“Triple F” Fake Fast Food
“I came up with this lunch because my grandmother always made this for my mother and taught the recipe to her,” says Deborah.
She likes to serve this with a baby arugula and greens salad with a blue-cheese vinaigrette and watermelon cut up to look like fries. –Deborah Goncalves, age 12, Florida
Ingredients (Makes 6 servings):
2 cups bulgur wheat
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
4 slices melting cheese, such as mozzarella
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease an 8-inch-square baking pan with olive oil.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the bulgur, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 15 minutes, then drain in a sieve.
- In a small skillet over moderate heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook 2 more minutes. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, cooked onion mixture, parsley, and the bulgur. Season with salt and pepper, and mix until you don’t see the difference between the beef and bulgur. Add half of the beef-bulgur mixture to the greased baking pan and press into an even layer. Add the cheese in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the carrot and spinach over the cheese, and season lightly with salt. Crumble the remaining beef-bulgur mixture on top.
- Bake the casserole until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before you cut.
Chicken Spinach Pasta
“I was trying to think of something for lunch, and I found these [ingredients] in the fridge and spice cabinets,” says Kyle.
He also recommends serving the pasta with a small fruit salad on the side. –Kyle Moore, age 12, Missouri
Ingredients (Make 6 servings):
Whole-Wheat Pizza Crust:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ teaspoon rapid-rise yeast (from a ¼-ounce packet)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons pizza or tomato sauce
6 fresh spinach leaves
¼ cup sliced leftover grilled chicken breast
¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the oil and warm water, and stir with a wooden spoon to form a sticky ball.
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough, dusting with flour as needed, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 25 minutes.
- Arrange a rack in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500°F, or preheat a gas grill.
- Stretch dough to about 9 inches, or in whatever shape you want, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Spoon the tomato sauce on top and, using the back of a spoon and leaving a border of at least ½ inch, spread it over the dough. Top with the spinach, chicken, cheese, and fresh tomato. Cook the pizza on the pan in the oven or on the grill, covered, until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese is bubbly, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
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- Bulgur Salad with Shrimp (francesjanisch.wordpress.com)
- Well: Vegetarian Comfort Food (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Teaching Kids About Food: The Lesson that Turned My Little Ones Into Spinach Lovers (school-bites.com)
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Recipe (betterinbulk.net)