Monday, September 02, 2013

Lunchtime Layered Salads

Individual Layered Salads
Individual Layered Salads
Back-to-school around here is a big deal. After the kids have been home to roost for the summer, it's good to get back into the usual schedule and accomplish a thing or two without kids underfoot. Many times, though, the stresses of what to pack for lunch overshadows the rest. I've been blessed with kids who eat almost anything, with a naysayer or two thrown in for good measure, but making sure their lunches are balanced and healthy is another issue.

My perfect solution to the packed lunch conundrum is a classic layered salad in individual portions. Each kid can have the salad their way in just their size and it's easy to carry and keep food-safe until lunchtime as well. Start with a base of fresh greens and build as you like. The following "recipe" is more a set of guidleines. Go with what you know the kids like, including dressing, and they'll bring home empty containers every time!

Individual Layered Salads
Makes one
Printable Recipe

In a two cup serving container with a lid, layer:

One cup of chopped greens
Layer on desired veggies 2 Tablespoons at a time - up to 2/3 cup total or about 10 Tablespoons.

Veggies such as:

shredded carrots
chopped cucumber
frozen peas (leave them frozen and they will thaw by lunchtime)
cooked garbanzo or other beans
sliced zucchini
halved grape tomatoes
chopped celery
chopped sweet peppers
diced red onion
sliced green onion

On top of veggies add other toppings, up to 1/3 cup or about 5 Tablespoons:

2 tablespoons shredded cheese or cottage cheese
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
Turkey bacon fried crisp and crumbled or chopped
Diced salami
Diced ham or turkey
Sunflower seed kernels or other nuts

Top everything with 3 - 4 Tablespoons of their favorite dressing and you're set!

The possibilities are endless and having your children help make the salads the night before ensures a smooth morning routine and also means they're more likely to eat them.