Lunch Sides Bento Box From ‘The School Year Survival Cookbook’

You've got the sandwich down to a science. Now, what about the other stuff? Try this quartet of healthy snack ideas to round out that lunchbox.

The menu

  1. Mini protein pancakes with cottage cheese
  2. Watermelon, raspberries, pineapple
  3. Plain popcorn and dried seaweed
  4. Edamame beans, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls/cubes

The pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 pat butter

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, milk and oil.
  3. Add egg mix to dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium and toss in pat of butter.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan for each pancake.
  6. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom and bubbles break on surface.
  7. Flip and allow to cook through, about another minute.
  8. Transfer to a rack and cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container or bag to use throughout the week.

The rest

  1. Chop up the watermelon and pineapple into bite-sized pieces and toss with raspberries.
  2. Crumble seaweed on top of popcorn.
  3. Boil or steam and shell raw edamame or buy pre-shelled beans; mix those with halved cherry tomatoes and cubes or balls of mozzarella cheese (this recipe specifically pictures bocconcini).
  4. Assign each snack to its own bento compartment or container.

Dig this container? It’s a Bentology leak-proof bento box with five removable compartments. Get it for $12.99 on Amazon.

Excerpted from The School Year Survival Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Sanity-Saving Strategies for Every Family and Every Meal (Even Snacks).

Photo by Maya Visnyei Photography

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