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Living and Learning Cooperative

Tipi & Olho Branco

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                   Calendar                     Contact List                    Terms of Awareness                     Economic Model                     Kids Meals Recipes             

Ideas for Kids Lunch - Suggested Recipes

Below are some tried and tested dishes that we know the kids love and we’ve cooked for the project over the years.

For the best quality meals, please make sure to use seasonal local vegetables, organic if possible, soaked and cooked chickpeas, beans and lentils (not canned or preserved), homemade or natural/organic no sugar added tomatoes (not canned).


DAL & RICE, VEGETABLE STICKS AND TAHINI DIP (serves ~ 12 small kids & 2-3 adults)




1 large onion, thinly diced

3 cloves garlic, grated 

1 small piece ginger, grated (optional)

2 carrots, grated

1 piece pumpkin, grated (optional)

1 cup peas (optional)

2 potatoes/sweet potatoes (optional)

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon mustard seed (optional)

1 spoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon curry powder (not picante)

2 tomatoes, diced, (or half cup homemade tomato sauce in winter)

2 cups split red lentils

3-4 cups water

0.5 can coconut milk

2 spoons olive oil 

Salt to taste



In a big pot, heat olive oil. Add mustard seeds, heat a bit till they start popping (but not burnt!), then add onions, then add garlic and ginger. Stir well.
Next add all the dry spices and stir well.

Add grated carrots and pumpkin, stir for them to fry a bit. Add diced tomato and let it heat a bit while stirring.

Add red lentils, stir well for 2 minutes, then add water.

Let boil well, then set on low heat for a soft boil, stirring occasionally so it won’t stick to the bottom. The lentils are ready when they are thoroughly soft and “melted”, so add water if needed.

When ready and thick (cook to evaporate some water if needed), add coconut milk and stir well, but do not boil. Add salt to taste.


Serve with 3 cups (measured uncooked) white/basmati or 2 cups whole rice (longer grain works best).


Cut vegetables to long sticks (cucumbers, peppers, celery, uncut cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi, slightly cooked green beans, lettuce stalks, steamed broccoli, whatever you have). At least 4 sticks per child.


Tahini dip

0.5 cup raw tahini

1 cup water

1 lemon, juiced

Salt to taste



Add all ingredients to a jar and shake well. Adjust water to desired thickness for dipping.





1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic crushed

800gr of red beans

4 carrots cut in cubes

4 tomatoes chopped

½ cabbage chopped finely



Stir fry onions in olive oil.

Add tomatoes, let juice out a bit,

Add cabbage and carrots,

Salt and pepper to taste

Let cook for 10 min.

Add the beans and check seasoning.

If needed add a bit more tomato sauce!

Sprinkle some parsley on top.


Serve with cooked potatoes or rice and salad





2 onions

2 tsp turmeric powder (açafrao da india)

½ big cabbage (repolho)

4 carrots 

800gr chickpeas

2 cans of coconut milk


½ kg rice or basmati



Stir fry the onion 

Add the turmeric powder and salt

Add finely chopped cabbage

Add carrot

Let cook for a while until tender

Add the chickpeas

Add the coconut milk

Check salt

Serve with rice and salad





1 bag organic quick cook (check cooking time on package, can vary between 20 minutes to an hour) semola milho / polenta

4 cups water


Ingredients for the sauce:

2 beetroots, grated thin

2 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 courgette, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, grated

1 piece pumpkin, chopped

More veggies: mushrooms, olives, chard, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, peas… anything you have and your kids like

1.5 cups (measured pre soaking) green brown or black lentils, soaked for an hour or two

2-3 cups of water

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Fresh oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, whatever you have

3 cups water


Preparation Polenta:

In a big pot, add water, salt, heat for a bit then add polenta (water should be at least double the grain, again check package for instructions). Stir frequently, let it boil while stirring. When ready and thick (add water or keep cooking as needed) turn off. 

For squares, line baking trays or pans with baking paper (papel vegetal), and pour hot polenta to about 3-4 centimeters height, flatten with spoon if needed.

When cool and hardened, cut into portion sized squares. NOTE: If it’s too much work making squares, just leave the polenta in the pot, and carve with a spoon when serving, the kids love it anyway.


Preparation sauce:

Saute onions, garlic in a big pot with some olive oil. Add paprika, salt to taste, then vegetables one after the other, for each to get a bit of the oil. Add herbs. Add soaked lentils, stir well. Add 3 cups water, stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a soft boil for about 40 minutes or until lentils are very soft. There should still be sauce with the lentils, add water if too dry and salt to taste.


Serve with salad - lettuce, thinly grated cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, celery, sprouts, tomatoes, olives, whatever’s available according to season, with simple vinegar/lemon, olive oil and salt dressing.

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