Battling the lunch box blues can be a two-way street.
Over the years that I’ve been doing this blog, readers have offered up so many great ideas for lunch I wanted to give everyone a chance to share them. And I wanted to make it as easy for you (and me!) as possible.
So starting today I’ve launched a You page (check out the tab above). All you need to do to post pictures of your lunch ideas is use Instagram on your phone to snap a picture. Tag it with the hashtag #lunchboxblues and it will automatically show up there.
Post often. Comment often. Great lunches that are fun and healthy don’t have to take a ton of time or energy to assemble. We’re all proof of that. So now let’s show the rest of the world.
To that end, today’s lunch came together in about 5 minutes. I started by making a basic fruit salad with strawberries, clementine segments and blackberries. I considered making a yogurt dip or something for it, but got distracted. Story of my life.
The rest was all pulled from dinner leftovers. First up, the whole-wheat pasta carbonara I’d made for dinner. I’d been planning to make a sausage quiche, but realized I had only three eggs in the house. Not going to cut it.
My recipe for carbonara is simple and needs no recipe. Boil up pasta. I always use whole wheat, but go with what you like. While the pasta cooks, crack an egg or two into a bowl. Grate Parmesan or whatever cheese you have into the egg. The more the better. Mix well.
Cook up some bacon, too. Or pancetta. You could even pan-fry a litte leftover ham. Or if you have prosciutto, don’t even bother to cook it. Just add it at the same time as the eggs (below).
When the pasta is cooked, drain, but don’t worry too much about a little water in the pan or on the pasta. You want a couple tablespoons of the cooking water still in the pan. Never rinse the pasta. Or any pasta.
Return the pasta to the pot. Dump the eggs and cheese into it, then use tongs to start tossing. Keep tossing. And some more. Keep going. And… We’re good. After a minute or so, the eggs and cheese should have formed a lusciously creamy sauce clinging to the pasta.
Add the bacon, then season with salt and pepper, then you’re done. Some chopped fresh parsley is nice, too, but I usually don’t bother.
So that made the second part of Parker’s lunch. I just heated it briefly, then popped it in a thermos.
Finally, for his “green” last night, I boiled up some edamame. When he saw them, he was all, “Ew! I don’t like edamame.”
Like all good parents, I ignored him. Because five minutes later, “Yum! I DO love these.”
And since today is Thursday, we also have a lunch gear giveaway! Today, it’s a double set of Rubbermaid LunchBlox containers. These are very cool. They stack up together and have integrated chill packs. You can read about them here.
Today’s giveaway will be a little different. You can enter by either leaving a comment here or posting a picture of your lunch on the new You page. Folks who do both will get double the chance to win. Good luck!