Friday, January 13, 2012

Creative in the Kitchen: Literary Lunches
Open Lion-Faced Sandwiches

I get really bored with the same old lunch routine and so do my boys.  So when I read an article, "Read, Cook, Love", in November’s issue of Parent Magazine I was totally inspired!  The writer took inspiration from her children’s favorite storybooks and whipped up some tasty treats.  Here is one creative recipe idea that I created from one of our favorites: Dandelion by Don Freeman.  Read Dandelion and then let your kids decorate their own Open Lion-Faced Sandwiches and remember that each one will come out uniquely their own and that’s okay!  Encourage your kids to take from Dandelion’s example and just be yourself!
hummus (see recipe below)
half of a mini whole wheat bagel
shredded carrot
shredded cheddar cheese*
black olives, sliced
grape tomato, chopped
1 slice of carrot cut in half to create 2 semicircles

1. Spread hummus on one half of a mini bagel.
2. Decorate to make a lion face using the hummus to adhere the facial features and mane.  Use ends of the sliced olives for eyes, cut sliced olives in half to form the mouth, use carrot semicircles for ears and pieces of tomato for a nose and tongue. 
3. Sprinkle shredded carrot and cheese* around the outside edge of the bagel to make the mane.
Recipe for Homemade Red Pepper Hummus:
1 can of chick peas drained and rinsed (or approximately 2 cups cooked chick peas)
½ a lemon, juiced
jarred roasted red pepper** (about ½ a pepper or more depending on your taste)
2 Tbs tahini
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs Olive Oil
¼ tsp granulated garlic
dash of cumin (optional)
dash of ginger (optional)

Process in a food processer until smooth.
*this recipe idea can easily be made vegan by omitting the shredded cheese and using only shredded carrot for the lion’s mane.
** if roasted red peppers are not a favorite in your house you can omit it and add a little more olive oil to keep the hummus from getting to dry.  You can also try swapping out the peppers for some cooked spinach and or some marinated artichoke hearts.  You may find that hummus is a great way to get kids to eat veggies that they normally won’t try!
What children’s books inspire you to get creative in the kitchen?  Please share your ideas, I’d love to try some more literary inspired lunches (or snacks) at my house!

1 comment:

  1. I have loved this book since I first read it years ago for the
    Childrens Lit. class I took at U of L!!!
    What a creative and yummy idea!!