Some nights, lots of things are going on, and I need to pack my lunch quickly. Normally, that means my knives stay in the block, and I assemble straight from the fridge and pantry. I pick a lonely ingredient, like the last bit of romaine lettuce, and search for its perfect pair (example of this type of matchmaking in the “chip & dip” recipe below).
- Appetizer: “Chips & Dip”
- Entrée: Side Salad & The Next Generation PB&J
- Dessert: Coconut Milk & Chia Seed Pudding
- Snack: Raspberries
- Drink: Cold Ginger-Lemon Tea
- 1 divided metal container
- 1 Ziploc container
- 1 Ziploc bag
- 2 mini mason jars
- 1 water bottle
Romaine & Bitchin’ Sauce® “Chips & Dip”:
- 6-8 romaine lettuce leaves, the small ones near the stem
- 3 tbs. of Bitchin’ Sauce® or hummus
- 20 tiny cherry tomatoes (or 15 regular cherry tomatoes)
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch of red pepper
- Rinse the romaine lettuce leaves. Fan them in the sink to shake the water off, or pat dry with a towel. Place in the divided metal container.
- Pull the top off the tiny cherry tomatoes and rinse them. Place in the other side of the divided metal container.
- Spoon the Bitchin’ Sauce® into the mini mason jar. Sprinkle the cayenne and red pepper on top. Secure the lid.
- To eat tomorrow, spoon some Bitchin’ Sauce® onto the romaine “chip.” Drop a few tomatoes on top, and enjoy.
- 1.5 cups of loosely pack baby kale mix
- Place the baby kale mix in the Ziploc container. Secure the lid.
The side salad’s dressing will be a spoonful of Bitchin’ Sauce® or hummus from the mini mason jar I just packed. Tomorrow, I’ll drop a spoonful of Bitchin’ Sauce® on top of the greens and add a tiny bit of water from my bottle. After I secure the lid on the Ziploc, and I’ll shake, shake, shake. In no time, I’ll have a perfectly dressed salad.
The Next Generation PB&J:
- 2 slices of sandwich bread
- 1 jar of sunflower seed butter
- 1 jar of apple butter
I like to avoid soggy PB&J sandwiches, and luckily, it’s an easy situation to prevent. By coating each slice of bread with an impermeable layer of nut butter, the jam can’t soak in over night.
- Spread a thin layer of sunflower seed butter on both slices of bread.
- On only one slice of bread, spread a thin layer of apple butter on top of the sunflower seed butter.
- Put the two pieces of bread together.
- Place the sandwich inside the Ziploc bag and seal.
Ziploc bags can be easily washed with a sponge and reused. Mine last for weeks this way. It is a good way to reduce waste and cost.
Coconut Milk & Chia Seed Pudding:
- ⅓ cup of canned coconut milk
- 1.5 heaping tbs. of chia seeds
- 1.5 tsp. of local honey
- Pour the coconut milk into the mini mason jar.
- Sprinkle the chia seeds on top of the milk, and stir to make sure the seeds are not clumped together and are suspended throughout the milk.
- Drizzle in the honey and stir. Don’t worry if it does not fully incorporate. Overnight, much of it will dissolve. It’s also fun to get spoonfuls with little ribbons of honey at lunch. Secure the lid.
- 1 partial carton of raspberries
- This is so easy. Pack as it is!
Cold Ginger-Lemon Tea:
- 2 disc-style lemon slices
- 1 knob of ginger, sliced in discs and unpeeled
- 1 kettle of boiling water
- Place the lemon and ginger slices in a Pyrex measuring bowl or teapot, and steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Once it cools a bit, scoop the ginger and lemon out of the dish, and pour the tea in your bottle. Top off your bottle with more water if you need to, and chill overnight.
This is a cold remedy I had been sipping since I got home. Normally, on busy nights, I skip packing a cold tea, but if you already have some hot stuff brewing, it’s easy to pour some into your water bottle and top off with extra water. Cold tea is such a nice treat during the day.
Bitchin’ Sauce® is an awesome almond-based, savory spread, local to the San Diego area. I originally discovered it at a farmers market, a great place to score special spreads at fair prices. These items can really take your lunch from Level 1 to Level 10. Try exploring your market with sauces and spreads in mind.