Friday, March 2, 2012

Lunch Roundup #5


Lunch Time!

The lunch of the week I picked has a sandwich on a skewer made of my homemade spelt bread, grilled chicken breast, sliced cheese, and baby spinach. The bento box also has carrots, strawberries, and some little whole wheat cinnamon crackers. 

The sandwich is interesting isn't it? I can't take credit for its design - daughter #1 has gotten into helping me make lunches and she is much more creative with the food. Daughter #2 does not like sandwiches, but she likes all the parts of sandwiches. I know - weird - whatever - but if you give her a sandwich it comes back home untouched. Putting all the parts on a skewer just makes it a bit more fun and she can eat each part separate. If it were not a picky eater eating this there could be some other yummies on the stick like red peppers, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Now for the cute little homemade cinnamon crackers. I was getting ready to make these the other night and was whining to my sister to remind me why I am doing things like this from scratch. I put sugar on them and honey in them so its not like I am cutting down the sugar (actually I think I am). My Sis put me straight though. She said what I was trying to get the kids away from is the processed junk snacks they sell in the stores. Most have hydrogenated oils, and HFCS but even when they don't, they have a team of researchers trying to make the snacks addictive so people will buy more. If you haven't seen the 60 minutes show on the food industry tweaking foods to create food cravings you need to watch it:
Tweaking tastes and creating cravingsNovember 27, 2011 12:45 PMMeet the scientists who create flavors that make foods and beverages so tasty that critics say they're addictive. Morley Safer reports.The Flavorists: Tweaking tastes and creating cravings

& I have seen this in action. If I buy a box of Teddy Grahams, or Little Debbie's that I tell the kids are for the dessert in their lunches they are ALWAYS gone in a day or two, making me go back to the store to buy more & more & more. That doesn't mean food you make at home can't be just as addictive (hello chocolate chip cookies) but I am finding that desserts and whole grained baked goods  last a whole lot longer if I make them myself. They say they like them and they are excited about them, but they are not binge-eating on them one after another.

I took a basic recipe for whole wheat thin crackers from the LA Times and tweaked it to make it more of a sweet cracker for a dessert. I would have preferred to make graham crackers but I was making this from things in the cupboard and I don't have graham flour. That's great though because now if I need something like this in a pinch I know I can make something similar to graham crackers without going out to spend more food money.



Whole Wheat Honey Cinnamon Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • egg & 1/2 cup water for egg wash
  • cinnamon sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine salt, flour & pumpkin pie spice.
  2. In a separate bowl combine milk, canola oil, and honey and mix well.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients in the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until all the liquid is absorbed. It should not be sticky. If it is add more flour.
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
  5. Split the dough in half and wrap one half in the fridge. Take the other half and roll out with a rolling pin as thin as you can get it while still keeping it even. You want to do this between two sheets of parchment paper that you very very lightly floured.
  6. If you want to make little shapes like I did, use a mini cookie cutter (1 1/2 - 2 inches) that doesn't have any points because those points will brown too fast. If you don't care about making them cute, just cut the dough into small wheat thin sized pieces using a pizza cutter.
  7. You can have them very close together without touching as they do not rise. 
  8. Whisk one egg and 1/2 cup water for an egg wash and brush the tops of your crackers. 
  9. Dust with cinnamon sugar if you want to. 
  10. Bake @ 310 on the bottom piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet for 22-24 minutes. I like to let them get a little brown before I take them out and let them cool all the way. They get more crisp as they cool.

This recipe makes 115 little mini crackers. I am waiting to find out the nutritional information. I added it into Livestrong but they have a new approval process so I don't know how long that will take. I will add the nutritional information as soon as I know! 


Someone asked where I got my Bento Boxes. I bought mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and found the same ones at Old Navy (in colors), but I also searched the web and did find them on Amazon.com in all the pretty colors. They are BPA free too which is always good. 

1 comment:

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