Are you Back to School Ready?

On average Canadians produce 31 million tonnes of waste annually.

These days we depend so much on the convenience of products that are available to us, and we can really notice this in the school lunch room. Most parents pack lunch items in single-use plastic bags, aluminum foil, or wax paper, and purchase single-serving items that come in their own disposable package. These products are extremely convenient, but what is the environmental cost to a country that relies so heavily on them? Landfills are full and overflowing. It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates around 67 pounds of waste per school year.

So whats the solution?

Gogo Bags is a local Vancouver based company who is passionate about getting back to our roots the way our ancestors lived  by reducing our carbon footprint. They come in a variety of sizes and functions such as snack/sandwich bags, mesh produce bags, and utensil/toothbrush bags. Gogo bags are Handmade in Canada using dishwasher, and washer/dryer safe 100% Cotton, and come in a wide variety of fun colours and patterns.

Stuck on healthy kid friendly lunch ideas? Checkout some of our faves bellow:

Rolled Turkey and Apple Quesadillas

Ingredients:

avocado oil

⅓ cup whipped cream cheese, at room temperature (about 3 oz)

½ Tbsp honey

4 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch)

½ small red apple, such as Red Delicious, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella (4 oz)

1 cup shredded mild cheddar (4 oz)

8 thin slices of organic turkey meat (5 oz)

Directions:

1. Spray a nonstick grill pan or nonstick griddle pan with avocado oil. Place over medium-high heat.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and honey until smooth. Spread evenly over 1 side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Place 2 or 3 apple slices in a single row about 1 inch from the nearest edge of each tortilla. In a small bowl, combine the 2 cheeses. Sprinkle half the cheese mixture on top. Place 2 slices turkey side-by-side on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Tightly roll up each tortilla like a jelly roll.

3. Place the tortilla rolls, seam-side down, on the grill. Cook, turning every 2 minutes, until the tortillas are brown on all sides and the cheese starts to melt. Cool for 10 minutes.

4. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each tortilla roll into 1-inch pieces.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves with Spicy Pineapple BBQ Sauce
Ingredients:

Sauce4 small jalapenos (or 2 large)

2 (20-oz) containers of pineapple chunks

½ cup + 3 Tbsp pineapple juice

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

2 Tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 ½ tsp molasses

½ tsp salt

1 good pinch of pepper

Mini Meatloaves1 ½ lb(s) lean ground turkey (I love Jennie-O!)

½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1 egg

⅓ cup onion, diced

½ Tbsp garlic, minced

½ cup pineapple tidbits*

¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

¾ tsp smoked paprika

1 ½ Tbsp hickory liquid smoke

¾ tsp salt

1 pinch pepper

Directions:

Sauce

1. Preheat your broiler to high, line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray it with cooking spray.

2. Cut the jalapenos lengthwise, and take out the seeds. Place them cut side down on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Drain the pineapple (keep the juice!) and lay them out onto the baking sheet with the jalapeno.

4. Broil until charred and black, about 15-20 minutes.

5. Add the broiled jalapenos and pineapple into a large food processor, along with the pineapple juice**, garlic, balsamic vinegar, molasses, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined. You will not get a totally smooth sauce, as the pineapples stay a little chunky.

6. Pour the sauce into a medium saucepan and simmer on medium low heat until most of the water is evaporated and the sauce slightly thickens, about 25-30 mins, stirring occasionally.

Mini Meatloaves

1. While the sauce cooks, mix all the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl until well Incorporated.

2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350ºF.

3. Fill the muffin tin with the turkey mixture, and spread about half of the sauce over top of each meat loaf.

4. Bake until no longer pink inside, about 20-23 minutes.

Egg Muffins with Savoury Oatmeal Vegetable Crust

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups water

1 cup old-fashioned oats, gluten-free if needed

⅛ tsp salt + additional for the eggs

1 pinch pepper

½ Tbsp olive oil

¾ cup broccoli, cut into very small pieces

⅓ cup red pepper, diced

3 Tbsp onions, diced

1 tsp seasoning salt

1 egg white

3 large eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. In a medium pot, combine the water, oats, 1/8 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper and bring to a boil on high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is very thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer into a large bowl to cool.

3. Heat the olive oil up in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add in the broccoli, red pepper, onion and seasoning salt and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the cooked veggies into the bowl with the oats, along with 1 the egg whites and stir until well mixed. Your batter will be very moist.

5. Divide the batter between 8 of the muffin cavities, which is about 3 Tbsp per cavity. Press the oat mixture flat into each cavity and then use a small spoon, or your fingers (I think fingers is easier) and press up the sides to make a cup. Make sure the sides have a little thickness to them, keeping the bottom as thin as possible with no holes in the cup that the eggs could run through.

6. Bake until the edges of the cup are lightly brown, crispy and pull away from the sides of the cavity, and the bottom of the cup feels set, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.

7. In a medium bowl whisk together the 3 eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the mixture between the cooked oatmeal cups, filling about 3/4 of the way up. Bake until the eggs feel set, about 10-12 minutes.

8. Let cool COMPLETELY** in the pan and then run a very sharp knife around the outsides of the cup to remove.

Let us know what you think of these fun back to school recipes in the comments bellow!
and
stop in our Vancouver showroom to check out our variety of fun Gogo Bags! 79 W 3rd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3T8

 

References

-littlethings.com/schools-introduce-share-tables/

-Statistics Canada, Environment Accounts and Statistics Division

Recipes:

https://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/rolled-turkey-and-apple-quesadillas/16031/

https://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/mini-turkey-meatloaves-with-spicy-pineapple-bbq-sauce/18407/

https://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/egg-muffins-with-savoury-oatmeal-vegetable-crust/18405/

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