Family friendly recipes and real life adventures by a mom/nutritionist

For lunch, with love

I’ve never been a big celebrator of Valentine’s Day (commercial holiday and all that…don’t judge me) but it’s pretty hard to resist doing something a little extra special for your kids today.  Opening their lunch boxes and finding a bit of extra love will warm their hearts and put smiles on their faces.

On today’s menu:  mini heart-shaped spelt crust pizzas, carob covered strawberries, and strawberry sweetheart shakes.

Spelt pizza dough ingredients:

 1 1/3 cups of filtered, warm (not hot) water
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole spelt flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast

Instructions:

This is a very simple pizza dough, it’s our current favourite at home!  You can play around with it and try using kamut flour in place of some of the all-purpose flour.  You can also try adding some dried oregano and garlic powder for some extra flavour.

If you are making the dough in the bread maker:

Place all ingredients in the pan according to your bread machine’s preference.
Program for the dough cycle.
Remove from pan at the end of the cycle and either roll out or place in a food storage bag in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (this can be frozen for up to 3 months).

If you are making the dough by hand:

Pour warm water into mixing bowl, stir in yeast.
When the yeast is active and starts to form a foam on the water (about 5 minutes), mix in the first cup of all-purpose flour.
Mix in the olive oil and salt.
Add the flour, half a cup at a time. If the dough is too sticky then add extra spelt flour while kneading, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
Knead dough for 6-8 minutes, either with your dough hook or by hand.
Oil a bowl with a little olive oil, put the dough ball in and roll it around to coat.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
You can either roll out or place in a food storage bag in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (this can be frozen for up to 3 months).

 

For the heart-shaped mini-pizzas:

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness.

 

Using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out mini-pizza crusts (I cut out 6 crusts and used the rest of the dough to make a medium, round pizza crust for myself!)
Place the cutouts on either an oiled baking stone or a parchment lined baking sheet.

 

Let the dough cutouts rest while you prepare the toppings.  I used tomato sauce, chopped red bell peppers, mushrooms, some turkey sausage and marble cheese.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Top the pizzas and bake in the prepared oven 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of your cutouts), until they are nicely browned.

 

Carob covered strawberries:

I know that there will be chocolate at school today, so I decided to be different and cover my strawberries with carob.  You may laugh at me (that’s okay, I’m used to it), but my chocolate loving 3-year-old exclaimed “yum chocolate!” and ate two of these on the spot – enough said.

Ingredients:

1 cup of pure carob chips
2 tsp of coconut oil
Approximately 20 organic strawberries

In a heavy bottomed saucepan or a double boiler, over low heat – melt the carob chips along with the coconut oil.
Stir until smooth.
Wash and dry the strawberries.
Dip each strawberry in the melted carob and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Repeat with each one and cool in the refrigerator at least one hour.  Enjoy!

 

For the Strawberry Sweetheart Shake:

The beautiful pink colour of this shake is perfect for a Valentine’s Day lunch or breakfast.  Full of vitamin C and plenty of love, it’s a joy to drink.

Ingredients:

1 cup of filtered water or coconut water
1 1/2 cups of vanilla rice milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
2 big wedges of fresh pineapple
10 fresh or frozen organic strawberries
3 tablespoons of hemp hearts (optional) – they are a great source of protein and omega fats
1 tablespoon of raw honey (optional, depending on how sweet your sweetheart likes it)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy your beautiful pink shake!

And that, my friends, is lunch for today.   Happy Valentines Day!   What fun meal did you make today?



6 thoughts on “For lunch, with love”

  • What can I say? All of your stories and recipes are the best! Everything you write is totally engaging – and don’t think I am saying this because I am biased.

  • Hey Jackie this looks like a delicious lunch. I was wondering what you give Sam for morning and afternoon snack? That is kinda part of the school lunch bag right?

    • Shannon, I will be posting more snack recipes soon. I try to vary the snacks, but they’re something like this: fruit every day, (usually berries or an apple etc.), the other snack will be perhaps home-made granola bars (or store bought ones in a pinch), or a muffin, trail mix (which I will post my recipe for this week), whole grain crackers and cheese, etc…Lately he’s been eating all his lunch and only being hungry for one snack. And not starving after school like he used to be!

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