Peanut butter banana spirals

Make Brown Bag Lunches Fun
Borrow a strategy from food companies who market to kids the next time you pack your own kids' lunch by making the presentation interactive and fun. Here are three strategies beyond the same-old, same-old sandwich for lunches your kids will rave about.

· Dip it - Dips are a great way to get your kids engaged in their food.

· Roll it - Ditch the sliced bread and grab something slimmer for a fun roll-up to send in the lunchbox.

· Stuff it - Mini pita pockets make versatile sandwich stuffers. Stuff the pockets with Tangy Tuna Salad.

Edamame Hummus with Pita Crisps

  • 12 servings (serving size: 2 tablespoons hummus and about 6 pita crisps)
  • Ingredients
  • 6 (6-inch) pitas, split in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blanched shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange pita halves in a single layer on oven rack. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until crisp, and cool completely on a wire rack. Break each pita half into about 6 chips.

Prepare edamame according to package directions, omitting salt. Place 1 tablespoon oil, salt, cumin, coriander, and garlic in a food processor, and pulse 2 to 3 times or until coarsely chopped. Add the edamame, parsley, tahini, water, and juice; process 1 minute or until smooth. Spoon the hummus into a serving bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with pita crisps.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 147 (30% from fat)
Fat: 4.9g (sat 0.6g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.9g)
Protein: 5.6g
Carbohydrate: 20.3g
Fiber: 2.2g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1.5mg
Sodium: 268mg
Calcium: 48mg

Peanut Butter-Banana Spirals
6 servings (serving size: 4 pieces)


  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons honey-crunch wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Combine peanut butter and yogurt, stirring until smooth. Drizzle juice over bananas; toss gently to coat. Spread about 3 tablespoons peanut butter mixture over each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange about 1/3 cup banana slices in a single layer over peanut butter mixture. Combine wheat germ and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over banana slices. Roll up. Slice each roll into 6 pieces.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 245 (28% from fat)
Fat: 7.7g (sat 1.5g,mono 3.8g,poly 2.4g)
Protein: 9.1g
Carbohydrate: 31.3g
Fiber: 3.9g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Sodium: 275mg
Calcium: 37mg

Tangy Tuna-Salad Sandwiches
4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)


  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup bottled pickled vegetables, drained and chopped (such as Vigo Giardinera)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1 (12-ounce) can albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices multigrain bread
  • 2 cups trimmed arugula or spinach


Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread 1/2 cup tuna salad over 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1/2 cup arugula and 1 bread slice.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 272 (14% from fat)
Fat: 4.3g (sat 1g,mono 1.4g,poly 1.3g)
Protein: 21.3g
Carbohydrate: 32g
Fiber: 5.1g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Iron: 2.9mg
Sodium: 876mg
Calcium: 71mg

About Lia Huber, contributor for Cooking Light magazine
Her articles and recipes have appeared in Cooking Light as well as Prevention, Health, Natural Health, Hemispheres and Fitness. She has appeared live on FOX television and her work has been featured on, and WebMD.

During the course of her career, Lia has contributed several hundred recipes to nearly a dozen publications, and her approachable and curious style combined with a you-can-do-it-too attitude has inspired millions of readers. Now, Lia looks forward to using the experience she's amassed both professionally and personally to develop a platform for teaching people how to nourish themselves, body and soul. Her goal is to help people get past the notions that healthy means deprivation and enjoyment equals excess and show them how to live richly in the fertile ground in between.

In addition to writing for publication, Lia has helped several top companies in the food, wine and travel industries find their voices, from taglines and positioning strategies to ghostwriting and ad copy. In 2007, Lia entered the realm of new media writing about food, wine and life in wine country as the first-person author of Clos du Bois' Swirling Notion blog.

Lia received an MBA from University of Florida, a BA in Communication with a minor in French from Tulane University, and has studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in Napa Valley. She recently finished her first novel. Lia lived in New York, New Orleans, Paris, Greece, Costa Rica and San Francisco before putting down roots in Healdsburg with her husband, Christopher, and daughter, Noemi.

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