Roz Ka Khana

A blog about everyday food. Mostly Indian. All vegetarian.

Archive for the tag “lunchbox recipes”

Lunchbox Series – Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Tofu in Spicy Miso Sauce and Mung sprouts salad

Trying to get back in the swing of things after days of eventful and exciting travel, bouts of illnesses and days of being in a rut. If I can be a tad introspective for a change, something about life has always intrigued me – do things always happen as ups and downs in sequence as in moments of happiness or “up” moments followed by “down” times? Or is it all merely what we perceive as an up or a down moment? Are we just conditioned to expect happy times to be automatically followed by stress and down times?

Over the past month it feels like we have experienced just that – fun and travel to exotic destinations, days of adventure and excitement that were quickly followed by bouts of illnesses in the family and of course the vagaries of work and home and life’s decisions that seem to be looming large with no respite in sight.

I have come to the realization that it all boils down to how you react to situations and what you really label as an “up” or “down” moment in life. It’s all relative.

When I really put things in perspective, illnesses are the body’s way of telling you to slow down when you’ve had a “bit too much fun” or have exerted the body to beyond what it can endure. Is that really a down moment or an opportunity to applaud and cherish the body for letting off steam and resetting itself?

And all the uncertainties that seem to befall us? They are just life’s way of telling us that at times it’s okay to just “let it be”. It’s not always that things will go “as planned” and when they don’t, it’s time to just step back and watch the drama unfold. Be tossed around a bit but hang on like you were hanging on to that raft when you were rafting amidst the whitewater rapids in Australia (that we just experienced a few weeks ago and despite all the uncertainty that came with the experience we definitely labeled it as all fun – an up moment at the end of it all:). Take care not to fall off (and even if you do, jump right back on) and after all the jostling and tossing you will almost always get back to floating on the calm of the river. Now you could call any of this an “up” moment or a “down” moment – it’s all relative at the end of the day.

So there you have it. That’s the frame of mind I am in and it actually feels good to jot that down and put things in perspective for a change. It’s almost cathartic.

Getting back to what I really started to write about which was to clear my backlog of the lunchbox series, here’s another recipe from that protein lunch week that I wrote about a while back. Soba Noodles with marinated tofu, bean sprouts, cilantro. Packed with some mung sprouts salad, cut fruit and you have yourself a nutritious lunchbox that you can look forward to in the day.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 10 oz extra firm tofu, cubed and sliced.

Spicy Miso Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1½ Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon white miso
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½-1 Tablespoon chili sauce or Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons bragg’s liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • ¼ cup water, to thin

Note: If you don’t have miso you may just use soy sauce or tamari but the flavor will be different. You can also add dulse flakes or crushed seaweed for that “umami” flavor.

Instructions
  1. Prep the bell pepper and carrots by washing and chopping it.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a blender, blend and then set aside. Add the cubed tofu to this mixture and set aside for about 15-20 minutes to marinate.
  3. Cook the soba noodles according to package directions in a large pot. When done, place noodles in a colander and rinse with warm water, drain and place back into the pot.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ tablespoon coconut oil to pan. When hot, add red pepper and carrots to pan; sauté 6-10 minutes or until half cooked.
  5. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, pour sauce over the mixture. Mix well to make sure the sauce gets distributed evenly. Add the noodles and stir well to evenly coat the noodles and veggies with the sauce. Add the bean sprouts and tofu. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, mix and switch off the heat.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, basil leaves (optional), and sliced lemon wedges.

Moong Sprouts salad:

Ingredients:

  • Sprouted whole green gram or mung –  1 cup
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 raw mango, chopped fine (optional)
  • Black salt or chaat masala, to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix all the above ingredients and chill before serving.

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Lunchbox Series – Day Two – Mediterranean Salad with Creamy Garlic Cilantro Parsley Dressing

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It’s been quite a busy few days so pardon the delays in the “daily posts”. For one I have restarted the 1-green-smoothie-a- day series again. This time for 21 days. I figured it’s February and probably a month where the zeal of New Year resolutions just starts to wane so why not try to keep the momentum alive. I have been smoothie-ing for the past year and a half and cannot tell you how beneficial it has been for me. There have been quite some requests to share the daily recipes so I just started to post them here and on the Facebook page, in case you’re interested in following along.

