Leftovers)
Don't forget about leftovers! Every dinner entrée and side dish should have a plan over for your children's lunch box!  Packing leftovers in your child's lunch can save you lot time, effort and money and kids love them.  Make a few extra servings for dinner and set them aside for the next day's lunch.

Plan Over Prep
Bake chicken breasts, make extra and serve with a dipping sauce the next; homemade chicken finger!
Make a salad for dinner, slice some extra vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and celery, or make an extra undressed salad directly in the Laptop Lunch. (Make extra dressing and pour it into the dip container.)
While you're making dinner, boil a few eggs. Pack the eggs whole, make deviled eggs, or use them in egg salad.
Make extra; pasta, couscous, or rice and toss in perhaps some veggies, fruits or whatever with a little dressing for a cold side salad.
Grill extra vegetables and use them in sandwiches.
Make an extra baked potato and pack it with fun nutritious toppings.
Bake a whole turkey breast, serve a portion for dinner and the extra will be great for sandwiches of finger food

Southwest Parmesan Chicken Fingers
Yield 24-36 pieces (gluten free)
6 Approx. 8 oz free range chicken breast
2 cup Shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup brown rice bread crumbs
6 Cage free organic eggs~ beaten
4 Tablespoons water
½ tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ Tsp Fresh cracked pepper

Cut each chicken breast into 4-5 pieces and season with sea salt & pepper
Spread shredded parmesan on cutting board and do a quick rough chop.  
Mix cheese with brown rice bread crumbs and place on shallow tray  or pan
Dip chicken strips in beaten egg then dredge both sides in Parmesan cornmeal mixture  
Temper in freezer for one hour
Shallow fry or bake on lightly greased sheet tray
Serve with marinara or dip of your choice

Quick Kitchen Tips
This would be great for butterflied chicken breast, pan fry and serve with fresh bruchetta or tomato sauce.
Take it up a notch with a little pesto in your egg mixture
Serve over a green salad
Pair with any green vegetable
Serve over organic sprouted wheat pasta with tomato sauce.
Make & bread extra, freeze breaded but raw and pull out of freezer 20-30 minutes before pan frying or baking

English Muffin Pizza
This English muffin pizza takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and it tastes great!

Whole grain English muffins
Marinara sauce
Shredded parmesan or Romano cheese
Shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
Fresh chopped herbs (Your choice!)
Fresh chopped vegetables (Your choice!)
Really any of your favorite 

Slice in half and lightly toast the English muffin.
Spread marinara sauce on top.
Sprinkle with herbs and/or vegetables.
Top with shredded cheese.
Heat in the toaster oven or oven to melt cheese.

Apple & Almond Butter Sandwich
2 apples ~ cored
1 tsp lemon juice (bush on sliced apple to keep it from browning)
4 Tb almond or sun butter
2TB of chocolate chips
3TB granola

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches.

Whole Foods Market BLT Pasta Salad
1/2 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk or milk
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
2 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
4 lightly packed cups sliced romaine or other crispy lettuce

Cook fusilli according to package directions until just tender; drain, cool under cold running water and drain again.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, garlic and salt. Add pasta and toss until coated. Add bacon, tomatoes, onion and lettuce and toss again. Serve immediately.

Whole Foods Market Mac & Cheese Muffins

8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup acorn or butternut squash puree
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook macaroni according to package directions until just tender. Drain very well.
Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in Cheddar cheese, goat cheese, mustard and salt; lower heat to medium low and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in squash puree. Stir in egg. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni and stir until coated.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and spoon macaroni mixture into liners. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan and bake until lightly browned and crispy on top, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pans for 10 minutes. Eat warm or room temperature, or remove from the pan, cool on a rack, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To learn more about Whole Foods Market's 'Whole Kids Foundation,' log on to

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