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Dino-Mite Back to School Lunch

 

*This post is sponsored by Disney Book Group. All words, images, and opinions are my own.

Children’s books have always been a source of inspiration for me. When I was in the second grade, I used to write my own, and a few times I even got the chance to read them to the younger kids at my school. Although I don’t have kids (aside from my fur baby, Marshmallow),  I still enjoy the lighthearted and uplifting stories, and I get so many food ideas from the cute illustrations. Just in time for back to school,  I’ve partnered with Disney Book Group to share a rawrsome lunch inspired by the adorable We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins!

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates tells the story of Penelope Rex as she navigates the beginning of the school year and classmates that are not exactly what she expected. It’s an adorable and hilarious tale about making friends (instead of eating them hehe)! Since Penelope has quite the appetite, especially when it comes to sandwiches (she can easily eat three hundred in a meal), I thought it would be fun to turn her into a pita sandwich served with a side of salad trees :). Marshmallow was definitely a fan of the trees!

Penelope may look tricky to form out of food, but I’ve broken the process down into a series of steps, and shapes, to make it quick and fun. Little ones will love joining in to make the trees or decorate the dinosaur! You can easily prepare this meal the night before, and pack it into a lunchbox, or serve for a weekend meal.

Learn more about We Don’t Eat Our Classmates at the Disney Books Official Site

Ingredients: (makes 1 serving)

Penelope Pita Sandwich:

1 pita or flatbread

2 slices orange cheddar cheese

1 slice of your favorite white cheese (I used provolone)

1 large black olive

1 carrot

1 pink apple* (optional, I used Pink Lady)

Sharp kitchen knife

Kitchen scissors

Small round circle cookie cutter or piping tip

Salad Trees:

Rainbow chard or celery for the tree stalks

Curly lettuce such as kale for the leaves

Your favorite salad dressing

Salad toppings

Kitchen scissors

**All cutting should be done by an adult. 

Directions:

  1. Use kitchen scissors to cut an oval, triangle with a rounded top, and elongated triangle, out of pita bread, to form Penelope’s shape. 
  2. Lay the pita bread on top of the orange cheese slices and use a sharp knife to cut out the shapes. Cut a little of the cheese away for the bottom of Penelope’s tail, and the front of her face (so that the pita bread will show through).
  3. Cut the olive in half, and use either a large round piping tip, or a small round cookie cutter to press the eye out of one half. Use a sharp knife to cut 2 thin slices from the edge of the olive for Penelope’s mouth and eyebrow. If you’d like to add the expression lines just cut one more thin slice, and then cut it in half. Add the olive pieces to your cheese.
  4. Cut the slice of white cheese in half, and use either a small round piping tip or a small circle cookie cutter to cut out 3 semi circles for the teeth. You can also cut out 2 super teeny circles to create the highlight for her eyes. Place your cutouts onto the sandwich.
  5. Use the sharp knife to cut the carrot into slices. Cut the larger slices in half and place them, with the flat side facing in, down the length of Penelope to make her scales. Add some of the smaller carrot slices to the top of the tail and side of her face. If you’d like to make Penelope’s pink overalls, cut a section off of the apple, and then cut it into the rounded triangle with an opening for her arm ( I also added cheese buttons).
  6. To make the salad, simply place swiss chard or celery around Penelope for the tree trunks, and top with clusters of the curly lettuce. You can use the kitchen scissors to trim the lettuce if needed. Serve with your favorite salad toppings and a side of dressing. Admire your dino-mite work of art and enjoy!

 

The trees can also be made out of broccoli and cucumber if your little one prefers different veggies, or grapes for a sweeter treat. If packing in a lunchbox, you can create the sandwich on top of a bed of lettuce to keep the bread from getting dry. There are so many ways to customize this meal, so have fun substituting all of your favorite sandwich toppings and sides! Please let me know if you try this tutorial, I would love to see your creations :).

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