Back-to-School Prep: Lunch and Dinner Recipes, Fresh Food, and More
We’re already a month or two into the back-to-school season, and with busy schedules filled with after-school activities and sports, it’s likely that you’ve run out of school lunch ideas. Although lunches can become boring and repetitive, we’re here with tips and tricks to spice up your early-morning lunch-making experience.
Is fresh healthier than frozen?
Before we get into the recipes, it’s important to discuss the health differences between fresh and frozen. In a FreshMag article titled “Is fresh food healthier than frozen food?” author Daniela Maldonado discusses some misconceptions about grocery shopping for produce.
In the piece, Maldonado explains that “fresh” food is not always the best-preserved option for your shopping. She explains, “The fruit and vegetables straight from the fresh produce aisle may seem healthier, but in most cases, they have already traveled many miles,” stating that the produce endures a few detours from the wholesaler before ending up in your basket. Although fresh produce is the healthiest option if immediately harvested, it may not receive the proper light, oxygen, and temperature in transit.
That being said, Maldonado explains the impressively high nutrient content in frozen produce, since “the fruit and vegetables are blanched with a little water immediately after harvesting and then shock frozen using the quick-freezing method.” The freezing process preserves the nutrients during transit, therefore maintaining an appropriate vitamin content once defrosted and enjoyed. However, Maldonado explains that the “cold chain” cannot be interrupted in transit, as any defrosting while on the road can greatly reduce the nutritional value.
As you can see, there are many factors that impact the quality of both fresh and frozen food. At the conclusion of her article Maldonado details her preference for home-grown produce, as you can be sure to avoid pesticides or preservatives (and you can still freeze these items at home for later use to maintain a high vitamin content).
Properly Storing Your Produce
With premium appliances from Liebherr, you can be certain that your appliances will take the best care of your produce. Whether fresh or frozen, you’ll experience customized temperatures with even cooling, perfect for maintaining the highest nutrient content possible.
With freestanding, semi-built-in, and fully-integrated options for refrigeration, Liebherr brings a sleek, stainless exterior that adds a contemporary touch to you space. Perfect for storing produce, Liebherr appliances are engineered with BioFresh technology, which helps food retain vitamins, aroma, and appetizing appearance significantly longer.
School Lunch Ideas
With an abundance of cooking-related content available at our fingertips, there seems to be a heavy emphasis on the importance of fresh food, rather than frozen food.
Recipe 1: Grilled Chicken Ranch Wraps
If you’re in search of a delicious meal for your kids’ lunches, these grilled chicken wraps are an excellent treat.
Ingredients (Makes 4 Wraps):
– 2 cups cooked grilled chicken breasts, chopped (season however you would like)
– ¼ ranch dressing
– 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
– Cilantro, minced
– 4 8-in. tortillas
Place tortillas on a clean surface or clean cutting board. Add ½ cup of grilled chicken, a few tablespoons of cheese, 1 tablespoon ranch dressing, and a pinch of minced cilantro. Fold tightly into a wrap shape. On medium heat, coat your pan with non-stick spray or oil, and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Your wrap should be a golden color. Slice in half, and you’re all set to pack.
Recipe 2: Vegetarian BBQ Pizza
Attention, vegetarians! If you’d prefer to pack a meat-free lunch for your kids, consider a vegetarian barbeque pizza. With a variety of delicious flavors, this recipe is an excellent choice for a special lunch.
– 1-lb. store-bought pizza dough
– Olive oil
– ½ cup barbeque sauce
– Mozzarella cheese (approx. 1 cup)
– Smoked gouda (approx. ½ cup)
– ½ red onion, sliced
– 3 cups mushrooms (optional)
– Crushed red pepper flakes
– Cilantro (optional)
– Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, coat your mushrooms in olive oil and set aside. In a cast-iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Place pizza dough in the pan and stretch to fill the pan.
Bake for approx. 5 minutes, and remove skillet form your oven. Spread 1/3-1/2 cup of barbeque sauce on your crust. Add mozzarella, gouda, red onion, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and bake until crust is golden-brown (15-20 minutes more). After baking, broil for 1-2 minutes.
Top with red pepper flakes and cilantro (and additional barbeque sauce if you desire).
Recipe 3: Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
If your child has an early lunch, consider pairing a sandwich with a breakfast-themed element, like a delectable yogurt parfait.
– Yogurt (flavor of your choice)
– Fruit (we suggest blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries, etc.)
– Granola (optional)
– Coconut flakes (optional)
To create this easy snack, grab a mason jar and layer yogurt with the fruits of your choice. Top with granola or coconut flakes, and you’re all set. Don’t forget to add your lid and pack a spoon.
We wish you the best of luck with your school lunches!