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Take Some Time to Save Some Time on Healthy Lunches

Homemade Lunch Rolls

Making lunches before school was always such an ordeal at our house.  With kids going different directions and with different schedules and tastes, it was a huge challenge every weekday morning.

 

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But one year I started doing something that made a big difference.  And yesterday I recreated it with four grandsons: We made pizza and ham-n-cheese rolls.

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Back in the day, about once per month, I would make a large batch of these rolls.  Then I would  individually wrap and freeze them, and each morning the kids could choose the kind they wanted (or make another kind of sandwich) and pack their own lunch.  Since the roll was frozen, it would slowly thaw until it was just right at lunchtime.  

It seems like a big job, but the kids had fun helping to make them, and then the morning routine was much faster.

You Will Need:

 
https://sites.google.com/site/lassenslovesgaylerecipes/homemade-healthy-lunch-rolls

Makes 12-15 Lunch Rolls

  • 2 cups organic whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour, divided
  • 1 TBSP yeast (or two packages)
  • 1 cup organic whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup organic raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic butter
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • Fillings such as pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sliced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, left-over shredded chicken, pulled pork, etc

Step One:

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Make the Dough

  • Blend 1 cup each of whole wheat and white flour, add the yeast and stir together
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  • Heat to about 100 degrees (it should feel slightly warm to the touch) the milk, sugar, and butter.  Do not overheat or you will kill the yeast.
  • Slightly beat the eggs with a fork
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  • Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and blend on low with a hand mixer
  • Add the eggs and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes
  • Add 1/2 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and blend, using a wooden spoon
 
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  • Remove the spoon and blend with your hand until the flour is incorporated.   Add enough of the remaining flour to get a smooth and slightly sticky dough.  You don’t want it dry.
  • Pick up the dough and pour 2 tsps organic olive oil on the bottom of the bowl.  Put the dough on top of the oil and turn it over and over until it is coated.  This will prevent the dough from drying out.
 
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  • Cover with a clean light dish towel, and let raise until double in size.  This depends on the temperature of the room, but it will take at least an hour
 
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  • Gather your fillings
  • When the dough has risen double, punch it down and clear your workspace.  Since I had helpers, I cleared the whole counter!
  • Take about a 1/3 cup size of dough, and flatten it into a circle about 5″ across and 1/4 inch thick

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  • Add your fillings–pizza sauce, pepperoni, cheese, or ham and cheese (Sun-dried tomatoes and olives would be great!  Or chopped broccoli and cheese!)
 
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  • Fold up three edges and pinch together, and then fold up the rest and pinch together to hold the filling inside
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I did it!
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray
 
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  •  Brush with butter.  This will help the rolls to bake a golden brown color.  
 
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  • Allow to raise for about an hour.  The won’t get significantly bigger, but you’ll see the dough gets puffier.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden
 
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We had these for dinner last night with watermelon and cucumbers!

 

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Yum!
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Even the pickiest eater ate it!
 
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And the one-year-old loved it!

Lassen’s carries a selection of fun lunch boxes to help reduce lunchtime waste!  This one is a full kit! 

 
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Or you can add these fun reusable containers to the box you already have
 
 
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How do you like this stainless steel stacking set?
 
 
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Or a spaceship fabric set!
 
 
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With a little planning and preparation, making school lunches doesn’t have to be stressful!
 
 
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Happy Back to School!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
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Flashback! Cooking as a Kid–or with one!

4-H In My Youth

I know that 4-H in this part of the country (and many others) means hogs and steers, but my introduction to 4-H was with a group of my girlfriends when I was about eight or nine.  One of the moms decided to start a 4-H club for us, so we spent lots of time at her house learning homemaking skills.
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Sounds old-fashioned, doesn’t it?

And I suppose it was.  But I was just having fun with my friends, learning some food basics, and gaining confidence in the kitchen.  I did lots of cooking with my mom so it wasn’t all that new to me, but I loved my 4-H time nonetheless.  
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That 4-H Club experience helped me to not be afraid of being in the kitchen or of having my children in the kitchen with me.  So my kids regularly made salad or peeled vegetables or measured ingredients or made dessert.  They assisted with everything I was doing.   When they went off to college I knew they wouldn’t starve — or live on fast food — because they were comfortable in the kitchen.

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Some of my favorite phones calls when they were away at school were the ones that started, “Mom, how do you make…?” asking for a recipe.  (I always knew when it was one son’s turn to cook for his dinner group!)

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One of the keys to cooking with kids is to make it fun, not a chore.  Kids are much more likely to eat healthy foods when they have had a hand in growing, harvesting, shopping, and preparing the foods themselves. 

I always loved to eat this side dish when I was a kid, because I got to make the bunny face!

 

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We didn’t have a lot of junk food around our house when I was growing up–no chips or sodas–but we always had the makings for this kind of a snack! 

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Invite your kids into the kitchen!  It will be fun for you and for them.  Teach them how to use the juicer and the blender, the oven and the stove.  Maybe you could be that mom who gets a bunch of giggly girls together to learn to be healthy gourmet cooks.  They will thank you some day!

I found a very simple kid-friendly hummus recipe here.  I think I’ll be making this recipe with my grandsons at Grandma Camp this year!  (They love to be in charge of turning the food processor on and off!)
 
Enjoy the kids in the kitchen!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s