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Nutritious and delicious school lunch ideas

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Schools will soon be back in session across the country and that means parents are back in the kitchen preparing daily lunches for their kids.

On Wednesday, UW Health Registered Dietitian, Julie Andrews stopped by Wake Up Wisconsin to share a few recipes.

Below are a few of the recipes Andrews shared with our viewers.

Grilled Cheese Sticks w/ Tomato Dip

Ingredients:

Tomato Dip:

2 tsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

½ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. dried basil leaves

½ tsp. each coarse salt and ground black pepper

Grilled Cheese:

2 Tbsp. butter

8 slices sourdough or whole grain bread

4 slices cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan to medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.  Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Add seasonings and stir.  Allow to cook 10-12 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

2.  Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat.  Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in the hot skillet.  Top with slice of cheese, then top with other slice of bread, butter side up.  Allow to cook, 2-3 minutes, until browned and cheese starts to melt.  Flip and continue to cook 2-3 minutes, placing a lid on top to allow cheese to fully melt.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. 

3.  Slice grilled cheese into sticks and serve with tomato dip.

Serves 4

Mac & Cheese Cups w/ Broccoli

Ingredients:

1 lb. whole grain tubular pasta

4 Tbsp. butter

4 Tbsp. flour

2 cups low fat milk

2 cups shredded cheese

Coarse salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat 2 muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

3.  In a separate large saucepan, heat butter at medium-high.  Once melted, whisk in flour until combined.  Allow to cook, 2-3 minutes, then slowly whisk in milk.  Bring to a simmer and stir, constantly, until thickened, about 4-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne.  Add cheese and stir, until melted.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Dump cooked broccoli and pasta into the pan with the sauce and stir to combine.

4.  Spoon macaroni and cheese into each muffin cup.  Top with shredded Parmesan.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and browned on top.

5.  Allow to cool, and then remove cups from muffin tin and place in a microwave safe container.

Serves 8

Almond Butter & Apple Waffle Sandwiches

Ingredients:

4 large whole grain waffles, cut in half

½ cup almond or peanut butter

2 granny smith apples, sliced

4 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

Directions:

1. Spread nut butter on one side of each waffle half.  Place sliced apples on top of 4 waffle halves, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with flaxseed.  Place other half of waffle on top to make 4 sandwiches.

Serves 4

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