Tasty lunch box!

Every evening the same problem: how to cook a healthy lunch for his or her school lunch box, that can still taste good after 3 hours in a plastic container?

All my friends have themselves the same questions…. in the US it is not easy to find a proper lunch service at school.

In Europe, there are always canteens at school, where kids can have a hot lunch so that mothers can be free to do other things than to cook at 7 o’clock in the morning!

For that reason we have organized a meeting around the lunch box theme, just to have an exchange of ideas in order to help each other conceive a both tasty and healthy lunch, and avoid serving our kids the same unsavory sandwich everyday!!

It is possible to adapt tasty dishes to the lunch box format.

2 hours and half together to discuss and exchange around cakes, chicken and eggplants, and after a

lively lunch to taste our dishes.

The results? So many new ideas to try out, 7 fun and tasty recipes that can make easier our early morning cooking!


Zucchini and feta cakes by Giulietta

Tomatoes “tarte tatin” by Giulietta

Eggplants “sandwich” by Sonja

Gruyère and Spinach Bakes by Maria Luisa

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice – Thai Style by Federica

Fennel and sausage by Roberta

Lemon cake by Valentina


Zucchini and feta cakes





flour 1/2 lbs

3 zucchini


3 eggs

feta 5 oz

milk 1 cup

vegetal oil 1 cup

baking powder


cut zucchini in small pieces, in a large pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add cut zucchini and mint leaves. Cook for 15 minutes and let it cool

at the same time mix the flour, eggs, milk and baking powder, crumble your feta and add it to the preparation. Mix slowly all the ingredients together and add your fried zucchini.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Bake the cake 45 minutes. Let cool then cut and serve with a tomatoes salad on arugula salad.

You can add 2 tbsp of pine nuts to the mix when you add zucchini.

You can serve this savory cake for an italian APERITIVO










Tomatoes tatin


Do you know what is tarte tatin? the tarte tatin is an up side down tarte originally cooked with apple caramelized in butter and sugar. This tart has a legendary origin…in 1880 in the South of Paris Stephanie Tatin,who did most of the cooking in the hotel that she run with her sister, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the desert.

If the original tarte tatin is with apple you can use others fruits and vegetables too as in this tomatoes tatin


10 tomatoes

6 oz of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

3 tbsp pine nuts

olive oil


puff pastry

preheat the oven at 250 F

cut the tomatoes in thin slices and put on an oven plate

sprinkle the tomatoes with oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil

put in the oven for 1 h

mix the sun-dried tomatoes with pine nuts and olive oil to obtain a tomato pesto

put the tomatoes in a 91/2 inches tart pan and cover the tomatoes with sun-dried tomatoes pesto, and with puff pastry.

Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes and  upside down in a large dish.

You can  eat this delicious tart both hot or cold…. it is ideal for a school lunch, served with a greens and topped with a soya sauce vinaigrette (1 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinaigre )








Eggplant sandwich



eggplant slices

steamed ham or turkey slices

mozzarella cheese slices

parmesan cheese



Cut the eggplants in not too much thin slices; let them lose their water; grill them; make a sandwich with one eggplant slice, one mozzarella slice, one ham slice; put some oregano on and close the sandwich with another eggplant slice; add parmesan on top; put in oven for about 5/10 minutes, 356F


Gruyère and Spinach Bakes




Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 shallots, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Two 1/2-to-3/4-inch-thick slices country-style bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

6 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature

2 packed cups chopped spinach

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère (6 ounces)

1/4 cup milk, at room temperature

Special equipment: four 10-ounce ramekins or muffin pan


Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Spray four 10-ounce

ramekins with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add the pancetta and cook until browned,

about 6 minutes. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the

shallots, salt and pepper in the same skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked pancetta, shallots, bread, eggs, spinach, Gruyere and milk

until all the ingredients are moistened.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a small baking sheet and bake until golden

brown, about 25 minutes.

Cool the ramekins for 20 minutes. Using a paring knife, loosen the edges of the ramekins and unmold

onto serving plates. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Other recipes in








Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice – Thai Style






1 cup of basmati/jasmine rice

1 red pepper

1 small red onion

5 slices of pineapple

hand full of cashews

1 chicken breast

lime juice

soy sauce


vegetable oil

fish oil

2 eggs

2 garlic cloves


prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking, slice the chicken breasts, the pineapples, pepper, chop the onions, cook the rice. In a wok stir fry the chicken with vegetal oil.

Don’t overcook the chicken, it has to be soft, in the same wok repeat the process for the vegetables.The cooking time of the vegetables should be very short , once the onions are translucent, the vegetables are ready!

Beat the eggs, add them to the vegetables  and scramble them.

Add the rice and mix, add 2tbsp of lime juice, 2tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tbsp of fish oil.

Add chicken and stir for a few minutes, at the end add pineapple and cashews!


This recipe is from The International Cooking Blog, where you can find it pictured step by step

The International Cooking Blog by Federica Belli – Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice, Thai Style 








Fennel and sausage





1 fennel

1 Italian sausage

French cultured cream

2 tbsp. freshly

grated parmesan cheese


grated nutmeg dry white wine


in a frying pan over medium fire, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add fennel.

Stir the shallots  in a separate pan until they soften and add the sausage. While stirring, add white wine, when the sausage is ready add cream and fennel. At the end add the parmesan cheese and nutmeg, stir until all the ingredients are melted, serve right away …. or put in a vacuum food jar and put it in your kid’s lunch box!







Lemon cake


10oz flour

7oz sugar

1 cup of milk

half cup of vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 lemon zest

1 lemon juice

powdered sugar (optional)

preheat the oven at 370F


mix flour and baking powder, measure the milk and the oil . Whip eggs and sugar, then add the zest of 2 lemons ,

Carefully add the flour mixture, milk and oil.

Butter a cake pan and pour the cake mixture in it

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes

Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a serving plate.With a wooden stick make some holes in the cake  and put the lemon juice in the holes.

Dust with powdered sugar.

This recipe is from The International Cooking Blog, where you can find it pictured step by step

The International Cooking Blog – Lemon Cake





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