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Old 08-17-2010, 11:11 PM   #1
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"Back to School" Lunches for ME!

With school getting back in session, I see a lot of great lunch ideas for children. I need great lunch ideas for me! While I have access to a microwave, it takes time, which is often limited during my lunch time.

During the past few years, I've been eating a lot of basic (turkey, roast beef, PB&J, etc.) sandwiches, snack pack pudding and fruit cups, and chips. (I've even had bologna with crushed chips....like I use to make when I was six.) I'd like more ideas - especially healthy ideas. I'm trying to get more fruits and veggies in my diet, but am tiring of raw veggies with/without ranch dressing/dip. I've considered the laptop lunch system, but wonder if it is too limiting. Please help with yummy lunch ideas that go beyond a fruit cup and do not have gummy worms as part of the ingredient list.

~Kathleen
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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Kathleen,
I use to take lunches to the pharmacy and I loved pita's filled with finley shreded lettuce or arugula, avocado, tomato, cucumber dressed with a nice oil and vinegar just salad in a pita, I would also take large flour tortillas and put shredded pepper jack cheese, nuke it and roll and eat while hot.DH loves left over eggplant parm on a sub roll and extra cheese first warm the rolls , put on extra cheese and add the eggplant it's yummy reheated.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Thanks, Kades! I love both ideas and have not packed pitas in a good solid year or more. Plus, eggplant is yummy.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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These should keep you out of mischief for quite some time.

Roasted Chickpea Bruschetta

The kids love this. The adults love this. Man wallet and woman purse loves this. Serves 4.

2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful or two of chopped parsley
50g / 1¾ oz finely chopped olives
Garlic
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 baguette loaf, sliced and toasted

Preheat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. On a baking sheet, spread out the chickpeas and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix it all up. Roast for 20 minutes or so, or until golden brown. In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas with the chopped parsley, olives, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Serve on toasted slices of baguette. The spherical little beans tend to roll off the bread if you're eating too hastily, but chasing down stray chickpeas makes it all the more fun.
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Salmon Saltimbocca

The wonderful thing about this dish is that it requires virtually no prep, except for wrapping the salmon and sage in a piece of prosciutto - a knifeless task that the kids can help with. Serves 4.

4 fresh sage leaves
4 salmon fillets, each 5cm wide
4 slices prosciutto
1 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil

Put a sage leaf on each salmon fillet and wrap each piece of salmon with a slice of prosciutto. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sauté the salmon until cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side) then serve.
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Seared Scallops

The one downside to the deliciousness of this dish is the priciness of scallops: if your kids love them, it can become an expensive family habit. Serves 4
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115g / 4 oz butter, softened plus 2 tbsp for cooking the scallops
4 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped
A sprig of fresh thyme
A dash of red wine vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 big scallops

First make the bacon butter: mix together 4oz / 115g butter with the bacon, thyme leaves, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan over a high heat until the foam subsides. Add the scallops and cook until browned (about 2 minutes on each side). Take care not to overcook them - you want them with a hint of the opaque, not solid white inside. Top with the bacon butter while hot and serve.
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Curry’s up, come and get it!

This is all about a sauté, a spice, a simmer. We serve it with rice, of course. Basmati is best, but don't fret if you don't have it. Serves 4.

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Olive oil
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 sweet potato, peeled
Salt
2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
A tin of chopped tomatoes
Half a tin of coconut milk
1 bay leaf
300g / 9 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2½ cm pieces
Fresh coriander

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, stirring occasionally, until tender (3-5 minutes).

Stir in the spices and cook for several minutes.

Add some salt and all the potatoes, and stir. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and bay leaf, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes); add a bit of water if necessary.

Add the tofu and asparagus and cook until the asparagus is tender and the tofu is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with coriander.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thanks, Linux. I'll likely try some of those dishes for weekend lunches, because they sound great! Unfortunately, at work, I have only have access to a microwave. And reality is that I take about 10 to 15 minutes total for lunch...and am interrupted during the entire time. I don't have time to prep, cook, or clean up. Unwrap, heat and/or eat. That's about it. :( I should have been more clear that I'm looking for "brown bag" or lunch box lunch ideas. I'm sorry. :/ Well, maybe I'm not b/c those really are awesome lunch ideas....for weekend! :)
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:54 AM   #6
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How about pasta salads that you can add tuna or chicken or even maybe ham to? Or even all-veg pasta salads?

Traditional mayo-based pasta salad with peas and ham (maybe some cheese?)

Pasta with diced tomatoes, sliced olives, italian dressing/oil and vinegar, tuna, shredded mozarella?

With some good bread or served over some lettuce that can be quite filling.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSoMD View Post
How about pasta salads that you can add tuna or chicken or even maybe ham to? Or even all-veg pasta salads?

Traditional mayo-based pasta salad with peas and ham (maybe some cheese?)

Pasta with diced tomatoes, sliced olives, italian dressing/oil and vinegar, tuna, shredded mozarella?

With some good bread or served over some lettuce that can be quite filling.
+1 on pasta salads.

when I was in college I would bring a lot of sandwiches, wraps, salads, hummus with vegetable sticks, just to name a few
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenA View Post
Thanks, Linux. I'll likely try some of those dishes for weekend lunches, because they sound great! Unfortunately, at work, I have only have access to a microwave. And reality is that I take about 10 to 15 minutes total for lunch...and am interrupted during the entire time. I don't have time to prep, cook, or clean up. Unwrap, heat and/or eat. That's about it. :( I should have been more clear that I'm looking for "brown bag" or lunch box lunch ideas. I'm sorry. :/ Well, maybe I'm not b/c those really are awesome lunch ideas....for weekend! :)
Thats okay, no probs. Though after a quick snout around, I found a useful site on microwave recipes. Hope some can help, you busy mum.

Microwave Recipes
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
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Dave and Mike, pasta salads are great ideas. I should have thought of them. Plus I could use Kades' sandwich ingredient leftovers to make a small side salad. A good start for another idea. Thank you!

Linux, I'm not a mum either. In fact, the only thing in this house that is childproofed is me. :) I just work long hours during the school year.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KathleenA View Post
Linux, I'm not a mum either. In fact, the only thing in this house that is childproofed is me. :) I just work long hours during the school year.

I gotcha. okay, thanks.
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