Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brown Bag Lunches

The last eight weeks have been pure bliss for my daughter and me. Oh… the lazy days of summer. Hanging at the beach with a good book, late morning breakfast and the endless discussions of why Hairspray is a better movie than Harry Potter. It has been heaven, but I am so ready for the magical words “school is starting.” My daughter came home after the first week of kindergarten and informed me that the school lunches were inedible and that I needed to make her lunches. I have since been on the quest of finding simple, healthy and interesting foods. I package with a frozen juice box to keep it cold and it thaws out perfectly by noon. The plastic bento boxes are a great alternative to a traditional lunch boxes. Don’t forget lots of fruit and veggies. And I truly believe that if the kids help prepare they are more likely to eat them! Celebrate back to school!

Edamame Salad
1 lb frozen shelled edamame
3 cups corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
6 parsley sprigs, chopped
6 basil sprigs, chopped
1/3-cup fresh limejuice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
Pinch Salt and pepper

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper. In a large bowl mix together edamame, corn, bell pepper, red onion, green onion, parsley and basil. Toss with dressing. Makes 6 lunch servings.

Peanut Noodles
1 pound dry pasta- spaghetti or angel hair
1-cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2-cup soy sauce
1 tsp. Chile pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame oil
3 Tbsp. Minced garlic
3 Tbsp. Canola oil
Garnishes- slivered carrots, green onions, red pepper s, fresh cilantro, and sesame seeds, toasted peanuts

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water. Drain the noodles, let stand and use the warm pot to make the sauce. (It helps with the thickness of the peanut butter) Wisk the rest of ingredients until blended. Mix in the pasta. Let Stand in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Before serving toss with the garnishes of your choice.

Curried Chicken Sandwiches
3 pounds chicken breasts
Poached, cooled to room temperature, cut into 1/4-inch chunks*
2 granny smith apples, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of one lime
16 slices raisin bread

In a small bowl whisk together curry, ginger, limejuice and mayonnaise. In a large bowl mix the chicken, celery and apples. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken mixture and coat evenly. Divide 8 ways and place on raisin bread and quarter each on the diagonal.

Turkey Sandwich 5 Way

THE CAESAR WRAP: Large flour tortilla rolled with sliced turkey, shredded romaine, diced tomatoes, shredded Parmesan cheese and creamy Caesar dressing.
TURKEY PARMIGIANA: Sliced turkey topped with spaghetti sauce and shredded mozzarella, broiled on crusty Italian bread.
THE CALIFORNIA ROLL-UP: Large flour tortilla topped with sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
TURKEY REUBEN: Sliced turkey topped with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and Swiss cheese on grilled rye bread.
TURKEY BLT: Sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on toast.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

2-1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon salt

2 large ripe bananas

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Adjust an oven rack to the middle shelf and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Mash the bananas with the vanilla, making about 1 cup. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer mix the sugars and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, then blend in the mashed bananas. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will look curdled. At low speed, blend in the flour mixture, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the chips and nuts. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 1-1/2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 12 minutes, then remove to racks to cool. Store in a cookie jar for up to 1 week. Makes about 6 dozen.

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