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Put punch in your lunch.

Lunch comes but once a day. "Thank goodness," you'll say, if you're one of those overworked homemakers for whom lunch is a daily showdown at high noon. Whether lunch is made to be eaten from a bag at school or at work, or to satisfy the hungries of a noontime gathering of friends, the midday meal can pose problems an Einstein couldn't solve. What can you put together in half an hour that can be consumed in 15 minutes, will be different every day and can carry the diners through the long haul until supper?

In our search for some tasty solutions to these problems, we've discovered some winners. A good place to start is with bread. If your family is tiring of the same old sandwich combinations with white, whole wheat and rye, be more adventure-some and turn to pita, that delicious, unleavened-style bread from the Middle East that's so good when stuffed with a variety of hot or cold ingredients. Another discovery we're sure you'll enjoy is the chapatti, from India, a whole-wheat tortilla that can add a new look and taste to your noon meal.

If your regular lunch enthusiasts enjoy peanut butter, you may be able to tempt their tastebuds even further with some new peanut-butter ideas, which include peanut-butter soup, apples stuffed with peanut butter and a special pita, pineapple, pecan and peanut-butter combination we've dubbed Hawaiian Surprise.

For a formal luncheon you'll need some extra-handsome gourmet dishes designed to look and taste the part. We've included three that your guests will find delicious and quite different: a lasagne, a paella and a tuna patty. The first two can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Since they aren't cooked until just before you serve them, they'll taste as fresh as if you had risen before dawn to prepare them, and the time saved will allow a last-minute clean-up before your guests arrive!

Tuna Patties

(Makes 4-6 servings) 2 cans tuna fish 1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup oat bran 1/2 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup Fleischmann's Egg Beaters

Drain water-packed tuna and put into mixing bowl. Add chopped onion, oat bran and roled oats. Add Egg Beaters and mix thoroughly. Let stand for five minutes to absorb all liquid. Form into patties and place in a flat baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 [deg.] F. Remove from oven and turn with a spatula. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with white sauce.

White Sauce 3 tablespoons corn starch 1 tablespoon corn-oil margarine 1/2 teaspoon alt substitute 1/4 cup celery, finely diced 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 2 cups skim milk

Combine corn starch witl milk. Heat margarine in saucepan until melted. Blend in milk mixture, celery and seasonings. Cook over low heat until thickened. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Turkey and Broccoli Stir Fry

(Makes 2 servings) 4 tablespoons of slivered almonds 2 teaspoons safflower oil 1/2 pound of turkey breast slices, cut into 1/2" strips 1 large Spanish onion, peeled thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 3/4 cup of fat-skimmed chicken or turkey broth 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 pound fresh broccoli spears, sliced diagonally (or 1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli spears, sliced diagonally) 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons unsalted soy sauce

Heat wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of safflower oil. Spread almonds in wok. Shake wok gently to lightly brown almonds. Remove almonds and set aside. Add remaining teaspoon of safflower oil. Add turkey and sear quickly. Remove to a plate and set aside. Combine onion, garlic and 1/4 cup broth in the wok over high heat. Cook and stir until broth evaporates and onions are browned lightly. Add the broccoli and wine. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about four minutes. Add mushrooms, continue cooking until broccoli is tender crisp. Combine corn starch and soy sauce and stir into skillet until pan liquid simmers and thickens and vegetables are coated. Stir in turkey strips; cook, stirring until heated through. Sprinkle with almonds.

Spinach Lasagne

(Makes 4 servings) 2 large bunches fresh spinach or 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed 2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups canned or homemade tomato sauce 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried 1-1/4 cups water Pepper, freshly ground 2 cups small-curd cottage cheese 2 eggs, lightly beaten 10 lasagna noddles, cooked and drained 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 350 [deg.] F. If you are using fresh spinach, trim and wash it. Place the wet spinach in a saucepan, cover and cook just until soft; squeeze dry. Heat the oil in a 2-1/2-quart casserole; add the onion and saute until limp but not browned. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil and water. Season to taste with additional pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix the cottage cheese and eggs; season with additional pepper. Arrange 5 of the cooked noodles to cover the bottom of a 13" x 9" x 1-3/4" baking dish. Spread the spinach, then the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with all the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1/2 the tomato sauce. Cover with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.


(Makes 8 chapatties) 2 tablespoons oil 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon salt substitute 1/2-3/4 cup water

Rub oil into the flour and salt substitute; add enough cold water to make a soft, breadlike dough. Divide into balls the size of a small egg. Roll out each to 8 inches in diameter. Bake on both sides on a hot griddle (or large skillet). Serve hot with margarine, honey or sandwich spreads.

