Back to School Recipes by Susan Guillory

As schools open their doors for the new academic year, we turn our attention to feeding and educating young people on the benefits of paying attention to what they eat—a major challenge in many areas of the country. The temptation of less healthy foods served in school lunch programs, distributed by vending machines, or brought in by classmates is a challenge to overcome. I find it fun to create and prepare dishes that entice children, while furthering their understanding through mindful explanations of the ingredients used. Games can even be created by having taste-tests at home with their siblings and friends. The more that is tasted and discussed, the more the young minds will be opened to healthy eating.

Here are two popular recipes that appeal to all ages. They are a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the end-of-season farmer’s market bounty as well:

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

10 medium tomatoes, any variety but plum are a good choice
1 small onion
1 small pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Fresh or dried oregano
½ cup fresh, chopped basil
Salt to taste

Chop and mix all ingredients except the fresh basil. Put in a covered baking dish, place in oven at 200 degrees and leave overnight (alternatively, you can use a slow cooker on low).

Next morning, your home will be filled with glorious aromas. Remove from oven and cool. Place in blender or food processor and grind to favorite consistency. Add fresh basil and serve on your favorite pasta.


Upside-Down Peach Cobbler

For the filling:
10 large peaches or 14 medium ones
½  cup agave syrup or favorite sweetener
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1 pinch salt
½ jar peach or apricot jam, there are fruit only, unsweetened types that are preferred. This ingredient is optional but it adds depth to the flavor is used.

Roughly chop peaches leaving on the skin for the extra fiber. Dissolve the arrowroot by stirring with agave or another liquid sweetener (if no sweetener, you will need to use 2 T. water). Place all the above ingredients in a large saucepan, stir well then cook over low heat for ½ to 1 hour.

For the dropped biscuits:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free baking flour mix (must have potato starch, guar gum or something else to hold it together)
¼ cup sunflower or other cooking oil
¼ cup agave or other liquid sweetener
1 T baking soda
½ cup rice, almond or any type of dairy free milk
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients well in large mixing bowl then knead for about 3 minutes. Roll or “drop” 2 inch size biscuits onto an oiled baking dish. Put in cold oven and turn heat to 300 degrees. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Pour cooked peach mixture over the biscuits, return to oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Can serve warm with ice creams such as Rice Dream, Coconut Bliss, or chilled. This cobbler freezes well and  will last in fridge for 3 days, although biscuits may dry out a bit.

Photo Credit: creativedc