Lunchbox tips – Spicy Roasted Pumpkin & Sunflower seeds


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Parenthood – for some one big competition after another – its the reason I never really went in for the whole mother and baby groups I don’t need much help to feel like my kids pulled the parental short straw!  The competition is endless, whose baby smiled first, sat up first, was weaned first, passed grade 4 piano with one hand tied behind their back first etc etc… Since the ginger peachick turned 1 potty training, singing, reading and writing (yes really!!) have been the main areas of parental competition.  Now,  yes if I took her to the toilet every 30seconds she’d be dry all day too but she is the third of 3 fairly demanding children, there is mess to clear up, homework to do and recently breathing to attempted – so it can all wait!   (I am most definitely in the learning through the outdoors, play and fun, practical & social skills until school kind of camp)!  In case you were wondering – she is dry at night, can sing the alphabet and count up to 20 objects independently – all without any involvement from us at all! Oh and start, continue and finish a reasoned argument as to why she does not need to go to bed at the same time as the rest of the universe!

 

Anyway I digress…  In summary everything to do with children is considered up for competition even apparently food.  It appears there are so many different camps when it comes to what people feed their children.  As far as I am concerned there is nothing wrong with any of them, baby led weaning, no grains, no refined sugar, survives on nothing but baked beans etc etc just wrong that some followers of each feel the need to express their superiority over followers of others.  To be fair with the allergies we are quite lucky in the fact that we don’t really have to justify our food choices to other people – they can’t have ice cream they will throw up, I am not mean, I am not depriving them, I am just not prepared to make them ill … no discussion!  Apparently though my kids have ‘very fancy tastes’ and their every mouthful is commented on by certain people  because they would rather eat Olives and prawns than chicken nuggets and chips!

 

Picnics and lunchboxes are always the subject of much discussion when it comes to feeding a trio of Peachicks who are not all that fond of sandwiches and that’s before we’ve even been through every loaf on the supermarket shelf to find one without soya flour in!  On occasions when sandwiches are requested they have to be thought of in advance so the bread machine can go on!

 

So here is a list of the Peachicks’ Favourite lunches & picnics…

  1. ‘Peachick Sushi Rolls’ – Wholemeal tortilla wraps filled with alternating carrot and cucumber sticks, wrapped and sliced into small rolls.  Spread the outer edge of the wraps with hummous or spread to get it to stick down and chill before cutting with a sharp serrated bread knife!
  2. Homemade pizza rolls – think the fancy name is Calzone – small rounds of pizza dough smothered in tomato puree and some veg and tinned fish then folded in half and sealed with a fork before baking in the oven.  Wrapped in foil they stay hot and are good on the beach for dinner on a cold sunny winters day!
  3. Homemade apple and sage sausage rolls – shop bought puff pastry, smothered with apple sauce, cut into strips and wrapped around sausages then baked in the oven.
  4. Cous cous – Grated carrot, beetroot and finely chopped onion in a heatproof bowl, add the dry cous cous, black pepper and little Olive oil.  Pour over hot water and leave for 5 mins… add veggies (tin of sweetcorn, cucumber, chopped tomatoes – anything really) and its done!
  5. Soup – roasted veggies (usually potatoes, butternut squash and parsnip) roasted until soft and blended with stock and, dairy free milk and frozen sweetcorn!
  6. Pate – any kind, in or on anything!  Just check as some use egg as an ingredient!
  7. Frozen prawns – these are a godsend for lunchboxes, stick them in the lunchbox frozen and by lunch they are defrosted and can be eaten as is or added to cous cous or sandwiches!
  8. Guacamole – two of the Peachicks will literally eat your arm off if you stand between them and their guac…  They particularly enjoy it with tortilla chips or in wraps with the aforementioned prawns!

 

And their most recent favourite….

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with assorted dipping things….

The Peachicks will dip pretty much everything so far they have tried…

Pepper Slices

Carrot sticks

Cucumber chunks

Olives

Breadsticks

Crackers

Grapes

Sausages

Fingers…

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To give the hummus a bit more texture I add Roasted Seeds over the top, this combination of spicy sunflower & pumpkin seeds with the soft hummus is AMAZING! and it looks pretty too!  These are also a good nut free alternative for that bowl of nuts at a party!  Actually if you were going to use these as party or desk snacks, once cooked and cooled you could mix sultanas in for added sweetness and a change in texture.

 

This is a basic recipe, swap for different kinds of seeds, add sultanas, different spices, chilli for heat, nuts (cashews would be nice!) etc the list is endless – have a play and find what works for you!

 

Ingredients

Time: Speedy!Serves: 5 as sprinkles for hummus!
1tsp of your favourite curry paste1tsp honey
1tsp Olive OilFreshly ground black pepper
Handful of sunflower seedsHandful of pumpkin seeds

 

Method:

First add the honey and curry paste to a dry non-stick frying pan and over a low heat cook the spices out for a minute or two.

 

To the pan add in the seeds and black pepper and combine thoroughly before continuing to heat over a medium heat for a further minute or two.  You don’t want to burn the spices, honey or the seeds!

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The curry paste gives the seeds a lovely colour and the honey makes them shiny and a little bit sticky!

Let it cool either in the pan or on a flat sheet tray and sprinkle over the hummus or into a serving bowl!

 

Serving suggestions :-

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Spread hummus onto a cracker or one of those ‘thins’ and sprinkle seeds over the top!

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Array of accompaniments to the Peachicks’ hummus or snacks for party!

 

ENJOY!

 

Mx

 

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