Something to Try in the Lunchbox: Deconstructed Salads

You guys, few things move me to violent language like packing the lunches.  My husband had to listen to a string of expletives just a few moments ago, in fact, as I faced the week ahead with dread.  If, like me, you dread the lunchbox-related shopping, planning and packing, here are a few ideas to get you through the urge to curse.

elmo

 

Ha ha!  Just kidding.  Seriously, if you have time to make your kids’ lunches look like this, then we cannot be friends.

My friend Amy makes every Tuesday a Taco Tuesday, and Youngest has come to love her taco salad.  It’s infinitely customizable to fit your “eat up the fridge” offerings, and it’s the inspiration for these deconstructed salads.

Deconstructed salads are what, to my mind, bento boxes and leftovers were made for.  Slice a few extra veggies with dinner the night before or use up leftovers.  Picky eaters can keep the ingredients separate, nothing gets soggy, and the presentation gets top marks.  Five or six compartments, five or six ingredients, and you are good to go.

Taco Salad: lettuce, chopped sweet peppers, corn, black or kidney beans or chicken or beef strips, and, in the tiniest compartment, a few crumbled tortilla chips.  (They are like magic pixie dust!  Give them two chips’-worth of crumbs to put on top of a salad, and they think they’ve hit the jackpot!)

Salade Nicoise: tuna salad, hard-boiled egg, lettuce, olives and bread sticks.  Ooo la la.

Greek Salad: lettuce, grape tomatoes, black olives, feta and chick peas.  Mini-pita on the side.

We tried these snack-sized Li’l Oliver green and black olives from Sardo, and they are perfect for packed lunches.

LilOliver (3)

 

Fruit Salad: Why not?!  Send it with some greek yogurt and a mini-bagel, and breakfast for lunch is done!

 

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