Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Smart layering: Stack up a make-ahead, portable lunch

Layered lunches.
Layered lunches.

Swap your same-old brown bag for these easy, make-ahead lunch combinations.

Containers can be assembled the night before. They’re good warm or cold—just stir and eat.

1. Miso Veggie-Soba

Start With
• Soba noodles:
Cook ­according to package ­directions; drain and rinse under cold running water.
Then Layer
• Roasted veggies:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel, seed, and chop 1 large butternut squash into ½-inch pieces. Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, halve 1 lb Brussels sprouts; toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on a parchment-lined ­baking sheet. Roast 20 to 30 ­minutes, until browned.
• Miso dressing:
Puree 1-inch knob peeled ginger, 1 garlic clove, ½ cup white miso, ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar, ½ cup tahini, ­3 Tbsp packed brown sugar, and ¹⁄³ cup water. (Add more water to achieve desired consistency.)
• Sliced scallions

2. Spicy Sausage and Kale
 

Start With 
• Whole wheat couscous:

Cook according to package directions.
Then Layer
• Blanched kale:
Remove tough stems from 1 large bunch kale, then chop. Blanch in boiling, salted water 4 minutes, until tender and bright green. Drain, squeeze dry, and season with salt.
• Canned chickpeas
• Spiced yogurt:
Whisk together 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt with 1 grated garlic clove. Season with kosher salt, smoked ­paprika, and fresh lemon juice to taste.
• Cooked, sliced merguez sausage ­(or other spicy sausage)
• Roasted ­cashews

3. Zesty Polenta
 
Start With

• Parmesan polenta:
Cook according to package directions; add grated Parmesan to taste.
Then Layer
• Jarred marinara sauce
• Minced peperoncini
• Shredded rotisserie chicken
• Roasted red peppers:
Drain and chop.

4. Tex-Mex Shrimp
 
Start With

• Quinoa: Cook according to package directions.
Then Layer
• Jarred tomatillo salsa
• Frozen corn:
Steam; season with salt.
• Diced avocado:
Toss in fresh lime juice.
• Canned black beans
• Boiled shrimp
• Minced red onion

Sarah DiGregorio
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