A Personal Chef Approach™ member mentioned her frustration in coming up with new school lunch ideas in our forum this week. Since it is a pretty universal dilemma, I thought it would make a great Friday Food Tip. Here are a few of the ideas that I suggested, and some recipes that might work well for
you (at work) and your children. Hint: you will need to join if you want all of the recipes, but I will share one of my personal favorites for everyone to try (see recipe below).
Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pesto Salad or Curried Turkey Replay Salad (chicken and turkey can be interchangeable in these recipes) certainly add a new dimension of flavor pizzazz to the classic old salad. Serve them on arugala, spinach or any salad green of choice, on an traditional sandwich, in a wrap or stuffed into pita.
Shake up the pasta salad doldrums by trying different dressings, vegetables, and protein – or better still vary by cuisine. These Soba Noodles with Tofu & Snow Peas are great served cold and just happen to be on the menu plan this week!
Why stick to just pasta? Most grains fair well in salads too! Try my Vegan delight or Artichoke Pesto Barely & Chickpea salads? For variety (or in case you are a total carnivore) you can skip the vegan sausage or chickpeas and substitute any cooked cold meat of choice. Just chop and stir it in.
Friattas and quiche offer endless variety since you can pretty much use any combination of cheese, vegetables, and/or meat your culinary imagination conjures up.
You could use a thermos to make any of my soups portable, but while the weather is still hot (it’s smoldering her in LA right now) my East African Sweet Potato Soup, Szechwan Carrot Soup, and Cashew Cream Asparagus Soup are all both filling and delicious cold.
Kids love skewers and pinwheels, so shake up the standard sandwich by rolling the ingredients in tortilla wraps (there is such a great variety of flavored tortillas available just for this purpose to keep it interesting).
Skewer with a toothpick in several places evenly, and slice in between the toothpicks for a great presentation. Again, the scintillating combinations you can come up with are boundless. Try using pesto, guacamole, and hummus in place of mayonnaise to kick it up a notch too….
… and while on the subject of hummus, send some fresh crudite in their lunch boxes with either hummus or ranch dressing to dip in. There is absolutely no reason sides can’t be more interesting too.
Skip the chips and throw in my Carrot graffiti Salad, Roasted Potato Salad, or Pesto Vegetables instead. Watch out for a Weekly Menu Plan that incorporates lunches next week to get members used to planning menus that include lunches with minimal extra effort involved.
Curried Turkey Replay Salad
This was originally a client favorite chicken salad, but when I had some leftover turkey last Thanksgiving – I thought why not? It’s fast becoming another holiday tradition in this household, because I actually prefer it with turkey. Serving it in a melon half is refreshing as well as striking. What new ideas do you have for packed lunches?