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The Lunch Bunch

6 ideas for memorable make-and-take meals
The Lunch Bunch


Can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday? Maybe it’s time to revamp your midday routine. These make-ahead recipes come together quickly, stay fresh for a day or two in the fridge, and rival the offerings on any take-out menu—at a fraction of the cost and calories.

TASTE-FRESH TIPS: SALADS

CHOOSE crisp, firm greens that’ll stand up in recipes, even after a night in the fridge. Think romaine, endive, radicchio, or iceberg.

LAYER ingredients in tall, transport-friendly containers such as 1-quart canning jars. Put dressing on the bottom, followed by heavy or juicy ingredients. Place lettuce on top, and cover jar loosely with a small piece of paper towel before closing. To serve, remove paper towel, shake the covered container to distribute dressing, then transfer salad
to a serving plate.

AVOID overly strong ingredients such as raw onions, raw garlic, or pungent cheeses. Their flavors will intensify the longer they sit, overpowering other ingredients.

TASTE-FRESH TIPS: HOT FOODS

COOL foods before packing them so steam and excess moisture don’t make them mushy.

PACK foods in roomy containers so they heat quickly without making a mess.

CHOOSE recipes that will taste just as good served cold, in case you have to eat your meal that way.

TASTE-FRESH TIPS: SANDWICHES

CHOOSE hearty breads such as whole-grain slices or crisp-crusted rolls that stand up to moist fillings.

BUILD edible barriers between bread and fillings to further prevent sogginess. Crisp lettuce, butter, or margarine can help keep bread dry.

SEED tomatoes before slicing to eliminate excess moisture.

HALVE sandwiches for easier eating. This also lets you manage your portions and eat only half on the days when you’re not very hungry or planning a splurgy dinner or dessert.


March 2014 p.56

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Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Kumquats

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Kumquats

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Mint and kumquats lend a spring feel to a colorful bulgur salad. If you can’t find kumquats, dried apricots provide the same sweet-tart element.

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Orange, Onion, and Olive Salad

Orange, Onion, and Olive Salad

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Inspired by a Sicilian salad of oranges and onions, this dish stays fresh for several days in the refrigerator. Blanching the onion rings tones down their pungency so they don’t overpower the other flavors.

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Mini Roasted Cauliflower Chilaquiles

These little casseroles are a snap to assemble once you’ve roasted the cauliflower. Poblano chiles can range from mild to quite hot, so if you want to play it safe and keep the dish relatively mild, substitute Anaheim peppers. Amy’s is one brand of vegetarian refried black beans available.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Baked Omelet Sandwiches

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If you are in an egg salad rut, here’s a new taste for a new season. Savory bits of leeks, peas, and spinach remind us that spring is just around the corner.

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Sweet-and-Sour Baked Tofu Sandwiches

Sweet-and-Sour Baked Tofu Sandwiches

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Stuff marinated, baked tofu into a crusty roll with crunchy cabbage, refrigerate it, then grab it on your way out the door the next morning for an on-the-go version of a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. Out of cabbage? (Or tired of it?) Thinly sliced Belgian endive or chopped kale makes

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