Sunday, September 15, 2013

Strawberry Cream Cheese "Sushi" from the new Weelicious Cookbook

all photos on this post are courtesy of Harper Collins

When I was offered the chance to review the new Weelicious Lunches cookbook, I jumped. If you're not familiar with Catherine McCord and her healthy, kid-friendly site - you'll probably need to spend some time acquainting yourself. 

I'll be honest with you - I like Catherine's philosophy because, well, it's like mine (and probably yours, too!). But hey, that's how we pick our friends and networks, isn't it? We look for variants on our very own theme for inspiration and (at home) companionship. I read somewhere recently that we're each the average of the five people we spend the most time with - which verifies my suspicions that I got the tantrum-throwing side of my personality from my daughter, and not the other way around. Surely?

So let me tell you a bit about this new cookbook.
I haven't yet made anything from it, but I really like the front, non-recipe section anyway. It's a book about lunchbox food, which starts with a chapter on "Engaging All the Senses" - highlighting all the ways we might consider the taste, sight, touch, smell and sounds of food in crafting eat-able school lunches. 

Sound familiar? Ha ha. This book is the glamorous (published) version of some tidbits I've been shouting out around here - using varied and attractive food to encourage better eating. I think Catherine and I are definitely sharing the same soapbox!

In addition to tips, the book also includes a section (my favourite part, actually) on "Principles of the Perfect Lunch," which includes stunning photos - with labels, for the kids - of "fruits," "vegetables," "proteins" and "carbohydrates." I would totally sit down with my daughter and go through those pages naming foods. 

My other favourite part? A very useful "Allergy Guide" in table format, that allows you to see at a glance which recipes are any or all of: gluten free, nut-free, egg free, or dairy free. You know that satisfying feeling when you read a great recipe index? It's like that*.

But on to the recipes. Though the book has many, many savoury ideas, I naturally gravitated toward the sweet. I'm not sure why - this month has been so full of birthday parties I'm sure my blood is 40% white chocolate mud cake.

As I said before, I haven't had the chance to make any recipes from the book yet, but top of my list are:
  • apple, honey and cheese quesadillas
  • cheesy waffles
  • chocolate PB+J cups (for me!!)
  • fruit leather
  • chocolate graham crackers

The nice people at Harper Collins - in addition to sending me this book for free**- also said I could share a recipe with you. I really liked the idea of a simple "sushi" looking lunchbox sandwich, which jazzes up boring old sandwiches with clever bread-mashing and slicing. So that's the recipe we'll see today. 

Here in Queensland, it's the last week before spring school holidays - so you have a chance to find this book at the bookstore or library over the break and craft up some inspiring new lunchboxes for next term. Me? I'm off to America for 6 weeks! 

More soon, from the land of AMAZING Mexican food.
Amanda xx

Strawberry Cream Cheese "Sushi"
serves 2

This recipe is taken directly from the Weelicious Lunches cookbook, with permission from the publisher.
"For kids who prefer sandwiches that are more sweet than savory, these “sushi rolls” are a real treat. They also look really appealing in your little one’s lunch box. Filled with a smear of tangy cream cheese and a dollop of fresh strawberry preserves, they’re so lip-smacking, they could almost pass for dessert. Hey, that’s actually not a bad idea. "

The Ingredients
4 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
8 teaspoons whipped cream cheese
8 teaspoons strawberry preserves

The Process
1. Using a rolling pin, roll the bread to ¼ inch thick.

2. Spread 2 teaspoons of cream cheese on each slice.

3. Spread 2 teaspoons of strawberry preserves on top of the cream cheese.

4. Roll up the bread and cut each roll into five 1-inch “sushi” pieces.


My Notes:
*I know you read indexes, too. Don't pretend you don't.

**I got the book for free, but the publisher didn't ask me to write anything in particular about it, so I'm giving you my honest assessment. There were a few things I didn't like about the book, too, but they were mostly in the design rather than the recipes, so I've decided to keep them to myself. Would I buy it, had it not been sent to me? Probably. I get a lot of offers to review cookbooks and so far have turned down most. I have to really want the book for a review to be worth it. 

If you want to continue a conversation about the book, though, you can email me or write below in the comments :)


UPDATE! (3 October, 2013) - today I made this with a couple modifications: I cut a single lavash bread in half, spread cream cheese across it, drizzled the cream cheese surface with raw honey and sliced fresh strawberries. I rolled it up like sushi, sliced it and it was DELISH. (I may have sampled en route to the lunch box). We'll see how it gets eaten today, but I can't imagine there'll be much left. This is bound to become a regular addition to Nelle's lunch rotation!

UPDATE (afterschool) - "Mummy, can I have this everyday?" :)


Jess said... [Reply to comment]

Ohh YUM! Thanks for posting, I'm definitely going to be checking the cookbook out :)

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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