Oman Food: Back to school lunchbox surprises

Lifestyle Monday 15/August/2016 18:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Food: Back to school lunchbox surprises

After the long holidays children are now back to school and once again moms are busy looking for new lunch box menus. Skip those same old sandwiches and include these lunch box surprises.

A clever way to get your little one to eat zucchini without knowing its presence in this delicious, cheesy whole wheat pasta.

• 2 cups whole wheat fusilli pasta
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon of flour
• ½ cup of milk
• 1 spring onion - chopped diagonally, separate the greens
• 1 cup grated zucchini
• ½ cup finely grated cheese
• Salt and pepper as per taste
• Boil 6 cups water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the pasta and boil for 10 to 12 minutes till al dente. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil to this, coat it well and leave aside.
• While the pasta boils, prepare the white sauce by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan .Now add 1 tablespoon of flour and gently sauté it for about 2 to 3 minutes by taking care of not burning it as the colour should be white. Pour in ½ cup of milk to this mixture, and stir till the sauce thickens which should in about 3 minutes.
• Melt 1 tablespoon butter in another pan, add the white of the spring onions and sauté for a minute. Add the zucchini and stir fry for about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the white sauce and combine it well with the zucchini. Garnish with grated cheese.

Packed with the goodness of whole wheat, these dainty cookies with hints of cinnamon team up to be a healthy snack for your little champions.
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• ½ cup unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons of milk
• Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
• In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon powder well.
• Add the soft butter, and milk to the flour mix to make dough.
• The dough should be soft. Divide the dough into about 24 equal parts and shape them into balls.
• Press each ball between your palms lightly, as every cookie should be about 1/2 inch in thickness.
• Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.
• Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown.
• Let the cookies cool down for 2 to 3 minutes before taking them off the cookie sheet.
• Store in an air-tight cookie jar.

Eggless with an overload of cheese, these “quick to cook” melt in the mouth crackers are a must in every child’s snack box.
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 4 tablespoons soft butter
• ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
• 3 tablespoons yoghurt
• Combine all the ingredients together to make smooth dough.
• Keep dough covered in a refrigerator for 2 hours. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough ¼ inch thick.
• Using a cookie cutter, get the desired shape by making sure it is ¼ inch wide.
• Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and let them cool.

These sesame coated triangles are piled high with a potato peas mixture and grilled. Wholesome and filling, you can’t go wrong with bringing a smile to your little ones face when they see this delight in their snack box.
• 4 slices of brown bread
• ¼ cup peas
• 2 medium potatoes - boiled and mashed
• A generous pinch of baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• Lightly toast bread slices in a toaster and keep aside.
• Microwave the peas for 2 minutes till soft and mash these with the help of a spoon. Combine the mashed peas with the potatoes and add baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to get a smooth paste.
• Spread mixture over each toasted bread slice and cut each bread slice into 2 triangles. Sprinkle some sesame seeds generously if you want. Press lightly with the fingers.
• Place bread on a grill rack in a hot oven. Grill for 5 minutes till golden from the sides.
• Serve with ketchup.