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
Like a lot of people, I’m attempting to be a little more health conscious as we start off this new year. Over the past few weeks my diet consisted mostly of Christmas cookies, cheese and crackers, and plenty of other delicious goodies. While I enjoyed every last sprinkle, my jeans are feeling just a bit too snug around the waist.
As I pay more attention to what I’m eating, one of the hardest things for me to avoid is mid-afternoon and late-night snacking. Those times are my downfalls. So instead of totally avoiding them, I decided to find some healthier alternatives. (Besides, all of the the cookies are gone.)
One of my favorite snacks is hummus, so when I came across a recipe for White Bean Hummus in the newest issue of BHG, I decided to give this homemade version a try.
With only 16 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, this flavor-packed dish may be one of my new snacking favorites.
Because I love roasted red peppers and happened to have a few on hand, I decided to throw one into the food processor as I was blending up the beans. The red pepper adds a beautiful color and great depth of flavor. With this basic recipe, you can get creative and add any flavors you like, whether it be olives, sriracha, or your favorite blend of spices.
I’m serving my hummus with some pita chips as well as carrots for an extra serving of veggies. You can’t beat that The combination is delicious!
You can find the recipe for White Bean Hummus here. If you’d like to try my version, just toss in a roasted red pepper with your beans before blending.
And let all of us know below: What healthy snack is your favorite?
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm
Hello from The Forest Feast! Lately I have been really into edamame. Since I don’t eat much meat, I am always looking for different sources of protein, and there is a lot you can do with these bright green little beans. Using this Edamame Humus recipe, I whirred them up in my food processor to make a colorful, healthy dip. Out here in the woods, we love having snacks with our cocktails before dinner, and this is a fun alternative to regular hummus. Considering its color, if you serve it with red bell peppers it’ll be a festive appetizer to serve at a holiday party this time of year.
A great cocktail hour snack! And easy to make ahead for holiday entertaining…
- 1 10 ounce package frozen sweet soybeans (edamame)
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (I left this out since I am not a big parsley fan, but you could alternatively add basil or cilantro)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (lime also works)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika (optional, for garnish)
- 8 cups assorted vegetable dippers, such as sweet red bell pepper pieces, cucumber slices, baby carrots, snow pea pods, and/or celery sticks
1. Shell and cook edamame until tender according to package directions; drain. Several grocery stores sell pre-cooked shelled edamame beans in the frozen section.
2. In a food processor combine edamame, parsley, lemon juice, the water, tahini, garlic, salt, and cumin. Cover and process until smooth. With food processor running, slowly add oil in a thin steady stream, processing until smooth. Add additional water if necessary to reach desired consistency. If desired, sprinkle with paprika. Serve with vegetable dippers or crackers.
The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods last summer where she is currently working on The Forest Feast Cookbook.