Cheese and zaatar sticks

Facing an empty lunch box every morning can be an intimidating task. You want to give your kids something healthy, tasty and interesting yet you can hardly keep your eyes open and you’re running late (because of the evil snooze button ). The kids are fighting over who should be the first to brush their teeth! To add to the joy of it all, one of them must lose something every morning: a watch, socks, pants, pencil case, you name it, they’ll misplace it!!

If you ask me,keeping your sanity on school mornings is hard enough without the whole lunchbox dilemma! But I have a secret weapon for facing the daily madness:

Planning ahead!

I have a list and a board in my kitchen specially dedicated to the kids’ lunchboxes. The list contains various options for dairy, vegetables, fruits, protein, carbs and treats (I will share it with you later this week). Every weekend the kids and I plan the whole week. They get to choose what they want to take to school and we shop or bake accordingly

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing  a number of lunch box recipes and ideas that are quick , healthy and easy. Hopefully your family will love them as much as mine does.
Cheese and herb sticks by chef in disguiseWe’ll start with cheese and zaatar sticks, one of my kids’ all time favorite snacks/ lunch box items. I love these sticks because I can make them over the weekend, store them in an airtight container and voila,  I have a great option for the lunchboxes or after school snacks that will last me all week.

I usually make these with Nabulsi cheese and oregano (zaatar) but you can use any firm sharp cheese and any herb that you like. What we love about these sticks is that the cheese and herbs add enough punch to make them enjoyable on their own, yet they are not overwhelming to the point that you can’t enjoy the sticks with a dip, soup or salad. These sticks are great for packing in the lunch box with a healthy dip. You can also serve them as an after school snack, finger food in a party or as a replacement for regular bread with soups/ salads.

If you like your sticks on the crunchy side, roll them thin. If you like them to be a little chewy make them a little thicker.

Cheese and zaatar sticks

  • 300 grams flour (2 ¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 130 grams Nabulsi cheese grated
  • 150 ml warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dry oregano
  1. Proof the yeast by mixing it with the sugar and warm milk, set aside for 10 minutes
  2. In a bowl place the flour and salt, add the olive oil and rub it into the flour with your finger tips
  3. Add the oregano and grated cheese, toss to combine
  4. Add the yeast/ milk mixture and the vinegar and knead , until the dough comes together into a smooth ball
  5. Cover and leave in a warm place till it doubles
  6. Divide the dough into egg sized balls and roll each into a stick
  7. Another option would be to roll out the dough and then cut it into strips using a pizza cutter
    step 1Then you can shape the strips by rolling them into sticks, coiling them or twisting in two opposite directions to give them a twisty look
    step 2
    step 3shapes
  8. Bake in a 220 degree oven on the middle rack till the bottoms are golden brown
  9. Turn on the broiler if you need to brown the tops
  10. Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container

Cheese and zaatar sticks


اصابع الجبنة بالزعتر

300 غرام دقيق (2 ¼ كوب)

1 ملعقة صغيرة ملح

1/3 كوب زيت الزيتون

2 ملعقة صغيرة الخميرة

1 ملعقة صغيرة من السكر

130 غرام جبن النابلسي المبشور

150 مل الحليب الدافئ

1 ملعقة كبيرة الخل

3 ملاعق كبيرة من الزعتر الاخضر المجفف

نتأكد من فعالية الخميره طريق مزجها مع السكر والحليب الدافئ،  ثم نضعها جانبا لمدة 10 دقيقة حتى تظهر الفاقيع

في  وعاء نخلط الدقيق والملح، ثم نضيف زيت الزيتون ونفركه مع الدقيق

بعد ذلك نضيف الجبن  والزعتر و نقلب

نضيف الخميره التي خلطناها بالحليب و السكر و نضيف الخل و نعجن حتى نحصل على كرة ملساء من العجين الطري

نغطي وعاء العجين و نتركه  في مكان دافئ حتى يتضاعف

نفرد العجين ليصبح بسمك نصف سنتمتر ثم نقطعه بقطاعه البيتزا الى شرائط
بالامكان تشكيل الشرائط على شكل اصابع او اذا احببتم شكل الشرائط الملفوفه قوما بلفها باتجاهين متعاكسن

نخبز الشرائط في فرن درجة 220 على الرف الأوسط حتى يصبح القاع ذهبي ثم نحمرها اذا احتاج الامر