Monday, December 14, 2009

Kids Lunch - Potatoes and Corn Quesadilla/Chapati

When should we be more graceful? When we are wrong or when we are correct? I would think more when we are right than wrong. When we are wrong it probably does not matter because we are already apologizing or bashful. When we are correct and feeling high we forget and hurt a few sensibilities. We might realize it a minute or two later but the damage is done and the seeds of resentment are sown.

We all have colleagues, friend, family members who are correct most of the time but not that well liked. There are always exceptions, there are a few who we like even though they are right all the time. What sets them apart is the attitude they bring to the situation.

I am reminded of this everyday, when I take DD to her bus stop, which is about a 1 1/2 miles from home. The bus driver is on time every single day both in the morning and evening. We can set the watch by her arrival times. In the mornings especially, having a bus arrive on time is a big relief if you have other kids to be dropped off at school, or have a bus to catch to work, or be at work at a certain time. But most parents who drop off the kids at the bus stop hate(hate might be a strong word here dislike is more like it) the bus driver. No the dislike has nothing to do with her arriving on time.

For a month and a half after the school started there was a different driver who for that entire time, never came on time even for a day. We hung around waiting for the bus and wondering when it is going to come. Most of us (parents) did not have a problem with the driver and mostly ignored the fact that he did not come on time and the kids appreciated the fact that he never yelled at them.

What was the difference? quite simply the attitude. The tardy driver waited, if he saw parents driving towards the stop and sometimes on the road to pick up kids after leaving the designated stop area. The on-time driver on the other hand, has a bad attitude . She has a habit of loudly(she yells so loud the whole street can hear) admonishing parents and kids about being late and won't open the door even if she has moved a feet from bus stop. She has picked up DD twice on the road but not before loudly admonishing me for my tardiness (we were half a minute late) and stating in no uncertain terms that the bus would not stop away from the designated bus stop. We learned our lesson quickly and now are on time rain or shine but with a clear feeling of resentment. Though there is nothing wrong in what she does, perhaps even doing things by the rulebook besides the loud screaming.

In my more generous moments I would give in to the fact that the on time driver makes our life easier and teaches the kids a lesson or two about being punctual and taking responsibility for their actions. All good but the one thing that stands out like a sore thumb is her attitude. If she had been graceful and not so aggressive in her attitude we would have really appreciated her.

A reminder every day, that being graceful is very important more so when you are in control of a situation.

Besides being on my toes to drop DD off at time I need to be smart about packing healthy but fun lunches. This is one such. Both the kids love potatoes and corn and quesadillas are a clear favorite. The plain cheese quesdillas though tasty are not filling enough. Hence this recipe is a clear winner.

Serving: 2 Quesadillas - Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Potatoes and Corn Quesadillas
1. 1 Potatoes peeled and cubed into small pieces (1/2 cup worth) and 1/2 cup corn or peas
2. 2 tbsp chopped onion
3. 1 tsp sambhar powder or chili powder
4. 1 tsp of shredded ginger (optional)
5. seasonings: cumin and muustard seeds
6. salt to taste
7. 2 whole wheat tortillas or chapatis
8. 3 tbsp of shredded cheese

1. In a pan heat a tsp of oil and when hot add the cumin and mustard seeds, when mustard starts to pop add the onions and saute till translucent. add ginger if doing and saute for a minute.
2. add the salt and sambhar powder and give a stir, add the potatoes and corn, sprinkle a tbsp of water, cover with a lid and let cook for 5-8 minutes till the potatoes are soft. Set aside
3. Heat a griddle, toast the tortillas on each side for about 10-15 seconds.
4. Place the filling, sprinkle cheese on top and heat till the cheese melts - about a minute. fold in 2. Cut and wrap in paper towel and pack in lunch boxes

This is a very popular lunch box item for the kids. Not a bad one for adults as well.


  1. Delicious looking lunch..

  2. Quesadilla looks good for a nice lunch, looks like potato podimas in a chappati.

  3. I'm not sure which driver is the best after reading your article... the punctual but rude one or the kind one who is late.. interesting. But you are right, getting admonished that too just as kids are leaving for school definitely doesn't put them in a good mood.

    I'm looking for ideas for my 4 yr old's lunch box - this sounds good. I too tend to go with sambar powder instead of chilli powder when making things for her since it seems milder.

  4. Cilantro, now that you say it, potato podimas would great too.

    Laavanya, so true the tongue lashing scares DD more than anything else. I particularly don't care but she definitely puts me in a bad mood early in the morning.

  5. This one will be greatly loved, I am hoping :) Potatoes for sure are a fav

  6. I hear u about the "rude" bus driver- situation's a bit different; My DD is even scared to look at hers, but he waves to me and seems like he keeps the best discipline inside the bus. even the wildest of the boys don't dare to move in their seats. i am a happy mom :-)

    well I love quesadilla; so I am in for the kids lunch.

  7. This is my first time stumbling across your blog, but I am glad I did! You have a wonderful blog and some great recipes and clicks :) Potatoes and corn seems like a unique combination for quesadillas!

  8. I am confused about who has the right attitude. While the tardy one stops for everyone, he/she makes other folks wait in the next stop and the chain reaction continues. The punctual one yells and for the fear of being yelled kids may get ready and be punctual :)But one can be stern and needn't yell.

  9. I am like the second driver yelling at people ven though I am right but have mellowed a lot due to aging ;) I realize every word of yours Indo! The potato corn combo looks very interesting and the cut tacos are inviting too.

  10. Hmm, food for thought - the temptation to say I told you so is hard to resist ... on another note, attitude always makes a difference

  11. Soma, same with this one but if she stops being so anal about it all she would be well appreciated.

    PJ, thanks for stopping by. Welcome!

    Sra, well of course but people are turned off aren't they?

  12. Nirmala, yes aging does bring us more wisdom :) As for the bus driver age does not seem to have mellowed her one bit.

  13. lovely post Indo. I never faced suh situations but you are right we need to be modest even when we are right.
    the recipe is great and the pic looks very inviting.

  14. I love all kinds of quesadillas, especially the home-made ones. And I'm with u on the attitude issue.

  15. I like the way you write, Indo! Gives me some fodder for thought.

    This one makes me wonder - how could the punctual driver be more graceful? Certainly stopping the bus and picking the kid might delay her and she wont be punctual anymore. Not picking up the kid is rude too. What could she have done? Mmmmmm... I think (whether she decides to pick up the kid or not) not lashing at the kids and yelling could be the answer.

    If she picks the kid up, maybe she could be firm in her words without yelling. If she doesn't, maybe a shrug with a 'sorry, I can't' might cushion the blow.

    The Qs look yummy!! DD can't get enough of the broccoli Qs you suggested. Can't thank you enough for that one. We even added some pineapple once. Yummm!

  16. Loved the quesedillas great fusion ! And I agree attitude makes a big difference in pretty much all situations...

  17. ISG, I was googling for some Quesadilla lunch boxes and glad to have found yours. A question though:

    How fresh or well do these wedges stay in the lunch boxes? more so because of the addition of cheese? Does it re-constitute well after it is warmed? Thanks in advance.

  18. RC, both DDs take them to school for lunch. Both schools don't have reheating options. I pack them in the lunch hot packs and DD says they do not get soggy and taste pretty good at lunch time. I have tried the same with chapatis for the outer covering and they work well too.

    Since corn and potatoes don't leave water and I add just enough cheese to bind all of them together maybe 1 1/2 tbsp max of shredded cheese.

    I make them with carrots and broccolis also which do get soggy but I squeeze out as much of the water possible.

  19. Thanks ISG. I will give it a try on DS soon.


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