As you start gearing up for the new school year, you’ll definitely want to have Laura Torres’s 52 School Lunches amongst your set of school supplies. From “Fiesta Salad” to “Caramel Chocolate Brownies”, Torres provides the perfect solution for the busy mom who wants delicious, nutritious, quick and fun recipes to keep her kids happy and healthy.
Enjoy this selection of some of our favorites!
“Oops! Ten minutes until it’s time to go, and you’re out of bread. What to do? Make a sandwich on a skewer with all the fixings! Cold cereal make a fun emergency dessert.”
1. Slice string cheese into ¾” sections, and quarter a small tomato.
2. Skewer ingredients.
“This Macaroni Chicken Salad is best with homemade ranch dressing, but bottled ranch dressing works also. Use light ranch to cut back on fat. Cook a little extra pasta or rice for dinner the night before, use leftover chicken or turkey, and this lunch goes together quickly. Add some apple slices and yogurt dip for a well-rounded meal.”
8 ounces cooked macaroni
1 cup “Homemade Ranch Dip”
¾ cup cooked chicken
¼ cup chopped black olives
¼ cup chopped celery
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
“A classic combination that everyone loves!”
In a tall container, layer:
Chopped, hard-boiled egg
Place in a small, separate container:
Buttermilk or Ranch dressing
“Satisfy a kid with a sweet tooth in a healthy way with this fruity main dish. Store the tortillas separately from the fruit salsa, and fill just before eating. Below is my favorite combination, but you can substitute any fruit you happen to have on hand. For a dessert or snack, this salsa is delicious on graham crackers.”
3 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries, diced strawberries, diced oranges, and sliced kiwi fruit.
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1. Combine the lime juice, honey, and cinnamon. Stir into fruit. Store in single-serving size plastic containers.
2. Spread cream cheese on tortillas. Fold in half, and wrap in plastic wrap.
3. Assemble just before eating.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 small jar pizza sauce
Desired toppings (ham, pineapple, pepperoni, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water in a large bowl. Add the yeast, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the olive oil and salt.
3. Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and all of the whole wheat flour. Mix well. Turn the dough out onto a board coated with the remaining all-purpose flour. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.
4. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. Knead dough briefly to release air. Divide into 16 balls, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Flatten each dough ball into a circle on a floured surface.
3. Place a spoonful of pizza sauce in the middle of the circle. Top with desired toppings and cheese, being careful to keep everything in the middle of the dough.
4. Fold the top of the circle down to the bottom, and seal the edges well.
5. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
“Orange sherbet makes this smoothie just dreamy.”
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup orange sherbet
1 cup frozen peaches
1. Pour orange juice into a blender.
2. Add sherbet.
3. Add banana and peaches.
4. Blend until smooth.
“Peppercorns and a bit of carrot or walnut slices can transform a regular hard-boiled egg into a cute critter.”
So give your student a surprise when they open their lunchbox tomorrow! And don't forget: These are just seven of fifty-two fantastic school lunches to be found in Laura Torres's 52 School Lunches.