Quick, Nourishing and Low Cost Lunches

Girlvana Cheap and Easy Teen Lunches

TB(perfectly)H, we are getting a little tired of recipes that require a full chef's kitchen of equipment and a fridge stocked full of every item at Whole Foods, ain't nobody got time or money for that. At the same time, peanut butter and jam sammies definitely have their place in the world, but that place doesn't need to be in my lunchbox everyday Monday to Friday. So in an effort to shake things up on our lunch menu, and not have to go broke doing it, we asked an expert to inspire us. Jordan Klee, from the publication Beautifully Alive coming in hawt with some easy soup, salad & sandwich combos: 

Cold Cucumber Soup

This one can be made in advance and put in a thermos to take to work or school.

  • Four medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs. white wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Place the cukes, garlic, shallot and a cup of the chicken broth in a food processor or blender and puree. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the broth, the vinegar, salt, Tabasco sauce and sour cream, and whisk together until blended. Taste, correct seasonings, and chill in the fridge over night. Stir well, and pour into the thermos. If the soup is being served in bowls (oh, you fancy!), add garnishes such as toasted almonds or chopped parsley or scallions. 

Oyster Stew

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups shucked oysters and their liquor
  • Salt
  • 3 tbs. butter

Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan, but don't boil. When tiny bubbles just start to appear around the edges, add the oysters and their liquor, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste then add the butter until it melts, and serve hot. 

Green Bean Salad

If the beans are very small, they can be served raw. If not, blanch them for about 2 minutes. (proceeds to google 'how to blanche'):

  • 4 cups of young green beans
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of oil cured olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup of celery cut into matchsticks
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbs. minced parsley

Wash and trim the green beans and cut them. Wash and dry the tomatoes, then toss in a bowl with the olives, scallions, celery, dill and parsley. Sprinkle with salt to taste, and serve with the dressing of choice.

Dandelion Salad with Bacon

Dandelions can be picked from the yard if and only if no pesticides have been used. All parts of the plant are edible, including the flowers. (editor's note: MIND BLOWN). 

  • 1 pound dandelion greens, trimmed, set in a bowl of cold salt water for about 10 minutes, then rinsed and put in a salad spinner to dry
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes in four thick slices
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the vinegar, sugar, garlic and pepper in a small bowl, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp then put on paper towels to drain. Put the dandelion greens in the hot bacon fat, and stir until they wilt a bit. Add the vinegar mixture and mix well. Arrange the tomato slices on a salad plate, mound some of the dandelion greens on each slice, and sprinkle on the scallions and the crumbled bacon.

Endive and Prosciutto Salad

  • 4 Belgian endives, cleaned and trimmed
  • 4 oz. prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tbs. olive oil

Slice the endive into 1/8 inch rings. Put them in a large bowl with the prosciutto, and toss with the olive oil.

Western Omelet Sandwich

  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 slices of ham, chopped
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 slices buttered bread
  • Dijon mustard

Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the green pepper, ham and onion, and cook until the onion is translucent. Pour the beaten eggs over them, and add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Cook until lightly golden. Flip with a spatula, and lightly brown the other side. Cut the omelet in half and put each half on a piece of buttered bread. Spread with the mustard, and put the other slice of bread on top. Serve while it’s still warm.

Lunchbasket Pita

  • 1 small pita bread
  • Softened butter
  • 3 slices of ham
  • 2 slices of mozzarella or another cheese that melts beautifully
  • Slices of sweet pickle
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp. water

Slit open the pita, and spread with the softened butter. Stuff it with the ham, then the cheese, and distribute the pickle slices evenly. Put it under the broiler, and toast one side. Then turn, and brush the top with some of the egg glaze. Toast until light brown. Pitas can also be filled with chopped lamp and corned beef.

Happy lunchin'.