3 healthy school lunch ideas

Registered dietitian Grace Derocha joined us on The Nine with some fun, Pinterest-worthy lunches for your back to school planning. 

You can get her recipes for quinoa pizza bits, Mesican pasta salad and Asian Bento Box pizza below. 

Quinoa Pizza Bites
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled / chilled. Rinse well before cooking
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites (or 3 whole eggs)
2 cups chopped pizza toppings (pepperoni, black olives, pineapple, ham, onions, sausage, peppers)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Pizza sauce for dipping

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line baking sheet with foil and spray 12-cup muffin tins with nonstick spray. Set aside. Note: You may also use 24 mini muffin pans as an option for smaller bite-sized servings.
2.    Add all ingredients except pizza sauce to a large bowl then stir to combine.
3.    Fill muffin tin cups to the top with the mixture then place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from cups. Serve with warm pizza sauce.
4.    To freeze: Place baked muffins on a baking sheet then freeze until solid and transfer to a freezing bag. Microwave for 20-40 seconds depending on how many you're reheating.

Mexican Pasta Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
1 - 8-ounce box of farfalle (bowtie) pasta or pasta of choice
2 cobs of corn (or 2 cups frozen and thawed corn) or 1-15-ounce can of corn, drained and rinsed
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 - 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 avocado, diced (optional)
1/2 - 1 jalapeño, finely minced (optional)

 1 ripe avocado
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup lime juice
¼ cup avocado oil
1 clove garlic minced or grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1.    To prepare dressing: Combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until smooth.
2.    To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, cheddar, onion, peppers, avocado, cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Asian Bento Box Pizza
Naan bread
Grilled chicken diced
Green onion chopped
Red bell peppers diced
Mushrooms sliced
Edamame seeds already husked
Carrot matchsticks
Sesame seeds
Teriyaki Sauce
 1 cup water
4 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp. honey
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced 
½ tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
Teriyaki Sauce:
1.    Combine the 1 cup water, brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat
2.    In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the ¼ cup of water and whisk until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan
3.    Heat the sauce until it thickens to your desired thickness. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more water to thin it out

Asian Pizza:
1.    Pack all ingredients in separate compartments in a container for lunch. Kids can then make the pizza to their liking
2.    Place desired ingredients on top of naan bread then drizzle with teriyaki sauce