It’s that time of year again; time to stock up on supplies and get the backs packed for the first day of school. In addition to the kick-off of another new school year, we have put together a wide variety of lunch options to last the whole year.
Whether you’re looking to send the kids to school with a lunch that is healthy, creative, inexpensive, or all three, we gathered a variety of ideas that will make you and your kids want to brown bag it every day. Also, these can be great for the whole family too!
Pasta Salad with Salami and Mozzarella
- 2 cups gemelli (or other short pasta)
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
- 2 ounces salami, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- kosher salt and black pepper
1. Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and rinse under cold water. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, and salami.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Transport the pasta mixture and vinaigrette separately; drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette before serving.
Classic Chicken Soup
- 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
- 6 carrots, peeled
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1. Place the chicken in a large pot. Cut 3 of the carrots and 2 of the celery stalks into 1-inch pieces. Quarter the onion. Add the cut vegetables to the pot with the salt, peppercorns, and enough cold water to cover (about 8 cups). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the top, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
2. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and let cool. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables. Return the broth to the pot. Thinly slice the remaining carrots and celery. Add them to the broth and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and add it to the soup. Ladle into individual bowls.
Peanut Butter Berry-Wich (*this recipe contains peanuts)
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread or Banana Bread
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon softened Neufchâtel (reduced-fat) cream cheese
- 2 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon honey
Lay the bread slices on a work surface. Spread the peanut butter on one slice and the cream cheese on the other.
Arrange strawberry slices in an even single layer on top of the peanut butter. Drizzle the honey on the berries and then place the other slice of bread with the cream cheese on top. Cut into halves or quarters.
- 1 large whole-wheat wrap (11 to 12 inches), or 2 smaller wraps (8 inches), or a 12-by 9-inch rectangular lavosh
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 lightly packed handful rinsed baby spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 2 medium carrots, ends cut off, peeled and coarsely shredded
- 2 slices Swiss cheese, such as Jarlsburg (2 ounces)
- 2 thin slices store-bought roasted turkey breast (2 ounces)
If necessary, warm the wrap in a 350°F oven for 2 minutes to soften before filling.
Lay the wrap on a work surface and spread the mayonnaise all over. Sprinkle the spinach leaves, cranberries, and carrots evenly on top. Arrange the Swiss cheese and turkey in even layers over the vegetable layer. Fold in the side edges and then roll up snugly from the bottom.
Cut crosswise into 4 even pieces and wrap tightly in plastic.