So get your green smoothie to start your day and continue to nourish with these protein packed lunches.

Day Two comprised of a Mediterranean Salad inspired from this popular salad chain in Singapore called Salad Stop. The perfect combination of carbs, protein, greens and veggies topped with a creamy Arabic spiced vinaigrette. Top this with a peanut chaat and some fruit and you have a wholesome lunchbox to last you through the 4pm sugar or caffeine rush.

Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces – 2 cups
  • Red bell pepper, sliced thin, 1/2 cup
  • Chickpeas, 1/2 cup, boiled and drained
  • Boiled potato, 1 , cubed
  • Cucumber, 1/2 sliced thin
  • Cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup, halved
  • Falafels – 4-5. (Prepared ahead using this recipe. You may also use an organic falafel mix).

Layer all the above in that order in the lunchbox container.

Arabic Spiced Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • ¼ cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar (can Substitute White Vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Mint
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ teaspoon Sugar
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • •¼ cups Loosely Packed Fresh Parsley
  • 1/4 Chopped cilantro

Blend all the above to a creamy mix.

Peanut Chaat:

  • 2 cups boiled peanuts
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies chopped fine
  • cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped
  • juice of half to one lemon squeezed.
  • salt to taste

Mix all the above and garnish with cilantro.

Anusuya’s Kitchen – Kuzhi Paniyaram

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This one comes from Anusuya’s kitchen…remotely that is. I have missed visiting and posting from her kitchen for the last two years since our move, but this winter visit to Dallas was a good reminder to bring this series back, and savor this amazing cook’s simple and yum recipes. This recipe was one I wrote down in 2010, when she was in the mood to share some quick and easy snack favorites. I’m not even sure if she remembers having shared this gem but this recipe came very handy this week as I was out of lunchbox ideas for Nikhil. Mix some left over idli batter, chilies, cilantro and sambar/vethalkuzhambu powder powder and you have a new savory “appam” dish that is quite healthy too. You may add grated carrot or beans or any vegetable of your choice though I left that out in this recipe. I did add some chopped onions but that is optional too. You don’t need to use oil at all if you use a non stick “appa-karal” or the ebelskiver pan. I barely used one to one a half tsp oil for making about 15-20 paniyarams.

They make a great breakfast or snack recipe and if your child or you like it enough even if cold can be a good lunchbox staple too. I have to thank my good friend Maha for suggesting this as a lunchbox recipe.

Enjoy with any chutney of your choice – coconut or peanut or tomato or anything spicy:)

Ingredients:

  • Left over idli batter – 2 cups
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 tsp vethal kuzhambu powder (you may use 2 tsp sambar powder if you don’t have this one. You can find this occasionally in Indian stores abroad but I usually get mine from Grand Sweets in Chennai)
  • Ground ginger and chili paste (1 inch ginger plus 2-3 chilies or more if you like it very spicy)
  • Chopped cilanto 2 tbsp
  • Chopped curry leaves 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil or rice bran oil – 2 tsp
  • Optional – chopped onions and grated veggies like carrots or beans (1/4 cup each)

Method:

Take the idli batter in a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well.

Heat the appa karal or ebelskiver pan with about 1- 1 1/2 tsp of the oil. Just pour 1 tsp oil across all the cups in the pan so each cup gets a little to grease it a bit.

When the oil is hot, add one tbsp each of the batter. Cook till the batter is about golden brown and using a spoon or skewer or a chopstick turn the appam/paniyaram over to cook on the other side.

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When golden and puffy on both sides, the paniyarams are ready to eat.

 

Lunchbox Series – Weekly Menu/Calendar Round 2

Thanks for all the feedback on the weekly calendar. There were some good questions on time management especially for the breakfast and lunch recipes so  I thought I would share some tips that have worked for us. Most of the recipes are quick enough to assemble together in the morning though a bit of planning the night before helps a great deal.

