Katie Sullivan Morford, the co-founder of this blog just released her first book, Best Lunch Box Ever, published by Chronicle Books. Besides being an excellent writer, Katie is a certified nutritionist. Her book is packed with healthy, easy and delicious lunch box ideas. Best Lunch Box Ever is beautifully designed with gorgeous photos and easy to follow layout. It is so easy that I gave a copy to my 13-year old daughter who is the chief lunch maker at our house.
One of my favorite recipes is the Perfect Date on page 60. It has six simple ingredients: whole-wheat lavash, whipped cream, dates, celery and baby spinach. As Katie suggests, most of her recipes are sophisticated enough for an adult’s lunch box too.
The Perfect Date, recipe on page 60
Three years ago Katie followed her bliss and went back to writing about how to nurture healthy eating in children. Although I miss working with her on Afghan Culture Unveiled, I am very proud of her accomplishments. She has a very popular food blog, she was tapped to write this book more interestingly, she develops recipes and cooking videos on back-to-school meals for Pottery Barn Kids. I am thrilled to share this conversation with Katie Sullivan Morford followed by a recipe she chose from her new book.
Humaira Ghilzai of Afghan Culture Unveiled interviews
Katie Sullivan Morford, author of Best Lunch Box Ever:
Humaira: Tell us what you have been doing since you stopped blogging with Afghan Culture Unveiled?
Katie: I started a blog called Mom's Kitchen Handbook, which brings together my interest in food with my expertise as a registered dietitian and my experience as a mother of three. I write about food and family with the goal of inspiring parents with easy recipes and practical advice on feeding their kids.
Humaira: Afghan Culture Unveiled is read by people in India, Latin America, Europe and of course the US. What are three top things parents around the world can do to give their children the most nutritious meals?
1. Number one is to eat together as a family as much as possible. Kids who eat with their families tend to eat healthier and overall be happier and more successful in school than kids who don't.
2. Eat whole foods with less reliance on packaged goods. Beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurt, eggs, and so on, should be the foundation of our diets, not what's inside of a box with 30 ingredients.
3. Teach your children to cook. It will increase their interest in eating good food and give them the tools to nourish themselves once they're grown. I imagine that families in many parts of the world do a much better job of these three things than we do here in the States.
Humaira: Were any of your recipes in Best Lunch Box Ever influenced by your experience with Afghan food?
Katie: There is a lot of yogurt in the book, which is something I really got hooked on when I was focused on Afghan cooking. I also use flatbread in a number of recipes such as pita and lavash, which is very much a part of Afghan cuisine.
Humaira: Do you still make Afghan food? If yes, what are your family's favorite dishes?
Katie: I really crave Afghan food and I do continue to cook it at home. My favorite remains
but I probably cook Sabzi more than anything else. I love to make a big batch of that and
have it for lunches with, of course, yogurt and flat bread.
TERIYAKI Fried Rice from Best Lunch Box Ever Book
WARM AND NOURISHING, this
panfried rice is a brown-bag favorite. The dish starts with a couple of
scrambled eggs to which rice, edamame, and seasonings are added. If you happen
to be making eggs for breakfast, it’s just a few extra steps to make this
savory lunch dish. Naturally, brown rice is more nutritious than white.
Leftover farro or barley make tasty substitutions.
MAKES 2 TO 3 SERVINGS
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups leftover cooked rice
1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame
1 tablespoon teriyaki
- In a medium skillet, heat the
- sesame oil over medium heat. Add the eggs and scramble until just cooked. Add
- the green onions, cooked rice, edamame, and teriyaki sauce, and cook, stirring
- often, until everything is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
- Divide the fried rice between two
- or three thermoses.
MAKE-AHEAD NOTES: can be
made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. In the morning before school,
warm up and pack into the thermoses.
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