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Make the return to school special by thinking outside of the box when you fill-up the lunch box. Try these healthy and tasty ideas to keep kids asking for more!

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

As nutritious as they are yummy, pop one or two in the lunchbox for a midweek treat.

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox Treats

Ingredients:
• 3⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 apple – peeled, cored and shredded
• 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Mix together brown sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for powdered sugar and milk. Stir until well blended.
  3. Drop on a cookie sheet or baking tray and bake 9 to 12 minutes. Mix powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and drizzle over cooled cookies.

Zucchini Bread

Eating your vegetables has never been so much fun with this easy bread.

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox TreatsIngredients:
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2 1/4 cups white sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups grated zucchini
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

  1. Grease and flour two loaf tins. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf tins.
  5. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pans on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

BBQ Chicken Wrap

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox TreatsIngredients:
• 4 slices beef bacon
• 1/2 small onion, chopped
• 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
• 2/3 cup barbeque sauce
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 large pieces shamy bread.

Preparation:

  1. Fry the beef bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on paper towels; crumble.
  2. Add the onion and shredded chicken to the pan. Fry over medium heat with a few drops of oil until onion is tender.
  3. Stir in 1/3 cup of barbeque sauce, and remove from the heat.
  4. Mix in the cooked beef bacon.
  5. Divide the chicken mixture between the two pieces of shamy bread to within 2 cm of the edge. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the filling.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese and cilantro over the top. Roll gently and bake for around 5 minutes in a preheated oven, or until browned to your liking.
  7. Cool for a few minutes then cut each wrap in half.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Tossed grilled chicken, romaine and fresh tomatoes with pasta in a creamy Caesar dressing.

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox TreatsIngredients:
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup Parmesan
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic
• 8 ounces penne pasta
• One medium boneless, skinless chicken breast
• 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the grill grates
• 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
• 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
• 2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Whisk the mayonnaise, Parmesan, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
  3. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Add it to the large bowl and set aside.
  4. Prepare a grill or grill pan for medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly oil the grill grates or grill pan. Grill the chicken, on both sides until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.
  6. Add the grilled chicken, romaine, celery and tomatoes to the bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s not to love about this decadent combination! They will be gone in a flash.

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox TreatsIngredients:
• 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
• 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1⁄2 cup white sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2, 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture.
  4. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 6 cm apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden.
  6. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Mini Quiches with Peas and Beef Bacon

These can be party favorites, or a tasty way to jazz up a lunchbox!

6 Savory and Sweet Lunchbox TreatsIngredients:
• 6 slices beef bacon
• 5 eggs
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
• Frozen puff pastry

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius. Add the beef bacon to a pan, turn the heat to medium-high and cook until browned and crispy on both sides, about 7 minutes.
  2. Drain on paper towels, then dice and set aside.
  3. To a medium bowl, add the eggs, heavy cream, paprika, cayenne (optional), Dijon mustard and some salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Add the beef bacon, peas and Gruyere; fold to combine and set aside.
  4. Lightly roll out the defrosted pastry and cut out into 12 rounds using a round cookie cutter. (If necessary, roll out the scraps and cut out more rounds.)
  5. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Press each pastry round into a
    muffin tin cup, crimping the edges. Divide the egg mixture between the pastry cups.
  6. Bake until just set, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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