From the publisher:
Modern Lunch is the new lunchtime hero for time-strapped, budget-conscious, and salad-fatigued people everywhere. Focusing on healthy, quick–and, yes, Instagrammable–recipes with minimal effort, Allison takes readers on a feasting journey inspired by fresh flavors and ingredients, and her travels.
Meals in jars and adult-appropriate lunchboxes will actually make you look forward to lunch now, especially when recipes like Chicken and Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Peanut Butter Vinaigrette, Tomato Sourdough Soup with Cacio e Pepe Socca Triangles, and Walnut-Crusted Avocado, Feta, and Eggs with Pesto Rice are waiting for you. Find inspiration for delicious lunches to eat at home, too, like Greek Chopped Salad with Crispy Peppercorn Salmon, and a new take on the classic ploughman’s lunch. Spend weekends with friends gathered around easy-to-assemble platters and picnic baskets, and enjoy homemade brunches that rival any restaurant’s. And, if you’re someone who likes to improvise, Allison shares her staple recipes and tried-and-tested strategies for mastering meal prep, as well as ideas and combinations for quick, on-the-fly lunches that encourage creativity but promise satisfaction–even if you have to dine at your desk.
With dazzling recipes and photography, and smart tips on hacking the lunchtime game, Modern Lunch proves that a delicious, exciting, and inventive lunch can be achievable for any appetite, wallet, and busy schedule–and maybe even spark a little office envy.
I am the lunch maker in our household – for both me and Neil. My school has a lunch programme but I bring my own – simply because the 45ish minutes I get for lunch is pretty sacred and I need that quiet time. The dining hall is much too noisy to include it as part of my day… Packing your own lunch does require some organisation ahead of time – mostly on the weekend – and our lunches often include leftovers but Allison’s book has me re-thinking this. I mean, leftovers are nice and all but maybe not on the third day 😉 So, maybe I take some of that meal prep time on the weekend and prepare foods specially for lunches so that lunch is something new and exciting and not always leftovers.
Modern Lunch is a clever book full of ideas you’ll wish you’d have thought of (indeed, it’s “the cookbook you didn’t know you needed”!). With soups and stews, meals in jars and smart ideas for lunch boxes there are a ton of ideas for meals on the go. Allison’s also included ideas for lunches at home (bowls for the win!) and lunches to share (think picnics, platters and brunch ideas) as well as sweet treats (because who doesn’t love a sweet treat in their lunch box?). To get you started, there’s a primer of lunch gear and ingredients to get you set up to prep these amazing meals. She’s even given tips for sharing the love through a Modern Lunch Club! Seriously, this book will make you rethink your meal prep on the weekends and look forward to your weekday lunches!
This week, the Petits Chefs were lucky enough to get a chance to cook with Allison herself! I chose the Chopped Thai Salad because it had, well, a lot of chopping to do and I knew it would keep the boys busy! Though the boys are pretty good with their knife skills, I had Allison go around to each of the ingredients to show them the best way to prepare the veggies for this recipe (hint: everything needed to be approximately the same size so it’s easier to eat – and pack!)
Allison showed them a different way to cut mangoes than we learned from Vanessa last week (I tell the boys there’s no one “best” way and their best way might be to combine two or three different methods). They did a great job!
Meanwhile, a group of boys worked on the dressing… The LOVED rolling the limes to make them jucier!
Allison’s recipe calls for peanut butter but because we can’t use that in school, we substituted (and introduced Allison to) WOW Butter which is made with soy beans. Smells and tastes just like peanut butter!
I don’t know about you but seeing kids excited about vegetables makes me VERY happy. They were so excited to plate this up (and even if they didn’t end up eating it all, they worked with vegetables, learned some new knife skills and took pride in the way they plated their food. That’s a win in my book! Hopefully Allison’s gorgeous recipes and ideas will inspire them to help their parents out a little bit with meal prep on the weekends 🙂
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Disclosure: I received a copy of Modern Lunch from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to nor compensated for writing about the book.