For example, you can add all the ingredients for the smoothie and store in the blender container in the refrigerator. The next morning, just fix the container to the base, turn it on and blend, blend.

Assemble all the ingredients for the grilled sandwiches the night before. You can butter the slices (if you use butter or any spread), add the filling and cover with a grease proof sheet and store in the fridge. The next morning turn on the sandwich maker or grill, and just add in your buttered slices with filling and grill till brown.

Make all the ingredients for the burrito or burger the night before and assemble in the am. Be sure to use lettuce on the bread or wrap first before adding the filling. The lettuce keeps the bread from turning soggy and the burrito will stay fresher till the afternoon if you wrap in foil or parchment paper. You can also make the burgers ahead of time and freeze. Just thaw and add to the sandwich in the morning.

Make the pancakes in large batches and freeze as well. Pop into the microwave or toaster oven in the morning.

Basically you can make most of these recipes ahead of time if you have an idea of what to pack for the week. Hope this is helpful. Do keep your tips and suggestions coming on other ideas that have worked for you.

WEEKLY MENU FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 23rd

DAY 1 – MONDAY

BREAKFAST – Cereal with chopped bananas or apples

GREEN SMOOTHIE – Spinach, mango, cilantro detox smoothie

JUICE – Beet, pomegranate, spinach, cucumber

LUNCHBOXSprouts and potato sandwich

SNACK – Grapes and a cereal bar

DAY 2 – TUESDAY

BREAKFAST – Muesli

SMOOTHIE – Spinach, avocado, banana, passion fruit

LUNCHBOX – Bollywood Burrito (recipe will follow) – an Indianised version of the Chipotle Burrito

SNACK – Apple slices with almond butter

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY

BREAKFAST – Toast with smoothie

SMOOTHIE – Blueberry, banana, spinach, chia seeds

LUNCHBOXVegetarian Black Bean Burger 

SNACK – Orange segments and trail mix

DAY 4 – THURSDAY

BREAKFASTEggless Pancakes

GREEN SMOOTHIE/JUICE

LUNCHBOX – Green Chili and Cheese Sandwich

SNACK – Pomegranate seeds

DAY 5 – FRIDAY

BREAKFAST – Oatmeal with bananas and walnut

GREEN SMOOTHIE/JUICE

LUNCHBOXSprouts n Salsa in Chapathi rolls

SNACK – Celery sticks with almond butter and raisins

 

Lunchbox Series – Weekly Menu/Calendar

As I mentioned earlier, I find that a tad bit of planning maybe for 20 minutes or so every Sunday evening goes a long way to keep our weeknights and mornings stress and yell free. (Well, the energy conserved is now channeled to run around for things we forget when we get to the bus stop – it never ends:)

I did get a few requests to share our weekly menu calendar here so will attempt to begin sharing them this week. I still haven’t found the best wordpress plugin to make this look sophisticated, so bear with me as I share links by day in  a post like format for now. Hope you find this as useful as I do.  Do keep the comments coming here and on FB and Twitter of course.

Oh and while I don’t mean to bombard you with a daily log of our nutrition calendar I figured giving you a peek into the breakfast menu wouldn’t hurt. I did mention earlier that our morning breakfasts are now increasingly dotted by juices and smoothies , didn’t I? This has been quite a life changing step into a healthier lifestyle so this menu also gives you a sneak peek into some of the green smoothies and juices in my kitchen and breakfast suitable for kids and adults alike. Again I have provided links where the recipes are available here on RKK.

On a separate note, I plan to start a 30 day smoothie/green smoothie recipe list on my Tumblog here and on Facebook beginning Monday, September 30. So do keep a look out for some shopping lists every week and daily recipes and pictures. Let me know if this is helpful to you too. I meant every letter when I said that green smoothies and green juices have been quite life changing so more on that in a later post.

