CC Sofronas understands what it’s like to live a busy life. She and her husband run their own business, Pacific Shaving Company, and have three kids in three different schools. On top of that, she carves out time to teach cooking classes at San Francisco Cooking School. With back-to-school time on the horizon, here are three school lunches where CC can have the kids can take charge.
Like most projects the key is to set your child up for success. Age and skill level will determine how much prep is required by an older sibling or adult. And like all recipes, these are guidelines. Allow and encourage your child to get creative and they’ll want to keep coming back into the kitchen!
San Francisco Cooking School
690 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
A graduate of Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, CC Sofronas is a small business owner and part-time teacher at the San Francisco Cooking School. Located in downtown San Francisco, the San Francisco Cooking School offers full or part time professional programs in culinary and pastry arts and over 70 recreational cooking classes launched three times per year with options for students of all cooking levels from novices to experienced home cooks.
Sometimes the mornings start even earlier and time is even more precious. In those instances, it’s helpful to have the lunch made the night before. These hand rolls are a great solution. This is the only recipe where cooking plays a role. While the rice is cooking you can build your assembly line of vegetables.
- 1 cup Japanese short grain rice
- 1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- Nori – seaweed wrap cut in half
- Filling options: avocado, shredded carrots, cucumber
- *Avocado and cucumber should be sliced but for ease you can purchase shredded carrots if you prefer
- Place the cup of rice in a pot and cover with water. With you hand move the rice around vigorously. Now drain through a sieve. Continue rinsing the rice under the water for about a minute, then drain well shaking the sieve a few times. This takes away the starch allowing the rice to be the right amount of sticky.
- Return the cup of rice to the pot and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 6-8 more minutes. Quickly check the rice to ensure all water is gone. If not, increase heat so liquid is absorbed. Now take off heat, keep over on and let rest for 10 minutes undisturbed.
- Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and mix well to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- In a medium sized bowl mix the rice and vinegar mixture ideally with a wooden or plastic spatula or paddle. A metal one tends to break the rice.
- Lay a few sheets of nori on a clean surface next to each other. Place a small amount [1 Tablespoon] of rice on nori, add your vegetable and roll from one corner to the next. The end result will look like a cone. Repeat several times. Put in plastic container, cover tightly and place in refrigerator. Ready to go.
Salad is the perfect blank canvas. You can put anything in a bowl, add a bit of vinaigrette and call it a salad. If you don’t have lettuce on hand you can always substitute another green or omit it altogether and just have vegetables. There’s always the option of adding leftovers from any dinner as well.
- Washed lettuce leaves
- Shredded carrots and/or shredded cabbage
- Crumbled feta
- Chickpeas [rinsed and drained from a can are fine]
- Simple Vinaigrette – or use store bought
- 2 parts olive oil – say ½ cup
- 1 part vinegar [red wine or apple cider] – say just under ¼ cup
- Small dollop of mustard
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Place all ingredients in small jar and with the top tightly closed, shake vigorously.
- In a portable container that has a lid, place lettuce, carrots/cabbage, feta, chickpeas and croutons.
- In a small container with a lid, pour about 1-2 Tablespoons of vinaigrette in container, depending on size of salad. When ready to eat simply shake vinaigrette and pour over salad. Close the salad container to gently toss so vinaigrette is mixed well.
Wraps are the perfect mix and match lunch. Your child gets to take ownership of choosing the fillings which results in the custom made sandwich being consumed versus left in the lunch box! And because lavash is thin, your child won’t fill up on bread but instead get fuel from the fixings.
- Lavash flat bread
- Condiments: mustard, mayonnaise, hummus, red pepper spread, tapenade
- Greens: spinach, lettuce, arugula
- Cheese: sliced cheddar, gouda, jack, swiss or crumbled feta or goat
- Vegetables: sliced cucumber, shredded carrots
- Charcuterie: salami, pepperoni, prosciutto
- Sliced meats: turkey, ham, chicken
Lay one piece of lavash on a cutting board. Choose your condiment and spread evenly. Next choose any of the above greens/cheeses/veg/meats and lay evenly on top, leaving ½” border all around. Starting from the bottom, roll forward, gently pushing down on the filling to make the wrap as tight as possible. If preferred, cut in half. Place in covered container for lunch.