Make going back to school a little easier with these school friendly and meal-prep friendly recipes!
It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year already! It’s time to go back to school. Whether you have a child in school, or you’re a college or university student, time can be a little more limited than it was during the summer months. Whether you’re in need of providing some nourishment to your child during a recess break or just need some new meal prep ideas to have for your evenings in study mode, I’ve got you covered. Both my School-Friendly Carrot Cake Bites, and Instant Pot Pineapple Pulled Chicken are quick to make, nutritious and delicious!
Like most children, my favourite part about my school lunch was the small sugary sweet treat most of us received. There were granola bars, fruit gummies and old Halloween candy….hey it was the 90s! In years since, we’ve come to learn about the ways processed sugary foods affect our bodies and our brains. While processed store-bought treats may be a no-go, that doesn’t mean we can’t make our own healthy alternatives. My School-Friendly Carrot Cake Bites taste exactly like carrot cake and are sweetened with only dates. The best part is that they can be safely taken to school, because they are nut-free, made with smooth sunflower seed butter.
Looking for a new meal prep recipe for busy study days? My Instant Pot Pineapple Pulled Chicken comes together in under 30 minutes, and it is super delicious! Sweet pineapple helps to tenderize the chicken and adds sweetness, while the cumin, chili powder, and green chiles give it an authentic burst of flavour. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can also cook the chicken for five to six hours on low in your slow cooker!
School-Friendly Carrot Cake Bites
Makes: 16 cake bites
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes + more for coating
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup coconut butter, softened
- ¼ cup sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 1½ tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
- pinch of salt
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until fully combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides if necessary. Scoop a tablespoon amount of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball. Continue for the rest of the dough. You should get approximately 16 small cake bites.
Coat each ball in shredded coconut and set onto a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer to set. Once set, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Instant-Pot Pineapple chicken tacos
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-398ml can crushed pineapple
- 1-118ml can green chilies
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lime
- Butter lettuce
- Fresh chopped pineapple
- Cilantro and green onion
- Chopped radish
Add the chicken thighs to the Instant Pot and season with cumin, chili powder, and salt. Add the garlic, pineapple, green chilies, mustard, and lime juice and mix to evenly combine.
Secure the lid of the instant pot and make sure the valve on top is turned to “Sealing”. Pressure cook on the manual setting for 20 minutes. When the time is up, quick release the pressure by turning the venting knob to the venting position. Remove the lid carefully.
Remove the chicken from the pot and place in a bowl. Shred the meat with two forks.
Bring the liquid in the pot back to a simmer by pressing the “Cancel” button, then “Sauté” button. Let the sauce reduce by about half before adding the shredded chicken back in the pot. Season with more salt to taste.
Serve with butter lettuce leaves (or taco shells of choice), and top with fresh chopped pineapple, radish, and green onion.