Heading into the new school year, it’s all too easy to get intimidated by the so-called “Pinterest moms” who make an art out of simply packing a school meal. But you don’t need to have gone to culinary school to turn lunch time into fun time for your kids. If they already love going out for sushi, they’ll immediately get a kick out of these fun lunches.
Either way, few kids can resist any kind of roll-up — and they don’t have to know the fillings are nutritious! Ready to roll up your sleeves — and those lunches? The possibilities of sushi-inspired meals are endless, because there are so many suitable recipe combinations for both the outer shells and the fillings, from tortillas and veggie rounds as outer layers, to sweet and savory fillings for the inside.
Take advantage of the pliable nature of tortillas by using them to create easy, healthy roll-ups. For each lunch you need to make, spread one tortilla with a thick layer of cream cheese or peanut butter. Top that base layer with chopped fruit, such as peaches or strawberries. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can, and cut into slices.
If your child is craving savory rather than sweet, smear cream cheese or the spread of your choice on the tortilla. Next, lay down layers of shredded cheese, turkey slices and shredded carrots. Roll up, then slice each log into “sushi” rounds. For extra color, use spinach or red pepper wraps rather than plain tortillas.
Bread Made Better
With just a rolling pin, you can transform a few slices of plain wheat bread into a layered “sushi” roll. Spread each flattened bread slice with cream cheese or peanut butter, then set down a different topping (sliced apples, strawberry jam, raisins, etc.) in the corner on each of the individual pieces of flattened bread. Layer the bread slices, roll them up tightly, and cut the layered log into several pieces.
It’s also fun to use something other than a starchy wrap for the other layer. One of the simplest versions of this is to simply spread a peeled banana with peanut butter, roll it in crispy cereal, then slice the banana into individual disks.
Alternatively, use thickly-sliced cucumbers. Hollow out the center of each round slice, and stuff each round with tuna, or perhaps a filling of cream cheese which has been combined with raisins and shredded apples or carrots.
After a hard week of creative lunch-making, you deserve the real deal! Stop by Shinto for delicious sushi at half-price, along with other appetizers. The Happy Hour fun happens Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.