Here in Los Angeles, summer has a way of lingering well into Fall. The steamy weather often lasts until Halloween, making getting our heads back in the game even more of a challenge. If you have kids starting school or are returning from vacation, reality is likely setting in: our schedules are already stuffed, and the lazy days of summer are gone. So I am all for making life easy wherever possible. In my house, that means planning meals ahead. Even if it involves some Martha Stewart-style obsessing.
I may not be able to figure out how to use my Blackberry calendar, but I know what I want to feed my family. So on Sunday mornings, before heading out to my farmers market, I’ll jot down all the recipes I plan to make for the week. Then I’ll group them into meals and assign a menu to each day of the week ahead. Though I do take requests, there’s no soliciting consensus from my opinionated family.
It might sound neurotic and undemocratic , but it ends up saving hours in unnecessary trips to the market. And in fact, my crew is usually thrilled to be served a surprise feast every night. Packing lunchboxes is never a struggle and dinner has become a meal to enjoy rather than resent.
Since my daughter prefers lunch from home rather than the school cafeteria, this is the sandwich I often pack. It’s the one I used to make in my dorm room just about every day when I was in college. It brings back those long, studious days at the campus library, daydreaming of a summer that always seemed too fleeting.
2 slices sprouted grain bread or your favorite whole grain bread
2 tablespoons Nectarine Chutney or your favorite jarred chutney
1-1/2 ounces brie cheese (I like the Goat Milk Brie from Trader Joe’s), sliced
A handful of pea sprouts or your favorite sprouts
A few slices of avocado
A sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional garnishes: dill or sweet pickles, arugula or lettuce, leftover grilled vegetables, homemade vinaigrette
Spread the bread with the chutney, then layer with the slices of cheese, sprouts, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, bake the sandwich in the toaster at 350° for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Slice into halves and enjoy.
Here are some other tasty lunchbox ideas:
- Curried Tofu Salad Wrap
- Persian Chicken Burgers
- Spice Rubbed BBQ Tofu (put it between bread for a tasty meatless sandwich)
- Quinoa Salad with Feta, Corn and Tomatoes
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Whole Grain Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto (great cold!)
- Spelt Spaghetti with Tofu Bolognese Sauce
Photo credit: WorldOnlineMedia
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