Tag Archives: lunch

Thanksgiving leftover makeover: Giada’s Curried Chicken (or Turkey) Sandwiches

These sandwiches are amazing.

Versatile. With chicken: great for summer picnics. With turkey: the most delicious day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich you’ve ever had.

A hit with everyone who’s tried them. Even professed curry haters have come back for more!

Still not convinced? They have bacon in them.

Now that I have your attention, I sincerely hope you give these a try this November 25th. Your family won’t give those cold-turkey-&-cranberry sandwiches a second thought.

They come from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook Giada’s Kitchen. My version makes a few of the ingredients a little more pantry-friendly (like subbing bacon for pancetta & ground ginger for fresh), because we have to buy enough crazy ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner!

  • 8 oz. thinly sliced bacon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • about 4 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • up to 8 ciabatta rolls (or, if you keep forgetting you’re not in New York anymore & they don’t sell ciabatta on every corner in Florida, these delightful French hamburber buns!)
  1. Cook bacon until crispy & set aside. I nuke mine between double layers of paper towels for a minute a slice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayo, curry powder, lime juice, honey, & ginger.
  3. Add chicken; stir to coat.
  4. Just before serving, crumble bacon into the mixture & stir just until incorporated.
  5. Slice rolls in half & spoon chicken mixture onto rolls.
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Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Remy can’t even fix this one. But maybe you can!

Who here has seen Ratatouille? Today’s flop-turned-okay lunch reminded me of the scene where Chef Skinner tries to set Linguine up for failure by giving him a dud of a recipe. Remy made it the most amazing thing at Gusteau’s in years; I just made mine edible.

I started with a recipe I found in Parenting magazine for Sesame Chicken Salad that looked promising. It had an Asian-inspired peanut sauce… that ended up tasting like peanut-butter-sandwich pasta. Gross.

I doctored it up to edibility, but I could use your help!

  • 8 oz. pasta that you let your kid pick out to get them excited about trying something new
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly into coins (if serving cold, just grate them & serve them raw in  the pasta)
  • scant 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • pinch ginger
  1. Cook the pasta as directed. Add the carrot coins to the boiling water 4 minutes before the pasta is done, & the snow peas 1 minute before. Drain. (If serving cold, rinse under cold water.)
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl. It may not incorporate entirely; the hot pasta will help melt the peanut butter.
  3. Mix everything well & top with sesame seeds & thinly sliced scallions, if desired.

Okay, team: what can we do to make this good but still kid-friendly? My first thought was red pepper flakes, but The Munchkin can’t take the heat.

Thanks for your help!


Filed under Recipes

Easter leftovers: Spinach Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing.

If you’re like me, you probably have about 8 lbs. left of your 10-lb. Easter ham & are hoping that it doesn’t go the way of your Christmas ham leftovers, which may or may not have sat forgotten at the back of the fridge for, oh, 2 months or so.

Again, if you’re like me, you had the best intentions of making slow-cooker split pea soup, but waking up to a high in the 80s just didn’t make soup sound that appealing. (Completely forgetting about it until lunchtime may have played a role as well. Maybe.)

Enter the Cobb Salad. Now, there are different types of salad eaters out there. Some like the iceberg, some like more veggies than lettuce, some like ranch, some like vinaigrettes, etc. I, personally, am a lover of fruity spinach salads with sweet dressings. So this is my version. The honey mustard complements the honey ham quite nicely!

For starters, here’s the easy dressing recipe. I found it at AllRecipes.

  • 1/2 cup mayo (yes, this is a lot… feel free to sub lowfat, fat-free, or even Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard (I used the cheap stuff, so it was a little on the bitter side; I compensated by adding a little more honey. If you have the good stuff, great. If not, you can always use regular old yellow!)
  • 2 Tbsp. (plus a little if you’re using cheap dijon) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  1. Whisk ingredients together.
  2. Chill until ready to use.

Easy enough, right?

Now all you need to do is mound some spinach on a plate, top it with some leftover ham, any fruits/veggies of your choice (think avocado, tomato, onion, etc. — I like Craisins), & one of your leftover hard-boiled eggs. Bonus points if it’s still got egg dye on it:

Top with the dressing, & you’re enjoying a perfect 80-degree-day way to use some of your Easter ham (& dyed eggs!).

