Kid-friendly foods: Make summer rolls, healthy bars

Looking for healthy school lunch and snack ideas? Reed Alexander, author of the new cookbook 'Kewl Bites,' is serving up Vietnamese summer rolls with pan-Asian dipping sauce, peanut butter-chocolate chip bars and kewl krunch bars.

Kewl krunch bars
Servings:

Makes 20 bars

Ingredients

    • 2 cups instant or quick-cooking oatmeal
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 cup raw sugar
    • 1/2 cup wheat germ
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt. Stir to thoroughly combine.In a smaller bowl, combine the honey, applesauce, oil and egg whites.Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to form a rich, thick batter. Add the cherries, apricots, almonds and walnuts and stir until completely distributed.Press the batter into the baking sheet, until it completely covers the sheet in a smooth and even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through.Let cool completely before cutting into 20 rectangular bars. (Make 1 cut lengthwise and then 10 horizontal cuts to create 20 bars.)

Peanut butter-chocolate chip bars
Servings:

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup raw sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg white
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 10-inch square baking pan with canola oil.In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, espresso powder and salt.In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the sugar, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla extract for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the egg and egg white and beat 1 minute on medium speed. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture, mixing constantly. Stir in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.Spread the batter in the pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing into 16 squares.

Vietnamese summer rolls with pan-Asian dipping sauce
Servings:

Makes 4 servings (8 rolls)

Ingredients

    • 8 individual rice paper wrappers
    • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
    • 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 24 medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, cooked,* and halved lengthwise
    • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
    • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • For the dipping sauce:

    • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely-chopped fresh lemongrass
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely-chopped peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 teaspoon coarsely-chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Soak the wrappers in a bowl of warm water for 5 seconds (or according to package instructions) to rehydrate. Follow the steps below to make the rolls.To prepare the dipping sauce, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined and completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt.Serve the spring rolls with dipping sauce on the side.To make the rolls: 1. Working on one roll at a time, set a wrapper on a cutting board or flat dish. In the center, arrange the carrot, avocado, and cucumber. Top with 6 shrimp halves, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds.2. Begin rolling the wrapper around the filling.3. Fold the right and left edges in to seal the ends.4. Continue rolling the wrapper into a cylindrical shape, then lightly moisten the edge to seal it. Be careful not to break the wrapper or leave any interior ingredients exposed.

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