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25 April 2012

Braised Broads ~ Quick And Easy Lunches

Easy Lunches: Big Taste, Kind To The Pocketbook...

I don't like to cook lunch.  Why?  Because I'm usually cooking dinner!  I cook in steps throughout the day most often, cleaning up as I go.  You see, I hate cleaning up after a big meal.  I love cooking the big meal, but the dishes...not so much.  So, I work in manageable chunks so I never have to look at a disaster.  That would deflate my happiness bubble immensely.  (Or I cook dishes that don't make a big these lunches I'll feature today.)

First up is a sandwich that ties Mediterranean flavors together deliciously! 

Take a loaf of Italian bread and slice it long-wise.  Dash a generous coating of olive oil over its surface and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. 

Slice fresh dates (I buy pitted because I don't want to deal with cutting the pits out....) in half and cover your bread.  Top with sliced chunks (or little circles if you find the pre-separated kind) of soft-ball mozzarella cheese and then drape a layer of sopresatta (Italian salami that is too delicious to describe) on top. 

A great way to add some greens to your diet is to then top with fresh spinach leaves, douse with a shot of olive oil and pinch of salt.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes.  You will enjoy a little slice of heaven.  The sweet of the date mingles with the salty of the sopresatta in just the right proportions to make you smile as if you've just heard the best secret in the world.  Ahhhh.  Delish!

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup - or use a natural stone that requires no clean up other than a scrape and wipe down.  Easy as pie!  (Er, now that I think about it, I find this statement rather awful.  I find pie baking incredibly NOT EASY...ha!  I'm going to start saying 'Easy as toast' or some other pithy remark.  I'll have to think about this...)

On to easy lunch option two...

This idea came via Rachael Ray's Yum-O, her cookbook for kids!  My boys liked this recipe and so did I.  It did take some convincing for them to try it.  Once they did, it was easy sailing. 

Spray a small/medium skillet with non-stick spray or coat with a little olive oil after shredding about a cup of Colby-jack cheese and thinly slicing a crisp green apple.  Place a tortilla in the pan and coat one half of it with the shredded cheese.  Then layer some green apple slices over the cheese.  Once the tortilla has browned a bit, fold it over and toast a minute or so more.  Voila!  That's it!  Super easy.  You've just provided a quick, tasty, nutritious lunch - and done so with little trouble.  And seriously, is there anything better than apples and cheese?  I mean, really...

Now sit down and enjoy your scrumptious mid-day meal. 

 - Moíra ♣

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