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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas For Lunches on the Go by J. M. Hirsch

I've spent part of the summer trying to figure out WHAT I'm going to send with my son to 1st grade this year!  Not only does this book have great suggestions, but J. M. Hirsch has provided some great tips as well.

First off - make sure everything is dishwasher safe - I try to do that anyway, but for a different reason.  The author points out that if it isn't dishwasher safe, quality and durability may be in question, which makes me think that it may not be food safe, and who wants to send their kid to school with a lunch sitting for 1/2 the day in a non-food safe container?  Not me!  So point taken - all shall be dishwasher safe in our house.

Next, the author has some more great points about lunch box gear.  Then we get to the meat of the book - with over 162 lunches, and 30 dinners (because he points out that dinner left overs are great for lunches too).

There is a cute section on "Cheats" including some of the really easy things to pack like popcorn, rotisserie chicken, alternatives to peanut butter, fun mixes and cereals, and so much more.

Next we go to "Feeling Fowl" which includes great dinner and lunch ideas and how to use them multiple ways.  I will admit that as an adult, this section looks great - but I don't see my 6 year old eating many of the meals shared here - he is PICKY, and these dishes are savory and fun.

Feeling Fowl is followed by Fast and Easy (which is great for our family), Catch of the Day, Breakfast for Lunch, Sandwiches and Things Bready, Linked: Sausages, Little Bites, Use Your Noodle, Salads, Beefy, Vegetarian, and Soups and Such.

Honestly, I don't know who's lunch is going to be more fun - the more adult, or the more kid... another plus with the book is the plentiful pictures.  I gleaned so many fun ideas on how to pack and what to pack for lunch, that it should be fun to pack AND eat lunches for quite a while, as well as adding some new variety to some of our dinners.

One of the lunches I can't wait to try are Cucumber Sandwiches - I LOVE cucumbers, and the sandwich is so cute!  There are so many fun fingery foods in this book - I'm actually going to find ways to work some of them into get-togethers with friends (football Sundays are coming up quickly).  These recipes and ideas can be used for so much more than lunch box meals, but one thing they all have in common is the ease of using them for that.  So have fun with this book and give a whole new life to your lunch.

In short, this is a GREAT book for re-inventing your boring lunch.  If you have an adventurous eater (kids), you will have fun and will be limitless on possibilities for fun lunches, while if you have children like mine who are more on the picky side, this is still a great source for ideas and suggestions, but you may enjoy it more for yourself.

*The book includes a forward by Rachael Ray

Beating the lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas For Lunches on the Go
by J. M. Hirsch

Publisher: Atria (September 3, 2013)  ~ 208 pages
Non-Fiction / Cooking / Quick and Easy

Edition Reviewed: eGalley / eBook - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

About the Book (from the publisher):
Nobody wants a lunch cookbook. Especially not a lunch box cookbook. Because in the morning rush most of us aren't going to break out a recipe to bang out a brown bag special.

What busy people need are ideas. And lots of them. If they’re healthy, fun, easy and fall on the hipper end of the foodie spectrum, even better. That’s what Beating the Lunch Box Blues is – an idea book to inspire anyone daunted by the daily ordeal of packing lunch.

This is an un-cookbook, a collection of 180 delicious ideas for thinking outside the (lunch) box. The format is user friendly -- photos with tips and ideas, not recipes. Because you don’t need a recipe to know that a grilled cheese with manchego and fig jam with a side of fruit salad splashed with balsamic is a delicious lunch. Or that kids and adults will go nuts for a DIY taco kit made from leftover chicken or steak, whole-wheat tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream and veggies.

The result is a cookbook-meets-flipbook approach to thinking about lunch, allowing parents and kids to page through fresh, healthy ideas for awesome meals.

Hirsch also slipped in 34 recipes for fast and flavorful dinners. Because great lunches often are built from the leftovers of killer suppers.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)


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