04 January 2012

What's for lunch?

Lunch.  Even (on the rare occasions) when I'm on the ball planning meals and grocery shopping, lunch always seems to be left until the last minute, making use of whatever is to be found in the fridge and pantry.  I was thrilled when I saw that Catherine of Weelicious posted a daily picture and description of her family's school lunches on her facebook page:  Year 1, Year 2, and now Year 3.  As inspiring as that is, though, most of those ideas don't work with our grain free, starch free, soy free eating style.

If I have this problem, many others do, too, so I would like to share some ideas.  Just one for today, though, but it is incredibly versitile:

Yogurt Salad
Yogurt, plain & unsweetened (and/or homemade mayonnaise)  (enough to get the right texture)
Flavoring base:  mustard or mango chutney are my favorites (1/4 cup or so)
Protein:  cooked chicken (diced or shredded), canned salmon or tuna (1 to 2 cups)
Veg:  frozen peas, diced celery, diced red pepper  (~1 cup total)
Fruit:  apple, pear, grapes (~1/2 cup shredded or diced)
Dried fruit:  raisins, currants, diced dried apricots, etc  (up to 1/4 cup)
Nuts and seeds:  chopped walnuts or almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds  (up to 1/4 cup)
Cheese:  diced or shredded cheddar, jack, colby (2 oz)
Bit of salt and pepper

Mix it all together, and serve alone or with pita, crackers, lettuce, etc. 

I wish I had a gorgeous picture of this morning's salad to show you.  I can picture it now:  a scoop of salmon salad sitting on a thick, red tomato slice, on a bed of lettuce.  A nice side light from the window, a bit of food on the nearby fork to show the texture.  Instead, we ate our lunch from our plain white bowls with spoons, and this stuff just isn't pretty all on its own. 

This yogurt salad works great as a make-ahead lunch.  If we are traveling with a cooler, some version of this is in it.  I can make it at any time of the morning to have ready to go, and it is easy to make enough for multiple meals or large-ish groups.  I'd love to hear any options you might add, as well as your favorite lunch ideas.  Please share!

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