Let's Do Lunch

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Let's Do Lunch

Sometimes you need a bit of inspiration for packing lunches for work or school. The following cookbooks will provide just that spark to liven up your lunch break. The recipes are for meals that not only pack well, but are healthy, tasty, and several steps more interesting than the standard turkey and cheese sandwich.

The Little Book of Lunch : 100 recipes and ideas to reclaim the lunch hour by Caroline Craig
The Little Book of Lunch will inspire you to turn your lunch break at your desk into a fine-dining experience. The authors include time-saving techniques and tips to pack a delicious lunch that will transport easily and hold up well until lunchtime. Recipes are separated into several categories including foods to cook the night before, using dinner leftovers, and lunches to assemble when your cupboards seem bare. When you begin bringing in these midday feasts, you will be the envy of your office!

The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson
The first warm days of early spring inspire dining al fresco. Even if it’s a workday lunch carried out to a park bench near your office, food just tastes better outdoors. This lovely little cookbook provides a variety of delicious picnic foods that are prepared in advance and easily transported. The charming drawings illustrate chapters on small bites, a variety of salads, protein-packed main dishes, desserts, and drinks. In addition to helping you step up your everyday packed lunch, The Picnic also includes a picnic party primer that you can use to plan your next outdoor bash.

Best Lunch Box Ever by Katie Sullivan Morford
This cookbook is written by a registered dietitian and mom of three girls who, by her count, has packed more than 4,000 lunches over the years. While the recipes are written for kids’ lunches, they will definitely appeal to adult tastes. Sweet potato, black bean and Monterey Jack Quesadilla? Prosciutto and Arugula Lavash pizza? Yum! I’m making that for my own lunch.

300 Sandwiches: A Multilayered Love Story by Stephanie Smith
This book is both a love story and a cookbook. After his girlfriend, Stephanie, made him a simple turkey sandwich and cheese sandwich, Eric took one bite and jokingly told her that she was “300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.” Stephanie took him at his word and began a culinary journey that allowed her to overcome her fear of cooking as she prepared everything from breakfast sandwiches to s’mores for dessert. As the book chronicles their relationships, each short chapter ends with recipes for sandwiches, condiments, or other foods that were part of the chapter.

Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Box Lunches for Kids by Michele Oliver
Bento boxes have become super popular in the last few years. These Japanese-inspired lunch boxes, divided into mini compartments and containing “cute” food, are the subject of countless Pinterest boards and mommy blogs and can take way too long to put together on a busy weekday morning.  Little Bento takes a far more realistic approach to preparing bento boxes for kids’ lunches. This cookbook provides excellent guidelines on how much food and the proportions of proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy a child needs for their daily nutritional intake based on age. The book is then divided into chapters based on seasons so the bentos use readily available, fresh ingredients and seasonal cooking techniques. The lovely photographs will make you want to pack a healthy, delicious -- and beautiful -- bento every day.