Here’s what My Husband The Eloquent thought of it: “That was seriously good. & I’m a guy, so I don’t say stuff like that about salad.”

Can’t get any more rave than that!

How are you using your Easter leftovers? I’ve still got about 7 lbs. of ham to go!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

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St. Patty’s Day lunch: Green Rainbow Wraps.

First of all, I’m not Irish. I’m pretty much everything else that’s really really white except Irish. Plus we don’t drink. So if you’re looking for green beer or corned beef, sorry — this is the wrong place to be. I do, however, like finding fun ways to make our St. Patrick’s Day meals a little greener. So stick around!

Here’s an easy lunch idea: Green Rainbow Wraps.

Here’s what I used. You can add or change your ingredients as you see fit. For example, I hate raw tomatoes, so you don’t see any of those in there. Lettuce? We were out, so none of that in there either. The more sandwich toppings you can think of (& that your kids will eat), the more colorful your pinwheels will be!

  • Spinach tortillas
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chili or taco seasoning (I use this fabulous chili seasoning from W-S)
  • Colby-Jack cheese (I used the deli slices, but I think shredded could work great too)
  • Deli ham
  • Deli chicken
  1. Spread a tortilla with some mayo. Sprinkle it with some chili seasoning.
  2. Lay out your cheese, meats, & whatever else floats your boat, leaving about 1-2 inches on the right & left sides.
  3. Fold in the sides of your tortilla, then roll it from front to back.
  4. Hold the wrap tight, then use a sharp knife to slice it into 3/4-inch slices to make pinwheels.
  5. Serve with rainbow Terra chips.

Of course, The Munchkin just preferred to dismantle them & pull out the meat… That’s my girl!

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Veggie latkes.

We’re supposed to eat at least 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day. Everyone knows that. But do you really know exactly how many servings you’re actually getting? I thought I was doing pretty well until I actually started going to the effort of tallying them.

Let’s just say we’re working a lot harder at that now.

Enter the veggie latke, or “Little Vegetable Fritter,” as my Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Baby cookbook calls them. But they’re too flat be be fritters in my opinion. That’s why I’ve renamed them latkes (I almost said “re-christened,” but that would have been horribly, tastelessly ironic).

I’ve raved about Cooking for Baby before, & recently decided to revisit it for some more lunch ideas. I love that the toddler food is sophisticated enough that I’ll eat it! This particular recipe is great to involve your little ones in making. The blend of veggies is flavorful, but not so much so that your picky eater will thumb his nose at it (especially if he likes 1 of the 2 vegetables), & we all know that a little fat helps make healthy things a lot more appetizing. Here’s the recipe, with a couple tweaks I made just for simplicity’s sake.

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch*
  • 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. flour*
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. (may need a little more) canola oil
  • sour cream or mustard for dipping, optional

* The recipe calls for 1 cup corn flour, but I don’t have that, nor do I foresee myself having that in the near future. So I just put 2 Tbsp. cornstarch in a cup measure & filled it the rest of the way with all-purpose flour. It worked just fine.

  1. Preheat oven to 250. (This step is optional; it’s for keeping the fritters warm between batches. But The Munchkin’s food needs to be cooled before she eats it anyway, so I dispensed with this.)
  2. Peel & grate sweet potato. Grate zucchini, leaving skin on. You will have about 1 cup of each. (Wrap grated vegetables in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels & gently squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.) Transfer to medium mixing bowl. (That one step is in parentheses because I didn’t do it. I just had The Munchkin put it straight into the bowl as I grated. She was happy to do it, it saved me a step & lots of paper towels, & the fritters weren’t too squishy or anything.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, & baking powder. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Add egg to veggies. Then add flour mixture & stir until just combined.
  5. In a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat oil. Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of batter, form into balls with wet hands, & flatten into cakes.
  6. Cook in batches, turning once, until brown & crisp, 2-3 minutes each. Use a slotted spoon to lift cakes out of pan, allow oil to drip back into the pan, & then transfer to paper towels to drain.
  7. Place on baking sheet in 250-degree oven to keep warm until all fritters are made. Repeat steps 5-7 for all of batter.
  8. Serve with sour cream or mustard for dipping, or just by themselves!


Filed under Healthy living, Recipes