My first school lunch

 by Josh Racho

In kindergarten, my beloved Ninja Turtles lunchbox and in particular its contents consistently made my classmates laugh.

How did my lunch differ from the other kindergarteners?

For starters, I always had a peanut butter and honey sandwich on the nuttiest of breads possible. I figured if birds ate nuts and seeds then they had to be good, right? Next up, I ate celery sticks topped with Cheez Whiz. Not that I would ever consider Cheez Whiz an item to keep in the house anymore, but at the time for some reason there was nothing I enjoyed more. Then I always had one giant carrot that had been washed and left in its full form. I had a moderate obsession with the Looney Tunes and, well, Bugs Bunny always had a carrot. I probably asked the teacher, “What’s up, Doc?” a thousand times. Poor Mrs. Maric… Finally, my all-time favourite snack at lunchtime was lemon wedges. No one understood me. My teacher even had a meeting with my parents to ensure that everything was fine at home and I did in fact just have an atypical palate for my age

My first school lunch
When life gives you lemon wedges…

As I look back on my childhood and remember that my favourite school lunch items were whole, raw vegetables, I realize nothing has changed. I certainly came to enjoy my school’s pizza days. But, ultimately my tastes have come full circle. I prefer to pack my own lunches now. They usually consist of a cold rice and lentil base topped with a mix of various raw vegetables depending on what is locally available. Every morning I make a sauce to finish the dish—arguably the most exciting part of my lunch. Some days there is a tahini-maple vibe about the air. Other days some homemade hummus and hot sauce will do. But, most recently creamy curry sauces are all I can think about; here’s roughly what I put together for about four to five servings worth of it.


Creamy Coconut Sauce

You can easily modify the sauce by tossing in whatever is available in the refrigerator. Otherwise, try adding some turmeric to really make the sauce’s colour stand out, or reduced fat coconut milk if that’s to your fancy. I personally like to throw in a handful of canned chickpeas and an extra teaspoon of curry for additional nutrients.

1 can coconut milk

1 cup cashew bits (Fun fact: cashews bits are cheaper than whole cashews at Bulk Barn.)

juice of a small lemon

2 tbsp medium, yellow curry powder

salt, to taste

  1. Stir together all the ingredients in a bowl until combined.