Every time a new school year starts, I'm racking my brains for lunchbox ideas. It really makes me feel good that here in the U.A.E, the schools are pretty strict about kids' snack boxes. There is a strict no-no list and it features junk food like processed sausages, chicken nuggets and French fries. All kids are required to get healthy snack boxes, with at least one portion of raw fruit or salad veggies. In fact, my son's school goes out of the way in this regard and rewards the students who are consistent with healthy snack boxes.
Eggs are a great source of protein and omega 3 for those on a Paleo diet, and here's an idea. If you can source it easily, how about trying Duck eggs? Duck eggs have more vitamins (one duck egg contains 63% of your daily vitamin B12 needs) than a medium chicken egg (which offers just 9%). But keep in mind that duck eggs have more fat and cholesterol than chicken eggs, so this can't be eaten on a daily basis. For those of you who have really frail kids with low immunity levels, you can easily try duck eggs for them.
This savoury muffin recipe of mine is pretty simple to put together and is a hearty mix of eggs and veggies, which is just perfect for kids. Do give it a try and don't forget to tag #saffronbowl in social media with your own creations.
1 1/2 cup assorted fresh or frozen veggies (a mix of carrots, sweet corn, peas, beans)
1/3 cup mashed sweet potato
1 tbsp Himalayan Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 tsp dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 180°c for 15 minutes. Line a muffin tin with silicon liners or readymade paper liners.
Chop the veggies into a small size, the way you would for making fried rice. They should be nibble size pieces for the kids to easily bite and chew into and also to speed up their cooking process, especially if the veggies are fresh. So the carrots and beans need to be of the same small size and consistency. You can also use a frozen bag of veggies in case you're short of time, but make sure they defrost well ahead of time and you can give them a good rinse.
Break the 4 eggs into a large bowl and whisk them well. Add the salt, pepper and oregano to the egg mix. Now add the mashed sweet potato and bind it well and lastly, you can put in the chopped veggies. Give it a good mix and scoop them into the muffin liners. The batter needs to fill only to half and never fill it to the top. Pop them into the oven and let it bake for around 20-25 minutes.
Do the toothpick test to check if they are cooked all the way inside. Once done, let them cool and they will easily come off the silicon liners. Enjoy them warm as a breakfast option or add them to the kids school lunch box to give them that much needed protein boost.
Tip- Feel free to replace the mashed sweet potato with regular left over mashed potato, yam or even roasted mashed pumpkin. For the assorted veggies, try broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers or any other veggies lying around in your refrigerator. Those who can tolerate dairy can top each of the muffins with some grated cheddar or mozzarella or even vegan cheese, which is easily available in the supermarkets now.