WEEKLY MENU FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 16TH

DAY 1 – MONDAY

BREAKFASTSouth Indian Style Oatmeal (lovingly called Thachi Mammu Oatmeal in our home:)

GREEN SMOOTHIE – Kailan or kale, carrots, banana, orange, chia seeds and coconut water

JUICE – Green apple, cucumber, celery

LUNCHBOX – Peanut or almond butter, banana and maple syrup sandwich on a multi-grain or gluten free bread

Note : Do use raw organic peanut or almond butter. I prefer almond butter over the PB but it is an acquired taste for kids so experimentation and substitution is acceptable. I have found it is tough to wean kids (who grow up on sodium and hydrogenated fat laden Jif and Skippy PB) off to raw PB or AB or even Cashew or Hazelnut butters, but baby steps are totally worth it.  If you can make the peanut or almond butter at home in a high power blender (Vitamix or Blendtec) nothing like it. Also use pure 100% maple syrup, not the flavored kind.

SNACK – Sliced peaches

(We only have one snack break in middle school so this suffices for us, but in the past I would also send a vegetable for snack. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, Kind bars etc worked great.)

DAY 2 – TUESDAY

BREAKFAST Egg half fry and toast

SMOOTHIE – Spinach, mango, mint, celery and ginger

JUICE – Carrot, orange and celery

LUNCHBOXScrambled Spicy Tortilla/Paratha (Kothu Parotta)

SNACK – Carrot sticks with hummus or avocado dressing

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY

BREAKFAST – Toast with cream cheese (plain or onion chives or any savory flavor) topped with avocado salad (sliced avocados, onion slices and tomatoes with a squeeze of lemon)

SMOOTHIE/JUICE (recipes will follow in a separate post)

LUNCHBOXBombay Sandwich and Green salad

SNACK – Apple slices with almond butter

DAY 4 – THURSDAY

BREAKFASTMuesli or Cereal with Bananas

GREEN SMOOTHIE/JUICE

LUNCHBOXSabudana Khichdi (Sago Stir Fry)

SNACK – Orange segments

DAY 5 – FRIDAY

BREAKFAST – Oatmeal with maple syrup and pecans

GREEN SMOOTHIE/JUICE

LUNCHBOX Scrambled tofu/paneer wrap or Sandwich

SNACK – Celery sticks with almond butter and raisins

Send in your comments to let me know if this worked for you. I can continue to post every Sunday night as my menu gets scheduled if you find this helpful.

Lunchbox Series – Bombay Sandwich

20130907-101246.jpgI’ve been asked why the lunchbox series have stalled since my move to Singapore. I don’t think the move has much to do with it or the fact that Nikhil is almost a tween/teenager. My tween is quite the foodie as I said earlier so he still prefers his yummy and healthy lunch menus from home (even if I say so myself:) over the cafeteria food. The issue itself is the lunchbox:). I used to be particularly fond of packing lunches the “laptop lunch” way or add in a fruit, a vegetable, protein and carbs in the lunchbox and the cute laptop lunch containers ensured a balanced diet.  And I was super excited when we moved here to “bento land” or so it was I had assumed (with all the Asian/Japanese influence) that I invested – yes those fancy bento containers are frightfully expensive – in a Zojirushi 3 tier bento kit for Nikhil to take to his 5th grade.

Sadly it lasted a month. Zojirushi was deemed too “heavy” to carry and one day it never got home. Was apparently lost in some “black hole” in the school or was picked up by some lucky cleaning service employee – no one knows – bottom line, we are on our 7th lunch box which now has been resigned to a disposable container or even a foil wrapped burrito in a brown bag. Did it conveniently “get lost”? Not sure but it does seem to be a trend among middle schoolers to not tote the separate lunch bags. And so with the demise of the laptop type lunches, I lost the inspiration to showcase the contents.

Nikhil still cares about the contents of his lunch though and for the most part claims he prefers taking his lunch to the “sad” lunches he gets at school, except for the pizza or subway days. I can’t say for sure if they are really that sad  but am secretly enjoying it while it lasts – I take it as a compliment, never mind that he is very much still a Mama’s boy:)

So this past week’s lunch menu was the sandwich that can be found at every street corner in Bombay. I found this recipe from this book I recently bought in India – Sanjeeev Kapoor’s Tiffins – Delicious and Healthy Khana for your Dabba (Hindi word for container).

