I’m going to come right out and say it. Packing a lunch is something that stumps me every week. Most mornings, I barely get out the door with my coffee – let alone a lunch for the day. And while I love, love restaurant lunches, there are times when I really just want a homemade sandwich. So, this week I’ve set my sights on make-at-home lunches that are anything but boring. These gorgeous recipes are too pretty not to make for lunch, dinner, or any time you feel like a homemade meal.
Think beyond PB and J with this delicious sandwich from Eat it Kansas City. Her Fontina Grilled Cheese with Cantaloupe and Crushed Pistachio looks like a sweet and salty masterpiece with layers of gooey cheese, crunchy nuts, and juicy melon. Did I mention the melty, cheesy goodness?
Instead of topping their salad with a vinegary dressing, Happyolks are pickling the veggies themselves! Their recipe for Quick Pickled Vegetables over Herb-y Black Lentils looks amazing. Talk about an explosion of flavors and textures. Better yet, the pickled veggies also make for a great Bloody Mary!
The Chef’s Wife is proving not all great lunches need to be served between two slices of bread. Her Smoky Carrot Hummus is a vibrant way to welcome spring. The enticing combo of sweet carrots and smoky coriander sounds amazing on everything from crackers to veggies.
I love a good Bahn Mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich layered on crusty baguette with meat, cilantro, and pickled carrots. The Smokey Sweet Potato Bahn Mi from Earthy Feast has it all – creamy sweet potatoes, spicy jalapeño, tangy carrots, and a saucy miso mayo. Perfection.
Let’s end with something sweet shall we. Something sweet and spicy. 10th Kitchen has whipped up the most decadent Meyer Lemon and Candied Jalapeno Ice Cream. Sweet, tart Meyer Lemon and fiery candied jalapenos should hang out together more often in my book. A stunning dessert.
I hope these simply gorgeous dishes inspire you to think outside the lunch box.
Sarah Martens, Associate Digital Food Editor
You know that saying: “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten”? Well, it applies to food, too.
Think about it. Most of the dishes and innovations that get us “foodies” excited come from humble beginnings. [Cue the image in your head of the wide-eyed food critic from the movie Ratatouille taking a bite of the reimagined favorite from his childhood.]
Jessie here, senior food editor at Diabetic Living magazine, a Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest publication. When I think back to the dishes that had me running full-speed for the dinner table when I was young, I can see chicken pot pies, macaroni and cheese (always with a side of applesauce), creamed tuna and peas on toast, and my mom’s amazing French toast that my siblings and I topped with our special labeled mix of “sug-a-mon”, a cinnamon and sugar blend.
Like many of you, my palate has matured since kindergarten, and I’ve been exposed to all the indulgences and amazing wonders that our nation’s abundant food system has to offer. In fact, just a few weeks ago, during a trip to Boston, I gorged on Crab-and-Beurre Blanc Beignets, Wasabi-Pistachio Crusted Chicken Fingers dipped in Caramel, Parmesan-Truffle Oil Fries, and a Grilled Vermont Cheddar + Major Grey’s Mango Chutney + Pickled Red Onion Sandwich. Sounds fancy, right? Oooh, and it was. It was awaken-your-brain good. So good was it, that I almost forgot I was eating fancied-up versions donuts, chicken strips, French fries, and grilled cheese. It all comes full circle.
And, trust. No one could be more excited than me that Grilled Cheese, perhaps the humblest of all, is having it’s day (or decade) at the foodie prom. Across the nation–in magazines, restaurants, food trucks, and at parties everywhere–grilled cheese is getting dressed up and frilled out.
Welcome to the Grilled Cheese Prom…
And the must-have prom accessory is…
I know the excitement can be intoxicating, so please drive safe.