Guest Blogger: Chef Anthony Rose Makes Lunch to Raise Awareness for Hungry Students Week - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Guest Blogger: Chef Anthony Rose Makes Lunch to Raise Awareness for Hungry Students Week

In a week when many of us are plan­ning big, elab­o­rate meals we'll be cook­ing and enjoy­ing for Thanks­giv­ing, we wanted to take a moment to remem­ber that it's not the case for every­one. Right here in Toronto, where SPC is based, lots of fam­i­lies need help putting food on the table. We were recently intro­duced to The Angel Foun­da­tion for Learn­ing, a char­i­ta­ble group ded­i­cated to assist­ing vul­ner­a­ble stu­dents in the Toronto Catholic School Board. They told us that over 30,000 chil­dren (1 in 3 stu­dents) within the TCDSB use stu­dent nutri­tion pro­grams every day, be it break­fasts, lunches or snacks (amount­ing to an amaz­ing 5.3 mil­lion nour­ish­ing meals per year). This year, to mark the City of Toronto’s Feed­ing Toronto’s Hun­gry Stu­dents Week (Octo­ber 3–7, 2011), The Drake Hotel’s Chef Anthony Rose cre­ated an inter­ac­tive Lunch­box Smor­gas­bord for par­ents to make with their kids at home. Anthony is work­ing with The Angel Foun­da­tion to raise aware­ness for this issue. It's so impor­tant, no mat­ter what com­mu­nity you're in! And now, I'll hand it over to Anthony — C.M.

I wanted to share this Lunch­box recipe, which my son and I often put together, with par­ents across the GTA.  My hope is that the next time they assem­ble this with their kids at home, they’ll be inspired to sup­port these school nutri­tion pro­grams in their own way as well – either with dona­tions, vol­un­teer time, or sim­ply by spread­ing the word. This recipe gives kids a chance to exper­i­ment with a host of deli­cious flavours and tex­tures on their own, all the while, fill­ing their tum­mies with fresh, nutri­tious ingredients.

This Lunch­box Smor­gas­bord is some­thing that I can pack for my son’s lunch five days a week. Simon never eats the whole thing; some days he only eats the meats and fruit, some­times just the crisps and cheese. As long as he eats some­thing, I’m happy. I start with a cou­ple romaine leaves on the bot­tom of a lunch con­tainer and then I just group all the other foods in lit­tle piles on top. All of the ingre­di­ents can be pre­pared ahead of time and are then ready to pack quickly. I usu­ally make this the night before so we can have break­fast together and play in the morn­ing, and then I just grab it out of the fridge on my way out the door. The way we eat this at home: dip the chip in hum­mus, add a lit­tle chicken or egg on top and then top it off with some veg­eta­bles or cheese. You can change it up every time and always have some­thing dif­fer­ent. Simon gets a fun lunch that always has vari­ety, but is also healthy, bal­anced and uses fresh ingredients.

- Chef Anthony Rose, The Drake Hotel

Chef Anthony Rose’s Lunch­box Smorgasbord

Serv­ings: Makes 1 Lunch­box or double/triple the ingre­di­ents for sev­eral kids or sev­eral days worth
of lunches!

3 slices of cucum­ber (cut into round cir­cles) OR
3 car­rots sticks (you don’t need to peel them, just make sure they are washed well)
2 Romaine let­tuce leaves (rinsed and dried)
3 chunks of ched­dar, cut into ¼ inch cubes (I like some­thing medium hard. Any cheese will do but avoid processed cheese)
3 dried apri­cots OR 2 table­spoons of raisins OR 3 pieces of dried apple
3 chunks of a good firm tofu (avail­able at most gro­cery stores) OR 1 hard cooked egg, cut in quar­ters (at The Drake we put eggs in cold water, bring the water up to a boil and take the pot off the heat. Let the eggs stand in the water for 10 min­utes and then cool. Peel the eggs when they are cold)
3 chunks of chicken breast (I like to buy the rotis­serie chick­ens from the gro­cery store. At home my son and I will usu­ally get about 4–5 meals out of one bird. We will use the left­overs for sand­wiches, throw some meat into   good soup to make it heartier and toss it with some mac ‘n’ cheese as well. That’s Simon’s favourite) OR ¼ cup of canned tuna in water (just drain off the water really well or buy the vac­uum packed prod­uct). Flake up the tuna.
¼ cup hum­mus OR black bean dip (there are some great ready made spreads in gro­cery stores and at the deli counter as well. If you are feel­ing a bit more adven­tur­ous you can buy chick­peas or black beans in a can. Drain all of the water off and rinse really well. Pop them into a blender or crush them all up in a bowl by hand. I sea­son them with a pinch of salt and pep­per and driz­zle a lit­tle olive oil in as well. I will then look in the fridge and see what else I can mix in, like left­over chicken, caramelized onions, a lit­tle mus­tard or hot sauce! It’s all good.)
6 pieces of whole wheat pita crisps (these are what my Mom uses. She will buy a cou­ple bags, open all the pitas and cut them into wedges. She driz­zles a lit­tle olive oil on top and some salt and pep­per as well. Roast them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahren­heit, nice and slow until they are really crispy. The crisps will keep well in a plas­tic zip bag for a week).


To pack your Lunch­box, assem­ble all the ingre­di­ents in a plas­tic stor­age con­tainer. Layer the let­tuce on the bot­tom and then add all the bits and pieces on top to make your fun and healthy Lunch­box Smor­gas­bord. Try some of the ingre­di­ents one day and then use oth­ers for another lunchtime and you’ll end up with end­less combinations!

Eat it up!


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