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Some quick and easy lunch recipes in here though many would be better off in a traditional Indian tiffin dabba or the bento tier boxes. Oh well, if we do decide to get back on that trend the recipes are tempting enough to make their way into our lunchbox – or better yet – I may start carrying one of those Indian dabbas to work just to try these recipes:)

You do need a wee bit of planning for this recipe like the green chutney and the boiled potatoes but once you have those handy this is a very simple recipe to put together in a jiffy for those crazy Monday mornings.

Quite a lip smacking sandwich and this now makes it in our every other lunch week calendar – yes I do have to make one so I don’t go crazy with the schedules. (Happy to share my weekly lunch menu here for those interested:)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green chutney (coriander and mint chutney – recipe below)
  • 1 medium onion cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 medium cucumber cut into thin round slices
  • 1 medium tomato cut into thin round slices
  • 1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 tsp sandwich masala or chat masala (you can find both in India grocery stores)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • Salt to taste

Method for green chutney 

I use this brilliant recipe from Panfusine for the green chutney. There are several green chutney recipes you will find but I like the fact that this one uses a very unusual ingredient – feta cheese – to add to the slightly “fermented” or yoghurty consistency which I think is what gives it a brilliant chutney green color and the thick consistency – perfect for a sandwich spread. I changed it a bit to add some mint as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch cilantro – 2 cups approx
  • 1/2 bunch mint – 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • Salt to taste

Blend all the above to a smooth paste in a blender by adding a little water.

Method for Bombay sandwich:

  1. Trim the bread slices and spread butter and green chutney on one slice (You can skip the butter or you may add it to lessen the spice level)
  2. Arrange two slices of bread smeared with the chutney with the chutney slide facing up. Now add the onion, cucumber, tomato and potato slices on the chutney slide.
  3. Sprinkle some sandwich masala or chaat masala and top with crushed peppercorns.
  4. Cover with another chutney smeared bread slice – chutney side facing down.
  5. Cut each sandwich into two equal portions, if you’d like and pack with some tomato ketchup. You may also just pack them as is wrapped in grease proof paper to keep them from getting soggy. These sandwiches hold through quite well in the lunch box for later afternoon lunches.

Lunchbox Series – Peanut Sesame Noodles

I love technology! I just love, love the fact that I now have lunchbox and recipe ideas at my fingertips, literally. Yes I am officially an app junkie!

So I was debating what to pack for Nikhil’s lunchbox last night. A quick run through the crisper gave me the following ingredients: half a head of broccoli, a quarter cut green bell pepper, some baby carrots and some scallions. Like many other app junkies, I’ve downloaded more apps on my Ipad/Iphone than I use them. Most of them were purely because I love to read the “top 10 best apps” articles on all the daily tech feeds out there…and download them just because:)

I’d read so much about the Epicurious app and hadn’t really put it to its test. So I got back 36 recipes for noodles with the ingredients. Of course it helped that Nikhil also contributed to this recipe search and added noodles to the ingredients. Basically, half the battle is having your child pick what he or she wants for lunch …did I really need an app for that? Of course I did.

We picked the first recipe…Peanut Sesame Noodles which asked for a few more ingredients from my pantry and which, thankfully I had in stock. I chopped the veggies last night and cooked the noodles and mixed the sauce this morning. I didn’t make it cold the way the recipe suggested but heated the sauce for about 1-2 minutes (not more) and garnished with lots of cilantro. Nikhil loved it..I know this already because he couldn’t stop eating it this morning and wanted it for breakfast:) Hopefully it lasts through lunchtime.