Salmon-Vegetable Paella

(Makes 4 servings) 1 can (7-3/4 oz.) salmon 1 clove garlic, minced 3/4 cup onion, chopped 1/2 cup celery, sliced 1/3 cup green onion, chopped 1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/4 cup margarine 1 cup rice 2 cups chicken broth 1/4 teaspoon each, salt substitute, thyme and marjoram 1 medium zucchini, sliced 1 cup frozen peas Parmesan cheese, grated

Drain salmon, reserving liquid. Break salmon into chunks with a fork. Saute garlic, onion, celery, green onion and mushrooms in margarine. Add rice, reserved salmon liquid, chicken broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add zucchini and peas and cook 10 minutes longer. Add salmon and heat 5 minutes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Pocket Sandwiches

(Makes 6) 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, sliced 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1 cup green pepper, diced 1/2 cup celery, diced Pepper 6 pita breads 1 cup Farmer cheese, shredded

Saute sausage in large skillet until browned. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat and add onion, garlic, mushrooms, green pepper and celery. Saute until vegetables are tender and sausage is done. Season to taste with pepper. Cut pita breads in halves crosswise. Open pockets and stuff with sausage filling. Sprinkle filling with cheese. Fit sandwiches snugly upright in baking pan and bake at 400 [deg.] F. 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt. Serve at once. Note: Instead of sausage, you may use diced cooked chicken, turkey, shellfish or any leftover cooked meat. Then saute in 2 tablespoons of oil instead of sausage fat.

Avocado Pocket Sandwiches

(Makes 4) 1 avocado, halved and peeled 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped 1/2 cup carrot, chopped 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup Farmer cheese, cubed 1/4 cup bottled Italian dressing 4 pita breads 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 cup tomato, chopped

Dice half the avocado. Reserve other half. Gently toss diced avocado, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, mushrooms and cheese with Italian dressing. Slit pita breads and separate halfway around by pulling edges apart to form a pocket. Fill each with 1/4 of the mixture. Mash remaining avocado with form and stir in lemon juice and tomato. Spoon inside each sandwich.

Pocketbook Sandwiches

(Makes 4 sandwiches) 6 Morningstar Farms Breakfast Links 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1 tablespoon polyunsaturated margarine 8-ounce can tomato sauce 1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 loaves pita bread

1 cup lettuce, shredded

1/2 cup tomato, chopped

1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

Plain yogurt

Cook breakfast links as directed on package. Cut links in half crosswise. Cook onion in margarine until tender, not brown. Add tomato sauce, oregano and garlic powder. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add breakfast links; keep warm. Heat bread as directed on package. Cut in half crosswise. Fill each bread pocket with equal amounts of lettuce, tomato and alfalfa sprouts. Add breakfast links and sauce. Serve with yogurt. If alfalfa sprouts are not available, increase the amount of chopped lettuce.

Falafel Sandwiches

(Makes 6)

1/2 cup dry split green peas

1/2 teaspoon salt substitute

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup garbanzo-bean flour

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground

2 cups oil

6 small pita breads

Tomatoes, sliced

Onions, sliced

Dill pickle slices

Humus dip

Soak split peas in water overnight. Drain and mash. Add salt substitute, pepper, garbanzo-bean flour, onion powder, parsley, water and cumin and mix well. Shape into small balls. Fry in hot oil and drain on paper towels. Slit pita bread to form pockets. Fill pockets with split pea balls and tomato, onion and pickle slices. Top with humus dip.

Humus Dip

(Makes about 1 cup)

1/2 cup garbanzo beans, mashed, cooked

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt substitue

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Combine beans, oil, lemon juice, salt substitute, tahini, garlic powder and sugar. Mix well.

Peanut Butter Soup

(Makes 6 servings)

2 tablespoons onions, minced

3 tablespoons margarine

1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour

1 cup peanut butter

4 cups chicken broth

Salt substitute


1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

Cook onion in margarine until soft in 2-quart saucepan. Add flour and stir until smooth. Stir in peanut butter, add chicken broth and season to taste with salt substitute and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring over low heat until thickened and smooth. Combine milk and add. Just before serving, add tablespoon of Madeira.

Hawaiian Surprise

(Makes 4 servings)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup pineapple, crushed, well drained

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Mix well. Spread on your favorite bread, or fill pita pocket bread.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Simon, Allen
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Apr 1, 1984
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