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Italian Inspired After School Snacks

POSTED August 23, 2018

School can take a lot out of a kid. Classes all day, afternoon activities and a full slate of homework and projects in the evening. It almost makes you wonder where they find the time (and the energy) to fit it all in. As you know, the worst thing for a busy kid’s body and brain is overly processed food. So, today, we’re sharing a ton of fun dishes that incorporated fresh, whole ingredients to keep them going straight through to summer.

If you’re like most people, you didn’t uncover the magic of brussel sprouts until well into your 20s. Don’t you wish you had that time back? Introduce your kids to how delicious brussel sprouts can be from the get go with a secret ingredient we can’t wait to share.

When you’re choosing your sprouts, look for bright green heads that heavily packed leaves. Stay away from yellow leaves, which indicates old age, or black spots, which could be a sign of fungus.

Now, marinate your pound of sprouts in our Honey Sesame Veggie Marinade, a garlicky sweet sauce that comes in a single use container which means, yes…no mess! Preheat your oven, spread out your sprouts and roast for about 30 minutes. We swear you’ll never see a bowl of veggies disappear this fast again!

Ok, pop quiz. Why does French bread taste so good? There are a few reasons, but perhaps the most important one is that a true baguette contains only flour, salt, yeast and water. Absolutely no preservatives. Proof again that keeping it simple is the key to delicious food.

Let’s start with said baguette and toast it lightly under the broiler, cut-side up. Our Truffled Mushrooms, earthy champignon mushrooms marinated in oil, turn up next in this recipe and they help give this bread a bit meatier bite than it otherwise might. Minced garlic, a generous sprinkle of Havarti and Gruyère, and some black pepper prep this dish for heading back into the oven.

While this bread may be a bit sophisticated for smaller palates, trust us, high school kids will gobble it right up. It’s also a perfect date night appetizer (pair it up your favorite bold Cabernet or Pinot Noir.)

You may not make this just for an afternoon snack, but if you’ve got leftovers from a soup night, this is a fun dish that kids will get a kick out of. Don’t let the steps of this recipe overwhelm you. Working with yeast can be tricky but consider it a good refresher of physics and chemistry for you too!

First, warm your milk up to about 110°F (test it with a clean finger, if it’s warm to the touch, but not hot, it should be just about right). Pour in the water and mix in your yeast, honey and olive oil. Work with the dough according to the recipe until you end up with 12-14 equal size pieces of dough.

Place the pieces in the skillet, sprinkle with fontina and spread the pesto and you’re just about a half an hour in the oven from an out of this world snack or meal. Try it with Minestrone alla Genovese for a fantastic fall treat.

We have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t enjoy these meaty, cheesy little guys. A huge improvement over those frozen things from the box! Our Instant Polenta acts as the base for these bites and the fact that they are so poppable makes them a great fit for study group or a team meal.

Prepare your polenta by stirring it into your chicken stock and water. Add butter and Havarti and, when it’s combined, pull off the heat and distribute the mixture evenly into a muffin pan. In a separate saucepan, brown and combine Italian sausage with our handcrafted Pomodoro Fresco Marinara.

Top each cored-out “muffin” with meat sauce and provolone and bake about 15 minutes. Hit it with some fresh basil when you’re done, and we’ll bet you’ll have a punch of happy campers on your hands.

Another dish you may not just whip up on a weekday afternoon, but there’s nothing better for warming up on a cool fall day than leftover soup. Chicken meatballs and three cheese tortellini definitely don’t hurt either!

Have a dutch oven or a soup pot handy? Great. Cook up your “soup vegetables” in olive oil for about 10 minutes and then add your stock and chicken. By the way, rotisserie chicken can be an incredible time saver not just for family dinners but also for school lunches. Wraps, salads, sandwiches…you name it. It’s also fairly inexpensive and ready to go whenever you need it.

Once you’ve got your meatball ingredients “pulsed”, form 1-inch rounds and set aside. Bring your soup to a boil, and then add your meatballs and tortellini. Finish it up with some fresh parsley and serve steaming hot.

What is childhood without jalapeño poppers? We don’t want to know. These bacon-wrapped, balsamic drizzled favorites are easy to prepare and make cramming for a test a bit more enjoyable.

If you’ll be serving these to younger or spice-averse children, make sure that you know the proper way to seed a jalapeño. Cut it lengthwise, exposing the membranes of the pepper (these hold the seeds) and then scrape all the way down the pepper with a spoon.

Combine your cream cheese, garlic powder and shredded cheddar and then stuff that mixture into the seeded peppers. Wrap each jalapeño with bacon and cook in a smoking hot pan. A drizzle of our Balsamic Glaze will take this dish over the top. You’ll be sure to get an A+ from your hungry students with any one of these outstanding dishes.

Need some more inspiration? Check our gallery of recipes!