Ingredients:

For peanut dressing
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil (I used regular sesame oil available in Indian stores but I’m sure the Asian sesame adds to the flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • I tsp Sambal sauce or any red chili sauce (this was not in the original recipe and you could omit if you dont want to the noodles to get too spicy)
For noodles
  • 3/4 lb dried linguine fini or Haka noodles (I used Haka Instant Noodles)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips (you may use red or yellow bell pepper as well)
  • 2 tbsp grated carrots or julienne cut
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets

Method:

Make dressing:
Purée dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. (You can use a blender or beat the peanut butter well until smooth, add the other ingredients and beat well with a fork or spatula, if you don’t want to pull out a blender like contraption during the morning craziness:)

Noodles:
Cook noodles in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender/al dente. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok. When hot, add the scallions, bell pepper, carrots and broccoli.

Toss for about 1 minute in the hot oil, and then add the peanut sauce. Mix for about another 1-2 minutes, and add the noodles. Mix well to combine.

Cool and serve/pack in the lunchbox.

I packed the noodles for Nikhil today with some salad (romaine, apples, pecans, kidney beans with raspberry vinaigrette dressing on the side)

Submitting this recipe for Healthy Lunchbox for Srivalli’s Kid’s Event .

 

Roasted Red Pepper Spread Sandwich

roasted red pepper subThis is a follow up to the recipe from yesterday on the Asparagus Soup. I served this sandwich along with the soup for lunch. Once again, this is inspired from Vegetarian Times, with a few changes. I didn’t use French baguettes but whole wheat subs. Also, I used regular cream cheese (not the vegan kind) and radish instead of radicchio and sweet and hot roasted red peppers, for some kick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-oz. container cream cheese, softened
  • 17-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained well, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. finely minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 2 18-inch whole wheat subs
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 12 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 cups thinly sliced radish

1. Mix the roasted red peppers, cream cheese, onion, and garlic in bowl.

2. Halve each sub lengthwise. Tear out some of center from bread to make space for fillings.

3. Spread cream cheese mixture on bottom halves of bread. Top with cucumber, lettuce, and radicchio, and cover with top half of bread. 

The verdict: The sandwich turned out a little too sweet for Girish and Nikhil’s liking. I think it was because I used the sweet and hot red peppers instead of the regular roasted pepper. Will I try this again for a lunch box recipe? Of course, but with the right kind of red pepper this time!

Lunchbox Series – “Subway” Style Veggie Sandwich

This is another of Nikhil’s lunch favs. This recipe was given to me by another gourmet cook friend of mine. I should probably start a section dedicated to Mona’s recipes here, but will do that with her permission and of course, after I get to binge on more of her food:) I am truly lucky to be surrounded by such gifted cooks!

Mona made this sandwich for one of our many get togethers and as with all her creations, it was an instant hit. The thing about Mona’s recipes is that they are usually whimsical– many of them are her own creative inspirations so I normally get a “throw in this and add that, and you’re done” for recipe directions.  Of course, you can’t go wrong with that for a sandwich so I called her one busy weekday morning as I’m sure she was scrambling to pack her kids’ lunches to ask for the recipe for Nikhil’s lunch. I realize that my timing was horrible and I was half expecting a snide comment, but she humored me anyway- bless her heart!

And so this veggie sandwich made it’s way into Nikhil’s lunch and also my lunchbox, and I have now added it to our weekly lunch box menus (that is, whenever I plan a weekly lunch menu). As you can tell from my frantic morning call to Mona, that doesn’t happen very often:)

Ingredients:

Whole wheat sub rolls or hoagie roll- halved or split open

Bell peppers – a few sliced rings

Red onions – a few sliced rings

Black or green olives – 2-3 sliced

Tomatoes – 2-3 slices

Sliced jalapenos (optional)

Green leaf lettuce – chopped

Vidalia onion dressing – 1 tbsp

Spicy Mustard – 1 tbsp

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Mix the vidalia onion dressing and the spicy mustard together. Spread this mixture on each side of the sliced hoagie roll or sub roll. Add the lettuce, bell pepper, onion, tomato, olives, jalapenos to one of the slices. You can also add some pickles if you like. Now place the other slice on top and press a little. Wrap tightly with a plastic wrap.

Add some orange slices, yoghurt covered pretzels and some (baked) chips for a hearty lunch. sub-sandwich-2

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